1. A problem is a question, not a topic

     What would be an answer?

     What would you like to know when the research is over?

     How would you know when you succeeded?

2. A good problem is one which

     Someone cares about the answer

     The present state-of-the-art makes research feasible

3. Where do problems come from

     Real-world issues

     Scientific literature

    - Be familiar with it

     - Remember that everyone else reads it to

     - Avoid faddish research

4. Solving a problem

    All reports are progress reports (so publish now. Not when all the research is completed

    Every good problem leads to more problems ... never ending

5. Planning

    Vagueness is inherent in research: Two items should be clear

    - Clear criteria for what an answer will look like

    - Have a plan for what to do tomorrow (that is, exactly what you plan to accomplish in the next 24 hours)

By H. A Simon in his CMU talk in the fall of 1996 - I copied it from Dr. Wayne Gray’s website.

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