Sunday, May 18, 2008

It doesn't have to be useful

This really was meaningful to me today:

You have no obligation to write an important or even useful thesis. Sometimes students set out to write this all-encompassing break-through thesis and then fail because they try to accomplish too much at once. Very few researchers achieve fame because of their dissertation work. Try to write a good dissertation, not a great dissertation. Further, don't insist on writing a useful thesis. Your primary goal is to get a Ph.D. , not to change the world. There is enough time for changing the world after your dissertation when you have less constraints about what criteria your work has to meet. --Matthias Schonlau

Just what I needed to hear.


Marmee of Bear Meadow said...

I appreciated what Schonlau said, too. I hope I'm not stretching it too much by "taking home" the idea that "great" is often the enemy of "good." I know I need to focus on doing the small, good thing for the moment, not worry about doing great things. By the way, are you working on another PhD?

Lynellen said...

well, i'm working on my second attempt at a phd in computer science.