[Haskell-cafe] PhD at age 45?

Carter Schonwald carter.schonwald at gmail.com
Wed Dec 4 03:21:32 UTC 2013

i second some of these points, quite emphatically.
Well said richard!

On Tue, Dec 3, 2013 at 8:20 PM, Richard A. O'Keefe <ok at cs.otago.ac.nz>wrote:

> On 4/12/2013, at 11:26 AM, Dennis Raddle wrote:
> > 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.
> As someone who has supervised a number of MSc and PhD students,
> let me say "absolutely!" to that.  Quite a lot depends on the
> student, quite a lot on the supervisor, and quite a lot on the
> working relationship between them.  Your supervisor will help you
> with University administration procedures; your supervisor will
> help you look for funds; your supervisor will direct your
> attention to relevant related research; your supervisor will help
> you understand novel technical material; your supervisor will in
> fact be quite a helpful person.  BUT your supervisor is going to
> expect you to take responsibility for your own work and to do it.
> Some of it is going to be really enjoyable, thinking up new
> algorithms or data structures or analysis methods or whatever.
> Some of it is going to be DRUDGERY grinding through getting the
> experimental results to show that your ideas _work_.  And for a
> lot of students, a major thing that will help you get through
> the drudgery is the feeling "This is *MY* project; d--n the
> supervisor, *I* want the results!"
> > 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.
> Health problems need not be an issue.  I can't speak for universities
> where you live, but this one is pretty supportive of people with
> health and disability problems.
> As for what you would really like to do, there's really no
> substitute for talking to people to find out what it's like.
> Had you considered going to _any_ nearby University with a CS
> school and asking around if anyone needs a part time research
> assistant?  That will give you an insider's view of what it's
> like to do research.
> > 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.
> Have you looked at Keng-hao Chang's PhD thesis
> "Speech Analysis Methodologies towards Unobtrusive
>  Mental Health Monitoring"?
> http://www.eecs.berkeley.edu/Pubs/TechRpts/2012/EECS-2012-55.pdf
> His AMMON library might be of course to you,
> but I was thinking that reading a PhD in an area related to
> something you are currently working on might be illuminating.
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