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Thesis Update

December 10th, 2007 · Posted by Hugo · 6 Comments

This post is for those that want to know what’s up with my thesis.

Well, I’ve just handed in two copies of my thesis, with no further modifications since Friday. (I was too late to hand in on Friday.) I was advised to relax this weekend, take a break. The suggestion was I could write some more for another day or two this week, following some more informed feedback. However, I’m tired, and I’ve not yet received more informed feedback. And I think the thesis is good enough. Though how would I know?

Can’t I just decide “I’m done”?

Feedback so far is “how about some more pages or more experiments?”, on the grounds that I did some more stuff than I wrote up. There are currently 13 pages of “front matter”, 90 pages of “main matter”, and four pages of bibliography. Page-count wise that sounds fine? I’m also told the first and the last chapters must be really good. Well, um, I don’t know, are they really good already, or not? I’m finding it rather hard to feel motivated with that kind of feedback.

Everyone’s time being limited as it is, the question is if anyone else who knows something about DSP and HMMs, and has some time available, would like to take a look at my thesis and let me know if it isn’t good enough yet? Also, should I care about 50% vs 90%? Does that really make any difference in the grand scheme of things? I’ve been disillusioned enough for the past twenty years that I no longer really care. Quite a pity if this is the only time that it actually does matter. *sigh*

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6 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Hugo // Dec 10, 2007 at 5:21 pm

    The story of my thesis: no deadlines, no tangible goals. (Um, no, that’s not factual, that’s just how it felt.) Even now I’ve got “a few more days”. A few… um… yea… A few more days, to do “some more”. Some more… um… yea…

    I do have some more explicit suggestions: maybe include some confusion matrices, or N-th best results. Maybe run another experiment or two, if there’s something useful to run.

    Hmm… with some more explicit idea of where I’m headed and what I’m doing, I’m sure I could work as hard as I did last week. Right now I’m just not convinced that it matters?

  • 2 Pienk Zuit // Dec 10, 2007 at 7:14 pm

    Op die ou end hang alles af van wie jou eksaminatore is. Ek was al deel van ‘n mondeling waar die 1 eksaminator 60% gegee het, teenoor 75% van die ander. Op die ou end het die student 75% gekry, want sy werk was baie goed, al het sy verslag hom eintlik in die steek gelaat, en die 60% eksaminator is omgepraat. As die eksaminator wat aanvanklik 60% gegee het besluit het hy wil nie sy punt verander nie, was die punt heelwat laer. Hang alles af van wie jy kry. Ek het 72% gekry vir myne, want my 1 (eksterne) eksaminator wou nie sy mening verander nie (ek like hom nou nog nie). Nou ja, so loop hy maar. Moenie te veel worry nie. Dis nice om die cum te kry in ruil vir jou harde werk, maar in the greater scheme of things gaan dit nie rerig saak maak nie. Rerig.

  • 3 Charl Botha // Dec 10, 2007 at 7:41 pm

    I beg to differ omtrent die cum laude.

    Dis in elkgeval beter om dit te hê as om dit nie te hê nie. Dit het hierso (by die TU Delft, ook die LUMC) al verskil gemaak in interview- en aanstellingsbesluite. Veral as jy iemand van ver af moet haal, bou jy ‘n geheelbeeld op uit moer baie parameters (TM), waarvan die cum laude wel sy bietjie bydra.

    In the greater scheme of things, veral omdat jy nie 100% seker is waar die volgende paar jaar jou gaan vat nie, maak dit dus wel saak. Rerig. ;)

  • 4 Hugo // Dec 10, 2007 at 9:47 pm

    Hmm, thanks for the feedback. So maybe I should sit down tomorrow and add another few pages…

    Another question then: any real difference between 75% and 90%? I’d expect the difference is smaller than the difference between 72% and 75%, as people usually concerned about “cum laude” or “not cum laude”.

    At this point, I do actually not have much of a clue what my thesis is aiming at. Maybe I should be busy worrying about getting 50%, rather than 75%.

    Charl, I’m curious how many applications you receive for that PhD position. I know someone that’s applying. (I told him “Hey, good idea! Maybe I should too!” just to irritate him. ;) I don’t think that’s the cards for me right now.)

  • 5 Steve // Dec 11, 2007 at 8:37 am

    75% vs 90% can often just depend on your examiners. If you want to be reasonably sure of 75%, you’ve generally got to hand in a thesis which many will give 90% for, just to cover for difficult examiners.

    Mainly, people look at your qualifications, and potentially a cum laude (the latter mostly in academia, I expect). In academia, I think most people are aware of how dependent the exact mark is on the examiner.

    So:
    1) 90% vs 75% is no big deal.
    2) It’s unlikely you can “work for 90%”. Work for the cum laude, and you may end up with near 90%, though.

    Disclaimer: these are just impressions I’ve got from my fellow students over the years, and discussions with some academics. I’ve got no experience with actual employment decisions etc.

  • 6 Rinus // Dec 11, 2007 at 3:36 pm

    Ek’t dieselle probleem as Pienk Zuit gehad. Eksaminator 1 het my 75% gegee, eksaminator 2 was nie convinced nie (ook verslag issues).

    Op die ou end het taalfoute (concorde, ensovoorts) my die cum gekos (ekt 70% gekry, eksaminator 2 wou nie budge nie).

    Om jou tesis te laat taalversorg is duur en in my opinie nie werd vir dit wat jy betaal nie. Wat ver gaan is om net ‘n soek te doen orals waar jy bv. is/are, has/have, was/were, do/does, ens. gebruik het en maak doodseker dis reg gebruik. Dit is soms baie dubbelsinnig.

    Dit sal jou ten minste my verdriet spaar as jy ‘n eksaminator het wat baie taal besorgd is.

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