How to PhD

By Dimitrios Peroulis1, Gerhard Klimeck1, Jan P. Allebach1

1. Electrical and Computer Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

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    Phillip Lipinski

    5.0 out of 5 stars

    This was a very informative presentation that really taught me a lot of useful tips on succeeding in a PhD program.  I learned a lot of valuable information on proper communication, being organized and establishing a good regimen, documenting work and keeping track of progress, and how to be successful as a research assistant through networking.  I especially liked how the presentation was split into several sections in which a different professor would discuss their take on how to succeed as a PhD student.  Each professor gave specific examples of good PhD practices and also things that are frowned upon and how to avoid them, which is helpful as I begin my journey in becoming a PhD.  The slides were packed with useful information, some with more text than others, but they were easy to read and helped summarize the key points of each presenter.  The presenters spoke in a professional manner with good speed and their presentations progressed in a logical way that kept me attentive and able to follow along.  Overall, this was a very valuable seminar presentation and I really enjoyed watching it.

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    Arvind Ram Baskaran

    4.0 out of 5 stars

     

    As a masters student, this gave me a better perspective on whether to take a PhD after my master's degree. The entire lecture was split into 3 sections. Starting the lecture by describing the requirements for doing a PhD: dedication, hard work and being passionate about what we do and in contrast giving a gist of the benefits of doing a PhD. Also in the first section, most of it was about what are the key steps that must be taken care before going for a PhD. The research area, about the professor under whom you would wish to do and also about the importance of communication (how clear, concisely are you able to deliver your thoughts). The second section was continued by Professor Peroulis. He explained about the importance of a student-professor relationship and also to form a group (learn from them and also to contribute to their ideas and get critique review from them). Being organized is an important aspect since its going to be a long journey. Also, he explained that it's important to have a balanced life because we can get worn out from social life. The third section was given by Gerhard Kilmeck. He started by explaining the phases of doing a PhD. Also, he explained about the issues faced by students while during a PhD.

    One of the important take-ups from his talk was that it not the importance of that degree but rather the knowledge acquired from that journey. Since I’m a masters student I pretty well knew the field on which I have to do my PhD so I found that particular slide quite redundant.

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    Jacob A Covey

    3.0 out of 5 stars

    This was a good lecture on the experience of being a PhD and how to make the most of it. The element of the lecture that I enjoyed the most is that 3 different professors gave their experiences.  I think that graduate school is something that everyone experiences differently and also something that people struggle to talk about objectively. So the multiple perspectives really brings a lot to the talk.

    I am not a PhD student but having the topic of how to find research projects is still very useful. In my experience having a professor you work with well is just as important as having a topic you like. Also the topic of communication is very important. I find that the emphasis on good communication skills is much more prominent in industry and that in academia this falls to the wayside. 

    My only issue with the talk is that it could be expanded more to deal with its audience. I believe most of the 694 lecture is masters students so reorienting the lecture to address that group would be useful. Rather than having 3 Professors the talk could include a recently graduated Masters student. 

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    Zhesheng Shen

    5.0 out of 5 stars

    Great lecture about what it is like to be a PhD student, and how to be successful as one. I really like the form of this lecture for having for have three different professors sharing their experience. It provides a wide spectrum of opinions from different people.

    Pro. Jan Allebach shared some advice about the things one need to be aware of before becoming a PhD. Although I am not planning to be a PhD, these advices still apply when finding research projects to work on. For example, on how to choose a professor. It really important to find professor whose research topic interests you, as well as his style of working with students suits you.

    It is really interesting that all three of them talked about the importance of communication. I really agree with this point. Research emphasizes heavily on the sharing of ideas. The ability to communicate your idea verbally as well as on paper are basic but crucial skill.

    I hope the professors could also share some of their personal experience about PhD. How did they decided to become a PhD?

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    Lakshmi Anirudh Ghantasala

    4.0 out of 5 stars

    As a master’s student seriously considering continuing into a PhD, this talk was very useful to me. I appreciate having four mini talks in this larger talk, as each of the professors addressed a slightly different aspect of what a Phd means. Prof. Allebach begins with a series of tips and suggestions on how to get through a PhD without an issue. As a master’s student, I have had some experiences in conducting research under a Prof, and it was nice seeing these things explained by a professor outright. For example, he talks about being the ‘Squeaky Wheel’ in the group, making sure you alert your professor when you are stuck. Prof. Dimitris continues the series by explaining what a PhD really is; it’s not an award or prize. The PhD itself has no meaning, it’s about the journey that we go on to get it. He also talks about how much of a commitment a PhD is, and that we shouldn’t burn ourselves out. Having a social life is important!

