Overview of Mattfabb

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Mattfabb
Sunday, 21 February 2016 at 7:19pm
Tuesday, 22 May 2018 at 6:00am
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Thread: 1 month to go, is this feasible?

posted
22-May-18, 06:03
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posted about 16 hours ago
Yes of course, I handed my thesis in days before the deadline, like pretty much everybody I know.

Think about it this way: you still have 3 months after submission before the viva, and then you will likely have 3 more months after the viva for minor revision. So you could still be working on your thesis for a further 6 months before its really done.

Thread: another thesis writing anxiety thread

posted
09-Apr-18, 12:58
edited about 7 seconds later
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posted about 1 month ago
Quote From anxiouswriter:
Hi
It's not so much that I thought it would be 'easy'. I knew it would be challenging but i expected it to be instantly productive whereas for me its like getting blood out of a stone. Recalling my undergraduate and thesis experience I never found writing difficult. It's more the work that goes into writing which I have 'forgotten'. I've been spending most of the past few years I've been focussing on data collection rather than academic writing. its like fitness; I'm a writing couch potato because I haven't worked out linguistically for a while. So it's only recently I was able to remember the process that leads to writing so reading taking notes organising them into clusters then paraphrasing. that's essentially the writing process for me.
Like you it's almost like once i take in ideas they need to marinade in my head until i know what i want to write.
And aside from this I do find hearing about the processes or formulas that you refer to that people take when writing to be interesting in itself. its one of the creative parts of the thesis an i have a lot of awe when people describe how they go about it



As I said its different for everybody because it depends on the topic at hand, but for me, I tipically have a faint idea at the beginning of what I am looking for, then I go and collect my data (usually qualitative) and then it’s a long slow slog to find out what I want to do with it. I usually end up reading some theory that helps me create broad ‘headlines’ into which I can break down my research object. Usually once I have figured out a way to break down my research object into definable characteristics, then all the relevant passages taken from my data fall into place fairly easily. It’s just a matter of figuring out how to present the whole thing in the form of a straightforward answer to a research question that is created using an established theoretical framework.

Thread: Does every study have to go in the thesis?

posted
04-Apr-18, 23:14
edited about 53 seconds later
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posted about 1 month ago
Does it have value for other researchers? Like - would it make a contribution to the field knowing that whatever you found out that didn't work did not in fact work? Was your hypothesis really obvious? If not, there may be some merit in writing it down, so others may one day look at whaever your were looking for in a different way?

Thread: another thesis writing anxiety thread

posted
04-Apr-18, 19:23
Avatar for Mattfabb
posted about 1 month ago
Hi, I am just curious, what made you think writing would be easy?

As for my opinion, just write something today, set youserself a goal of writing at least 300 words a day, regardless of quality. Take in consideration that you will need to revise it, so it doesent have to be perfect the first time around. As for references, it depends what you are writing about . Your lit review and theoretical chapter will probably have more quotes. Your case study will be explained more in your own words I imagine.

It’s quite hard to give advice on this because it normally takes me age to find out what I want to say, but once I figure it out its not so bad. However there is a certain formula that I follow and that makes it fairly easy.

You have your data - do you have a theoretical framework to make sense of it?

Thread: Money saving tips for students

posted
16-Mar-18, 02:14
edited about 32 seconds later
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posted about 2 months ago
I have some! Dont spend money on drinks, dont eat takeaways, dont buy fancy clothes, dont eat out at all, book trains and planes well in advance, dont shop at fancy supermarkets, visit friends when you travel abroad.

On the plus side: eat healthy food, cook at home from scratch, eat vegetables, drink smoothies instead of coffee, shop at charity shops, go for walks, spend time with the people you love.

Thread: Advice

posted
15-Mar-18, 08:39
edited about 17 seconds later
Avatar for Mattfabb
posted about 2 months ago
Quote From Me_Lg:
Hello, I'm now writing my thesis mainly about flood mitigation in a city. I described a lot about the country and then going deeper to my selected city. Could you give me advice! does it sound good even I talk much about the country above? And I also copied many articles to support my study, is it a bad idea?


