Updates on PhD Life

picture is taken from PhD Comics

In order to be consistent with ‘one blogpost per month’ this year *damn, I was more productive back then…*, I will just write some updates on my PhD life, which is going quite well. I’m halfway through my second year now, and I can say.. I’m back on track, after being a bit lost during the first year :).

#1 Qualifying exam… passed!


PhD Research Proposal – Qualifying Exam from Paramita Mirza

I passed the exam before Christmas holiday started last year, leaving me in a super relaxed mood during the holiday :). Out of the three members of the commission, only one of them was active in the discussion, maybe because she was not so far related to the topic. Almost all of them agree that this was too much as one single PhD topic, someone said I could produce 3 PhDs with it :D. Well, a bit ambitious plan is fine I guess :p.

#2 Work hard, travel hard!

After those paper deadlines, now it’s time to enjoy the travel! ­čÖé I managed to publish 1 long paper in EACL, 1 workshop paper in CAtoCL (EACL workshop) and 1 student research workshop paper in ACL. Gothenburg and Baltimore… here I come! This time my permesso di soggiorno is still valid as well as my U.S. visa, so there won’t be any problem.. I hope.

And ehem.. actually, a couple more days after EACL *I deliberately remove the exact detail on how long I will disappear from the office*, I will visit a polar bear attending his summer school in Iceland, then travel the ring road together :”>

By the way, I just found out that there is one typo mistake in one of my camera-ready papers that will be published. There is one ‘they’ without the ‘y’… I’m missing a ‘y’!! Aaargh.. as a perfectionist I’m sure this will haunt me forever :(. Dear conference organizers, is it still possible for me to add one letter to my paper? Just one single ‘y’, please? *as if they will read my blog*

#3 Six more credits to earn

Yeah, somehow as a PhD student we still need to get the total of 24 credits from courses, 3 credits for each course -_-. I regret it that I didn’t close this issue in the first year, when I had more free time. I earned the last 3 credits without even going to the lectures. Just took the written exam, and I barely passed :p. Unfortunately, some courses need final projects as the requirement to get the credits.

I’ve been postponing to finish *or even to start* one project course because of the paper deadlines, since last year. I wonder if the professor still remembers that I owe him one project to deliver. That is the first 3 credits to earn.

The other 3 credits I still need to collect rely on one professor I know very well, the co-head of my group and my indirect advisor. The problem is… I won’t be able to attend his lectures because of the Iceland trip, sigh. Therefore, I propose to do a project┬á*that he’s been wanting me to do, but was also postponed because of my ‘busy-ness’ :p* in order to get credits. He planned to get an intern do something on the topic, under my supervision, but a PhD student is certainly the better option, right? A win-win solution :). Well, more work for me though.

#4 My advisor will be on maternity leave

…starting from next week! And I’m free! Ups… No, I mean, I hope I’m going to be fine (read: not becoming too lazy) without her supervision.

#5 My PhD life is surrounded by women

Apart from the fact that my advisor is a woman *who is sooo nice, kind, and helpful… will she read this? :p*, and that she’s going to have a baby girl soon, judging from the co-authors of my recent publications you could presume that I only interact with women researchers. Oh, and my office room is known to be the girls’ office.. only girls are allowed :D.

Not that I complain, but there is this research paper about how gender-heterogeneous working groups could produce better science. Although, the paper itself is written by four female authors ;).

#6 Internship?

In my PhD program, every PhD student is encouraged to do an internship abroad, in order to experience the research life out of our usual groups. And the plan is.. during my advisor’s maternity leave I’ll be doing my period abroad, at roughly the same time. It would be a perfect plan! But.. somehow I haven’t got any news yet from my potential employers :(. Let’s see…

If it doesn’t work out, I guess I will just travel around during this summer, hohoho┬á*kidding..*┬á:p

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