Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

Research methods in computer science

Sunday, December 27th, 2009

During this winter break, I have been reading two books on doing research and publishing papers besides some textbooks for my classes next quarter. One book is Wayne C. Booth, Gregory G. Colomb, and Joseph M. Williams, The Craft of Research (3rd Edition), and the other is Robert A. Day and Barbara Gastel, How to Write and Publish a Scientific Paper (6th Edition). Though I have published a few papers so far, these books are of benefit to me in that I can regain an appreciation of appropriate ways of research.

When reading these books, I came to think of research methods particularly in the field of my major, computer science. Probably the only way to truly acquire the methods is to go through several years of actual research in computer science, but it is good to know some methodologies that are systematized to some extent. I found out about useful information on Dr. Vasant Honavar’s website: Graduate Research, Writing, and Careers in Computer Science. This web page contains a whole bunch of helpful links over various topics for computer science graduate students like me. I would be appreciate if you would be willing to leave your comments about other information on these topics.


Sunday, May 10th, 2009

It is pretty good weather in Tokyo today. You would want to go on a picnic somewhere on such a day. Today I will write about an interesting book, although it has nothing to do with picnics.

Several months ago, someone’s blog article, whose I don’t remember exactly, introduced a Japanese edition of a book. The title of the book is “NUMB3RS.” Wikipedia says that it was made into a television drama in the United States in 2005 and gained popularity among millions of people.

When I read the article, the book looked fascinating because I have never read such a book that conveys concretely the practicability and efficiency of mathematics in the real world. So, I bought the original edition of the book, not the Japanese one, and I have been reading it. As you might know, the book as well as the drama depicts some criminal cases and two brothers who succeed in solving those cases with some applied mathematical methods. The older brother is an FBI investigator, and the younger one is a mathematician.

I like mathematics, and indeed the book is quite interesting. When I was a junior high school student, someone asked a math teacher a question like “What is mathematics useful for?” I don’t remember exactly what he answered, but do remember that he didn’t answer it very well. I suppose that one of the answers is what the book tells us. Mathematics is invisible in the real world because it is abstract by its very nature. However, in light of the fact that some mathematical methods help us solve the cases through criminal profiling and investigation, it is surely of much use in a wide range of fields, in particular behind what we see in daily life.

The Elements of Style

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008

I have recently been reading a famous book whose title is “The Elements of Style (Fourth Edition)” by William Strunk Jr. and E. B. White. As hundreds of favorable reviews on Amazon says, this book is obviously a good one, especially for those who want to learn writing in English. Its shape is small and thin enough to carry even in a pocket, but its content is dense.

The introduction written by E. B. White made me feel Strunk’s strict attitude toward writing. I suppose that the strictness of his is mainly based on correctness, clearness, and conciseness in writing. I like his way of thinking. I feel like reading this book again and again when I write something in English, of course, including this blog.

Expressions showing a feeling of anger

Sunday, June 1st, 2008

Although this may be wrong, I have recently wondered that English has more expressions showing a feeling of anger than Japanese. For instance, I found the following words and phrases: angry, rage, outrage, indignant, upset, resent, wrath, bristle, take offense, and fly off the handle. Is it just me who thinks so? There seem to be some nuances to pay attention to among those words, and now it is difficult for me to use them with complete understanding of their difference.

Of course, there are lots of differences between English and Japanese except for this, but it has made me more interested lately because the difference seems particularly large. Considering the fact that languages can be affected to some extent by local history in the place where people used them, perhaps we can state that this linguistic feature in English has something to do with history of England or the United States. But I am not so sure about that.