Some valuable skills/tips for PhD research

Here I give some tips that I found valuable for my PhD, received from professors or found by myself.

Critical mindset

I often have this habit of going through a lot of articles but not necessarily in depth. When I find an interesting one, I dive into it and I take interesting information for my research.

The point is, I often take them for a general truth. In some meetings with my supervisors, my argument for choosing an approach was often limited to

“This is the approach these well-known authors were applying”

But the question is,

"Was this the best way to go?”

or better

"Is this really true what they claim?".

For your thesis progress, it is necessary to go beyond what you consider to be ground truth. Indeed, some authors often relax many constraints to draw beautifuls conclusions. And it’s always great to put them in context. When you find this article which is very important for your research, take the time to check each theorem, lemma, proposition before accepting them. You will thus develop your critical thinking. Supplementary materials are your friend!

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Edmond Sanou
PhD Student in Applied Mathematics