Tag Archives: Thesis


Good morning Friday, April 19th.


This week has been crazy.

First, there was Monday. Boston. That really needs no further explanation.

Next, I am in the final stretch of preparing my thesis and have essentially had my ass continuously glued to my desk chair for the last three days. (Do yourself a favor and don’t start thinking of the logistics of that.) I had hoped a submit my draft to my committee last Friday, but that has long since come and gone. Then, the goal was Monday. Same sad story. Then it was “mid-week.” Now it is Friday. The good news is that it is finally written and printed and ready to go for binding and then to committee members by the end of the morning. The bad news is that with all that being said, I have no idea what the title should be! I was was assuming that things would all just come together (which for the most part they have) and a logical title would present itself at some point in the process. It has not. The mission for last night was to dream up something clever and witty that is also still relevant to 1) the design, construction and characterization of synthetic transcription regulators for E. coli and 2) engineering Lactic Acid Bacteria to inducibly express antimicrobial peptides with activity against Gram-negative bacteria, such that they my be an alternative to the current antibiotic administration in agriculture.

Any great ideas?

I do have a number half assed (and even a few 3/4 assed) ideas. I suppose now it’s time to resort to asking my adviser for advise (imagine that) and just get this stack off tree product off of my desk.


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The 3rd

Today is the 3rd. So what?

1. Today is the one month anniversary of what will hopefully the worst marathon I’ll ever “run”…

@ 6:30 am. Ignorance is bliss.

March 3rd @ 6:30 am. Ignorance is bliss.

(PS. I think this is the red flag that I really need to write that race review don’t I?! One month later I best have gotten over my hard feelings of +5 hrs to write something resembling a rational post.)

(PPS…or PSS… Which one is it? I never know… Anyway, I also think this is the red flag and flashing lights and blaring sirens that I need to get my ass out for a run again. That and I think my pants are shrinking. Yes, it’s my pants that are shrinking, it certainly isn’t me that’s getting fat…)

2. Today is t-minus one month until my thesis defense!


Did anyone else realize today had some sort of significance as they walked/drove/bused/biked into school/work today? What is it?



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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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