Updated: September 25, 2010
Are you one of those people who could not find a job after graduation, so you continued on to a Master's degree? Are you getting ready to become a little nameless borg in a softly padded cubicle, hammering on the keyboard all day long? Do you want to write papers, but lack talent?
If the answer is yes to any one or these questions, then you may want to try SCIgen. Writing papers is a serious business, not to be done lightly, and certainly not using a Word processor. You want LaTeX. If you're not that much of a hardcore geek, you could get away with using a graphical LaTeX editor like LyX or perhaps Kile.
Even so, good papers require lots of hard work. So what would you say if I told you you can have supreme-looking, major-conference-quality papers prepared for you in minutes? No need to slave in the lab for hours. No need to actually conduct experiments and skew the data points toward predetermined conclusions. No need to work hard on those graphs, or worse yet, compose real sentences trying to convey the message of your puny research.
You have SCIgen, a fully automated tool that will generate first-class papers for you. Forget the content! It's all about looks, and when it comes to looking professional, there's nothing better or faster than SCIgen.
So, let us take a look at SCIgen!
SCIgen in action
SCIgen is a program that generates random Computer Science research papers, including graphs, figures, and citations, looking all mean and business-like. It uses a hand-written context-free grammar to form all elements of the papers. The aim of the program developers is to maximize amusement, rather than coherence, as they claim, but they may have struck a bittersweet truth that reaches deeper than most academics and would-be engineers would dare admit.
The truth: most papers are, well, uninspiring, despite good looks and impressive figures. Here and there, you may come across a few gems, but don't bet on it. As a cruel mirror, SCIgen reflects this reality back to the science world, even though this has not been the intention of the program developers. Most likely. Maybe.
To get started, go to the SCIgen site and type the name of authors. That's it!
Click generate and you'll get a paper in HTML form.
The papers are also available for download as PS or PDF files. Indeed, once you open one of these, you get all the glamor of real papers, Computer Modern fonts, two columns, fancy graphs and equations, even a long, detailed list of references. As good as it can get, without actually reading the content.
How good is SCIgen?
Well, you may land a paper or two! Which is what the program developers did. And then turned their invitation to a conference over a completely bogus paper into a major publicity stunt. You can read the whole story and much more on the SCIgen website.
If you're really desperate and have nothing to lose, then you should definitely give SCIgen a shot. P.S. Make sure you have more than a single author, it looks more professional that way.
I hope you do realize this is a joke. What I mean, the papers are a joke. Won't get you far. But the software itself and the idea behind it are absolutely brilliant. Unique, smart, elegant, skillfully designed and built. Turning something that you may call the average student syndrome into pure genius.
If anything, SCIgen is a great, humorous lesson into how papers should be written, even if you can't really relate to the content, although, when you carefully think about it, most of the auto-generated stuff is not that much worse than real academic hocus-pocus! Yup, absolute genius.
Many thanks to Mr. Y. L. for pointing out this great and fun software!