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Awkward presentation - opinions?

======= Date Modified 27 Jun 2012 17:33:23 =======

Quote From Noctu:

Sounds as if your actual presentation wasn't awkward, but you had awkward examiners!

I agree with the previous poster, maybe next time be (nicely) clear that the points they are interested in are contained in later slides. (It's not easy to think on your feet like that when you're put on the spot, though)

Yeah, I would; should I be firm? Because some of the examiners were insistent on me showing X, Y and Z where I haven't even show A, B and C. :/

Try not to take it too much to heart, IMO they were being unfair to you.

Aw, mate. Thank you. I was a bit upset with it really :/

An examiner, who was not examining, but just watching the presentation, said to me that, I did a lot of work and it was a good job.

Awkward presentation - opinions?

======= Date Modified 27 Jun 2012 17:26:31 =======

Quote From hazyjane:

It's awkward when people interrupt and pre-empt what you plan to say later on. But you are allowed to stand your ground - it's quite reasonable to say 'I will go on to talk about topic X in a few slides, but first I want to lay the foundations by describing Y'. Striking the balance between sticking to your plan and being responsive to the audience can be a challenge, but remember that it's *your* talk and you should be in control of the order etc.

Yeah! I should have said this! :/

I could have just said; "Urm, one moment please; just let me finish this one and we could go to that slides" :/

It's my first PhD colloquium so I didn't know what to expect.

Quote From hazyjane:
Did you do a trial run with anyone before showing it to your examiners? It can be a good idea, especially showing it to someone who is a little detached from your topic, as they can comment on clarity and order etc. It may well be that your presentation might have benefited from being organised differently, but I think the examiners were a little unfair to keep interrupting you and throw you off course.

I did but. But it was just brief. I just explained my layout to my main supervisor; but my co-supervisor wasn't there and we just communicated through email.

Awkward presentation - opinions?

So today, I presented my work in front of these 3 examiners using Powerpoint slides.

On the first slide, I presented the overview of the concept that I was working on. Suddenly, one of the examiners quickly wanted to see my references, which of course would be on the last slides, so I had to scroll down to the last slides and show them the references. After they were happy with that, I went up back to slide 1 and proceeded to explain my outline, definitions and problem statements on slides 2-4. Once I reached slide 4, one of the examiners wanted to know subtopic X, which was on slide 9 (very eager to know subtopic X I guess). But in order to explain X, I needed to go through slides 5-8 first, if not the flow of the presentation would be disconnected. Since they were so eager to know subtopic X, I skipped slides 5-8 and jumped to slide 9. Some valuable information and findings were lost because I skipped slides 5-8. When they asked me questions on some topics, I needed to show them slides 5-8 which were skipped because one of them were so eager to see subtopic X on slide 9.

At the end of the presentation, one of the examiners said that my presentation was not organized and I didn't define the concept and the concept should be defined first.

The heck? :/

I've already defined that on the 2-4 slides and since they kept on asking me to jump here and there, of course it would look disorganized.

Am I in the wrong here?

*If I'm not clear, I'm really sorry. A bit tired really from all the work done :/

Do you argue with your lecturer and supervisor?

======= Date Modified 18 Mar 2012 18:45:00 =======
======= Date Modified 18 Mar 2012 18:42:20 =======

Quote From joyce:

Lectures are public places and I would not argue in front of a whole class of other people, that, I think, would be rude and a bit confrontational and not constructive at all. However a private meeting might be possible, perhaps you could ask to see them to discuss the lecture and you could then voice your own views on the subject in the context of the whole lecture. Argue is perhaps the wrong word, debate is more the tone you should adopt, because they deserve respect.

Yes. What I meant was, argue as in constructively say something that is found wrong, and give an opinion.

But I noticed some lecturers don't like it! =/

Quote From joyce:

I think the same goes with supervisors. Supervisors are not there to tell you what to say or think or write, but are there to guide and support. They too deserve respect, but you should be the expert in your area and therefore should know more about your particular bit of the subject than they do. However they will debate points with you, that helps you refine your ideas and can highlight areas that you need to consider. It isn't a contest with you on one side and them on the other (in the vast majority of cases anyway) they want you to succeed and will therefore try to make sure that all the 'i's are dotted and the 't's crossed. treat such meetings as a secure place within which you can experiment with ideas about your area with those who are sympathetic to you.

