What does PhD mean?!

March 25, 2009 at 4:33 PM | Posted in PhD Humour | Leave a comment
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A moment ago I was mulling over this and just searched ‘Phd Fun’ or something on Google and lo, I ran into a wonderful, humorous exposition of PhD [PhD Rants and Raves by Yannis Smaragdakis]. Cannot not publish excerpts. You can read the complete story here!

PhD Rants and Raves

(Be afraid. Be very afraid.)

Yannis Smaragdakis
Georgia Tech

What is a PhD?

• An advanced graduate degree awarded for
demonstrable ability to do research
– research = the production of new knowledge

Why Do a PhD?

• A lot of bad reasons
– financially, it may not make sense
– some people do it just because being a student is fun

Insecurity

• You may often wonder:
– am I good enough?
• are you here for the right reason?
– can I do research?
• yes, you can
– why do all the people around me publish and I
don’t?
• concentrate on what you do and do not try to
evaluate yourselves with post-PhD criteria
When Will I Finish?

• Here are some good news: time stops during
your PhD
– nobody will ask you why you took n years and
not n-k to finish
– you have a good excuse to hide from society
and do your thing. You are fully justified!
– good thing too, because the timeline is very
uncertain
Keep Concerns Away

• To do this, you must ignore some real-world
concerns
• Easier said than done:
– stipend is enough to live on, but does not compare
to a salary
• perhaps ok if you are 23, but even then, for how long?
– friends will start careers, buy cars and houses
– you will be spending the best part of a decade in a
time warp
You Control Your Fate

PhD Life is Fun

• If you are here for the right reason, a PhD
can be tremendous fun
• You are a student, but can support yourself
• You will work on interesting things
– a lot of freedom, few obligations
– think of yourself as a freelancer
• “The only time in your life you will be paid
to learn.”

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