[Haskell-cafe] PhD at age 45?
Albert Y. C. Lai
trebla at vex.net
Tue Dec 3 21:49:49 UTC 2013
I take a tangent to talk not about what age, but about what minds.
Many smart people can solve all kinds of problems but still do poorly in
PhD, most dropping out. Why? Because part of PhD is to find your
problem, and cut it from open-ended to specifically scoped. Many smart
people can solve all kinds of problems, but the problems have to be
given to them.
(Of course, finding your problem is not enough, you still have to solve
it. But you already know this.)
Some thesis advisors can suggest pretty specific problems; some schools
sometimes actually advertise "PhD position: such-and-such specific
project". If you run into one of those, good for you, someone is giving
the problem to you, you're like half-done. But this is the minority. The
majority is more like: the thesis advisor is too helpful and too open,
he/she suggests too many problems and too many variations, so you're
none the wiser. :)
More information about the Haskell-Cafe