Neither lecturers or supervisors are your enemy, they should not be treated as such.

Very true. But how about the lecturers that won't listen to constructive comments or always thinks he's/she's right? Should we just play suck-up or be a parrot and nod as if nothing' s wrong? =(

Also, there are lecturers that won't admit that they are wrong, in fact, re-divert the error to the particular student(s) and saying that they are the one who made the mistake =/

Do you argue with your lecturer and supervisor?

I mean constructively argue? If you were to be sent to a class to attend, would you argue with the lecturer if you found some of the facts are wrong and need to be addressed? Same goes with the supervisor?

If lets say that during a presentation, the person who's asking is insisting a question that is obviously wrong to be answered, what would you do?


Doing a PhD with an SV that specialized in a different field

I will be doing a PhD soon with an SV that has a different field then what I'm going to work with, would that be advisable?

The PhD that I'm working is something related to education and the SV has almost 2 decades worth of teaching experience so I might find his input valuable. The only concern that I have is that his PhD is in an unrelated field, and his research interest would be different as well, but his willing to supervise me. Would the be ok or advisable?

Has anyone done their PhD with an SV that has a PhD unrelated to your own research interest?

Proposal is not 'Sciencey' enough?

Quote From hazyjane:

Well it depends on your academic background. And theirs. If your background is in pure sciences then it might not be a realistic undertaking for you to do that project. And if they are pure science/engineers then they're not well suited to supervising it. If there's a funder they might have particular requirements too. So it might be a valid research proposal, but just not right for the set of people involved.

Fair point.

You might be right, and if you are, it would be a bit hard for me to swallow to be honest =/ (Well, you know, after all the research that had been done).

But if it's for the best, then I'll let it be.

Proposal is not 'Sciencey' enough?

Quote From hazyjane:

======= Date Modified 02 Feb 2012 14:15:28 =======

Ok, so you've identified a problem in an industrial process, and your hypothesis based on preliminary research is that the problem stems from upstream failures in education/training.

If you wanted to explore/address that problem further then a scientific approach could be:
- evaluate the features of the current educational approach. Identify specific weakness
- design an alternative approach
- trial the alternative approach and compare the outcomes with those of the standard approach to see whether it makes any difference.

That would be a *scientific approach* to addressing that question. But it's not one that would require/develop biomed or engineering skills as much as educational theory and social sciences techniques. It would also be a complicated study to conduct and might not be possible within the time frame of a PhD.

I'm guessing that either your proposal lacks the structure of a scientific approach to a problem, or would require skills or applications outside the remit of your field. But you should ask for clarification from your supervisors.

Thank you. I think that would be the argument of the panel; it's not biomedcy (enough) but more towards educational theory/social sciences. So, if that assumption is right, I don't see what's the real problem now really =/ The way I see it, if the assumptions holds, they want me to do something of a pure biomedcy, which is rather strange and a bit unfair really. If there's no problem with the research, and the argument now is just that, it's not 'pure' enough, I just don't think it's fair to even present the arguement to the candidate. But, that's my opinion of course. I might be wrong =/

I'm holding asking my supervisor since I'm waiting for the response from the panel whether to accept me or not. If they reject/accept me, I'll get in touch with the SV. (I don't know whether that's a good plan or not thought =/)

Thanks hazyjane (lol, I'm feeling a bit hazy myself ;) ).

Proposal is not 'Sciencey' enough?

Quote From hazyjane:

Often the problem with proposals can be a lack of a clearly defined research question. Do you have a well defined problem you're trying to solve or a clear hypothesis you're trying to test? There should be a clear question/problem that can be summed up in a couple of sentences, from which the rest of the proposal will flow.

But as others have said it's difficult to give more specific advice as the details you've given are quite vague.

I understand. I'm sorry for the vague input =/ But I think you could appreciate that I'm not in the position to tell in great detail what the proposal is all about =/

To answer the question, I would believe that the proposal is trying to solve a well defined problem; it's a problem plaguing the current situation. I have also made a pilot study to support the claim and from the empirical evidence, it does support the hypothesis that there's a problem and it needs to be solved, which is the whole point of the PhD research - sorry if I missed this one out.

