How to Finish that Damn PhD - Daniel M. Berry
Daniel M. Berry got his B.S. in Mathematics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York, USA in 1969 and his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, USA in 1974. He was on the faculty of the Computer Science Department at the University of California, Los Angeles, California, USA from 1972 until 1987. He was in the Computer Science Faculty at the Technion, Haifa, Israel from 1987 until 1999. From 1990 until 1994, he worked for half of each year at the Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, where he was part of a group that built CMU's Master of Software Engineering program. During the 1998-1999 academic year, he visited the Computer Systems Group at the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. In 1999, Berry moved to what is now the the Cheriton School of Computer Science at the University of Waterloo. Between 2008 and 2013, Berry held an Industrial Research Chair in Requirements Engineering sponsored by Scotia Bank and the National Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). Prof. Berry's current research interests are software engineering in general, and requirements engineering and electronic publishing in the specific.
After detailing his qualifications to give advice about finishing your PhD, Berry
- describes what makes a good PhD thesis topic,
- suggests ways to find a good one and
- explains why and how to scope it,
- outlines a good PhD thesis,
- cautions against procrastination,
- gives ideas for improving your focus, but
- reminds you to also get a life, and
- insists that you need to know when you are done, and
- encourages you to confront your fears
- about your abilities and
- about the exams that you need to pass.
Expect to have your socks knocked off.