     Professor Klimeck’s talk laid out much more specific goals that he believes students should achieve before they are ready to graduate with a PhD. These goals progress from simply learning how to solve a problem to learning how to give a presentation and publish a paper to learning to identify useful problems on our own. As a budding researcher, I don’t think I understand my field well enough yet to be able to point out which problem I’d like to tackle, but it is comforting to know that this step is farther along the spectrum than I had imagined (maybe I’m not too far behind!). The aspect of this talk that helped was how Prof. Klimeck describes how the evolution of an undergraduate to graduate occurs; I feel that I am somewhere right in the middle of this spectrum.

    Overall, the information here was very useful, a glimpse into the life of a PhD student. There were parts I have already heard from friends and family who have done a PhD, along with interesting new tidbits that I think any Master’s student would benefit from hearing.

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    Leonardo Luchetti

    5.0 out of 5 stars

    I liked the motivation behind this lecture. It sought to give perspective on what a PhD is and how to determine if it is the correct choice. I like the pace of this talk and the speaker seemed alert and knowledgable about the process of acquiring a doctorate. This was a thorough talk, the speaker brought us through the thought process of getting a doctorate from before even being admitted the the program (ocnsidering graduate areas and professors) to being immersed in a thesis. I wish that funding and grants were discussed a bit more in this lecture but the speaker did touch upon it a few times. It seems like the financial aspect of being a PhD student is an important part of the decision. This lecture brought up points that I had not deeply considered before, including characteristics of disseration research. I found the pieces of advice 'if you are going to fail, don't take too long to do it' and 'don't reinvent the wheel' to be interesting tips that I am trying to remember as I go through my graduate career. It was very interesting to see the mark ups on a real conference paper. This illuminated the fact that even a doctorate student has much to learn from the perspective of their major advisor. I was relieved by the slide stating that phD work should be fun, the image shown on this slide showed a group of students seeming happy to be part of a community of people working on an interesting project.

    I also liked that we got two persectives, one from Prof Allebach and one from Prof Peroulis. Thinking of the phD as a sort of license and the university as a sort of business really grabbed my attention initially. They agreed that students should strive to be a 'squeaky wheel' which made that point of information seem even more immportant to me. Peroulis made a poitn that phD students need to be well rounded and skilled as more than just engineers or mathematicians, there are social and linguistic requirements as well. Professor Klimeck's presentation of Lundstrom's slides were also interesting, especially to see where they overlapped with Peroulis and Allebach's presentations. I liked the quote "young people should find a field that interests them, have an ambitious goal, and pursue it continuously." From Prof Klimeck's own presentation I liked that he made a point of the importance of working as a team, and even being a mentor. He elaborated on the perspective that the university is a bussiness, and as a doctorate student you have customers. I found it uplifting that Professor Klimeck said most employers hire for ability to work in a team, leadership and communication skills rather than technical knowledge.

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    Sree Charan Gundabolu

    5.0 out of 5 stars

    One thing that makes anyone believe in something is when the same thing is considered true by many people, personally, I try to change the aspect of who I am or my personality when enough people have pointed out a specific aspect as a problem. This is how I felt when three professors shared their view on the dynamics of a good and fruitful PhD student and ended up iterating through the same points.

    Professor Allebach points on choosing a professor by considering how they have dealt with students in the past and maintaining a good rapport by talking to them regularly is something I think I need to concentrate on while I aim to find a major professor. His points of doing work which is well documented and being reproducible made a lot of sense to me as I attempted to implement a paper for my project and I know how the lack of proper documentation in the paper needed me to make a lot of assumptions resulting in results deviating from the paper. Another point that stuck to me was how he said one should never be afraid to fail, and the right time to fail is now in the beginning so that one's foundation is strong. He modes a good student as a sponge being proactive in continuously soaking up information.

    The second professor Dr. Peroulis made some interesting topics about PhD and the full form Persevere, Hope and Discuss was funny and sensible at the same time. I liked when he stressed about the importance of staying organized and constantly logging your work so that at the end of a period you can go back through logs and feel you have done significant work instead of just thinking time passed and you made no progress. He also elaborated on the importance of written and oral communication skills and how it is also important to develop interpersonal skills on the way.

    Dr. Klimeck reiterated a lot of points he made in his introductory slides. I like how he differentiates between Bachelor degree, masters degree and PhD degree based on how one views rules and methods. One of the quotes that stuck to me was, if you do not know where you are going any road will take you there. This is something I am going to remind myself when I appear clueless while taking a few decisions.

    Overall, this is a great lecture for future and current PhD students to show what exactly is expected of them.

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    Shakti Nagnath Wadekar

    5.0 out of 5 stars

        Excellent informative and motivating lecture. The lecture gives clarity for the PHD track and address the core questions which we need answers for before starting the PHD and during the PHD. The highlight of the talk was the reference of PHD to 'Persevere Hope and Discuss'. The talk makes us focus on the other 6 aspects out of 8 which we have to learn and be better at to be a successful PHD.

        I found the idea of being a good communicator which is explained in the talk is very crucial and will be utilized in presentations and research paper writing. The work-life balance emphasized is lecture worth noting. The explanation about of PHD stages and organizing career and being clear about your goals is very important and I found it very useful.

