Well, for once, things are making progress. I just spoke to my adviser and it seems that my defense will progress on schedule. I need to give my committee something to read a couple of weeks before the defense, and if the defense is scheduled to take place around April 15, then I need to get the draft ready about two weeks before that. And it seems that my adviser is indeed optimistic that this will happen. The thing is, as one only does a dissertation once in their life, I have no data point about this process from the past, and therefore I am relying solely on what my adviser and my department chair tells me.
Another good news is that the experiment that I have conducted over the past few weeks was finally done, and upon scanning the results, it seems that we have good results. It seems that the hypothesis was indeed borne out, and that we have data to contradict people that wrote something about the topic beforehand. Thus, the person that is supervising me (who is not my adviser) on this project told me that I could actually write this as a journal article. I and a fellow grad student would be joint first authors, and two other faculty members would be the third and fourth authors respectively.
Also, a conference that will happen in a country that I haven't been to yet is already open, and the abstract submission is getting near. It seems that I have two abstracts with my name on it that will be submitted, so hopefully, at least one of them get accepted. I somehow had the hunch that this would happen, so that is why I am heading back to the Philippines this May to renew my visa so I can get back to the USA again after attending a foreign conference.
So it seems that 2010 will be a prolific year for me academically. My adviser has stressed the importance of building one's vita at this point in the game, and so I think I am heading for the right track in this endeavor.
Oh, in case you all haven't noticed, I finally finished the Washington DC pictures. Starting from the previous post, I am now running the series of pictures I took from my visit to the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. I visited this university for a conference two years ago, which is in the same series of conferences that I had attended in New York City this past week.