Ok, I'm going to try giving a greater understanding of my research topic. Assuming that you're in the Biomedical Engineering field, and you would want to find a solution to solve the problem plaguing scientist with problem X, in the industry. You claim that it needs to start from the root problem, which is in the University education itself and a technique needs to be defined. You proposed the technique for your PhD topic. Some argued that your proposal wouldn't be in a more technical research anymore, as it's more of empirical research now, and as well as less Biomedicy.

How should one defend such argument?

Many thanks for the reply
*If it's not clear, let me know, I'll try again. =>

Proposal is not 'Sciencey' enough?

Quote From FrogPrincess:

======= Date Modified 01 Feb 2012 19:17:02 =======
Disclaimer: Massive over-simpliication coming... but arguably science is the process of doing research, but engineering is about building things. So, if you're proposal isn't sciencey enough it might be because you are proposing to implement/design a system that is a solution to a problem, rather than researching what the problem is?

Science requires theories based on literature, hypotheses, experimentation, results followed by analysis. Are you proposing to do this? Or are you just proposing to implement a system? If so, one way to make it more scientific is to establish how you are going to evaluate the system and establish if it meets a set of criteria?

Yes, my research is based on literature, hypotheses, experimentation, results followed by analysis, which of course falls under the Science - but I would think Engineering or even the Arts e.g. Economics, Accounting, Education, etc would be under this criteria as well.

But even if I did propose to implement/design a solution to a problem, wouldn't that require us to do literature, hypotheses, experimentation, results followed by analysis as well?

Proposal is not 'Sciencey' enough?

Has anyone ever been criticized with the above? Your research proposal is not 'Sciencey' enough? I'm doing Computing and I just heard that my research is not Computing Sciencey enough.

I think that's the most ridiculous thing that I could ever heard. What defines something to be 'Sciencey'? Or "Engineery" lol

Could someone help me understand?

Defending your work =/

Hi there,

I just finished defending a research proposal and some of the questions that the panel asked (even the way they asked) left me wondering:

What would you do if the panel is wrong when questioning you, such as:

1)definitions that you wrote on the research e.g. technique vs. method
2)not giving a sound reason why they disagree on certain things, to the point that it annoys you - just disagreeing because of a reason and they couldn't expand further.

Would you mention that they are wrong? - How would you approach this? Would you ask for a source? Would you argue back if the source is wrong or bias?
Would you question them directly to defend yourself? - e.g. "The reason you mentioned is not clear and somewhat inaccurate because..."


Lets say one of the Profs is basing the criticism on his own opinion(s) with no strong supporting facts or evidence to validate his criticism, to the point he's dismissing your own thoughts with no evidence whatsoever. Could one say something like this?,
"Well this is Science and we shouldn't based it on opinion(s), it could be biased and it could also have no supporting evidence, I could say that a horse is better pink because in my opinion, it's going to make the horse faster, stronger and aesthetically pleasing to the eye. But this is an opinion. It could be wrong!".

I don't know if it's a good idea or not to do such things, but the person, I think, would really need to defend their work or risk being label as not being able to do so.

I sincerely believe that I would need defend the work as best that I can and I might use sarcasm to make a point, especially to those who stubbornly refused to hear a valid argument like the one above.

Opinions are greatly appreciated =>

*I'm sorry if I didn't structure this post greatly. I'm a bit tired after defending my own research proposal lol =/

Dr Bond!!


Can designing software framework and implementing too be a PhD topic

I'm interested to know this as well.

Defining sample population - A bit lost.

Quote From hazyjane:

Sampling frame depends on the question you are trying to answer. If you want a generalised view of Economics students' behaviour then it may be inappropriate to just sample from one uni. But if you're primarily interested in one uni then one faculty in one uni is fine (unless you want a comparison/control group)

So have a clearly defined research qu first, and then your sampling frame should reflect that.

Ah, thank you for the reply. Yes I was thinking just now if I just selected the single Uni, then it would be bias to that Uni only wouldn't it? So say for example, I would like to avoid bias, would it be suitable to have sample population from selected Unis from the selected country? I'm trying to find this method but I would need samples for it. So at the moment I'm trying to define the population to test it with but I've no proper procedure on how to define the population properly. I do know 'who' the population is, but I do not know how far I need to go to get to population; would it be just with the faculty in the uni or faculties from different unis.

But even if I did select the country, wouldn't that be bias for the selected country and selected unis within that country?