        In summary, the lecture was great and encourages us to have clear goals and provides great clarity about PHD.

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    Hari Narayana Addepalli

    4.0 out of 5 stars

    The presentation is very helpful to the graduate students who are starting their PhD's as there were views on How to do a PhD by 4 different professors. 

    The key point that I liked from Joe Allebach's talk is that a good phd student needs to be like a sponge and in absorbing knowledge. His gave valuable suggestions on what a phd student should do in his course of his PhD like following recent journal publications in his area, attending preliminary and final defenses of his fellow phd students.

    I really liked the idea on how Dimitrios Peroulis explains the PhD as Persevere, Hope and Discuss, he explains that anyone who is pursuing a phd has to have perseverance and the dedication to work hard, and should have the ability to communicate his ideas and results.

    Gerhard klimeck's view on research was quite inspiring and interesting, he states to do research in a field one has to define a problem that is critical enough to be solved, solve the problem, then communicate it. I think this presentation should be a must watch for every one who wants to do a PhD.      

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    Chengyi Xu

    5.0 out of 5 stars

    Great lecture for me as guidance for how to get a PhD degree. First of all, I have the same doubt whether should I get a PhD degree as the speaker mentioned and Professor Allebach give some advice about my decision making (like getting the Master degree first). Secondly, the lecturer also talks about how to be a successful PhD student. During the degree seeking period, it takes a lot work to do research, to write the paper, working in the lab, etc. The speaker really gave some good advice on how to be efficient and effective in the period of earning the degree on those tasks. Thirdly, I also understand that it is really important to not only spend all the time on the academic area, it is also important to build some interpersonal skills. We need to communicate with all the fellow student in the same team to be successful; we also need to communicate with the major professor when we have doubt about nearly everything. All those interpersonal skills and the relationship will help us a lot at the end of the day when we graduate. Last but not least, the professors in the seminar all mentioned that it is demanding to get the PhD degree. However, even though it is tough for us to earn the degree, the speakers also give advice about how to reduce the stress and make life easier on this PhD path. 

    Overall, this is a great seminar and I gained a lot from watching the video. Even though some of the advice the professors gave is kind of cliche, it nevertheless gave me some good insights about how to PhD, especially for me who is still trying to make the decision about whether should I get the PhD degree. 

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    Aaron M Barnes

    4.0 out of 5 stars

    I really enjoyed Professor Allebach's perspective on finding a major professor. He compared it to finding a partner for marriage and emphasized that you should consider factors such as how well your working styles mesh when trying to find the right person. This expanded my narrow view of only looking at the problems that professor was working on as the major criteria for evaluating whether or not they would be a good fit. I also enjoyed the practicality of his comments about finding a good dissertation topic. He called attention to the fact that the problem you work on should be novel and important, not just interesting.

    Professor Peroulis had good points about taking ownership of your own PhD experience. This echoed Professor Allebach's analogy of being a "squeaky wheel" to actively control your relationship with your major professor. I think his advice about keeping a logbook and working standard hours is solid and would be very helpful for me to maintain focus and continuously make progress.

    All three presenters emphasized the importance of communication and working in a community. This is an important factor that is often overlooked by PhD students. I think all three presentations helped identify specific reasons for pursuing a PhD. The major one being that it allows you to work on topics that excite you and prepares you to work on very complex and challenging problems.

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    Sarada Krithivasan

    5.0 out of 5 stars

    This is by far my favorite presentation so far, as it struck a chord with me at a personal level. 

    I believe the following points to be of most importance:

    a) Maintaining a daily log of the work that had completed for that particular day

    b) Improving communication skills - this will vastly improve the outreach of your advisor. Morever in my experience, I have found this to be extremely crucial in terms of speeding up the process of productively discussing ideas with your lab mates/advisor etc. 

    c) If you get stuck, read another paper! This was simple advice, but deeply profound. It is so easy to feel hopeless when you're going through a dry phase, but I feel persevering through by sheer hard work will get you out of that

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    Ziyu Gong

    4.0 out of 5 stars

     

     

    Professor Allebach focus mainly on two parts: how to find the right professor for you and how to treat your graduate/doctorate life. For the professor, he listed that the most important should be the research focus of that professor. Only find the areas that you are ‘passionate’ about since ‘you are going to spend years to study in that area’ he said in the lecture. Furthermore, do some research on the professor through their personal website, find out what type of funding does he receives or so. This part is extremely helpful for undergraduates or first year graduate students. Although the material is great, but considering this is not ECE 380, this part of material can weigh a little less for the ECE 694.

    The second part is what I find most useful. Communications is the key of everything especially in academia. Establish an effective social network through communication in seminars, emails or class guarantees a broad options of your job opportunities in the future. Professor Allebach explains how to communicate with others in the seminars is like selling your research project to others. As a first-year phd students who has not attend a single seminar, this material helps a lot in the future.

