[Sbse] Co-Authoring Papers with graduate students?

Douglas Noble dnoble at usc.edu
Wed Dec 2 09:24:59 PST 2015

SBSE Faculty,

I have an important question I need all of you to answer.  Please answer directly to me by email so that we do not fill the SBSE email with dozens of responses.

One of the highlights of my graduate degree program many years ago was co-authoring a paper with my faculty mentor, Prof. Horst W.J. Rittel.  Twenty-five years ago when I was selected for a tenure-track position at the University of Southern California, I was delighted to discover that the building science faculty at USC also encouraged publishing with students.

Sometimes one of our Masters degree thesis students (Master of Building Science) will do such a good job that we feel it is worth the extra effort to try and get the work externally recognized and published.  Our MBS students are required to select thesis projects that reinforce the research directions of their thesis committee chair.  This way we know that the faculty have enough background and knowledge to be able to work with the student for a year on a thesis. It also makes it more fun and enlightening to work with them,

In a recent discussion with other non-technology faculty here at USC, some raised questions about this practice of working with students.  Some seemed surprised that we encouraged this idea, and some were concerned that we always placed the student name as first-author on these kinds of papers.

I have always assumed that this was a relatively normal practice, and I believe co-authoring with students is a valuable exercise for everyone involved.

However, the questions from the non-tech faculty made me wonder if this practice was as regular and normal as I always assumed it was.

Have you ever co-authored a paper or conference presentation with a graduate student?

This is an informal poll, and I hope to discover that working with grad students this way is as common as I assumed.  One possible outcome of this poll may be a list of Schools where faculty do co-author with students.

Please respond to me directly, and also let me know if it is OK to use your school name if we make a list of schools.

Doug Noble
dnoble at usc.edu<mailto:dnoble at usc.edu>

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