Academia.edu and Publications Category

A few days ago, I got an email from Academia.edu, which seems to be something like Facebook for people in academia. It’s a tree of universities, departments, faculty members and students. I originally wasn’t too interested in it, but decided to fill out my profile anyway.

There are profile pages that allow you to upload papers, presentations, declare research interests and describe your teaching experience, so I did that. The documents are uploaded as “iPaper”, and honestly, the preview still needs improvement. Right now, this part of the website is a bit annoying, as are most parts that use the AJAX “Web 2.0″ style of editing (not reloading the entire page).

So, right now I wouldn’t use Academia.edu to find material or people, but apparently it has a really high Google PageRank, and therefore a lot of weight for links. It seems like it has given my own website a considerable bump. I think it can be quite beneficial simply from the point of view of publicity.

The website also has an interesting feature that records what Google search terms lead web surfers to your Academia.edu profile. Here are the keywords that lead people to me — the actual things that they typed into Google:

  • converting to a new temperature scale
  • junit concurrent test
  • conclusion on marine biology
  • how to calculate the complexity of a given code using big o notation with exercise and solutions
  • design pattern parser
  • change in temperature calculations
  • In java, show an example of a conversion from celsius to Fahrenheit temperature
  • parsing design pattern

Apparently, temperature conversion is a very popular assignment, and my Temperature Calculator comes up quite often. I’m also amused by the fact that people type whole questions or requests into Google. “Google, please tell me why they do that. Thanks, bye.”

Additionally, Academia.edu has inspired me to collect all my papers, presentations and posters in one place, and I’ve created the Publications category. In that category, I have inserted my publications, both refereed and unrefereed, on the day they were made available. Because of that, the calendar of my blog now stretches back to 2003.

I decided to use a category on this blog mainly because now there is an RSS feed for my publications, and interested readers can easily subscribe and be notified of new material. On my non-blog work website, I have also added a publications page, both with long descriptions and without.

Finally, I’ve added an extra credit part to the COMP 202 schedule, worth 20 points which will be counted towards the midterm. It’s hard to believe that only five weeks are left in the semester. Two thirds are done.

About Mathias

Software development engineer. Principal developer of DrJava. Recent Ph.D. graduate from the Department of Computer Science at Rice University.
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