26 September 2011

The Dissertation Update

I realized that I haven't talked about my dissertation for the longest time here. I looked it up and apparently the last time I used dissertation as a tag was back in May. So let me provide a little update.

Since then, a lot has happened regarding my dissertation. I finished several series of experiments, and right now, there's only one more round of experiments that I need to load into the lab. I have three big ideas in my dissertation: the first one is already written up as a paper, waiting for comments from my adviser. It also has been submitted as an abstract under review for an upcoming conference. The second one is currently being written up as an independent paper as well. I also have the intention of submitting an abstract about it to another conference in the future. Finally, the third idea will be written up once the experiments finish running in the lab this fall.

So I have three big ideas. I am initially writing them as separate papers with the intention of publishing all three papers separately, and then later on I will stitch them all together to construct the dissertation. I figured that is easier and more functional that way, rather than writing a big dissertation first and then separating the individual parts later to be individual published papers. I figured that if I need my CV to flourish and have publications out, this is a faster route. I already am planning to submit three different abstracts for my three big ideas so I can present them in three different conferences, and later on submit all three papers for publication in three different journals.

So yes, I have a plan.

In my office, I have this roadmap and checklist of some sorts: I basically outlined my dissertation and listed what are the things that I have done, am doing, and still need to do. If I want to graduate soon, I figured it would be helpful to see the progress that I have been making day after day, so that I have this constant feeling of moving forward. I think that helps.

Anyway, hopefully in a few months, this dissertation gets completed. And on to a lifestyle upgrade. Fortunately, unlike other people, I haven't been getting sick of my dissertation yet. Others just want to forget about it after working about it for such a long time.

(Slippery Rock, from my Machu Picchu Series)


  1. I'm glad you're not sick of it but I'm pretty sure I'd be! It takes a lot of will to spend so long on a piece like that!

  2. Zhu,

    It sure does take a lot of will power. I have to be honest, I remind myself why I want this every now and then.

  3. The most stressful period in a grad student's life I imagine. Most people hate this "climax" but you seem to enjoy it. What's your dark side and what do you do for a (G rated) release? Write about that sometime!

  4. Puku,

    Oh, there are plans for a release. I definitely have those, otherwise, I think I am gonna go insane without it. And yes, you'll hear about them!