Monday, December 31, 2012

missing pieces

After you stop taking classes, you learn things in a much less systematic fashion, reading papers as you come across them, looking up papers or topics in books as they become relevant to your work, and so on. So every once in awhile (too frequently, it seems) I come across a paper that is so cool and feels like something I definitely should have known about years and years ago.

It's not too hard to stay in touch with what is currently going on in your field of interest, by looking at new journals and working papers regularly. But there are still decades of old research, and areas of research that used to be active that you don't hear much about anymore, or that you don't notice because you don't know anything about it to start with, etc, and there's not a good way to systematically make sure you at least know the most important bits of that enormous mass of knowledge.

So, in the process of pseudo-random search, I sometimes come across things like this, and get all excited about them, but in order to share them, I have to write a long blog post about how I'm not really dumb and out of touch, I'm just a normal grad student that missed a cool paper from 17 years ago...

(Now, if anyone has suggestions on how to avoid, or avoid paranoia about, stumbling upon and revealing such holes in your knowledge during job interviews, I would appreciate hearing them...)


Anonymous said...

Terri Kneeland's job market paper this year is a series of experiments testing whether people reason according to the axioms of that literature:

Vera L. te Velde said...

cool, thanks :)