    In general, this is a great lecture with so many useful advices. I would recommend this lecture to my peers who have not attend this section.

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    Zhi Huang

    5.0 out of 5 stars

    Dr. Jan Allebach gave a great talk on how to pursuit a Ph.D. degree. From this lecture, I learned tons of information. As a second year Ph.D. student, I think it is crucial for me to learn this right now. I will summarize them up in following sections.

    Firstly, as a Ph.D. student, It is necessary to find an advisor, which must have funding and could support you. But what I learned from this lesson underlying that is, a student must be capable to work for a professor, and a student should with same research interests and aims. A student is an employee of a professor, do the work; but also should act as a friend, propose new ideas.

    Secondly, the goal for a Ph.D. student, extrinsically, is to produce a dissertation. But intrinsically, a Ph.D. journey should teach you to think critically, and have a rigorous attitude towards research. Just like what Dr. Allebach said on some other thoughts about dissertation research, Ph.D. dissertation is not trivially reinvent the wheel, but propose a new perspective, or an idea, which no one have done that before.

    Thirdly, Ph.D. journey is not an individual fight. A professional Ph.D. student should be capable to write a good email, reference every citations, and most importantly, should be able to communicate with other people. In fact, I am totally agree with Dr. Allebach's on this idea: Communication is the most important ladder towards success. Without communication and teamwork, you will never build a good network and your road to your own future will be narrowed down.

    Moreover, I also learned a lot from Dr. Peroulis's talk. In his point of view, to be a qualified Ph.D. student, one should get the right perspectives. One of the right perspectives that I found important is, to be close to your advisor. In my understanding, a qualified Ph.D. student should understand his/her advisor's words and thoughts. What I learned from my own Ph.D. life is, always trust my advisor, since he is with decades more experiences than myself. Last but not least, Dr. Peroulis use three words to let us remember how to be a qualified Ph.D.: P for Persevere, H for Hope, and D for Discussion. Without any of these three attitude, one could not survive. But overall, be optimistic: Ph.D. is challenging and fun! That's how I convince myself.

    Many thanks to Dr. Klimeck to organize this talk. I do learned a lot!

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    Qinghua Li

    5.0 out of 5 stars

    This presentation told us the perspectives of how to PhD from two ECE professors.

    If you are still a master student and know nothing about PhD, you can learn the fundamental concepts and steps of getting a PhD. It is quite different from getting a bachelor or master degree. As a PhD, you no longer just learn rules and methods, but more importantly, you will also learn how to develop new rules and methods. (Although I already got the point, giving an explicit example of the difference between Bachelor/master and PhD works will make this part more interesting and impressive.)

    The other key point is, working on a PhD is more like running a business. You should carefully select an interested area, choose a major professor that meets your funding requirement and working style, and develop a good dissertation topic. Furthermore, both professors emphasize the importance of communication. If you have decided to be a PhD or you have already become a PhD, you should not only work well on your own work and research, but also keep in touch with others, such as your advisor, other members in your team, sometimes your customer. These tips will be beneficial to your PhD degree as well as your future career. If you are an international student, it is also important to speak English well.

    Overall this presentation is very useful for all the graduate students.

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    Dingjie Liu

    5.0 out of 5 stars

    In this lecture, 3 ECE professors illustrate their opinions about Phd issues.

    The first speaker is Professor. Jan P Allebach. Besides, he is also one of my academic committee. He starts from "Is Phd right for you?" and then illustrates some issues about Phd. The most impressed part for me is the communication. I have attended group meeting many times. However, I always choose to do my own work after the group meeting. I always don't know what others are doing. So I need more communication with fellow students. Then he says that make a social network. I had some chances to attend conference. Although I always read some related papers, I still do not want to attend such conferences because I want to do my own things. I have never think about the make a social network between student and other professors from other colleges.

    For the second part, it is be described in detail for "What makes a good Phd student".  All the points are correct and concise. For the stages of Phd, some pieces of good advice are also given. So I think we should analysis all of this points and apply them for ourselves. Are we actually qualified for those points? Besides, some websites are given. I clicked some of them and they are useful indeed.

    Finally, time for Professor Klimeck again. In his presentation, he focuses on something more than research and Phd, as before. He is concerning students' career and how to get a good job? That is fine. Because the previous 2 presentations are really complete to answer almost all the questions about the phd issues. By contrast, Professor Klimeck's standpoint is always the "how to success in your career life and what kind of person you should be".

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    Xiaodong Jiang

    4.0 out of 5 stars

    It was a very good lecture about how to do a good PhD student based on three professors' opinions. The opinions are very helpful to me, for example, four different phases during the PhD career: 1)finding a problem; 2) staying on top of the literature; 3)getting plugged into the broader research community;4) presenting your research results to the audience. And it also makes me realize that doing a good PhD student is not just sitting in the lab and producing the experimental results. There is another important ability to develop, which is how to effectively communicate with others and express the research results/ideas to the people in a simple way, and make them believe that you are working on a very important problem and the problem has to be solved. In order to achieve this, the first thing is to improve the English speaking and writing abilities especially for the international students.

