Introduction to Scientific Working (WS 2021/22)
Table of Content
In this course, you’ll learn how to write and talk about scientific research. Together, we’ll analyze the structure of scientific papers and discuss how to plan and write your own paper (you’ll write a short draft yourself). We’ll also plan and evaluate scientific oral presentations (you’ll give a short presentation yourself).
We want to include you in our research activities. Therefore, we designed our Bachelor@IAIK program to prepare and accompany you from start to end during an interesting research project. Our Bachelor@IAIK program consists of the three classes ISW (Introduction to Scientific Working), the optional Bachelor Project, and the Bachelor Thesis.
Of course, you can also take these classes independently, but we’d be happy to welcome you in our Bachelor@IAIK program spanning multiple, ideally all three, of these classes.
The kick-off event, writing labs, and final presentations will be virtual.
|14.10.2021||12:00–14:00||ME, DG, SM||YouTube, Discord||Kick-off, awards, open topics|
|01.11.2021||23:59||you||Topic registration deadline|
|11.11.2021||13:00–16:00||ME, DG||WebEx||Writing Lab I – Structure|
|17.11.2021||13:00–16:00||ME, DG||WebEx||Writing Lab II – Style|
|25.11.2021||13:00–16:00||ME||WebEx||Writing Lab III – LaTeX Style|
|12.01.2022||14:00–16:00||you||WebEx: Track 1, Track 2, Track 3||Final presentations|
|31.01.2022||23:59||you||Git||Report submission deadline|
|24.02.2022||15:00–16:30||you||WebEx: Track 4, Track 5||Presentation backup slot|
#isw on https://discord.gg/ypDW5fKHSC
Please register to the course in TUGRAZonline.
To get started, contact a supervisor to discuss potential topics and send us a confirmation email after you decided:
- Deadline: 1 November 2021
- CC: Your supervisor
ISW topic registration
- Content: Which topic? Which courses (ISW, project, thesis)?
The main presentation date is 12 January 14:00-16:00 via WebEx in several parallel tracks.
Confirm by email whether you present on the main date or in February (around KW 8).
Attend your track to present and discuss other presentations.
We expect that each talk takes 7-8 minutes and leave 2-3 minutes for Q&A and feedback.
After preparing your report, proofread with the help of Grammarly and send your draft to your supervisor.
Update your draft based on their feedback.
By 31 January 2022, push your final report as
report.pdf to the repo’s
main branch in the root folder. (Use
git add -f report.pdf in case your .gitignore file excludes pdfs.)
For the grading, your advisor will take into account several criteria, including
- Technical accuracy of the content (correctness and clarity)
- Writing and presentation style (clear communication appropriate for a scientific context)
- Integration of feedback
You won’t be able to explain everything in this short time – use it to give your fellow students a short introduction to the motivation, background and highlights of the topic you’ve selected.
For your slides, you can use any Powerpoint / LaTeX Beamer / Google Slides / … Template you deem appropriate for science communication; if unsure, consider using the TU Graz templates (URLs in the ISW template README.md).
Follow a similar structure as in the report; depending on your presentation style, you might need somewhere between 5 and 15 slides for this:
- Title slide (you can give a miniature abstract of 1-2 spoken sentences during this slide as well, but don’t put it on the slides)
- Motivation & main question
- Background on existing work
- Results/Discussion (if applicable)
- Conclusion slide with key take-away messages to end on
- Bibliography (not shown during talk, but you can cite items)
Use the provided LaTeX template (check Discord in case you have any issues). The final report should be at least 4 pages in this template (counting Section 1 “Introduction” to Section X “Conclusion”, but not the title/abstract page or the bibliography).
The focus of the report is primarily on the Introduction and Background parts, though you can add additional sections or rename the Background section (e.g., 1 Introduction, 2 Background on Lightweight Cryptography, 3 Comparison of Lightweight Ciphers, 4 Conclusion – discuss with your advisor). Check out the length recommendations given in the template.
- if you’re also doing a bachelor’s thesis, you can write the report as if they were the first few pages of your thesis, focusing on the background (and telling a story in the Abstract/Introduction as if you had already achieved some of the planned goals of the thesis).
- if you do only ISW, your topic describes your research question – answer it in a dedicated section (e.g., Section 3) or the conclusion.
Some tools and resources that are useful for writing papers:
- Account on https://extgit.iaik.tugraz.at/, you get that from your advisor
latexdiff-gitto generate a PDF which highlights the differences to a previous version
- We have Grammarly to check your paper’s spelling and grammar. You’ll receive an account from us.
latexgrammarlyscript to check LaTeX files (link via email). If you plan to use it, best write the LaTeX code with 1 sentence per line and without the glossaries package.
