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MATH 399: Senior Seminar (HC) Fall 2017

Math 399: Senior Seminar (Miao)

Brainstorm Search Words


How can Bayesian modeling be used to predict one's cancer risk?

Step 1: Break up this research question into two or three main concepts.

  • Concept #1: bayesian
  • Concept #2: cancer
  • Concept #3: risk

Step 2: Brainstorm synonyms, acronyms, and variant spellings.

  • Concept #1: bayes*
  • Concept #2: cancer, tumor
  • Concept #3: risk, probability, predict*

Understand Boolean Operators

  • Even if the search engine you are using doesn't require you to enter boolean operators, it is still using them behind the scenes. It will help you to know the logic behind your search
  • AND gives you results that include ALL of your concepts.
  • OR gives you results that include ANY of your concepts.
  • Essentially, you are searching:

(Bayesian OR Bayes) AND (cancer OR tumor) AND (risk OR probability OR predict OR prediction)



Revise and Repeat

  • Information research is a fluid, iterative process.
  • As you do some initial searching, your research question may change a number of times before finally solidifying in your mind.
  • Be willing to alter your initial search strategy as well. The more your explore, the more avenues you will discover. Swap out search words, follow authors of interest, and let references lead to you new materials.