A Guide to Beginning Graduate Students

Read a Graduate School Survival Guide

Stop by this collection of survival guides, finish reading at least one survival guide. If you can’t decide which, read this article. Read it three times. Read it every month.

To become an independent scholar

How to Use LaTeX

LaTeX is a powerful and useful typesetting tool for any writing. LaTeX is especially helpful for academic writings.

I strongly encourage any graduate student in engineering, especially operations research, to learn how to use LaTeX. To begin your learning, you can simply google ‘LaTeX’, or start with my guide.

How to Search Journal Papers

Of course, there are many ways to do this. Here is how I do it.

  1. Go to Google Scholar, and search with the article title. Sometimes it is helpful to add ‘University of South Florida’ (or your institution) to Library Links in Google Scholar Preferences. If USF has a subscription directly through the journal publisher, you will likely be able to access the article in the publisher’s website. However, sometimes, USF has a subscription to non-publisher services; try Step 2.
  2. Go to USF Libraries, search the article in the ‘Articles’ search box. Check the ‘Scholarly/Peer-Reviewed Articles only’ box. For older papers, USF may not have subscriptions; try Step 3.
  3. Just Google the article. You may find a working draft version of the article.
  4. See if USF Libraries has a hard copy of the article.
  5. If anything does not work, go to ILLiad to request a copy of the article from non-USF sources. ILLiad is an interlibrary loan service. After several days, you will likely receive a scanned PDF of the article.
  6. You may send a polite email to the author requesting a copy. The author may send you a working draft version.

How to Code in the Julia Language

Julia is a convenient computer language for scientific computing tasks such as numerical optimization, statistical analysis, and algorithm implementation. Any other languages, like C/C++, Java, Python, and MATLAB, are also fine, but I just find Julia handy, powerful, and interesting.

Read this Julia guide for operations research.


Please visit the Resources page for many other useful information.