Thursday, February 28, 2008

February 27th Report

Writing Papers

The paper, A Collaborative Framework for Scientific Data Analysis and Visualization, I submitted to CTS2008 got accepted. However, reviewers pointed out that there are some grammatical errors in my writing. I had to correct these errors within a week because of the final submission deadline. The following section highlights my experience with the above.

Dr. Shrideep Pallickara pointed me to two books.
1. The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White.
2. The Chicago Manual of Style by University of Chicago Press Staff

I found both books in the bookstore and noticed that the second one is more suitable as a reference. The first one is a really nice book for my situation. It is very small book (~100 pages) but it has lot of grammatical styles with examples in it.

I was able to fix lot of grammatical errors present in my initial write up with the help of the above book.

Still I was not 100% sure about my corrections, and decided to search for a proof read service. I found many online services, which does proof reading. However, all of them charge very high amounts for quick jobs.

Lucy Buttersbry, the secretary of our department, pointed me to Writing Tutorial Services in Ballantine Hall 206 (855-6738). If you are an IU student, this is a very good service. They will not proof read your papers, but will help you to identify the common errors you made by going through the paper.

I showed up my revised paper to one of the instructors and he showed me few more common errors that I had in my writing.

After all these steps and few more review cycles I was able to come up with the final version of the paper.

Formatting the Paper

I did the initial writing on Microsoft Word and converted it to pdf before submitting. After converting the document to pdf, I noticed that the column width(for two column pages) of the pdf document is smaller than the column width expected by the conference format sheet.

I decided to give it a try with the Latex format sheet that they provide. After copying few pages I noticed that the column width is correct and also the length of the paper is slightly reduced when formatted using Latex. Of course, the neatness is superb as well.

At the beginning I found it bit hard to insert figures, but it is simply a matter of finding the (right) easy method of doing it. It is very easy to insert images as pdf files. So the only change I had to do was to convert the png images I had into pdf files. I could easily do that using the CutePDF writer. The following latex section shows how I include figures.

\textbf{\caption{\centering{Architecture of the Proposed Collaborative Data Analysis Framework}}

One final thought. If you have time, better to format the paper using Latex as it save you space as well as provide a very neat paper.

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