Today, after 4 years of toil, I SUBMITTED MY PHD THESIS. The only thing left to do is my thesis defence.
How PhDs work in Ireland is that you defend your thesis in front of two examiners: one internal and one external. The internal examiner is from your home university, while the external examiner is from another university and is supposed to give a more objective appraisal. They're both regular researchers who volunteer to assess you. Why? I don't know. Probably as a favour to your supervisor, or as a networking opportunity. Or maybe they're just crazy. Anyway, they grill you about your research for a couple of hours, and then, assuming everything goes well, and after you've addressed any corrections they might suggest, you walk away with a doctorate. My thesis defence will be some time in the next 3 months.
I'm still processing how I feel about all this. It has been almost 1 year since my last blog post, and I'm not sure how the gap became so long. I guess my enthusiasm for writing in my spare time was sapped by the apprehension of the submission deadline. I've done some hobby programming, but mostly I've been in zombie mode, stumbling step-by-step towards a completed thesis. I did a 3-month research placement in Boston from February to May, whipped together one last paper, submitted it to a conference, and then stitched all of my completed research into a 100-page document that I will soon have to present before my hopefully sympathetic examiners.
Now that I have an abundance of free time, I'm going to get back into blog-writing and code-wrangling. The intention of this post was to mark the occasion, and to mark a new beginning. In the near future, expect to see posts on the following topics: fluctuations in chess ratings, triangulation pillars in Ireland, and a PhD retrospective. Hopefully, I will also become more active in the programming space.
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