So, I have had a year out to work and am now going to do my Master’s degree in Computing. I have decided to fully embark on a career in academia.

What can I start doing NOW that will help improve my academic reputation, credentials, CV and career prospects? For example, should I do more writing, set up a technical blog, find research opportunities, what projects should I start, organisations to join etc.?

Although my question can’t be answered absolutely, I’ll try to state it in a way that’s as close as possible.

I’m considering earning an entirely online SE bachelors degree from a school which also has an on-campus equivalent. But, most importantly: my exams will be all closed book.

It’s very easy to cheat with closed book tests, I expect; even if they try to prevent it, just use a second PC or a virtual machine.

Because of how easy it is to cheat with this method of testing, is it a strong indicator that potential employers will place little value on my degree?

Two PhD positions were offered to me:

  1. EPFL in Lausanne (Switzerland)
  2. In Italy, through a H2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship.

I know that Marie Curie are quite prestigious, but also EPFL is ranked among the top 15 universities in the world.
I like both projects and both offer good scholarships. Although the cost of living in Switzerland is much higher than in Italy, the infrastructure in Italy is really old and scarce.
I’m afraid of choosing the MSC ITN, which is at a university not as prestigious as EPFL.

To what extent does the prestige of a fellowship vs. the prestige of an institution matter to a researcher or professor career ? Is infrastructure a limiting factor for graduate studies in chemical and materials engineering?

“Poor infrastructure” means old equipment, not so nice labs, lecture rooms and PhD students offices. Also may you have to wait long for use an equipment…
The infrastructure (roads, trains…) of Italy is good, not so good as Switzerland but acceptable.

Two PhD positions were offered to me:

  1. EPFL in Lausanne (Switzerland)
  2. In Italy, through a H2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship.

I know that Marie Curie are quite prestigious, but also EPFL is ranked among the top 15 universities in the world.
I like both projects and both offer good scholarships. Although the cost of living in Switzerland is much higher than in Italy, the infrastructure in Italy is really old and scarce.
I’m afraid of choosing the MSC ITN, which is at a university not as prestigious as EPFL.

To what extent does the prestige of a fellowship vs. the prestige of an institution matter [to particular educational and career outcomes]? Is infrastructure a limiting factor for graduate study [in my field, X]?

I recently posted the above question along with another in the same post and was asked to post this one separately.

I have received a Marie-Curie individual fellowship from the European Commission. As a non-European, this allows me to take up research in a Member State. I know this fellowship is prestigious in Europe, but I’m not sure how it’s perceived in other parts of the world like the USA, Canada, Australia…etc. Any idea on this?

I recently read this article analyzing the top five journals in economics using bibliometrics. I was very interested, and as I’m a PhD student who wants to start publishing, I thought a good project might be to repeat this type of analysis myself but for statistics journals, as part of getting a sense of what is going on now in statistics. The authors of the linked study managed to cite papers of surveys of economists asking them what the top journals in their field are, but I have found as much a resource for statistics.

First, I’d like to know what people here perceive the top five statistics journals to be (or even if five is a bad number and I should expand it). Right now my list is the Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series B (JRSB), Journal of the American Statistical Association (JASA), *Annals of Statistic (AoS), Journal of Statistical Software (JSS), and Biostatistics (Bios).

My next question would be whether it’s even acceptable to make a “top 5” list for statistics. While the authors of the linked paper did so for economics, it seems like statistics is more subdivided, so I should purposefully expand my list to include more domain focused journals even if they are not ranking highly on general surveys.

A colleague and I recently submitted a paper to a journal with an impressive-sounding name, the “International Journal of Artificial Intelligence and Computational Research”. According to their website,

IJAICR is a referred [sic] journal in the field of computer science, artificial intelligence and soft computing methods.

It was accepted two days after we submitted it. That’s too fast. We were suspicious. Although the journal said that all papers are peer-reviewed, we could not see how that was done in two days. Plus, we received no comments from the reviewers. Also, the submission guidelines didn’t ask for a “blind” copy (without our names or any references to who we were).

But wait, there’s more.

The acceptance letter asked us to send them US$300 to publish it. We did not. We’ve withdrawn our submission and will submit a new version of the paper to a more reputable journal in the coming months.

How might we make a better choice of respectable journals before we submit next time?

I have a couple of offers for my bachelors thesis in computer science (machine learning, to be precise). The options are such that one is interesting work at a not-so-well-known institute (in my home country), while the other is at a better institute (foreign university) with less interesting work. What is more important given that I want to pursue research in future in terms of masters / PhD?

Please note that I have only provided the information below to give context, so that if someone is interested in having more information before answering he/she can do so by reading below. This is NOT meant to be a “shopping” question where one asks others to make the choice. The information exists only to provide context for those interested.

Some context in this regard (optional details):

In my final year, my university allows me to pursue my undergrad thesis at any university / research institute where I can find a professor willing to advise me.

I have a couple of offers for my thesis in this regard. One is at a not-so-well-respected institute in my home country (India) with a great professor. I call him “great” based on his publications – most of them are in top notch conferences, and his projects also seem very interesting to me.

The second is in Germany, at a slightly better known institute (again, not very well known). The professor and my potential supervisor seem to do good research, but their publication record is not as good as the first professor mentioned above. And while their project is interesting, I don’t find it as interesting as the project above.

So I seem to be faced with the question of choosing between quality of work and the reputation of the university. On the one hand, option India provides me with interesting work and the recommendation from a professor who has a strong publication record. On the other hand, option Germany provides me with foreign experience on my resume and a potentially bigger name to throw around, along with a recommendation from the same.

What should the relative importance of reputation versus quality of work be?