Hot answers tagged

106

Absolutely! I had 5 copies bound - Me, my supervisor, my parents and two for the library (these last two were a requirement).


98

"It didn't work" is not a thesis. However, "this is what I made, this is how I tested it, these are the results of those tests, this is how I attempted to fix/would attempt to fix in the future", etc, can be just fine, even if the ultimate conclusion is that your device isn't currently functional. Undergraduate theses are typically fairly ...


94

I suggest that you remember that you are evaluating the work, not its author, or the supervisor, or the university. Give it an honest evaluation, based only on what you see before you. If it doesn't measure up to your standards, then say so. Say why. Make suggestions if you have the time. But honesty is required. One of the reasons, actually, for ...


90

I would suggest reading through it one more time for pleasure. Savor the writing you labored so hard on, marvel at just how much work has gone into this, and reflect on where you are now compared to where you were when you started this labor. To abuse the poetry of Genesis: And the student saw every thing that they had made, and, behold, it was very good. ...


73

It is possible to get a PhD without writing any papers; the formal requirement is of writing a thesis, and many people do just that. So I think the formulation of your question is a bit misleading. But cutting to what I think is the actual intent behind your question rather than the specific choice of words, the answer is almost certainly that you cannot get ...


73

I'll assume you already have language that indicates your support. Don't give up on that. But, ask him for two things. First, that he only asks for feedback once a week (or whatever you are comfortable with) and add a report on changes and why they were made. Second, ask him to specify in the report things he is unsure about and to detail why he is unsure. ...


66

Whether it is allowed depends on the specific regulations of your university, but your advisor proofreading your thesis and offering suggestions is quite common. I would consider not having a proofreading round to be lazy on the part of the advisor. Keep in mind that the examiner can still have the initial reading influence the grade. Somebody who submits a ...


64

This sounds pretty extreme, even for the "sink or swim" school of education. If you can meet the extreme standard without going crazy you will probably turn out ok, if a bit of a workaholic. But the road will be hard and painful. But, given your sense of it, you should probably move quickly to the exits. Not everyone is like that. Some of us ...


58

Most publishers I know explicitly permit (pre)publication of papers as part of a thesis. For example the copyright policy of Elsevier (the publisher you used as a tag) states: Authors can use their articles, in full or in part, for […] [i]nclusion in a thesis or dissertation (provided that this is not to be published commercially) Going by this, everything ...


54

Clearly your advisor thinks well of you and thinks you are ready to move to the next level professionally. You both missed the issue at an earlier stage. Had he found it then he might well have pointed you to a fix rather than providing it. He is probably as pleased as you are that a fix was possible. So thank him for support and guidance (perhaps "...


50

This answer does not respond to subsequent edits to the question. If you submitted a thesis with plagiarism, the typical consequence would be expulsion. You would not get a degree. The good news is you didn't submit it yet, so there might be no consequences. Can you still change your thesis? You need to ask your supervisor. You have admitted there was ...


44

Yes, it is possible. The institution doesn't matter. The advisor doesn't matter. What matters is the content (and correctness) of the paper, along with a judgement about its "novelty". Those judgements will be made by reviewers and editors, independent of where the paper originates. Good writing helps, of course.


41

The obligatory journal publication of scientific work done for a degree, no matter what (think: "publish or perish") is a fashion that spilled over from the US to Europe and especially Germany around the late '80s-'90s. Before that, people bothered only publishing work that they felt was outstanding, and sometimes not even that. I am aware of work ...


41

The issue here is not citation, it is correct reporting. If a method varies from the cited version, the appropriate thing is to say something like "Method from FrozzBozz et al.[73], modified by change of RPM from 3000 to 6000, growth media from LB to M9, and phase of the moon from new to full." But did the method actually differ? Now, there are ...


38

Things like that happen. (Also, as mentioned in the comments, you might be wrong on the reason of their behaviour.) Close mentoring Assign meetings, say, weekly. Make it very clear, you want to see some progress each meeting. Steer the student in the right direction in each meeting. You'd need to define their topic, the extent of work, etc. early on. No ...


