OM . A GOOD PhD Student! L C Opportunities and Traps E E S H H A An alternate perspective by D Suddhasheel Ghosh D S UDelivered on the occassion of the Department Day, Department of Civil Engg.
Am I the good student?M C O L . E E S H HA DDS U In case you are giving me scornful looks ...
Am I the good student?M C O L . E E S H That who knows his weaknesses is Athe wise guy, he who thinks he is the H D smart aleck everytime is otherwise! D S U
Broad contents OM● Ideal expectations L . C E E H● Adventures or otherwise A S H● The supervisor D D U● Precautions S
Prof. S. K. Jain: On achieving goals OM L . C E “It is easier to draw a straight line from A to B, if your eyes are always on the target” H E S B HA DD U A In an Engineering PhD, this line S denotes the methodology of researchProf. S. K. Jain is currently on deputation as the director of IIT – Gandhinagar.
The problem and its statement OM L . C Popularity of the domain and E the open problemsYour skill sets: Mathematical H E Sability, Problem solving,Leadership capability,resources HAProgramming; Available DD TRADEOFF S U
Deliberate, Collaborate, Elaborate OM L . C E CE H E A S SCIENCES H ME HSS D EE CSE BSBE D ... and othersS U ...in the stage of advanced research
My dreams on the day of joining ... OM● Maximum 3.5 yrs L . C● E E 4-5 journal / conference papers per year H● A very brief thesis● A S Join some big organisation H● … and of course other mundane matters of life D D S U
Situation today ?? OM● Conference papers - L . C ● E E ... Yes, National and International H● The other parameters remain unsatisfied A S D H U D S Why?
Focus (or the lack of it) OM L . C E E S H HA DDS U
OM CL .The lure of mundane E life andH E other A S (mis)adventures H D DS U
OM L . C E E S H HA DDS U Either before or after, never in between!
Beware of OM . C CHOMUs H E E L S तबA हमे थामना, जब चोमू का हो सामना, H करे, हम मदद करे, तू ही D Intelligence की हो कामना Dना ही वो बजरापाS UMandatory prayer for every student entering into a PhD programme
The Chomu (चोमू) Effect ... OM● Urban Dictionary: Chomu (n.) L . C ● One who cannot make his own decisions; E E More often than not, is making fun of others; H ● S ● ... and has stupid whims of his own. A● The Principal Goal(s) of a Chomu H ● Waste your time D Get his work done by you while he takes the credit for it ●● U D Principal Symptom S ● Enormous urge to seek instant gratification ● Enormous urge to show off his whims● Vivid examples
OM Suddhasheel! MATLAB mein optimization ho jata hai kya? Yeah! Maybe you can check thesecommands. Wait, let me show you... L . C E E S H HA D Wow! I can get my D thesis U done by S him!!Working with Java Working with MATLAB and C++ + MATLAB doc open
OM L . C E E S H HFast food may be Agood to eat,D it D but S U is junk!Save yourself, stop instantly gratifying your colleagues!
Intellectual gains or botheration …? OM L . C E E S H A Control! H Dont spoon feed! DD Chuck spoon feeding seekers out of the U group!S Save your energy for research, rather than spoon feeding others
Learning, not to spoonfeed, the hard way OM● Helping L . C ● E E Merci Monseiur/Mlle, cetait très gentille! H ● Acknowledgements in their theses.● A your degree? S But, does going out of the way for others give you● Cost? D H D ● Time U The friend can get his/her thesis done by you. S ●
Learning, not to spoonfeed, the hard way OM● Helping L . C ● E E Merci Monseiur/Mlle, cetait très gentille! H ● Acknowledgements in their theses● your degree? A S But, does going out of the way for others give you● Cost? D H D ● Time U The friend can get his/her thesis done by you. S I DO NOT KNOW! ●● Divine Enlightenment? Wastage of time? Say:-
M Suddhasheel! How to reverse O order a matrix without using FOR in MATLAB? I dont know! L . C E E S H HA D Now he would at U D least Google SWorking with Java and C++ Working with MATLAB + MATLAB doc open
OM L . C E EThe laboratoryH A S environment D H U DS
OM L . C E E S HOh! The divine pleasure HA of anonymously browsing the profiles of Beautiful DD babes and Handsome Hunks! S U...and reading non-sensical updates like « Mujhe FTV se apna birthday yaad aaya hai! »
Use, overuse, misuse … decide OM L . C E E S H HA DDS U Your lab mates and co-researchers require / need / deserve an equal share of facilities
OM L . C E E S HThe lab isnt a bathroom or a toilet! Leave A these things at the hostel! H DDS U
Silence!!! This is a lab ... OM L . C E E S H HA DDS UMobile Phone rings Effect after mobile phone rings … and not a discotheque!
