We're a little crazy, about science!

Day 79: QE update

day 79 - presentation

As promised from last post, I have an update regarding my QE. This will be brief, but there are a few final things I need to get done before I can do my presentation so let’s talk about that!

So last post I mentioned that I was getting ready for my qualifying exam (QE) and what that entailed. One thing I didn’t talk about was my QE committee. Like the rules for the qualifying exam itself, the rules for the committee are set by the department. In my case the rules are pretty simple. First, I needed three professors including my PI (principle investigator, the person who runs the lab). Second, the chair of the committee needed to be someone who wasn’t my PI. Lastly, my committee needed to be comprised of people who were not only knowledgeable on my topic, but from the department.

Fun fact! Those rules change when I do my dissertation. For example I need five committee members, two can be from outside of the department and one can be from outside the school (from industry).

Now back to the topic at hand, today I went over my presentation with my PI to get his approval and it went well. There are a few things I need to modify, but nothing major. This means it is now time to reach out to my committee and get them all to agree on a day and time to meet so that I can do the presentation. I don’t like to think that I am someone who is easily stressed (or at least easily stressed by public speaking), but this is super stressful.

To further complicate things, getting my committee together is like herding cats, I can suggest a day and a time, but it will take weeks to hear back from someone to confirm (if I hear back at all). In some cases, even multiple emails will go unanswered, so the time prior to the QE is very stressful and chaotic on top of the actual day that I do the presentation. So yeah, fun times!

I’m fairly certain I have a good topic for tomorrow, but it’s going to be a surprise.

Until next time, don’t stop learning!

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