(Date: 22.6.2015 – 26.6.2015)
The last full week as a PhD student.
On Wednesday we have another analysis meeting. I present one slide on a proposition for a scheme for installing the experiment’s software infrastructure. Let’s see if it is picked up by anyone. The rest of the meeting some colleagues present their findings and tools. Cool to see other people also liking to share their stuff.
On Wednesday’s morning I travel to Bochum to meet up with the professors which are part of my defense committee. During the previous week we tried to find a common range of time for all appointments, so I don’t need to travel to Bochum three times. Luckily, Wednesday morning emerged as a common timeslot and I meet two of the three Professors I intended to — the third one was ill. In total, my defense committee has five members: My supervising professor (= the first reviewer of my thesis); the second reviewer of the thesis (my choice); the dean; one professor of the faculty more or less close to the topic; one professor more or less further away from the topic. The last three are chosen by the doctoral secretary.
The meeting with two of the latter three professors is quite nice. The dean is an astronomer and gives me some tipps on the presentation and tries to calm my nerves generally. The third, more-or-less-further-away professor, is a solid state physicist who does not know a lot about particle physics. But he worked with CUDA before, so I can explain quite something about my algorithms, the parallelization techniques, our experimental design, and such. Nice!
During the rest of the week I work on my defense talk. The task: Explain your thesis in 20 minutes and 8 slides. Problem: That’s just the opposite of how I usually design my talks. My talks have on average two (or three) slides per minute – one picture per slide to keep it tidied up. Low density. But that will not work for my defense talk. There I need high density. So: Design everything completely differently from usually… Phew! On Thursday, I have my first test talk. Then the second on Friday. Presenting a 250 page thesis in 20 minutes is very challenging, so every spoken (and written!) word counts.