My supervisor is an IDIOT! OM Gives NO L . C He knows E NOTHING! attention to me! H E My supervisor gave A me TA and my CPI S Paper lying with H Supervisor for > 5 went less than 8 months The D D Supervisor and YOU U S you could cherish for life … or weep uponA relation
After all he is a human being ... O M Supervisors C● Your priorities ● L . priorities ● Your thesis E ● E Your research H ● Calling up your family ● Your co-researcher(s) S once in a while … research(es) A ● Your girlfriend / ● His project(s) H boyfriend / spouse ● His career + papers DD ● Institute committees His family esp. children U ● S Being more considerate earns you the respect!
Other places vs. IITs Oof M .COther Places in India life and L ● Students run errands Full independence ● ● 24 hrE studies E – 8 hrs / week ● Bringing milk, groceries, taking the access to internet H duty ● ● Supervisor runs errandsS child to the school TA ● A mentor to keep the ● ● Supervisor acts as H student from digressing ● ● ● Writing the students D thesis D Getting it through the ● from his track U doctoral exam panel S
In the lands abroad … and here O inM● Meeting frequency: anytime L .C We can almost walk ● ● 1-2 times a month E E problems Not irritated! H Professional ●● relationship S Personal ● ● HA Need for taking appointments DD S U Theres happiness in appreciating good things Theres happiness appreciating good in life. Welcome to the power of +ve thinking in life. the power of +ve thinking
Bootlicking: The BOOBY trap OM● L . ”YES SIR/MAM!”, to whatever the supervisor says! C ● Never mind wrong or right E E H● The TRAP ● A you and your approach) S Supervisor may start thinking he/she is always right (about H Egos may clash when you oppose ●● Handling DD U ● Tactfully handle / avoid bootlicking (answering how, would S end up in me writing a state-of-art research paper) ● Reject/circumvent any such advances/lures/invitations
M Its a PhD program and not a honeymoon C O● The ”Honeymoon” attitude (of the student) L . Casual approach to the PhD program E E ● I was a good student earlier, so I would do well in the PhD program. H – S – Dont worry, even if I do not work, I would end up doing well! ”Are ho jaayega yaar!” A – Sight seeing (read – aimless web browsing) H ● Love making (read – pointless personal conversations) D ● ”Arey! This is so simple yaar” : Hand waving D ● Aftermath of the ”Honeymoon” U● S ● Kaam ki fikar kar, kaam ka zikar kar, zikar ka fikar kar, fikar ka zikar kar, par kaam mat kar!
Relations with people O M● L .C The Head of the Department: Handle with care● E E Potential misusers of facilities of Labs and the institute: Avoid Chomus: Strongly avoid H● S musings Ahandle with care CPI >= 9.0 Beware of their H● D● Supervisor: Definitely● U D Girlfriend/Boyfriend or spouse and family: You do S not need my opinion
Attention ... OM● Cordiality L . C● No spoonfeeding E E H● Discuss – ideas may arrive from anywhere S● Its your baby, not your supervisors or anybody elses Work! A ●● D H We are all just prisoners here, of our own USB device (with due apologies to the Eagles Hotel California) ● U D Backups! S● Peer fights to supervisor and peer politics ● No! No!
Where we started ... OM L . C E B E Eyes on the goal! S HA HA D D S U Principles, Dignity, Integrity Focus! Like the horse in the race! Focus! Like the horse in the race!
M Our goal isnt this ... C O L . E E S H HA DDS U
But these ... OM L . C E ESecond Narmada Bridge, S H Mumbai urban viaduct Bandra-Worli Sea Link, A Gujarat Mumbai D H U D S Konkan Railways Clover Leaves near ITO, Delhi And of course the Delhi Metro …!