We Love Papers We Love

As some of the readers may already know, it is sometimes beneficial to catch up with the recent studies in the academic world to solve the non-trivial problem you are facing. The recent blog from Stackoverflow reminds me of the importance and fun of rereading academic papers on computer science.

“You should be reading academic computer science papers”

This article clarifies the benefit of reading the academic CS papers by showing the concrete experience of the members behind the “Papers We Love”, which is an online repository listing their favorite CS papers. The repository contains thousands of papers covering a wide range of CS fields. I love the repository and papers introduced by them.

So reading the post, I wanted to write down my thoughts on why reading CS papers is beneficial for our daily life. I hope this post also motivates you to read CS papers and catch up with the latest research as your daily habit.

Learn terminology

One of the most significant benefits of reading papers is learning the terminology used in the field. Unfortunately, the concept and ideas discussed there are often too complicated. It leads to the long and redundant wording, which makes us even confused, which can prevent us from doing the smooth communication even if we know the concept itself each other.

A terminology bridges verbal (or text) communication and complicated ideas implicated beneath the word. We can achieve proper communication by using the correct terminology without exhausting words every time we convey our thoughts.

Where should we get the correct terminology? Here the paper comes in! A paper is likely to show new ideas or approaches to the target domain of the problem with some language named on it. So we can easily pick up the terminology specifying that approach or theory from the paper. Moreover, academic writing is not just a collection of terminologies. Its ultimate goal is to persuade readers to understand the concept of what is suggested in the paper. So a scientific paper should be well-structured to explain the complicated notions entangled with each other. That leads to the next benefit I’m going to introduce.

Read well-written structured text

A scientific paper is an excellent resource for learning something complicated because it tries to explain complex ideas clearly and concisely so that readers who are not even experts in the field may understand the concept somewhat.

As a side-effect of reading well-written documentation, we can learn the way how to write. Writing is always an essential skill for software engineers. Publish our product or software is always followed by some documentation describing what it is and how to use them. The software documentation should be as easy to read and concise as the academic paper. Reading academic papers provides us insight into how to write a good text by showing an example of a well-written text.

Work as a curated list of papers itself

Have you ever heard of the awesome- repositories like this? For example, here, awesome-java is a curated list of libraries you should know to develop a Java environment. An academic paper is also working just like this. They have a list of references at the end part for most cases. By traversing this list, we can find other papers which may interest you further. In other words, the reference list may unleash your passion for learning more about the field introduced by the paper.

Of course, a curated list like an awesome repository is helpful to get the beneficial resources to read. But don’t forget that papers are also the curated list of other resources you may be interested in. So a paper you are reading now may open the door to the next journey you may find intriguing. It will direct the passion’s chain reaction to learning more about computer science.

I found the original post in the Stackoverflow works as a list of interesting talks and papers. Please check the original site and get the suggestions you must read.

Thanks!