That’s why I’ll keep this article short by just describing where I was each year after my Ph. Anatomy of a group meeting presentation ‘ view comic. Prospective grad student ‘ view comic. Cafeteria Potential Well ‘ view comic. Grading Homeworks ‘ view comic. How to turn your CV into a Resume ‘ view comic.

An Honest Academic Rejection Letter ‘ view comic. The Actual Method ‘ view comic. How Professors spend their time ‘ view comic. At the time, I had already accepted a software engineering job offer from Google to work on online education, which was totally unrelated to my Ph. The Plans ‘ view comic. Since I’m still near the beginning of my post-Ph.

I covered this topic in detail in Year Six of The Grind. You fight the snake in the room you have reserved for your defense.

xkcd defending thesis

This comic is a play on a thesis defense and the adage ” The best defense is a good offense “. Why are we doing this? Grad SPAM ‘ view comic.

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Almost everyone with an advanced degree has gone through this process. As the audience is composed of mammals and is responding to a threat, we should assume that this response provides some key evidence about the threat defense in mammals.


Graph – Motivation level ‘ view comic. As a rule of thumb, it is imprudent to pass over speed bumps faster than orbital velocity. The adage means that a strong offensive action will preoccupy the opposition and ultimately hinder its ability to mount an opposing counterattack, leading to a strategic advantage. This early success opened up the new possibility of me going back on the faculty job market using a fresh batch of research.

Procrascorrelation ‘ view comic. The mid-tenure crisis ‘ view comic. If only ‘ view comic. I’m going to step off the LEM now The improvements in touchscreen technology continue to amaze me. Some helpful advice ‘ view comic.

Five Years After My Ph.D. Thesis Defense

The th Annual Academic Awards ‘ view comic. Finished Thesis ‘ view comic.

xkcd defending thesis

I realize others have pointed this out, but still Too due list ‘ view comic. How Professors spend their time ‘ view comic.

Graph – Work output ‘ view comic. By the end of AprilI had a verbal offer from the UC San Diego cognitive science department and was finalizing details. The Night Shift ‘ view comic. Outside interests ‘ view comic.


1403: Thesis Defense

If someone had told me back then that, five years down the line, I would be an defedning professor with half a dozen grad students of my own, there was no way I would ever believe them. The Lab Hierarchy ‘ view comic. I briefly recap the unexpected turns in my professional life throughout the five years after defending my Ph.

xkcd defending thesis

Postcard ‘ view comic. The Plans ‘ view comic. Needs work ‘ view comic. Maybe in another decade with lasers, cheaper interceptors and rail guns the equation might have changed.

The best defence is to own an empire. So wrong ‘ view comic.

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