Use the same idea for subdirectories in a paper directory; for example:
Copy only important hand-typed files into backups. There should be no generated files (.ps, .pdf, etc.) or files that are not changing often such as figures. This is to keep the size of the backup from wasting disk space.
For extra-readable backups, copy files using "cp -p" which preserves the last modification time of each file.
Spend time thinking hard about how a reader/listener could possibly get confused. There are a million ways this could happen. Change your material to help a person who might get stuck in that way.
Make it easy for a reader to understand your work (they will learn, appreciate, accept your paper) rather than challenging (frustration, reject your paper)
"A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not that the writer make all his sentences short, or that he avoid all detail and treat his subjects only in outline, but that every word tell." –William Strunk
Corollary: Use a minimum number of fonts across text and figures. This includes font types, sizes, bold, italics, etc.
It is always better to let data speak for itself rather than
using vague language. For example:
"2.57 GHz at a supply voltage of 1.00 V" rather than "good performance."
"Higher throughput than the Abc 1.2 GHz GPU and Def i7-2500 processor" rather than "Faster than the other architectures."
"10x lower energy" rather than "10x improved energy".
Watch significant digits. For example, even if the calculation shows an energy reduction of 54.182×, think of it this way, if you measured a different chip, would the measurements be within 1% of the first measurements? Probably not. So more than three significant digits (54.2×) is not warranted.
As a rule, emphasize the metrics of throughput/area and work/energy (for example, fft_transforms/nJ). Make sure area numbers and especially power numbers are always given in clear context—for example, if your throughput/area is 10x higher than any previous work but the throughput is 2x higher than the second highest (but more than 5x smaller area at the same time) and the area is 2x smaller than the second smallest (but more than 5x higher throughput at the same time), then it would be easy for readers to miss how much better your results really are if you don't write carefully.
Thanking sponsors is very important. Take the time to find out who should be thanked. ST requests, "The authors would like to thank STMicroelectronics for donating the chip fabrication" for papers that use their chips.
The following general outline works very well for many kinds of research whether writing a thesis or a paper to be published. I recommend using it as a starting point and modifying to suit your case as necessary. Read a few recent VCL papers and VCL theses to see how other students have constructed their outlines.
Introduction — contains an overview of the project, arguments why the research is important, and a very short obligatory overview of the paper/thesis.
"Theoretical" description of what you did — this is a description that others can easily adapt to other settings. For example, this might include new algorithms.
A description of what you designed and implemented. For example, this might be a verilog hardware design.
Simulated and/or measured results of what you designed and implemented. For example, maximum clock frequency, energy dissipation per workload calculation, chip area, numerical SNR, etc.
Comparison of your work with other work. Ideally with other published work. Otherwise with the fairest comparisons you can make with other approaches implemented. This almost certainly includes a very large table with all known similar prior work in the top rows and "This Work" on the last row. Columns on the left side of the table are more basic data such as max clock freq., energy dissipation, etc. Data in columns become increasingly complex as they progress to the right side of the table, for example, "Normalized Energy × Time".
Future work — think of the things you would have worked on next if you had more time. These are also the projects a future student would work on if he/she were to continue your work. Only a few pages.
Corollary: Probably the best way to have your audience think highly of you after your talk is if you teach them something worthwhile that they did not already know.
See the instructions at the bottom of the "Getting Started in the VCL lab" web page when you are completely done.
Although the CERL laboratory is not well known, it is the umbrella under which the computer engineering research groups are publishing technical reports (and dissertations and theses which are published as technical reports). Technical reports from the VCL group should follow the following numbering standard: ECE-VCL-YYYY-## where YYYY is the year of publication, and ## is the tech report number.To publish a technical report, follow these steps:
Always use the URL you created to link to your paper. (i.e. http://www.ece.ucdavis.edu/vcl/pubs/theses/2011-2)
Please take my comments not as "these are the only things that need fixing" but rather as giving an indication of the types of issues I believe are in your writing that must be improved before it is ready. So after fixing the specific examples pointed out to you, go through your entire writing looking for analogous issues, and fix them before the next review cycle.
The ideal situation is that your thesis/paper is well written, comments are brief, and editing effort is short. Each editing cycle takes a lot of your time and my time and is tiring and stresful. Please try to do the best job on each version and not scrape by and therefore end up with many review cycles.
Keep improving your thesis until it is signed. Writing is never done, you just quit when it is good enough.
The SPECpower benchmark, which includes a large number of modules, measures the power consumed by the processor.→
The benchmark...measures...power.No it does not—the benchmark does not measure anything!
