Dump: The Smart Way To Your Ph.D.:200 Secrets from 100 Graduates

全部做到的人应该不多吧. 不能motivate我

可能将来我会再看, 每一个点我都会来批判吧



Title: The Smart Way To Your Ph.D.:200 Secrets from 100 Graduates
Authors: Dora Farkas
Edition: 1
Finished Date: 2014-03-19
Rating: 5
Language: English
Genres: PhD
Level: Entry
Publishers: Your Ph.D.
Publication Date: 2009-01-12
ISBN: 978-0982109205
Format: Pdf
Pages: 320
Download: Pdf

Most Ph.D.s believed that the major challenges in graduate school were not academic. learn how to become independent, finding ways to motivate themselves, communicating with difficult advisers, dealing with stress, and find a suitable career path

Ch. 1 Laying the foundations for graduate school

before applying, ask 2 crucial questions

  1. Why do you want to earn a Ph.D.?

    The more concrete and detailed your goals are, the more positive your graduate school experience will be.

  2. How you will prepare for life in graduate school?

    possible challenge, how to plan for them

This chapter will answer

  • Why do you want to go to graduate school?
  • What are your criteria for choosing a school, department and adviser?
  • Do you have an adequate academic background for your coursework and thesis?
  • Do you have a financial plan?
  • Do you have a support group to turn in times of need?
  • How do you plan to relax and maintain your health?
  • If you are an international student, have you thought about the cultural adjustments?

Should you pursue a Ph.D.

No.1

Begin networking within professional organizations and your alumni association, to understand how a Ph.D. will influence job opportunities. Will it help you access the right jobs? Or will it close down some opportunities that you are interested in?

social networking我在做,但是范围还是不大,而且很累。像career center建议,每个礼拜至少一个人,每年也不太可能networking很多人 突然发现我还不知道,到底career goal是长什么样的

Chapter 2: becoming an independent researcher

3 essential skills for becoming an independent researcher in this chapter

  • developing a productivity daily schedule
  • designing an original and realistic research project
  • keeping yourself motivated

Challenge 1: adapting to the graduate student lifestyle

Challenge 1.1: developing a sustainable daily schedule

graduate student lifestyle = daily/weekly/monthly/semesterly/yearly routine = daily schedule = pace yourself

bad example: work 12-14 hours days $\Rightarrow$ exhaust by the end of first semester

exhaust = burn out
  • not focus on trying to please everybody, such as, supervisor and colleagues. need to take care of yourself if you want to finish your dissertation

challenge: few real deadlines => how to determine ideal daily schedule

how to balance

  • coursework
  • research
  • community activities
  • chores
beaver: 工作勤恳的人

avoid the “eager beaver syndrome”, because you will soon become exhausted and unmotivated

schedule

  • morning
  • evening
  • like to being work before everybody else gets in
  • like to finish it after everybody else has left
我觉得我都可以,但是一天之中只能选一个.若早上用了很多精力,晚上必然就不行了.若白天都不是做特别耗精力的活,那么晚上就可以做耗精力的
  1. to determine daily schedule, ask yourself the following questions:

    • does your supervisor expect you to be at work during certain hours? 白天
    • during what time of day are you most productive?either, not both
    • do you have any commitments to your family or community that determine your schedule? 系里的人都是白天来,晚上都没人了
  2. once set a schedule, try to maintain it

    • most productive when keep a regular work and sleep schedule

    • it is normal for energy and motivation to go up and down in cycles (different days). return to regular schedule as soon as you can

    • on “tired” days:

      • be more forgiving of yourself
      • make as much progress as you have the energy for
    • feel excessively tired: check with doctor to make sure you are not sick

8-9 起床

10 出门

11 到系

11-12 routine

12-7 离开->gym

8 离开gym

9 到家

9-11 routine, chores etc

11-12 routine

12-8 睡觉

Challenge 1.2: how to stay focused throughout the day

the key to maintaining productivity throughout the day is to take regular breaks

  • how frequent
  • how long breaks
  • what to do during breaks

challenge: large blocks time for reading or writing

  • work: 45 minutes
  • rest: 15 minutes even if in the middle of something

    • stretch limbs
    • analyze work
    • organize desk
    • decide what should work on during the next 45-minute work period
    • get a drink of water
  • longer break

    • exercising
    • walking
    • getting a snack
  • stopwatch
  • if meet a difficult problem, force to keep thinking about it until timer rings

traps of this strategy

  • take more time in rest

    • example: talk with someone
  • use computer during breaks

    • not “refresh” mind
    • more than 15 minutes

challenge 1.3 balance work and play

Q: how to relieve stress during graduate school?

A: socialize with a supportive community group and pursue a hobby or sport on a regular basis

  • a hobby

    • walking
    • cooking at home
    • play jazz music with a band, jazz band becomes a support group
    • make it a rule to relax on Friday nights and all of Saturday: go to the movies with friends and explore hobby groups on campus
    • etc.
  • sports

set aside a regular time every week to socialize with your support group, or to pursue hobbies or sports


GTD group 将来想social with other female programmers
* dine with friend, one per week/in the future, informational interview one per week

Challenge 2: develop you research plans

before doctoral dissertation, ask the following 3 questions

  1. Where is the other side?
  2. What resources do I need, to get there?
  3. Where is the roadmap that will give me the directions?

