How To Write Papers So People Can Read Them
Learning to write well is an essential part of becoming a successful researcher. Unfortunately, many researchers find it very hard to write well because they do not know how to view their text from the perspective of the reader. In this talk, we present a simple set of principles for good writing, based on an understanding of how readers process information. Unlike such platitudes as “Be clear” or “Omit needless words”, our principles are constructive: one can easily check whether a piece of text satisfies them, and if it does not, the principles suggest concrete ways to improve it.
Derek Dreyer is a professor of computer science at the Max Planck Institute for Software Systems (MPI-SWS) and Saarland University, and recipient of the 2017 ACM SIGPLAN Robin Milner Young Researcher Award. His research runs the gamut from the type theory of high-level functional languages, down to the verification of compilers and low-level concurrent programs under relaxed memory models. He is currently leading the RustBelt project, which focuses on building the first formal foundations for the Rust programming language.