Ph.D. Metadata

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Having defended my dissertation approximately 48 days ago, I've had some time to reflect on the process and experience of working on a Ph.D.  Sadly, I've come to no revelations or even iotas of wisdom to confer.  Instead, I've decided to spew a series of mildly interesting statistics, and to let you, dear reader, come to your own conclusions.

To youngsters considering the prospect of a Ph.D. program, take note.  You can safely expect all of these effects.

Statistic #1
: Coffee consumption. In the weeks leading up to my defense, my coffee consumption increased by about 50%.  You can see the sharp increase in the attached plot, and some of the effects it had on my web-making abilities.



Statistic #2
: MATLAB burnout.  I counted in my logs 8,762,838 lines of MATLAB code (including the script that I wrote to count lines of code).  Yes, that's almost 9 million lines.  No wonder my keyboard looks like a scene from The Thing.  I can only assume that a significant chunk of that is due to large matrices accidentally displayed to the screen.

Statistic #3: Herding cats.  It takes three months of rescheduling and postponing in order to get five (excellent) committee members in the same place at the same time for a defense.  Without Skype, it may not have been possible at all.

Statistic #4: Days at sea. Something to think about if you're planning a Ph.D. in oceanography.  Not as relevant if you're studying gender roles during the Enlightenment.


Statistic #5: Reproductive output. 

   Before starting my program, r = 0 per day. 

   Since starting my program, r = 4.6e-4 per day. 

This represents a very significant increase.

-Nick Record, signing off.

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This page contains a single entry by Nick Record published on March 29, 2012 7:34 PM.

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