38

Of course, slide presentations are a very recent development. Even the humble overhead projector didn't exist when I defended. We wrote with chalk on a slate like material. Yes, you can do a presentation without slides. In some ways you can make a better presentation unless you are very skilled with slide creation. Most slide presentations are incredibly ...


36

You can only publish email correspondence in your thesis if all people involved in the email communication agree. Anything else is highly unprofessional and also unethical. On the other hand, if you have clearly demonstrated that the manuscript had an error, there is no need to add those email. You could write that this has been confirmed by the author and ...


36

Congratulations! It's very likely that you have a sort of tunnel vision right now and are probably not in a good position to proofread it effectively. The most useful thing you can do is double check all your submission criteria: when, where, what other documents do you need, how many copies, do you need to print it etc. Also, I would make sure it has the ...


33

External examiner = independent, disinterested, and candid expert Universities engage external examiners in order to add the legitimacy of disinterested expert approval. Since the independence of the external examiner is a vital criterion, it is essential that the university not be allowed to dictate the terms on which you, as this disinterested expert, ...


33

I think the key here is your insistence on “trying to be polite and nice” and telling the student “politely”. I can’t say for sure, but I’m guessing your desire to be polite is getting in the way of clear communication. I’ve seen this happen with people who are so afraid of upsetting others that a lot of the time when they want to communicate something it ...


33

Use "we" when referring to something you did as a team, and use "I" when referring to something that you did by yourself. That is what these words are for. Using "we" and "I" consistently in this way helps to make clear what your contributions were, and this is often exactly what the jury wants to find out during your ...


28

Let me start with a quote from Good scientific practice for scientific qualification reports and theses in physics (German version). These are recommendations are published by the conference of German physics departments, whose prime purpose is to coordinate teaching and thesis standards. This document is specific to physics (and makes this point itself) but ...


27

There is no predicting personality without close study, but if the person is a true scholar they will welcome an advance, even if it refutes something they did earlier. No, hostility isn't an unreasonable possibility. But whether it is likely depends on the person. Impossible to say how likely. You are in a better position to judge, knowing them. Are they ...


27

For the International System of Units, the units of measurements are defined by the SI brochure. For the degree, unit of plane angle, and the degree Celsius, unit of Celsius temperature, the SI brochure at p. 133 and at p. 149 uses a circle and not a zero. However, at table 8, the circle is rendered with an "o" (probably they didn't have the circle ...


26

As you (presumably) continue down the academic career path, you will be buffeted by all sorts of "helpful suggestions" that span the range from ignorable noise to microbullying by those in positions of authority over you. Editors wanting picky little formatting edits, some good some bad. Reviewers with weird comments. Granting agencies and ...


24

Properly credited, posting a piece that fills in all the details of a published paper (or thesis) should be fine. Indicate clearly that the ideas are not your own - that you are just hoping to help others read the original work. You should probably write the person who did the original research, thanking them for their theorems and telling them what you ...


23

I had three personal copies made, although at my own expense, but it was offered as a normal option during the thesis submission paperwork with the graduate division. In fact, at least one colleague from another university was required to have multiple copies made and submitted to the university library.


23

The convention in pure math is to list authors in alphabetical order. Since this is generally known inside pure math, readers will not draw any conclusions from the author order about the relative importance of contributions. In fact, my impression is that most pure mathematicians prefer to avoid discussion of relative importance of contributions altogether, ...


22

The naive answer is yes. All you have to do is convince a panel that what you did warrants a PhD. This will be different for each school/department/panel/student. Typically this requires contributing something novel to the field. Something novel does not have to be a research paper. A couple examples: A colleague wrote a review where he extracted related ...


20

There is no need to reproduce your entire raw data in your thesis (or any other publication). Your publication should describe some abstract properties of your data, discuss your analysis, and present your results. As a rule, if a table spans more than two adjacent pages, it is too large. Ask yourself: What is the point I want to get across by presenting the ...


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