I have not felt disadvantaged for being a woman in AI.

Three immediate clarifications

  1. My experience is likely a consequence of obliviousness, luck, and privilege.
  2. This is not a counter data point to others. It is simply an additional one. That is, this post should not be used to deny that gender-based discrimination exists in the field or negate troubling experiences other women in AI have shared (many of which I am personally aware of).
  3. Why am I sharing this? To encourage junior women AI researchers to continue in the field; to tell them that it is not all bad.
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By Devi Parikh, Dhruv Batra, Stefan Lee

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We frequently find ourselves giving the same advice to different students on how to write rebuttals. So we thought we’d write it up. Our experience is with AI conferences (e.g., CVPR, ECCV, ICCV, NeurIPS, ICLR, EMNLP).The core guiding principle is that the rebuttal should be thorough, direct, and easy for the Reviewers and Area Chair (RACs) to follow.

Why do we write rebuttals?

In a phrase — to clarify and convince. Science is a deliberative process, and rebuttals are simply a stage in that process.

Bill Freeman gave an excellent talk at the…

Saying the same thing in fewer words

Close to conference deadlines, papers are often longer than the page limit.

Over the years I have been surprised by how often folks start by thinking about what content to remove (or move to supplementary material), instead of trying to say the same thing in fewer words.

It is frequently the case that I’ll take a pass on a paper to shorten it (typically takes 30–90 minutes), and my students will react with a “Wait, how did you do that? I can’t tell what you removed!”. To which I say “Exactly :)”.


Better papers with less drama.

I have a strong aversion to avoidable drama and stress in life. I have developed a few systems that help me minimize said drama and stress.

One of them is for planning writing papers for conference deadlines.

As an added bonus, it also results in stronger papers on average.

I have addressed this post to students, and assumed that they are iterating on the paper with their advisor. But the ideas apply more generally to any collaboration. For more collaborators, I recommend agreeing on an order in which collaborators will take passes.

Principle 1: Iterate…

A methodology for checking email that leads to inbox zero.

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I wrote a post about time management, arguing that calendars, not to-do lists, are the right way to manage time. This is a follow up post on handling emails.

Goal: Inbox zero.

Philosophy: “Emails” is not one task. Each individual email is a task. Just like every task is different in the time commitment required, every email is different in the time commitment required. Emails should be handled like you handle other bags of miscellaneous tasks.

Principle: Touch every email in the inbox only once. Once an email has been…

Viewing time as space.

Good time management is one of the handful of factors that I attribute my professional accomplishments (to the extent that I have them) to. Several people have asked me for time management advice over the years. My understanding is that they’ve found the advice useful. With some encouragement from a subset of them, I figured that writing it down could increase the number of people that might find it useful. Hence this post.

What I say below is direct and prescriptive. I am only trying to be clear.

Goal: Be on top of things. Avoid drama and stress.

Assumption: Your…

Devi Parikh

Associate Professor at Georgia Tech, Research Scientist at Facebook AI Research. Artificial Intelligence, Computer Vision.

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