Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Second version of intermediate thesis submitted

Today I sent the second version of my intermediate thesis to the research committee. I've been very quiet about it here, primarily because there hasn't been much to write about. After getting over the shock of the first review (the shock was not passing but rather the tone and extent of the comments), I then entered the twilight months of February and March, when I was ill with flu with complications and found it difficult to accomplish anything which required thinking.

Since then, I've been working steadily on the thesis, adding a great deal of background material, whilst extending the discussion of data acquisition and analysis (which is mainly statistics). There was a short detour for a month or so when I tried to include a graphical model and material about moderating variables, but my advisor advised me to drop this.

The advisor - or at least, the advisory process - is another reason why it has taken seven months to create a new version. The turnaround between me considering that a version is worthwhile submitting to the advisor and getting it back with comments can vary between two to four weeks. This time period seems to be fairly constant, regardless of the amount of new material, so it can be fairly frustrating when removing material (the moderating variables) takes a few weeks for a response.

That's all water under the bridge now. As the research committee meets only once every seven weeks and the next meeting is in a month's time, I won't get any feedback until late September. Hopefully this time the intermediate thesis will be accepted, allowing me to get on with the actual research (sending out questionnaires and tabulating the results). 

I think that the time scale of the doctorate - around four years, not including the primary courses - is not sufficiently emphasized when candidates begin. One needs a great deal of patience!

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