Big day!

Today was a very big day for this kid. Typically this sort of statement is followed by an over the top rambling a very reasonable discussion about a new pair of running shoes, a new running skirt, some super sweet sugar loaded dessert or a delicious cheese … mmmmm … cheese … However, today I’m excited about an uncharacteristically grown up topic. My final defense committee has been confirmed and the date and time of my defense is set!! YIKES!! In our department your final PhD defense committee must be composed of your adviser, two faculty from our department (one of which will serve as your committee chair) and then one member from a different (but related to your work) department. My poor victims lucky winners are as follows:

Adviser: Yiannis Kaznessis
CEMS department #1 & chair: Ben Hackel
CEMS department #2: Wei-Shou Hu
External: Mike Sadowski

Aside from a minor catastrophe, they will all have a very restful hour long nap my defense will be on Friday, May 3rd at 1:30 pm.

In our department thesis defenses are typically pretty short and sweet (literally, the student is supposed to bring tasty treats and coffee to help keep everyone awake to share … and with that I still managed to get in at least one desserts reference after bragging about this post not being about them! 🙂 The PhD candidate gives a ~45 minute seminar on the most interesting/complete parts of their PhD that can actually be tied together in something resembling a cohesive little story. After that, the floor is open for questions from anyone that is still awake. So far this is all open to the public. After the public questions have been answered, everyone besides the committee leaves and there is closed questioning until everyone gets bored, hungry or has to pee from all of the coffee they’ve been drinking. At this point the “exam” is over and the newly official PhD is released to go spend their evening making bad decisions and running up a huge bar tab with most of the students in the department.

Sooooo, if you find yourself very bored on the afternoon of May 3rd, hungry for some yummy defense treats, or just really enjoy PhD defenses, come join us! With that, I’d better use this computer to do something useful, like start writing this thesis that I am now officially scheduled to defend!

Have you or someone you know written a PhD thesis? How long did it take?

What sorts of treats should I prepare to bring to my defense? Recipes?

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