    In addition, choosing a research topic that you are really interested in has a very big effect on the PhD career. Because it would be very tough if you want to get a PhD in a area that you are not so motivated and passionate about. But if you are working on the research topic you really like, it would be a wonderful experience to get the PhD degree.

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    Yuhang Zhu

    5.0 out of 5 stars

    Thanks to the Professors to give a great presentation. I just jump out from the speech given by Professor Klimech “You Career Choices after Graduate School and The Most- Neglected…” and I saw a interesting thing that both presentations have mentioned about communication skill. It again proofs that communication is a essential skill to be a PhD student or being successful in Grad school. Moreover, I want to bring some personal opinion that I have on how to being successful as a PhD student. I have learnt it from a very close professor of mine. He told me that the basic and only criteria when he decides whether to approve a student to pass his master degree is whether this student had a thorough understanding on the specific field that he or she chose. However to decide whether a student is able to get the PhD degree is not only to be a expert in the chosen field by also be able to understand the material in other fields or even majors and combine them together. It shows the different ability that should be acquire by a master student from a PhD student. I believe this is also mentioned by Professor Allebach in his presentation and he called it “Be a Sponge”.

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    Xiao Hu

    5.0 out of 5 stars

    This seminar is very important to me personally, since I am a direct-PhD student. And I am very confused during my first semester in Purdue, however, after I finished watch the video of this presentation, things become clearer and I also followed the advices to plan for my PhD study.

                    Professor Allebach first talked about the why choose PhD. He mentioned that PhD is only for those people who fit this ‘job’. Because PhD is difficult, long period, so only interest will guild us to reach the final. Then Professor Allebach talked about the process of a PhD, and what things should we care at the beginning of PhD study (Choosing a major professor, Q.E. etc.). Finally, he detailly talked about the research which is the main job of a PhD student.

                    This presentation is very helpful for a fresh direct student, for the slide, it’s clear, but I have an idea is that Professor Allebach could make a diagram to list all the important moment and things during the PhD period. Because PhD is a long period, so this diagram will be helpful to let us know what the process looks like.

    Overall it has a 5/5 score.

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    Parikha Mehrotra

    4.0 out of 5 stars

    In the presentation, the speaker addresses the important issue of whether Ph.D. is the right option for you? He then talks about what approach should one take after they decide to do a Ph.D. It includes the factors that influence the choice of your dissertation topic.
    It highlights the importance of communication and building a network. It gives several examples of resources to refer to while doing one's research. 
    I especially found the "pieces of advice" very useful. 
    The third part of the presentation talks about the different phases of Ph.D. and what makes a good Ph.D. student.
    Lastly, the speaker talks about how does one prepare their career? and what steps one should take to get there.
     

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    Ahmed Abdelraheem

    5.0 out of 5 stars

    This seminar presents different perspectives of How to PhD? from different remarkable professors. Although four different perspectives were presented by three different speakers, the similarities between their perspectives are quite interesting. The four perspectives (Prof. Allebach's, Prof. Peroulis's, Prof. Lundstorm's presented by Prof. Klimech, and Prof. Klimech's) agrees on the very essence of PhD study as a fine, privileged, and demanding job. You have to be committed, well organized, and resourceful to pursue PhD. Four of them asserted in multiple ways on the profound importance of developing good communication skills and establish an as wide as possible network of acquaintances for not only success during the PhD study but also for the career life that will follow. An interesting note to be pointed out is that although one (as a PhD student) might think that the advisor would want her/him to work around the clock and beat out her/his brains to come up with novel ideas and valuable research, the four perspectives see that you would never make it through your PhD unless you develop a reasonable balance between your social life and your demanding work that might take 60-80 hours/week. It is not only about how hard you can work or how long you can keep working, but also how organized you can be to keep the balance between your life and your work. Also, it is important to mention that four perspectives (although some more than others) considers PhD is fully the student's responsibility and that he/she is the one who should keep track of his work and progress.

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    Nikhil Sunil Chhabria

    4.0 out of 5 stars

    This presentation gave me valuable insight into the life and responsibilities of a PhD student. Professor Allebach provided excellent tips on starting out on the road to a PhD. I particularly liked his point of being a sqeaky wheel. Professor Peroulis' presentation, although brief, was really informative. He provided many useful tips, like keeping a daily log to keep track of your work, and reading as many research articles as you can to expand your knowledge. Professor Klimeck also provided sound advice. Through his presentation, I realized how important communication and networking are in a PhD student's life. All in all, an excellent seminar recommended for anyone looking to pursue PhD.

