Words of Wisdom
It is a LIVE tradition that at the victory supper celebrating a
successful defense of one's Ph. D. thesis, the Ph. D. candidate
must impart words of wisdom.
- Work as hard as you can to finish your dissertation as fast
as you can.
- If you are passionate about your work, then put some passion
against your work. It is better to be your own worst critic
than to have your committee look for your faults. They will
be happier, and you will be happier.
- If you think that your dissertation will change the world,
don't fool yourself. Leave all the Nobel prize winning work
for later [Athanasios Papoulis, personal communication].
- Work hard
- Work smart
- Enjoy life
- The quality of interaction with your advisers is proportional
to your willingness to interact with them.
- Be confident that your work is good and that other people
want to read it.
- Talk to the guys [and girl] in the lab. They may have useful
things to say--or they may just brighten up your day.
- Be enthusiastic in your study.
- Listen to advice.
- Collaborate with your advisor.
- Take care of your family and relationships. They are the most
important things. Don't sacrifice them.
- Studying while working full time is tough but rewarding
The tough part is that you give up your evenings and weekends.
The rewarding part is that you really feel worthwhile by directly
linking your studies with your career.
- Getting your Ph.D. is not the end of study in your life. It
only gives you the license to start learning by yourself.
- The best way to learn is to ask people to criticize your work.
Excellence is not perfection. Don't be afraid to show your weakness.
- Don't DO research. Enjoy it.
- Simplicity is the beauty of science.
- Think intuitively. Write mathematically.
- Think the problem hard until it comes in your dream.
- I have been proud to be a part of UT. I now hope that I will
be able to make UT proud of me.
Hamid Rahim Sheikh
- Realize, acknowledge, appreciate, be thankful for, and reciprocate
the help that you receive from others.
- Success is a product of a number of abilities: intelligence,
focus, foresight, ability to work hard even if it is not enjoyable,
patience, forbearance, and even rote memory. Drive any to zero,
and the product would go zero too!
- There is no such thing as individual success. Achievement
comes at a physical, emotional, and spiritual cost that you,
and those who love you, need to pay. Don't burden anyone beyond
- Think about your "words on wisdom" at the start
of your PhD and try sticking to them.
- Always be enthusiastic about what you do and put in your best
effort each time. Even if you do not succeed in your task, you
should feel happy that you tried your best.
- Don't let your mind and personality stagnate. Upgrade yourself
by learning new skills regularly.
- Try to make a positive impact on the people around you.
- Live life, don't just exist.
Muhammad Farooq Sabir
- There will be times when things won’t be working out
as you want them to. Don’t give up and always keep trying
hard. Remember, hard work never goes wasted and you will eventually
get what you want.
- Your success is not just your doing. If you look around you
will find many people who contributed towards it. Always be
grateful to them and remember their contribution in your life.
- Always keep an open mind. Remember, your ego can be your worst
enemy. Never pretend that you know everything; no one does.
Never be ashamed to ask questions if you don’t know something.
- Try to make this world a better place. Help people. By getting
this education you will most likely be in a position to have
an impact on many lives. Make sure that it is a positive one.
- Never ask Hamid for advice.
- If you want to do good research, don't get married. If you
are married, don't get discouraged, just don't have a baby.
If you have a baby, don't get discouraged, just don't have another
one! Believe and you can always succeed. I graduated with three
- Be passionate and open minded. Always respect others.
- Always ask questions.
- Nothing ever works on the first attempt - success lies in
the ability to determine whether the failure is due to a bad
idea or simply poor execution.
- Use your peers - they won't be able to provide you with solutions
that are valuable, but they will be able to identify your solutions
that are not.
- It's never as good or bad as it seems.
- Work Hard, Be Confident.
- Read lots of journal papers, opening your mind to others’
Individual creativity will be a crucial factor to your
success, however reading a vast amount of publications makes
you more knowledgeable, well rounded and stimulates new ideas.
Never limit yourself to only your particular area of study,
but instead branch out to other areas of engineering, mathematics,
physiology, and so on that may be relevant to your work.
Be skeptical of your results especially if they are too
good to be true.
Regardless of the outcome of your research, always question
your findings thoroughly, rather than declare a haste victory
if, for instance, you obtained exactly what you expected.
Always approach the problem from different angles and continue
to run tests with different inputs to analyze exactly how
your method or algorithm is responding to different sets of
Take on leadership positions in student organizations, on
your down time.
Reduce the time you spend surfing the web, chatting,
browsing Facebook, watching videos on Youtube and so on, and
instead take leadership positions in student organizations
to contribute to the engineering community and the university.
Such positions will be very enriching for building your social
skills, strengthening your confidence, and expanding your
social and professional network.
- Write down everything that you think of, immaterial of how
trivial it is. It turns out that there are solutions resting
in those notes.
- Be your toughest critic and remember to always talk to people.
- Remember : There is ALWAYS light at the end of the tunnel.
- Be consistent and systematic and don't put yourself under pressure.Do your daily bit of work systematically
without worrying about results. There will be failures along the way but ultimately
everything will work out just fine.
- Dont get bogged down in just your own research. Be aware of what others in your allied areas are working on.
More often than not, there
are ideas in other domains that are applicable to your problem and vice versa.
Attend lots of talks and interact with other research
students. This forms an important part of your research experience as a PhD student.
Anush Krishna Moorthy
- Personal:You have a great advisor, make the most of it. You will get back what you put in.
Remember, he is your advisor, not your dissertation writer.
This is YOUR dissertation, NOT his; go to him for advice, not for solutions.
- Practical: Get your machines to work for you as you sleep. Nothing like waking up to a correlation of 0.95
in the morning!
A PhD is not the be all and end all of life -- do what you have always wanted to do outside of academics.
This time is NOW! READ!!
- Philosophical: The fun is in the journey, not in the result. Smell the roses once in a while.
- Self confidence and loads of patience will take you past almost all hurdles.
- Keep an open mind and don't be afraid to take risks. Putting yourself in uncomfortable and
challenging positions can lead to more satisfying results in the long term.
- Indulge in activities that takes your mind off research, especially when things seem to be in a rut.
Grad school is the ideal place to broaden your perspective so make the most of it.