It is natural to feel very nervous before the examinations. Treat them like you would a race. You wouldn't run 10 miles the day before you compete in a race, so don't do any heavy thinking or studying the night before your exam. Rather, do something you enjoy and is not very mentally taxing. However, absolutely make sure that you get a lot of rest the night before your exam. Like training for a race, the more work you put into preparing in the months and weeks before the exams, the more prepared you will be for the exams themselves. Do not cram. Practicing answering questions on a white board aloud in front of your peers is also very helpful. Be sure that you can explain every step of the problem you are solving and think about questions that could be asked during the solution process.
Start preparing for the exam as early as possible (Ideally beginning of Fall quarter).
Textbooks and class notes are the best resources for revising the materials.
Check the syllabus carefully for each domain and if your undergrad is not from UCD, please visit different class webpages to get more information about class notes, text books, home works, and exams.
Ask your lab seniors and students from other labs about type of questions being asked in the exam and their overall experience about the exam.
Practice all kinds of problems irrespective of difficulty and remember that the follow up questions in the exams may cover a broad range.
Most of the questions will be conceptual; however, signals and systems domain requires you to remember a lot of formulae related to various transforms (Laplace, Z-transform, Fourier series, Fourier transform, DFT, FFT etc.) and their properties.
The most important thing is to practice out loud on white board and let senior lab members or others ask you questions well before exam week. You may solve a problem on pen and paper very easily, but solving it quickly on white board before professors during exam is a different story.
You must attend the mock exams run by some of the senior students before actual exam, about which you will get an announcement from Kyle around first week of January.
Be interactive with the examiners while solving the problems. The examiners should get a clear idea about your thinking process while you solve the problems.
Do not be panic during the exam week and keep the spirit high until the exams get over.
MUX and Decoder design
Questions related to timing constraints (set up time, hold time, clk-q, minimum clk period etc.)
Draw state diagram for a given case and implement using Moore/Mealy machine
Serial adder design
FPGA vs. ASIC
Name the circuit (Single pole-double throw (SPDT) switch containing a coil), implement the same circuit as XOR, AND, OR.
Draw a common base transistor. Draw the AC signal model for the same CB transistor. Find out the voltage gain and output resistance.
What is a Cascode circuit and why is it used?
Find out the poles for a given circuit (ideally a cascaded connection) and the corresponding frequency response.
Some problems related to Op-Amp (logarithmic amplifier, adder).
Draw the frequency response at the output of sampler for that 5KHz signal, if the sampling frequency is 10 KHz.
How can you retrieve the original baseband signal from the sampled signal?
Draw the circuit diagram of a synchronous demodulator and state whether whole system is causal, linear, and stable?
What is the bandwidth of a WBFM (wideband FM) signal?
What is the Fourier transform of a step input?
A system consists of sampler, up sampling block, down sampling block, and a low pass filter is given. Find out the frequency response of each block in the system.
Whether both step and ramp signals are bounded input?
Integrator is BIBO stable or not? What do you mean by BIBO stability?
Is an integrator time invariant?
Calculate the steady state output of a system for a given sinusoid, how the output would change for the same system with a step input?
What do you mean by gain margin?
Can you find gain margin of a given closed loop system without applying the as usual gain margin formula? (Just follow the definition, apply RH criteria and find the value of gain, which would make the system unstable)
If R-H criteria yields that system gain parameter, K > 0, can K be infinity?
Find out the break away point on a root locus for a given open loop transfer function.
This is #1 for sure: find a way to kill all distractions for a certain number of hours per day. Real work will never get done with distractions around. Close browser, turn off phone, go to lab, go to library, etc.
Put yourself in a productive mode for a reasonable number of hours every week. When you start a job, you will need to be there from ~9am until ~6pm every day and sometimes spend some time on weekends. As a graduate student, you should be spending at least that much time (subtract time spent on youtube, surfing, texting, etc.--you can't do those things at your future job either).
Make a schedule with goals to be completed for the next month. I work far more efficiently with some deadline stress. Daydreaming and distractions are easier to ignore when I have a deadline coming.
Keep a todo list with specific tasks to be done each day. It is easy to procrastinate on something due in two weeks but easier to attack a number of 30-minute tasks I want to get done today.
Work hard play hard. Except when a huge deadline is nearing, never work Fri and Sat night for sure. Take Sunday off too. Do some fun activities during the week (e.g., Monday night football or Wed night TV). No work whatsoever during those times.
"There is no expedient to which a man will not resort to avoid the real labor of thinking," –Sir Joshua Reynolds.
Freshman/sophomore undergraduate researcher
Work is typically assigned on a daily basis
Beginning graduate student
Student asks many questions
Advisor replies with answers and references to be read
As a graduate student you should be the one investigating, learning, and *explaining to me* when I ask you questions as your *advisor* and as the chair of your committee who is supposed to verify that you are ready for the MS degree. Of course I am available to help you get unstuck from technical issues, but this needs to be the exceptional case not the normal one.