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    Yeshani Wijesekara

    5.0 out of 5 stars

    Professor Allebach talks about the process of transitioning from choosing to do a PhD to actually starting to do one.  I thought everything he talked about was very important and insightful. He talks about first steps to take once you decide to start a PhD – such as choosing an area and a major professor, choosing a dissertation topic, communicating what you’ve done. I liked his advice about being a squeaky wheel! He says that unless you raise concerns/issues the professors won’t be able to help you, so it is important to do so. He advices to consider the PhD as your job and attend to that job. After Professor Allebach, Professor Peroulis talks about his experience of doing a PhD. He says the one thing to take from his interview is that PhD stands for Persevere, hope and Discuss. Persevere and hope because it will take long but at the end it’ll be worth it. Then discuss mean communicating better so others understand your research. He compares it to spoon-feeding experts and being very clear about the content. The importance of communication seemed to be resonant throughout the video. Then professor Klimeck presents slides from Professor Lundstrom. This presentation focusses on how to be a good PhD student. Then professor Klimeck presents his own presentation. I liked his thoughts on “how to prepare for a career”. He talks about the final stages of a PhD here, which is finding a job!

    Overall this was a very informational video. All three professors had great advice that any graduate student will find useful.

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    Roland N Green

    4.0 out of 5 stars

    Dr. Allebach's insight on being a PhD student was interesting an insightful. I found that his point on choosing a major professor being similar to getting married and interesting and valuable piece of advice. His comments on the dissertation were also useful, as it brought to my mind the point that I should be focusing on what is directly relevant to the field at the present day, and not just interesting in general. Finally, him stressing the importance of communication brought to light ways of getting better, such as taking the may-mester class offer, or joining a club like Toastmasters.

    Dr. Peroulis' presentation on helped to ground some of my ideas of what a PhD is, and what it means for the person that gets it. Bringing up the point, multiple times, that it is not necessary made be reevaluate why I chose to purdue a direct PhD program. His later points on the fact that almost no one regrets getting a PhD, as well as being a "squeaky wheel" (also mentioned by Dr. Allebach), made me reconsider how I was currently being a student, and changes that I could make to get more out of the program. 

    Dr. Klimeck's presentation of Dr. Lundstrom's and his own notes brought more supplemental infomation on finding good problems in research, selecting advisors, and being a good PhD students. It did bring up the new point of being flexible with your degree, and that a key point of getting a PhD is being able to learn, and conduct research at a high level, and not just conduct research on your specific area.

    The largest change that I would make to this having each professor speak on specific areas, or all present their notes on a specific area back to back. While there was great perspectives from different professors in some areas, they were in close agreement in others, and had a high overlap of information.
     

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    Baekdu Choi

    5.0 out of 5 stars

    I'm an MS student at Purdue for now, but I am considering doing a PhD in the future. However, I always had a doubt whether this is a right decision or not, due to many aspects such as, is the minimum 5 years really worth it, or do I actually have the ability to make something meaningful during the years, and so on. Although the answers cannot be directly found just by watching this seminar, it helped me greatly in the sense that it gave me an insight to which questions I should be asking myself to figure our if I am a PhD material and doing a PhD is the right decision, let alone what it really means to finish a PhD. Moreover, it gave me an idea about what doing a PhD actually consists of and what I should be expecting on the way to finishing PhD, as well as how a PhD student should be working while finishing their degree. Even though a large portion of the seminar overlapped with what was given in the classroom of the ECE694 seminar, the portion presented by Professor Peroulis was new to me, and even the parts that I already heard was still helpful to me because I missed some points of the seminar in class due  to my English skills and other issues. One suggestion I could offer is that it would be nice if there was some portion about how a student who just finished their Bachelor's degree could adopt to being a PhD student, since as mentioned by Professor Klimeck, they clearly are required to have a different mindset to succeed, as well as how they should approach to finding what questions to work on for their research, because it was one of my biggest concerns when I became a graduate student.

     

    Baekdu Choi

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    Vichitha Kekanaje Chinmaya

    4.0 out of 5 stars

     

    Through this seminar, I got a picture of what the journey of becoming a PhD is like. It helped me understand that there are a lot of presentations involved and one can get help with the several things starting with language through Toastmasters, Maymester and so on. I really liked Professor Jan Allebach’s advice to go to conferences and to absorb as much knowledge as possible whilst also sight-see and interact with peers. Similarly, I cannot help but appreciate Professor Dimitrios ‘Peroulis’ pieces of advice such as to keep reading and to stay organized while maintaining a log of things accomplished every day. Having worked in a company back in India for about 2 years, I am able to relate to Professor Gerhard Klimeck’s remark on being able to interact or communicate with customers. The overall seminar session is very insightful and helped me get a better understanding on becoming a PhD.

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    Deepak Ravikumar

    4.0 out of 5 stars

    The seminar has three presenters, Professor Allebach, Peroulis and Klimeck. I really liked the presentation style of Allenbach, straightforward and clear cut. The audio visual explanation “squeaky wheel” clearly puts across the presenters’ key motivation behind the squeaky wheel. The key take away that all of the presenters stress about is communication and how utterly fundamental and basic it is for PhD’s to be able to effectively communicate their work.