As long as it is relevant, you should include information about the country. Say, for example, that you were talking about flood mitigation in Japan. In that case, one should include both general and specific information: what policies and structures exist at a national level, and how are they implemented locally? It makes sense to deal with the broader national level first, because one nation may be more susceptible to floods than another (like, not many floods in the desert, but maybe lots of floods in a island nation like Japan?) and therefore may have developed strategies at the national level.

I suppose what you can do then is to take a city as a case study to then look at how effectively national mitigation policies were applied at the local level. This could be done by looking at evidence of a disaster prevented, or maybe at the failure to prevent a flood?

Thread: In need of advice from those more mature in their academic careers: post-docs or even PI’s

posted
15-Mar-18, 06:21
edited about 38 seconds later
Avatar for Mattfabb
posted about 2 months ago
Quote From pm133:
I am not one for beating around the bush so here is my analysis. Believe it or not the following is an attempt to help you.

First and foremost stop using Twitter, Facebook and any other "social media" tool. They are all, without exception complete and utter poison. Nobody has anything useful to say and you can't trust anything you see there.

Secondly, stop comparing yourself to others. By definition, absolutely nobody is on the same path as you. Comparing yourself with others is guaranteed to cause you problems. Those darling, happy clappy superstars are going to have to stand on their own two feet one day and no amount of cake, support and partying will make that any more pleasant. In other words, they will have to tread the path you are on at some stage. They cannot avoid it. They are BEHIND you in this regard. You mistakenly think they are ahead of you.

Thirdly, stop using the phrase "superstar" to describe other people. There is no such thing as a superstar, a hero or whatever other word you want to throw around. Humans use these words as excuses for their own shortcomings. Isaac Newton and Einstein achieved brilliance but they were not superstars so I can guarantee these people you are referring to are not either. Have any of them cured cancer or any other major disease yet? Have they changed the world by saving millions of lives? Unless the answer to those questions is Yes, they are nothing more than ordinary academics. Perhaps they are very good but they are not superstars by any stretch of the imagination.

Fourthly, you need to address your fundamental problem of severe neediness. Stop looking to others to provide your mental stability and focus on doing it yourself.

Finally, find out why you are not personally satisfied with your own results. This should be a period of your life where you emerge as an independent researcher, a period of self discovery and wakening ultimately revealing a lot about who you really are. Instead of celebrating this you seem stuck in undergraduate dependency mode.


Listen to pm 133. Words of wisdom. What is this crap about ‘superstars’? You seem to spend way too much time comparing yourself to others. It comes through as insecurity! Learn to let go of this, amd you will feel much better about yourself. I am sure your super will also notice the change.

Thread: First year, no confidence in my ability

posted
09-Mar-18, 19:09
Avatar for Mattfabb
posted about 2 months ago
Quote From chantedsnicker:
Quote From TreeofLife:
Hard to say. Could be that you are usually insecure? .


I've never been the most confident person, but I don't remember ever being this bad.

Thanks for the encouragement Bong, it's really helpful to know I'm not alone. I know everyone says that it's difficult in the beginning, but everyone round here seems to be more clued up or have a lot more extra stuff going on - Which probably is't the case. I think perhaps I need to be a bit less hard on myself as long as I'm getting the work done. This week has been a good week and I've got nearly everything ticked off my list, so I should feel pleased going into the weekend.


You didnt say what your PhD is about, so some of what I am going to write may be irrelevant, but in my experience what really boosted my confidence was attending conferences and presenting my research. It made a difference because I found out that I could easily get accepted to conferences, and other people’s presentations weren't mindblowingly great. Everybody was more or less like me, knowledgeable but not particularly brilliant.

I think you may feel the way you do because you need more contact with academics. Right now yiu have no idea of how good you are compared to everybody else. Most PhD students in my opinion think they have to be brilliant, but you don't, a PhD is just the beginning of your academic career, nobody expects you to revolutionise your field of research with your first project!

Thread: Totally fed up

posted
06-Mar-18, 05:32
edited about 1 minute later
Avatar for Mattfabb
posted about 2 months ago
In a sense, it is a good sign that you wish for more independence from your super. I wouk suggst just putting on with it for a bit longer, and think about the benfits of actually having done the PhD.

