26 April 2012

Drawing Limits

In doing research, there are several steps to follow, which depends on what role one has. If one is a PhD candidate, one has to engage in original research, culminating in a big opus known as the dissertation. This dissertation should be an original work, and it takes a committee of at least three professors to read and approve it.

The thing is, sometimes, research does not stop at the dissertation. In fact, this is what happens to more research topics. Just because one has written a dissertation doesn't mean that the research topic has ended at the final chapter. In fact, more often, it is the case when one realizes that there are more things to do as a follow-up after the dissertation.

The question then is how to delineate the dissertation. There are ticking clocks that are imposed by the Graduate School. There is also a limited amount of resources. Hence, one has to decide where the dissertation ends and where the life after the dissertation begins.

This question is now my next topic of discussion with the adviser. I can continue on working on this topic for quite a bit, in fact, doing the experiments I have done raised more questions than I originally anticipated, but I also need to graduate. We'll see what happens when we meet again.

In the meantime, there are experimental results that I have to explain.

(Ethnic Podium, from my Cathedral of Learning Series)


  1. I completely understand. But still, drawing the line must be tough when you've been immersed in the topic for so long.

  2. Zhu,

    Very true. In fact, I have more questions that I would want to answer after I finish this dissertation, so there's already a plan of future research given where my dissertation ends. The dissertation is just a formality, it's a unit that traditionally earns one a doctorate degree. But the topic never stops there.