How to have a Bad Career in Research/Academia

David A. Patterson
Computer Science Division/EECS Department
University of California at Berkeley

The first-half of the talk is a tongue-in-cheek presentation of how to have a bad career in research, including:

  • Let Complexity be Your Guide (Confuse Thine Enemies)
  • Never be Proven Wrong (Don't supply facts that can later be used against you)
  • Use the Computer Scientific Method (Embrace parallelism and change all parameters simultaneously)
  • Don't be Distracted by Comments of Others (Avoid Feedback)
  • and suggestions along similar lines for writing bad papers, giving bad talks, participating in bad poster sessions, and bad technology transfer.
    Given my background, this advice is aimed at a bad career in computer systems while at a research university, although I believe many lessons generalize.
    While this talk is aimed at new faculty/researchers or those about to take such a position, the  first half includes advice about how to have a bad graduate student career.

    The second half of the talk is advice on alternatives to a bad career as well as alternatives to bad talks, bad papers, bad posters, and a bad graduate school career.

    Papers mentioned in the talk (if links are broken, just use Google to search for title; they are found in many places):