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Supervising bright young graduate students is one of the greatest privileges of being a professor at a university; it is my favourite part of the job. Unfortunately, academics are often extremely busy, juggling multiple commitments, positions and research topics. Paradoxically, the more successful they become, the less time they have. Even if your advisor is very interested in your project, it is unlikely that they will be able to dedicate more than a few hours a week to working with you. Sadly, you will probably never get as much of their time as you would ideally like. …

Skills in programming and maths, as well as various other “hard” skills, are necessary but not sufficient to achieve success as a PhD student in machine learning. There are many other factors that also matter a lot, which I wish I understood better when I was beginning my PhD. As I am about to advise my first group of PhD students myself, I was wondering what advice I can share with them, which made me reflect on this topic personally. Here is my best shot.

Work hard. Get things done. It’s as simple as that. It doesn’t matter if you have lots of great ideas if you can’t turn these ideas into results and then papers. …

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