[Haskell-cafe] PhD at age 45?

Dennis Raddle dennis.raddle at gmail.com
Tue Dec 3 22:26:36 UTC 2013

Hi Andrey and list,

All replies have been helpful. I realize my question is vague, and that's
partly because I don't know what area within CS interests me. I may have to
do at least an MS to find out.

I've been struggling with health problems for many years, so my work in
programming has been part-time, minimal, and not very interesting to me.
I'm not in a good position right now to determine what I would really like
to do.

I can say that my favorite class in college was discrete mathematics. And I
can say that I enjoyed learning Haskell, which I am in the process of
teaching to myself for personal projects.

Oh yeah--I do have some personal projects. One of them is making animated
videos to teach algebra, which I am doing in Haskell.

And I can say that I enjoy teaching a lot. Maybe I should become a high
school teacher!

Right now I have a small gig teaching Python and numpy to a local
psychiatrist who wants to write software for voice analysis. He is a smart
guy, but of course we are starting at the beginning. It's quite pleasureful
to see things click in his brain. We are working on just basic ideas, like
organization of code into functions and modules. He previously dabbled on
his own, and ran into problems with disorganized code, so he really
appreciates the ideas I'm presenting.


On Tue, Dec 3, 2013 at 1:51 PM, Andrey Chudnov <achudnov at gmail.com> wrote:

> Dennis,
> I think it would make sense for you to try and flesh out the details of
> the kind of "work that interests" you. I'm sorry, but what you have right
> now seems to be quite vague. I remember you mentioning that you wanted to
> teach in your previous post. So if that's really what you want, you don't
> have to have a PhD (although, of course, it's better to have one). I know
> several teaching professors (yeah, that's the term we use for the
> professors that don't engage in research) that don't have a PhD (only MSc)
> and are great at what they do. So, if I were you, I would try and look for
> adjunct professor positions: if you are good at teaching, the absence of a
> PhD probably wouldn't matter; if you are not, it's not like you would have
> a lot of time in grad school to work on that anyway.
> Also, "good pay" is generally not an attribute of academic jobs.
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