Archive for the ‘PhD’ Category

An “accident” during my final defense

August 12, 2008

[This is my diary post to record what I had done during my PhD life.]

You cannot be always aware of something is coming. In my case, I got a shot during my Ph.D final defense. The question was thrown out by my friend, a Ph.D student, let’s call him A, as the first question after my presentation. His question was about the “critical state soil mechanics” and its discussion about the settlement caused by liquefaction.

Well, I admitted that I had no idea, totally blank in my head, about this question. I 100% forgot the meaning of critical state soil mechanics. I believed that my face turned pale in few seconds. My advisor and other committee members tried to recall me the definition of critical state soil mechanics and guided me through the point my friend A was interested.

I finally remembered the detail and interacted with my advisor to answer the question. Whoooooooo. It was close, and I was kind of lucky. Because this question cost almost 45 minutes, not much time was left for other questions. Therefore, I didn’t encounter any more serious “accidents” in the meeting. God bless me!

Although my friend made me worry about the defense at some degree, I really appreciated for his support and the effects of his shot. Thank you, A.

[posted with ecto]

Say Hello to my PhD

August 12, 2008

[This is my diary post to record what I had done during my PhD life.]

It was a great moment when I was told that I passed my final examination for doctoral degree. It was Friday, July 18, 2008. After almost three hours of presentation and Q & A, I achieved my final goal. Yes, I became a Doctor of Philosophy since then.

Actually I was not as nervous as I expected. I had rehearsed my presentation three times with my advisor. I was worried about my timing of presentation because I spent too much time during my rehearsals. However, it was miracle, as my advisor said later, that I spoke fluently and presented my slides smoothly like a movie. Yeah, I was kind of proud of this. This is my precious memory of a graduate student in UW.

I would like to share the glory moment with my family, especially my wife. Without their support and believing in me, I wouldn’t overcome so many difficulties and achieve my goal. I Love You All, FOREVER!

[posted with ecto]

Dissertation, the NIGHTMARE!

March 22, 2008

[This is my diary post to record what I had done during my PhD life.]

Dissertation, dissertation,…,DISSERTATION!!

The program I was working on had been finished. The client, Washington Department of Transportation (WSDOT), was satisfied with the liquefaction-induced hazard evaluation tool. The job left is the writing stuff. Yeah, my PhD dissertation. I found that it is painful for an non-native-English-speaking person like me. I have outlines of my research and EIGHT chapters to be done in my dissertation. OMG! When will I finish the writing?

Luckily, I had finished Chapter 2, 3, 4, and most of Chapter 6. I need to add new material in Chapter 5 (almost re-writing it, God!) and revise Chapter 7. The first and last chapters are usually prepared when the major chapters of a dissertation are done. Not a problem. Now, focus on Chapter 5.

My boss is getting busier in the following months. I am kind of worry about if he can revise my papers on time. Hope we can catch the schedule to “kick me out” by June. Fingers crossed.

[posted with ecto]

The road to PhD is close to the end…

February 3, 2008

[This is my diary post to record what I have done during my PhD life.]

OK. I need to update my current status of my PhD program. I almost finish my programming and I am working on my dissertation. The best hope now is to finish my PhD degree within this quarter. So, the next steps are:

1. Don’t fool around in Internet. Get back to work!
2. Write the dissertation piece by piece everyday.
3. Push my advisor to “kick me out”.

OK, enough nonsense. Get back to work.

[posted with ecto]

Update for my VB program

August 1, 2007

[This is my diary post to record what I have done during my PhD life.]

Recently I received some feedbacks about the on-going VB.Net program. This program is a part of UW-WSDOT project. I had worked on this for one year and half. The feedbacks commented on some issues I expected in my old version program. Right now I had polished the program and made a lot changes. It is close to the time to announce the Beta version. I am excited to see that happen in few days. Cheers~~

Complaint: VB.Net’s lack of statistical computation

June 18, 2007

[This is my diary post to record what I have done during my PhD life.]

I use VB.Net to program my liquefaction-related seismic hazards evaluation system. I use statistical computation a lot. I found that VB.Net cannot perform statistical estimation directly, such as computations of normal and lognormal distribution. I have to find the mathematical expressions, then try to compute them by VB.Net. There are many well-built third-party softwares providing excellent accuracy and efficiency of statistical calculation for VB.Net. But, they are expensive too. As a student, I can’t afford it. These commonly used statistical computations can be found as functions in Excel. I wonder how Excel computes these statistics and so fast. I wish I can dig out the VB scripts Excel uses for statistics. It is not hard to perform statistical computation in VB.Net, is it?

[posted with ecto]

Update: My general exam

June 17, 2007

[This is my diary post to record what I have done during my PhD life.]

Finally, my general exam was held on Thursday, May 31. As I expected, the oral presentation of my general exam went through smoothly, after my three to four times of rehearsal with my boss. One thing needed to be noted that there was one committee member missing because of an unchangeable schedule conflict. Well, it was not my fault, and we still had sufficient professors attending the meeting. I felt very nervous, of course, when I stood in front of audience. Sooner, I felt nothing about my nervousness when I concentrated myself on the presentation. The whole meeting went on in the atmosphere of satisfaction. I didn’t get any critical question to my PhD proposal. I can say that I pass the exam with “soft landing”.

Anyway, I passed the exam, which is really a great thing in my PhD life.

Great News

May 17, 2007

[This is my diary post to record what I have done during my PhD life.]

Oh, ya~ I just finished my general proposal. There are five chapters in my proposal. My boss had reviewed most of them, and I revised them chapter by chapter. The first four chapters are about literature reviews. The last one is my scope of work. The reason my general proposal is completed so late is because I had been gone for past two weeks.

[posted with ecto]

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What I’d done today: April 17

April 17, 2007

[This is my diary post to record what I have done during my PhD life.]

Date: April 17
Time: 2:30pm

Today would be my general exam, if I could prepare my proposal on time. I am still working on revising my proposal, and my advisor doesn’t give me any further comment about the chapters I had done several days ago. I will go ask him what the condition is. This morning I didn’t stay at my office. Instead, I drove to downtown Seattle for application of my daughter’s Taiwan VISA. I made a big mistake of not checking the address of Taipei Economic and Cultural Office of Seattle before I left home. I didn’t expect that they moved to a new building. It wasted me an hour to back and forth my home just for finding the correct address. Anyway, I finished all documents required for Taiwan VISA. I will pick it up this Thursday. The morning time was gone, and I did nothing about my general proposal. Well, I guess I have to work hard tonight.

[posted with ecto]

What I’d done today: April 13

April 13, 2007

[This is my diary post to record what I have done during my PhD life.]

Date: April 13
Time: 1:16 pm

Finally, I finished Chapter 3 “Performance-Based Earthquake Engineering” this morning. There are 50 pages in total, which is more than I expected. I had turned this chapter to my boss for advising. Now I plan to review chapter 4 and 5, which were finished several weeks ago. During revising chapter 3, I found myself some mistaken concepts about PBEE terminology. I need to correct these errors in chapter 4 and 5. Hopefully the revised chapter 4 would be ready for my advisor next Monday.

[posted with ecto]