ACM-W Distinguished Speaker

Becoming a researcher: practical strategies for taming the angst and changing the world

Speaker:Jeanna Neefe Matthews
Date: Friday, April 28, 2017
Time: 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Location: D106 LSRC, Duke


Research fundamentally brings uncertainty and a certain amount of angst. Especially for beginning researchers, starting down the road to research can be a daunting and intimidating task. (You mean I need to find the right question and then answer it too?) This talk is part pep talk and part highly practical advice for beginning researchers. I will discuss key aspects of the research process including finding a research topic, joining a larger community of like-minded researchers, mastering the related work, keeping up with the onslaught of new research published each year and knowing when you are “done”. Some key lessons include how to extract essential research and career advice from a remote mentor of your choice - even if you never have an opportunity to meet them! , how to identify great papers that you can emulate and extend, how to read all (yes all) the papers in your field by reading at varying levels of depth and how to identify insightful criticisms that lead to truly new research directions.


Jeanna Neefe Matthews is an associate professor of computer science at Clarkson University. Her research interests include virtualization, cloud computing, computer security, computer networks and operating systems. At Clarkson, she leads several hands-on computing laboratories including the Clarkson Open Source Institute and Clarkson Internet Teaching Laboratory. Students in these labs and in her classes have been winners in a number of prestigious computing contests including the 2001, 2002, and 2004 IBM Linux Challenge, the 2005 IBM North American Grid Scholar's Challenge, the 2005 Unisys Tuxmaster competition, and the 2006 VMware Ultimate Virtual Appliance Challenge. She has worked actively on industrial projects with companies including VMware, Intel, IBM, AMD, HP and Greenplum/EMC. She has held a number of professional leadership positions including member of the ACM Executive Committee, the chair of the Governing Board of ACM Special Interest Groups (SGB), chair of the ACM Special Interest Group on Operating systems (SIGOPS), editor of ACM Operating System Review, member of the Executive Committee of US-ACM, the U.S. Public Policy Committee of ACM and an ACM Distinguished Speaker. She has written several popular books including "Running Xen: A Hands-On Guide to the Art of Virtualization" and "Computer Networking: Internet Protocols in Action". Jeanna received her Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of California at Berkeley, a B.S. in Mathematics and Computer Science from Ohio State University and a B.A. in Spanish at SUNY Potsdam.

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Susan Rodger