Thursday, July 26, 2012

a good quote

I came across an excellent quote today: 

“We’ve bought into the idea that education is about training and “success”, defined monetarily, rather than learning to think critically and to challenge. We should not forget that the true purpose of education is to make minds, not careers. A culture that does not grasp the vital interplay between morality and power, which mistakes management techniques for wisdom, which fails to understand that the measure of a civilization is its compassion, not its speed or ability to consume, condemns itself to death.” - Chris Hedges, Empire of Illustion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle.

In an ideal world (which by all measures this is not), education would be this pure process of learning and self-improvement that you take full responsibility for. The connection between one's education and one's career would actually be made deeper and stronger. When you feel ready, if you wish to get a job, you would seek it not on the basis of a piece of paper offered to you by an institution of learning, not on the basis of the grades that your teachers said you got in certain courses, but on the basis of skills, knowledge and abilities that you could prove to a suitable employer (over a probationary period) are sufficient for that job. Or you would choose to use your abilities and skills to do something entrepreneurial on your own that you would personally find rewarding. Importantly, your learning would help you identify and pursue as the best career for you one that offers you great freedom and flexibility to balance work, personal life,  relationships, and voluntary activities.

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Fleeing the Real World

I came across a thought-provoking speech given by Bill Watterson, the creator of Calvin and Hobbes, from 1990. He titled it "Some thoughts on the real world by one who glimpsed it and fled."

This key passage from it is full of gems:
"You will find your own ethical dilemmas in all parts of your lives, both personal and professional. We all have different desires and needs, but if we don't discover what we want from ourselves and what we stand for, we will live passively and unfulfilled. Sooner or later, we are all asked to compromise ourselves and the things we care about. We define ourselves by our actions. With each decision, we tell ourselves and the world who we are. Think about what you want out of this life, and recognize that there are many kinds of success. 
Many of you will be going on to law school, business school, medical school, or other graduate work, and you can expect the kind of starting salary that, with luck, will allow you to pay off your own tuition debts within your own lifetime. 
But having an enviable career is one thing, and being a happy person is another. Creating a life that reflects your values and satisfies your soul is a rare achievement. In a culture that relentlessly promotes avarice and excess as the good life, a person happy doing his own work is usually considered an eccentric, if not a subversive. Ambition is only understood if it's to rise to the top of some imaginary ladder of success. Someone who takes an undemanding job because it affords him the time to pursue other interests and activities is considered a flake. A person who abandons a career in order to stay home and raise children is considered not to be living up to his potential-as if a job title and salary are the sole measure of human worth. 
You'll be told in a hundred ways, some subtle and some not, to keep climbing, and never be satisfied with where you are, who you are, and what you're doing. There are a million ways to sell yourself out, and I guarantee you'll hear about them. 
To invent your own life's meaning is not easy, but it's still allowed, and I think you'll be happier for the trouble."

Friday, July 06, 2012


Dr. Özlem Durmaz Incel, a co-author, discovered the following paper yesterday, which turns out to be entirely a verbatim copy of three papers from my group:

It's a very sad incident, reflecting very poorly indeed on the authors. Here is a copy of the letter I sent to the Editors of this Journal on behalf of my co-authors, with more details: 

Dear Editor, 
I’m writing about a paper which has been published in your“International Journal of Management, IT and Engineering” In July2012, titled “Strategies Of Data Collection In Tree-Based WirelessSensor Networks” authored by “Nita V. Jaiswal, Vishal S. Dhole, Prof.D.M.Dakhane and Harshal N. Datir”, pages 390-408. This paper isplagiarized verbatim from my group's previous work, specifically twojournal papers (published in the IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computingand ACM/IEEE Transactions on Networking) and a chapter in a book published by Springer. 
Without a doubt, the paper is an exact copy/paste version of our previous studies; both the text and the figures are copied. The paper does not include any new material, aside from a different title. 
This is terrible and completely unacceptable, an instance of the worst kind of scientific misconduct. This paper should immediately be withdrawn with a public notice of retraction and the authors should be censured in the strongest possible terms for their shameful behavior.I urge you to take the necessary actions urgently. Please confirm at the earliest your receipt of this letter, and let us know what actions you will be taking in response. 
I’m also cc’ing this message to editors of the journals and the bookchapter where our previous papers were published as well as my co-authors. We intend to explore other actions that can be taken to settle this serious matter. 
The follow is a list of the plagiarized papers: 
1. TMC: Ozlem Durmaz Incel, Amitabha Ghosh, Bhaskar Krishnamachari,and Krishnakant Chintalapudi, Fast Data Collection in Tree-Based Wireless Sensor Networks, IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing, vol.11, no. 1, pp. 86-99, Jan. 2012, doi:10.1109/TMC.2011.22: 
2. Book Chapter: Ozlem Durmaz Incel, Amitabha Ghosh, and Bhaskar Krishnamachari, Scheduling Algorithms for Tree-Based Data Collectionin Wireless Sensor Networks, Book Chapter: Theoretical Aspects of Distributed Computing in Sensor Networks, Nikoletseas, Sotiris; Rolim,José D.P. (Eds.), Springer, 2011., 
3. TON: Amitabha Ghosh, Ozlem Durmaz Incel, V. S. Anil Kumar, and Bhaskar Krishnamachari, Multi-Channel Scheduling and Spanning Trees:Throughput-Delay Trade-off for Fast Data Collection in Sensor Networks, IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking, Volume: 19 Issue:6, pp.1       731 - 1744, Dec. 2011:

In the attached file, we have marked each individual section and addednotes from which paper they have been copied. Below you can find asummary of which section is copied from which paper:
-       Abstract Section: First 2 sentences are copied from the bookchapter, 3rd sentence is copied from the TMC paper. 
-       Introduction: All the text is copied from the book chapter and the TMC paper. 
-       Related Work: All the text is copied from TON and TMC papers. 
-       Section 1.1 and Section 1.2 are totally copied from the book chapter. 
-       Section 1.3 (Degree Constrained Trees) is an exact copy of Section 5.2.3 of the TMC paper and Section 1.3 (Assignment of Time Slots) is an exact copy of Section 4.1.2 of the TMC paper. 
-       Section 2 and 3 are copied from the book chapter. 
-       Section on “Multi-channel Scheduling” is an exact copy of Section 5.2 of the TMC paper. 
-       Section on “Future Research Directions” is an exact copy of Section 4 of the book chapter. 
-       Conclusion is copied from the TMC paper.

Sincere regards,  
Bhaskar Krishnamachari
Bhaskar Krishnamachari  
Associate Professor and Ming Hsieh Faculty Fellow in Electrical Engineering 
USC Viterbi School of Engineering 

update 1:  The link for the paper is now down. I got the following email from an unnamed "Editor in Chief". There is no public notice of retraction or censure of the authors as we had requested:

 Dear Sir

We are very sorry for this inconvenience.
Thanks for your information we are going to d-link this paper with our website till next decision.

Thank you
With Regards

Editor in Chief

update 2: The story just got even richer. Brian Cheung dug around and found yet another paper by a different set of authors that is also a clearly plagiarized version of one of these papers. As Matt Welsh pointed out on my blog, a dead giveaway is the presence of fuzzy images. See for yourself: (plagiarized from

Note: This is not the first time I've noticed papers of mine being plagiarized. Given that it involves authors at relatively unknown institutes publishing in relatively unknown conferences and journals, one is generally inclined to conserve one's energy for more important causes and simply ignore these incidents. Still it's a pity that these should go completely unremarked. A few public incidents may bring greater awareness of plagiarism, bringing some light even to these dark corners of the academic world...