Improving Your Research Skills
A Mini-Workshop for Graduate Students

Prof. Lui Sha

University of Illinois at Urbana Champagne, USA

March 14th — March 17th, 2006
Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna
RETIS Lab - Area CNR
Via Moruzzi, 1 — 56124 Pisa, Italy


The course is free and can be attended by anyone intersted in the topic. This is an intense mini workshop. You must be willing to work hard as a team and openly express your ideas.


To excel in research, you must sharpen your skills in learning and research. In this course, I want to share with students what I have learned on how to do research. I have a lasting interest in understanding how we learn, how we formulate and solve research problems, and how we communicate.

To me, research means re-search: searching again and again in the product space of problem formulations and solutions until potentially high impact technologies is found. The efficiency of any search depends greatly on the methods that we use, no matter the search is for oil under the ground or for new knowledge. In this mini-workshop, I will share with you my research on research and education.

Students will learn how to organize teams to create and improve research plans. The research plan presented in this workshop should have the potential to be realized. However, students are not required to carry it out unless encouraged by his/her advisor.


The course will be held at the RETIS Lab of the Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, Area CNR, Via Moruzzi 1, 56124 Pisa.


The course consists of 4 meetings, of two hours each, from Tuesday, March 14 to Friday, March 17. Each meeting will be from 15:00 to 17:00.


Note about the teacher

Lui Sha graduated with a Ph.D. from Carnegie-Mellon University (CMU), Pittsburgh, PA in 1985. He was a Member and then a Senior Member of Technical Staff, Software Engineering Institute, Carnegie-Mellon University; August 1986 to July 1998. He has been a professor of Computer Science at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois since 1998. He was the Chair of IEEE Real Time Systems Technical Committee from 1999-2000, and serves on its Executive Committee since 2001.

Sha’s work on real-time computing is supported by nearly all the open standards on real-time computing and was cited as a major accomplishment in the selected accomplishment section of the 1992 report, “A Broader Agenda for Computer Science and Engineering”, by the National Academy of Science’s National Research Council (p.193). He is active in dependable real-time systems and is a member of National Academy of Science’s study group on software dependability and certification.

Honors and Awards