In fact, the catch-22 of graduate school of graduate school is that you are there to become an expert, but ow do you come up with a plan for your thesis if you do not have any expertise to begin with? 讲得太好了.很两难

a thesis proposal: a blueprint for doctoral dissertation (an your life, for the next few years)

plan a project

  • can be completed
  • within the available resources
  • in a reasonable amount of time

invest sufficient time into the proposal: the more you polish it, the better you will understand the background, methods and research questions

how do you construct a good thesis proposal?

1. choose a research area that you are passionate about
  • if have a pool of a choice of dissertation topics, such as, from advisor

criteria: passion

我想做model assessment.现在有那么多的model,但是是否好,为什么好,是不是真的很好,before analysis如何在实际过程中快速决定不应该用哪个,after analysis如何决定是否这个model足够好可以做为保留,如何才能比较几个model
2. choose a topic that can be completed 1. with the available resources 2 in a reasonable amount of time

resources

  1. funding

    fellowship: limited time to complete thesis

  2. expertise

    bad example: neither the student and advisor has sufficient expertise for the project

    project progressed more quickly because the supervisor can the student give more guidance

3. look for projects that are educational and incorporate marketable skills
  • more and more specialized with each passing year => expertise in a particular area
  • need a diverse skill set after graduation => avoid the common mistake of narrowing pyramid too quickly (Page 62)

    • familiarize the background literature and technical skills in your field

      mistake: focus only on finishing graduate school quickly, rather than taking advantage of learning opportunities

    • explore different projects

    • learn more about the different aspects of field
  • marketability

    • mistake: thesis topics that had few practical applications => unemployable after graduate school

challenge: how to diversify education while focusing on thesis?

  • design a small project towards the end of your thesis to help you to learn new skills that will bolster your post-graduation employability 我想做app
4. visualize your finished publications

example: outline each paper even before the research ad started

  • write down what questions to be answered
  • what each graph and table should show
  • outcome: even if the paper did not turn out exactly as prescribed, but it was a good way to get students motivated and focused

when plan paper, write down the answers to the following questions

  • What is your central hypothesis or research goal?
  • What is the motivation for this study?
  • What have other groups contributed to this research?
  • What methods do you need to learn, to complete this project?
  • What are the possible outcomes or results of this study?
  • What will your tables and graphs, if any, show?
  • How does this work contribute to your field of research?

visualize publications => motivate you to work

原来如此: finish research and dissertation simultaneously
5. set well-defined goals for your thesis

before doctoral dissertation, ask the following 3 questions

  1. Where is the other side? the most important
    i.e., what do you hope to accomplish: 我想写完dissertation, 有好多篇1作或者2作的paper, 有好几个r package,好多个rewards, 有很多talk, 有和好几个quality的牛人交朋友,熟练如何从research到publish paper

    it is essential that you and your advisor agree on what needs to be completed while you write your thesis proposal, and also throughout your graduate program

  2. What resources do I need, to get there?
  3. Where is the roadmap that will give me the directions?
6. determine how you will accomplish your goals

while planning dissertation, visualize each step of your research

  • How will you get started? literature review
  • what resources will you need? computer, time, patience, program extensively
  • what steps do you need to take, and in what order



    literature review and discuss with Judy think, propose my method and talk to Judy
    select my committee while work on my method should be other a lot of things but I do not know now
    write paper + give Judy to review send paper
    * get published if works well
  • how will you know when you have achieved your goals

    与我的goal list比较

it is not embarrassing to ask basic questions: such as

  • Why did we decide to do this study?
  • Why did we take this approach?
  • How will we execute this project?
  • What do we need to do first?
  • What is the appropriate research protocol?

with supervisor

  • keep communication open with your supervisor
  • but do not become too dependent on him or her

after a thorough literature search, you will come up with your own ideas, but always discuss them with your advisor before you invest too much effort

7. select a project that balances novelty with established research
  • goal: finish thesis within a reasonable amount of time

  • question: a novel or “hot” are v.s. a “safer”, better-understood topic

    • one way to answer: visualize yourself at every stage of your thesis

      • How will you make it happen?
      • Can you gather the resources and complete the work by your proposed graduation date?

        most likely, your project will take longer than you anticipated: 2-4 times longer than he had expected

    • if you have little expertise: begin work by exploring questions in well-understood areas

      • basics of your field by extending the research projects of previous students
      • trying to reproduce their data

        starting your research in an area where the methodology has been established will teach you the research skills needed in your field

    • once you learn the basics: expand research by exploring novel areas, and building your own unique niche

8. establish a network of professors in your committee who will drive your research and give you constructive feedback

one of essential component of a successful doctoral dissertation: select a good thesis committee

  • motive you
  • focus your research
  • possibly help moderate any disagreements with your advisor
  • choose faculty members

    • approachable
    • have expertise in your field

the frequency of committee meetings: depend on your department

  • some: only once in graduate school
  • others: present their research every 6 months

students

  • do not be shy about meeting with individual members, if you need advice

one advantage of meeting with professors regularly: they will be continuously updated on your research => no surprises at your committee meeting