a journal of a researcher

Saturday, October 02, 2004

How to train the master students

From the master degree, the students have to do independent work. They study one topic and solve the problems by themselves. The students are expected to search the literatures, find the answers themselves. These skills make them superior to undergraduates.

I believe that I do not teach students, but they learn. For the students that do not learn, repeating 100 times of what you want to teach does not work. By observing how the students behave in my course, I want to find some students who are willing to learn and know how to learn as my master students.

For research, I think you can teach the methodology by demonstrating how you do research. Exposing some of your research activities and conversations, and studying some topic together with the student are good ways. For the topic assigned to the student, the student has to find the right answer alone under the guidance of directions and possible solutions.

I always tell my student, do not repeat what I have done. You have to go beyond. In the topic assigned to them, they have to do more than me. Then they teach me new knowledge. I always hear some famous profs thank their students bring them new knowledge. That is true.


  • I would put it differently: there are people who will learn no matter what, no matter how poor a guide you are... and there are people who will never learn, no matter what...

    The differ by talent and interest. A student must be both passionate about his topic and have enough talent. I think a large chunk of the students have enough talent, but few have enough real interest. If your goal is to get a M.Sc. or a Ph.D. If this is your true goal, then you will most likely do poorly because it is a poor motivation.

    This being said, I think you can do a lot for the student who can succeed. You can inspire them greatly and avoid them unecessary frustrations.

    By Blogger Daniel Lemire, at 7:14 AM  

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