Initiating Research Effectively: A Guide and Personal Perspectives
Gaurav Sharma
Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, University of Rochester

Transitioning to research from course-work is frequently challenging for graduate students because research is less structured than most courses and involves significantly more uncertainty in the outcomes. In this presentation, we outline some promising strategies for graduate students starting out on the path of research and offer a personal perspective on our own journey. Topics covered include ingredients of a good thesis, conducting a literature review, how to find a good research problem and mentor, effective of your and your mentor’s time, and how to strike a balance between reading and doing. Students will also be provided several resources for reinforcing and further exploring the topics covered in the presentation and examples that illustrate that good research can also often be remarkably simple.

The second half of this presentation will provide a guide to established etiquette and ethics in scholarly publishing. We begin with an overview of the typical peer review process for an archival journal, which provides the context and motivation for the ensuing discussion. Next, we outline several of the basic tenets of ethical behavior in scholarly research and publication, which are accepted internationally across a wide range of scientific and engineering disciplines. Then we elaborate upon finer points of etiquette where established practices often offer differ between disciplines and may not be immediately obvious to first time authors. Key concepts such as biased/fraudulent reporting of results, plagiarism, reproducibility, duplicate submission, and disclosure expectations are illustrated via a number of case studies used throughout the presentation.

Speaker Biography
Gaurav Sharma is a professor at the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of Rochester, where, from 2008-2010, he also served as the Director for the Center for Emerging and Innovative Science (CEIS), a New York state funded center located at the University of Rochester chartered with promoting economic development through university- industry technology transfer. He received the PhD degree in Electrical and Computer engineering from North Carolina State University, Raleigh in 1996. From 1993 through 2003, he was with the Xerox Innovation group in Webster, NY, most recently in the position of Principal Scientist and Project Leader. His research interests include data analytics, cyber physical systems, signal and image processing, computer vision, and media security; areas in which he has 51 patents and has authored over 190 journal and conference publications. He is the editor of the Digital Color Imaging Handbook published by CRC press in 2003. He is a member of the IEEE Publications, Products, and Services Board (PSPB) and chairs the IEEE Conference Publications Committee. As of Jan 2018, Prof. Sharma is the Editor-in- Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Image Processing. From 2011 through 2015, he served as the Editor-in- Chief for the Journal of Electronic Imaging and has served as an associate editor for the Journal of Electronic Imaging, the IEEE Transactions on Image Processing, and for the IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security. Dr. Sharma is a fellow of the IEEE, a fellow of SPIE, a fellow of the Society for Imaging Science and Technology (IS&T) and has been elected to Sigma Xi, Phi Kappa Phi, and Pi Mu Epsilon. In recognition of his research contributions, he received an IEEE Region I technical innovation award in 2008.