Focussing on the problem

After a solid month of being a part-time PhD I have gotten many tips (and comments) on kick-starting my project and doing research in general. Currently, my goal is getting a clear picture of the problem that I want to solve. I know that there is a problem (and I have a vague notion about how to describe it) but getting a clear definition is not something that comes easily.

On the other hand I am not afraid of spending time on finding the problem. When the problem is clear it is usually easy to think of scenario's that can solve it (although actually executing these scenario's might be tricky).

And focusing on getting the problem straight is also not bad for presentation purposes. Several of my colleagues (and other people as well) explained to me that during a presentation it is very important to explain the problem that you solve. Also, and this is something that I usually forget to think about, it is important to explain in which cases your solution is not going to work.

It does not matter that this might take up a big chunk of your time because most people probably do not (completely) understand your solution anyway. As long as they know which problem you have solved under which conditions, they are going to be happy. More details about how the solution works can always be read in a paper, or discussed over some beverages.

So, back to the literature study it is! By the way, if anybody has a nice suggestion to keep track of interesting research papers online, please let me know!

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