As for the impostor syndrome. I cant really say anything informed because I am not an expert. Maybe talk to a uni consellor? But in my experience, I always feel like my achievemnts are partially down to luck. One way or the other however, things seems to be working out for me. I was recently awarded a postdoctoral fellowship. It could have been luck, but these things are usually competitive and it was my third try.

I guess what I am trying to say is: be proud of what you have achieved. If your super is so into your work, it must be because he likes you and what you do. Read around this forum, the norm seems to be that most supers are not like that.

My suggestion is to keep working, and in a few months you will get your certificate and from then on you will be on your own: no more supervision, no more feedback. Total academic independence. I am sure you will come to miss having somebody read your work and give you feedback.

Thread: A report after 3 years of PhD without scholarship

posted
18-Feb-18, 11:13
edited about 16 seconds later
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posted about 3 months ago
Thank you Luca

Thread: Make writing fun

posted
27-Jan-18, 16:28
edited about 36 seconds later
Avatar for Mattfabb
posted about 4 months ago
Not sure what you mean by fun,

But I normally first write something down knowing its going to be crap, and that the real writing starts with rewriting.

It’s a bit like this: I dont feel daunted the first time because I expect it to be bad. Then the second time I go back to it I say to myself ‘does this make sense, can I argue against what I wrote here?’

So the game is trying to find faults with the things I wrote before. I am kind of criticising myself. I find it funny that my past self could be so wrong. “What was I thinking!’.

Thats my game.

Thread: Doing postdoctoral research in Japan

posted
27-Jan-18, 16:11
edited about 15 seconds later
Avatar for Mattfabb
posted about 4 months ago
Has anybody had the chance of doing postdoctoral reseach in Japan? How was your experience? What did you like/dislike?

Thread: Going mad?

posted
04-Apr-17, 07:27
edited about 11 seconds later
Avatar for Mattfabb
posted about 1 year ago
A year into my PhD I was sick of reading about my initial topic. One day I opened the door to the PhD room and felt actually sick. I was ready to give up, but my super convinced me to change the focus of my project. It worked, and I got my PhD in 2014.

For me it got to the point where the I was just reading papers for the sake of reading them, not because I was looking for specific info. I now realised I was hoping to find some answers, some clues, because I had no idea of what interested me.

I think maybe it could be a sign? Maybe you're unhappy with you topic or the direction you're going and you need to re-evaluate it? It's nothing to be ashamed of, and it is normal to change your mind about stuff as you mature intellectually.

Thread: How brave were you in starting your PHD?

posted
29-Dec-16, 21:17
edited about 1 minute later
Avatar for Mattfabb
posted about 2 years ago
Quote From blocksof:
I completed the research for my Master's and been reading up in the area I'm interested in ever since, again the proposal is soo niche that it falls under sustainable energy, efficient buildings, micro generation & DNG and electrical engineering. To answer you question on no previous research, I thought PhD was to research new ideas and proposals?


If you want to know my opinion, the problem a lot of people have with their PhD (including me) is that they expect way to much of themselves. You are not supposed to revolutionise your field. You are just making a contribution to existing knowledge. A PhD research project in UK has to be doable in 3-4 years, and realistically speaking, in those 3-4 years you are also learning to become an academic, so you have to attend conferences and teach if possible. Think of the PhD as getting a driving licence. The PhD is just a piece of paper that proves you can do independent research. Your hypothesis must be original, of course, but you are not expected to create a new field of knowledge by yourself. Your examiners would eat you alive at the viva.

So, going back to your point, is there enough evidence out there for you to sink your teeth in? Do you already have enough material to be able to formulate an initial hypothesis? If so, that would be a good starting point!

Thread: How brave were you in starting your PHD?

posted
26-Dec-16, 08:18
edited about 21 seconds later
Avatar for Mattfabb
posted about 2 years ago
No previous research? Or do you mean, you havent done any research yet?

Because if it's the former, then I dont think it's a good idea to do a PhD on it. If it's the latter, then you should start reading. I think in about 2-3 months you shoud be able to gain enough insight in the field to be able to put together a proposal.
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