Friday, January 18, 2008

Ph.D Advice

I found these quotes while surfing the net. I believe these quotes to be very true and it makes me feel that I’m on the right track. People keep telling me to do my Ph.D overseas. It seems that they think a Ph.D research done overseas is better than if done locally. I myself think that research can be done anywhere. All you need is to be resourceful and to know how to motivate yourself because no one other that you yourself is going to do it.

Even though I’m doing my Ph.D locally (in Malaysia) and not somewhere overseas, I found that I could relate to what Ronald T. Azuma was saying in his website. He was a postgraduate student but is now working with a tech company in the US. He was explaining what a postgraduate student, especially a Ph.D student should know and expect before embarking on the arduous journey to that coveted Ph.D title. So, if I could relate to what he said then that means what I’ve been doing has some similarity to what he went through during his postgraduate years.

For those people who just happen to read this post and are seriously contemplating postgraduate studies then read the quotes below then go visit Ronald T. Azuma’s site at . He provides some good advice for those aspiring to pursue their Ph.D

"Being a graduate student is like becoming all of the Seven Dwarves. In the beginning you're Dopey and Bashful. In the middle, you are usually sick (Sneezy), tired (Sleepy), and irritable (Grumpy). But at the end, they call you Doc, and then you're Happy."

- Ronald T. Azuma -

“People judge a recently graduated Ph.D. by his or her research, not by his or her class grades. What you learn in a Ph.D. program comes outside of classes: from doing research on your own, attending conferences, and talking to your fellow students. Success in graduate school does not come from completing a set number of course units but rather from successfully completing a research program.”

- Ronald T. Azuma -

Excelling in a Ph.D. program requires different skills than doing well in undergrad. Undergraduate education tests you through class projects (that do not last more than a semester), midterms and finals. For the most part, you work alone. Your professor may not know your name. Every other student in your class takes the same tests or does similar projects. But in a Ph.D. program, you must select and complete a unique long-term research program. For most of us, this means you have to learn how to do research and all that entails: working closely with your professors, staff and fellow students, communicating results, finding your way around obstacles, dealing with politics, etc.

- Ronald T. Azuma -

"The IQ test was invented to predict academic performance, nothing else. If we wanted something that would predict life success, we'd have to invent another test completely."
- Robert Zajonc

"Let me tell you the secret that has led me to my goal. My strength lies solely in my tenacity."

- Louis Pasteur

You don't need to be a genius to earn a Ph.D. (although it doesn't hurt). But nobody finishes a dissertation without being tenacious. A dissertation usually takes a few years to complete. No one can tell you in advance exactly how long the dissertation will take, so it's hard to see where the "end of the road" lies. You will encounter unexpected problems and obstacles that can add months or years to the project. It's very easy to become depressed and unmotivated about going on. If you are not tenacious about working on the dissertation, you won't finish.

- Ronald T. Azuma -

To my fellow postgraduate students, I wish you good luck. I hope this year will be a good year for all your academic aspirations.


At 28/1/08 7:47 pm, Blogger je@ said...

wahh..benci aku..penat-penat aku taip comment..skali semua terdelete..!!

among azuma's quotes, i like what he said about working closely with professors, staffs and colleagues..

now, i am experiencing the difference between doing degrees and masters.. walaupun aku penat, i'm enjoying & valuing more of what i'm learning now..

i missed yr master's convo..hopefully i'll be there when u received yr phD...

At 28/1/08 10:28 pm, Blogger Kancilzilla said...

Yes that's true. You're applying what you learn. So you enjoy & value it more.

Since my masters, I've gotten to know some of the lecturer & staff more. My research supervisor is someone I truly respect. He's taught me so much & his concern for his students is admirable. He's exactly the type of lecturer/researcher that I aspire to be hopefully in another 2/3 years.

Maybe we can both b at each other's convo. I think maybe yours would be b4 mine. How many years more to go for your konvo?

At 9/7/08 8:30 pm, Blogger justme said...

well wht can i is a journey...pain staking one but i guess it is worth it...good luck...


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