LaTeX ISW/Thesis Template
- Use the template for ISW reports and focus on the Abstract/Introduction/Background part.
- In case you also do a bachelor’s thesis, you can later copy your text to the IAIK template for bachelor’s theses. Your
gitrepo may already contain this template.
- Feel free to use whichever tool and template you find suitable.
- TU Graz offers templates for PowerPoint and LaTeX Beamer (git).
- Ask your supervisor for a
.bibfile and follow this style
- Use Google Scholar or DBLP to find
Introduction to LaTeX
- You’ll require a LaTeX distribution (such as TeX Live) and an editor. Alternatively, Overleaf.com is a beginner-friendly collaborative online LaTeX editor
- LaTeX@TUGraz has a nice basic tutorial. LaTeX Wikibook makes it easy to find recipes for specific topics.
- Material from internal training “Erstellung wissenschaftlicher Arbeiten mit LaTeX” 2017 (slides, lecture notes, bibtex/biblatex example, bibtex cheatsheet)
- Slides from course “Computermathematik” 2015/16 (part 1, part 2)
- symbols-a4.pdf is a huge list of mathematical symbols in LaTeX.
- Look at papers that do similar things – try to extract characteristics
- Think of sections you will need in your paper (see “Paper Structure”)
- Plan how many pages each section should have. It is a lot easier to write if you have a target.
- Everything is usually written in present tense (except Conclusion, the only section in past tense)
- Try to write everything in the active voice, use passive voice only sparingly
- Always use “We”, “Our”, not “I”, “My” (exception: Acknowledgements). Don’t directly address the reader.
- Try not to use gendered terms or pronouns (e.g., no personal pronouns like he/she); prefer neutral nouns, “they”, etc. unless you want to write about a specific person (“He/She was the first to show…”).
- Background and Preliminaries
- Optional: Attack Model/Threat Model/Reverse Engineering/Definitions/…
- Main Section(s) (Idea, Design, Implementation, …)
- Optional: Related Work (might already be in Background)
- Optional: Discussion
- Optional: Limitations (if there are any), Future Work (if something is not finished yet)
- Consists of two parts (background and your contribution) in 1-3 paragraphs
- Start with a few sentences of general introduction/background
- Introduce what you did
- Describe the impact (either real-world impact or impact on the scientific community)
- Provide all the important numbers/results
- Propose what we should do now (i.e., use the idea, get rid of something, find a countermeasure, …)
- Longer version of the abstract
- Must be convincing, readers stop if they don’t like the introduction
- A bit of background first, describing that something has to be done (e.g., a problem needs to be solved)
- Describe your point, what you had to do (e.g., to solve a problem)
- There can also be a research question (which you are going to answer in this paper)
- There can be a discussion of how your work fits in with related work
- List of around 3 to 5 main contributions near the end. The contributions neatly summarize everything you contributed to the scientific community with this paper.
- Introduction ends with an outline (aka mapping), showing where to find what in the paper: “In Section 2, we introduce…”
- Everything that is not common knowledge; depends on the target audience. For a bachelor thesis: your audience is bachelor students which do not have a bachelor thesis yet (e.g., 5th-semester students)
- Introduces topics which are necessary to understand the remainder of the paper
Threat Model / Attacker Model / Scope / Goal (optional)
- Assumptions on the attacker’s capabilities, how the environment looks like, which software/hardware is used/required, …
- Everything you contributed
- Have an overview figure of your idea/design/implementation. A reader should get the idea just from this figure.
- No timeline; everything happens now
- Don’t write how hard it was/how long it took you; the reader does not care
- Explain your contribution to someone else – this helps you to judge what you have to write in the main section (and what not).
- Everything you did has to be evaluated: Depending on what you did, this might include runtime/performance, quality/success probability, complexity analysis, security analysis, …
- Think of statistical significance (use formulas/online calculators for that)
- Repeat experiments, provide (at least) number of repetitions, average, standard deviation.
- A lot of numbers, plots, tables; the more, the better
- Still, the text must be self-contained (i.e., every important information must be in the text, not only in figures)
- For figures: they should be readable when printed in black and white, and also for colourblind people: use patterns (dashed, dotted, …), different markers for plots (diamond, cross, circle, …), different widths for lines, …
- Compare your numbers to state-of-the-art papers
- Very similar to the abstract, but in past tense
- Repeat hard facts/numbers/main properties of your solution
- May include a short outlook on main lessons learned/conclusions, potential future work