Blueroselady's Weblog

I wish you abundant happiness, health & wealth

Reading on Jorge Cham’s work

leave a comment »

Piled Higher & Deeper (PhD) : Life (or the lack thereof) in Academia

His PHD Checklist:
Published in Nature : Done
Make cover of a major journal : Done
Published in Science : Done
Win Nobel Prize : Waiting for a Tick
Sweden, we’re waiting.

Post hoc vs Post-Doc
“The post hoc fallacy: To incorrectly assume that A is the cause of B, just because A precedes B.
e.g. All Professors have PhD, so getting a PhD means we will get a Professor job right?
The post-Doc fallacy: To incorrectly assume that we will have a job just because we have a PhD.”

I guess he is popular because more and more people are doing PhD. Actually, my roommate just asked me why I wanted to do a PhD? I naively answered that “I like studying”.

What are our status?
“The thing is, there are no official rules or guidelines for grad student taking vacation.
You’re not really a student, so you don’t get breaks.
And you’re not really an employee, so there’s no paid vacation.
So what do I get then? Exploited, mostly. ”

This reminds me on a technical talk given by a Nobel Laureate, which contents indirectly imply “what’s the point of my research?”
Cham’s PHD talkes from the road talks about Cancer.
“Over dinner at the Houston aquarium, the grad students let me in on the great secret of cancer research … There will never be a cure for cancer. Don’t tell our sponsor.”

The actual dictionary definition of the word “profess”
1. to lay claim to, often insincerely
2. to receive into a religious order following a novitiate by acceptance of required vows
3. to teach as a professor

Astrophysicist: We stare at the computer so long, we start to see stars anyway.

About the author:
Jorge Cham (born May 1976) is a Chinese-Panamanian post-doc best known for his popular newspaper and web comic strip Piled Higher and Deeper (PhD Comics). He first started drawing PhD Comics as a graduate student at Stanford University, and has since been syndicated in several university newspapers and in four published book collections.

Jorge Cham received his Bachelor’s degree from Georgia Tech in 1997, and earned a PhD in mechanical engineering from Stanford. He subsequently worked at Caltech as an instructor and as a researcher on neural prosthetics.

In 2005, Cham began an invited speaking tour of over 80 major universities delivering his talk titled “The Power of Procrastination”. In this lecture, Cham talks about his experiences creating the comic strip and examines the sources of grad students’ anxieties. He also explores the guilt and the myths associated with procrastination and argues that in many cases it is actually a good thing.


Written by blueroselady

August 17, 2009 at 6:46 am

Posted in book, experience, study

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: