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January 13, 2007

"How to do research"

Via John Maeda I came across this interesting bit of writing called How to do Research At the MIT AI Lab. Its basically a how-to guide by students, for students, written in 1988.

What I find especially interesting about this artifact is that this is not really "how to do research at MIT" so much as it is "how to be an AI researcher". Its more about the competencies, literacies and attitudes than the knowledge, and its refreshingly explicit about what actually matters, and what doesn't.

Of course, study guides are certainly old news, even ones written by students (OK, maybe not that old). And web pages are old news. And learning objects (if this counts as such) are now definitely old news. And yet I still like this piece - maybe its the brevity and informal tone (most of the sections are credited to "A whole lot of people at MIT"). Could people in your profession, field, or network come up with something as simple and useful as this?

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