By Glen Berseth

Writing is a complex skill. It is also a vital skill to succeed in research and is a useful skill in general. I ran a writing workshop in my group (and invited all of Mila, and now everyone else, to join). It focuses on principles for writing clear prose that are easy for readers to understand. In this workshop series, we look at writing from the perspective of mental load (and minimum description length) for the reader and consider that some sentences are easier to process than others. Next, writers should understand how to organize their text to make sure they cover the ideas they want to express well enough, connect ideas together, and avoid confusion across the text. Last, we will cover some tools to improve these skills and produce coherent documents quickly, avoid writer’s block and work collaboratively.

We'll cover the following topics (see page links for slides and recordings):

Session 1: Construct understandable sentences

Session 2: Paragraphs and staying on topic

Session 3: Organization and Collaboration

Date, Time Topic Speaker/Workshop leader Location
Thur May 4, 10am-noon. Constructing understandable sentences. Glen Berseth Auditorium 1+2
Thur, May 25,
10 am-noon Constructing understandable sentences. (again, post NeurIPS deadline) Glen Berseth Auditorium 2
Thur, June 1, 1 pm - 3 pm Paragraphs and staying on topic Glen Berseth Auditorium 2
Thur, June 15 10 am - noon Organization, clarity and collaboration Glen Berseth Auditorium 2

Thank you to the over 100 people that attended the workshop at @Mila_Quebec, and those that helped me create the content.


  1. Writing workshop organized by Jacob Steinhardt in 2020
  2. Elements of Style
  4. Style: Lessons in Clarity Grace
  5. The hundreds of reviewers that gave feedback on my research…
  6. Feedback from my colleagues and supervisors.
  7. Thoughts from the papers I review…