    There are other interesting ideas presented especially important for master’s students who are considering a PhD. The idea of the “PhD Business Model”, the expected work ethic and the skill set that one develops through the time spent during a PhD. To quote, “You don’t get a PhD you become a PhD”.

    However I felt that each speaker deserved a separate video on their own. It is definitely worth watching at least twice, especially when one is considering a PhD application. It gives a sense of how much work is involved in "becoming" a PhD and what is expected of a PhD student.

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    shuhui tang

    5.0 out of 5 stars

    This seminar is pretty useful and I hope I listened to this before I applied to graduate school. It gives you some details on if you should choose to do PHD and how you should choose professors, how to get fundings, etc. As a graduate student, this seminar tells you some little aspects about dissertation and also how to communicate better with your professors and fellow students, One thing I find especially useful is that how you can and should find resources to understand your research better and get more perspectives from attending all type of seminars and read paper online. Both Dr Peroulis and prof allabach emphasizes the fact that you should motivate yourself instead of being pushed by your professors. Prof kimeck talks about some traits that good phd should have and how to prepare for them.

    Some of the content are repeated but they are not redundant, it's just trying to show how important those points are.

    Overall I would say this seminar is worth watching.

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    Benjamin R Nold

    5.0 out of 5 stars

    I really liked Allebach's presentation. He had some good insights and advice that I have not heard in a typical "welcome to graduate school" presentation. He made it clear why making connections in graduate school with my peers is important and gave advice on how to make those connections, such as joining a professional society. I appreciated that he gave resources for improving public speaking skills that are available at Purdue.

    I found it interesting how Dr. Peroulis communicated the idea that if you're stuck or bored, go read another journal paper. I also thought his advice about being organized and to keep a daily log are two things a young graduate student might forget about.

    Dr. Klimeck really dove home the points about the "Most-Neglected items in your Career Development." The thought of writing a draft letter of recommendation about myself makes me seriously think about my contributions in my lab.

    I saw a pattern from the presentations that I take to be the most important advice: learn how to write well, learn how to give a speech, and learn your research area. It was reassuring to a young graduate student that the professors would rather a student come to them sooner than later if they were stuck in their research. But again as Dr. Peroulis pointed out, if you are stuck, at least read another journal paper!

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    Rasika Kalwit

    5.0 out of 5 stars

    This is a great seminar about how you can achieve your goal of being successful PhD candidate. Most of the undergrad or masters students are confused not knowing if they are suitable for a PhD program. The presenter brings up good points about suitability of student- professor working/research style and suggests working with multiple professors to see if your style matches with the professor you want to work with. It’s a great advice for masters or new PhD students as they can explore what a department has to offer and decide on their PhD track. But on the other hand presenter also makes a good argument against it, as in all practicality, the decision to work with any professor is steered by funding scenario and honestly it makes sense. The presenter talks about how is it important to communicate effectively and be self-motivated and organized while pursuing your PhD. Overall a great presentation which can help to self-assess in case you are not sure if you have the qualities to become a successful PhD candidate.

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    Weifeng Xiong

    4.0 out of 5 stars

    A great seminar helped student to clear up their mind. For whom most likely to pursue a PhD, this presentation provides very detailed instruction and advices to start a PhD life. For whom is currently a PhD student, this presentation offers lot of great hints to help the student be a successful PhD. For whom is not sure whether PhD is a good choice for him/her, this presentation shows deep interpretation for "PhD" to help the student know more about it.  

    There are quite some interesting points in this presentation that impressed me a lot. Professor Allebach mentioned about that a PhD student should be a squeaky wheel. It is so important not only for a PhD, but for all the work we are working on. Professor Klimeck said we should become a PhD, should not to get a PhD. It tells us that the progress we've been made,the process that changes us during the research work are really the key part during the PhD life.

    Overall, the presentation offered by the professors is very good. It helps me to have more concerns about future plan.

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    Taegyu Kim

    3.0 out of 5 stars

    Personally, many points are just  cliche. But, still, it indicates several points that I can easily miss. Out of many points. I guess I have ignored the importance of communication  and writing. It pointed out such points.

    However, there are several parts that can be improved. 

     

    1. Organization

    I know this is written by separated people. But, the presenter can summarize their points into one. Then show such points in a more organized way. It could be easier to understand. 

    2. Redundant materials

    There are several redundant materials. For example, "stages of a Ph.D. student career". That is not practical at all. All people forget it. I think the lecturer does not need to spend time on such staff.. Also, Few Pieces of Advice? this also everybody knows it. Other than there are too many cliche parts. I would recommend you to focus on more practical things. 

    3. The last chapter of  the downloadable PPT has some formatting problems. It would be better to modify it. 

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    Yen-Sung Chen

    4.0 out of 5 stars

    Three individual yet strongly related talks on "How to PhD".  Though all of them are insightful, Professor Allebach's sharing on how to participate in the professional groups like register to be a member of your research society and reach out in the social event like conferences are practical. And the image that shows all the versions of documents that he and his student "produce" really shocked me as a direct PhD - I now have the rough idea of how much rigorousness it takes to get things done.

    All in all, after watching this presentation, I think the most important ability that I lack to acquire a PhD degree is communication - not only for the reason to talk or write in a foreign language - but in a professional and interesting way to make others who may concern to notice me and being attracted by my work. I am now seriously considering taking some workshops or other methods to work on that.

    It's great to have this talk as a opening to this semester and my long PhD student career. Looking forward to other seminars on ECE 694. 

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    Steven Rausch

    5.0 out of 5 stars

    This lecture helped clear up some concerns I personally have about pursuing a PhD. Professor Allebach brought up good points about finding a advisor professor and suggesting that my current plan of obtaining a Master's first, and waiting to consider if a PhD is right for me. A lot of his points also fell in line with the CITI(Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative) Program that the graduate office has us complete before the end of the semester. I particularly liked the idea about being a "squeaky wheel."

    Professor Peroulis gave a lot of really good personal advice about balance and key skills that are needed to be a successful PhD (Persevere Hope and Discuss).

     

    I believe overall, this was a very anecdotal and personal advice from the professors perspective on how to be a successful PhD/Master's student. This lecture actually did help me clear up some concerns that I actually had about where I stand with my education.

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    Abdul Jaleele Hosawi

    4.0 out of 5 stars

    One way this seminar can be described, is that it a roadmap towards PhD.I have a feeling that view this seminar once is not enough, so it's good to return here with each new stage in the PhD.

    Interestingly, the how to PhD starts with a question of Is..it.. worthy! which is smart way of pushing someone to rethink and re estimate the decision of going for PhD.
    The seminar very successful opens my eyes to realize some very practical issues that are difficult to find in books or other sources. Professor Jan P. Allebach emphasizes the roles that follow students can play in supporting their colleagues. Especially those who are new to the PhD world and usually have many questions.
    I like how Professor Dimitrios corrected the meaning and the aims of earning a PhD that some student may have. He specifically emphasizes taking advantage of the experience during the journey of the PhD not the certificate at the end. Communication is a consensus point that all speakers pointed out, in particularly for international students how needs to learn how to communicate both the language and culture.

    Professor Klimeck addresses some critical points such being strong and responsible. He also put together the most important steps of doing a PhD. I really appreciate the very valuable advice he and all the other speakers offered. In futures, I which some main topics such as writing dissertations, given presentations will be a separate in a full seminars after matching audience needs and desires.

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    Naif S Almakhdhub

    4.0 out of 5 stars

    Excellent overview of how to succeed in a PhD program. All professors did a wonderful job emphasizing different aspects overall. I appreciated Prof. Allebach's explanation of funding is and how it affects the areas a student might work on. The best point to me by far was showing the review process of writing a paper.I think it is quite often that a PhD student would be frustrated or depressed if they were not informed that their work will have many revisions as shown, or that graduate school is much more competitive than the level competition of in undergraduate school. Showing such examples is of great help in my opinion and might be as important as any advice given in all the seminars.

    All of the presenters gave really clear points, with Prof. Peroulis focusing on the current planning of the daily like of a PhD student and Prof. Klimeck emphasizing the importance of future goals after finishing the degree.

    It is a great seminar and my sincere thanks to all the professors for putting the effort. If there is a suggestion I would make is that I hope more real life examples would be provided (e.g. like the paper revision shown by Prof. Allebach). Tell us your story and how you decided your area of research, what difficulties you faced and how you dealt with them? How did you find your advisor? etc. 

    My thanks again for all the presenters. 

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    Anamitra Bose

    5.0 out of 5 stars

    Great lecture which provides diverse yet comprehensive advice on what it takes to be a successful PhD student. The idea of having multiple professors provide their perspective helps a lot, especially given the diverse backgrounds of the professors.

    Professor Allebach's input on funding is particularly relevant as a lot of the long-term research expectations of PhD students is definitely influenced (at least to a certain extent) by the type and source of funding provided by their advisors. Another important topic addressed by Professor Allebach is the distinction between research styles (open-ended vs. prescribed) which should be adapted to suit the learning style of the student conducting research. Professor Peroulis provides solid advice on the semantics of the daily day-to-day life of a successful PhD student, especially the importance of communication and interpersonal skills and the necessity for organization and overall development during the course of the student's graduate career.

    Overall, this lecture provides very honest and helpful advice which is applicable throughout the course of a PhD student's graduate life, both personal and professional. This lecture is especially beneficial to first-year PhD students who are uncertain about what it takes to be a successful PhD student. 

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    parthiban rajan

    3.0 out of 5 stars

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