• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
programming forums Java Mobile Certification Databases Caching Books Engineering Micro Controllers OS Languages Paradigms IDEs Build Tools Frameworks Application Servers Open Source This Site Careers Other all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
Marshals:
  • Campbell Ritchie
  • Liutauras Vilda
  • Bear Bibeault
  • Paul Clapham
  • Jeanne Boyarsky
Sheriffs:
  • Junilu Lacar
  • Knute Snortum
  • Henry Wong
Saloon Keepers:
  • Ron McLeod
  • Tim Moores
  • Stephan van Hulst
  • Tim Holloway
  • Carey Brown
Bartenders:
  • Frits Walraven
  • Joe Ess
  • salvin francis

PhD thesis number of pages

 
Ranch Hand
Posts: 423
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hello!

I'm reading a PhD these with 295 pages.
What was the PhD these with more pages that you already saw?
 
Rancher
Posts: 4686
7
Mac OS X VI Editor Linux
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Very few people ever read any PhD thesis documents. Sometimes hardly the committee reads it. :-)

I don't understand what you are asking. The few that I have read seemed to be about 500 pages, but if you have great results, you could do it in 50.

When I was in grad school, the rule of thumb was three published peer-reviewed articles, stapled together was a winning thesis. Since articles are typically about 10 pages, you could have a five page intro, thirty pages of meat, and another ten pages of citations and declare victory.
 
Marshal
Posts: 24813
60
Eclipse IDE Firefox Browser MySQL Database
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Mine was about 50 pages. That was small compared to most theses of that period (mid-1970s), at least that was my impression when I was in the stacks of the university library. But Don Knuth's was even smaller than mine. Maybe there's a trend where PhD theses are getting larger over the years.
 
Ranch Hand
Posts: 2937
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
This one is 2143 pages long.
 
Pat Farrell
Rancher
Posts: 4686
7
Mac OS X VI Editor Linux
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Paul Clapham wrote:Mine was about 50 pages. That was small compared to most theses of that period (mid-1970s), at least that was my impression when I was in the stacks of the university library. But Don Knuth's was even smaller than mine.



Wow, the great ones are short, the long ones seem to be the ones that are weak, so they add weight.

Dijkstra's paper on semaphores was under one page, as was C.A.Hoare's Communicating Sequential Processes.
 
Paul Clapham
Marshal
Posts: 24813
60
Eclipse IDE Firefox Browser MySQL Database
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
No, Knuth and I both wrote short theses which were in obscure and inconsequential areas of mathematics. Then we both got out of the math biz and went into computer science. We were 13 years apart so I never met him.
 
Pat Farrell
Rancher
Posts: 4686
7
Mac OS X VI Editor Linux
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Paul Clapham wrote: Knuth and I both wrote short theses which were in obscure and inconsequential areas of mathematics.


When I was an undergrad, my advisor (who later became a Dean) tried to talk me into becoming a PhD student in Math. I was too tired of being a poor undergrad, so I passed. Most of Math is obscure and inconsequential to outsiders. Even imaginary numbers were considered useless until the EE folks discovered that it mapped well to how circuits work.

My favorite area was point set topology, which is completely useless for earning a living.

Its been said that serious mathematicians do their best work before they turn 30. Its all down hill from there. I could claim that CS files are barely learning the field when they turn 30.
 
author and iconoclast
Posts: 24203
43
Mac OS X Eclipse IDE Chrome
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Mine (in chemistry) was 246 pages. My wife's (Neuroscience) was somewhat shorter. Although in Maths a thesis might prove a single theorem and thereby remain short, in the physical sciences a thesis will generally describe a series of experiments, their design, the methods by which they were conducted, the results, and conclusions drawn from those results; 250 pages is fairly typical I think.
 
Rancher
Posts: 13459
Android Eclipse IDE Ubuntu
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Then you still owe us four pages
 
author & internet detective
Posts: 39758
797
Eclipse IDE VI Editor Java
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

David O'Meara wrote:Then you still owe us four pages


I think he's covered it - with his books and all.

This discussion sounds a lot like "# lines of code" as a metric. Surely quality matters in a PhD thesis?
 
Rancher
Posts: 3410
34
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Pat Farrell wrote:Djikstra's paper on semaphores was under one page, as was C.A.Hoare's Communicating Sequential Processes.


This quote intrigued me, as I'd be very interested to see any one-page work that was deemed worthy of a PhD. I can imagine someone describing the core of a great idea in that space, sure - but I would think that a bit more exposition might be expected in most cases.

Unfortunately, I couldn't find any papers that fit the above description. If we're talking about PhD theses, then Dijkstra's thesis was "Communication with an Automatic Compiler, 174 pages. Later he introduced the concept of semaphores in EWD 123: Cooperating Sequential Processes. I suppose one could put all that one one page (a web page, that is) - but I think that would be bending language and logic too far. Meanwhile, I couldn't find a free online copy of C. A. Hoare's "Communicating Sequential Processes" - but this page indicates it ran from pages 666 to 677 of Communications of the ACM, volume 21, issue 8. Well, eleven pages is pretty good I guess. But it's also more than one, clearly.

So: are there actually any one-page PhD theses? Or one-page significant papers?
 
Mike Simmons
Rancher
Posts: 3410
34
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
And I now see why Pat omitted C.A.*. Hoare's third initial. (The one that stands for "Richard".) I was forced into the same workaround. How sad. Perhaps a regex could check for the presence of a following '.', commonly used to indicate an abbreviation. In standard written English, no less.
 
Pat Farrell
Rancher
Posts: 4686
7
Mac OS X VI Editor Linux
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Mike Simmons wrote:This quote intrigued me, as I'd be very interested to see any one-page work that was deemed worthy of a PhD.

C. A. Hoare's "Communicating Sequential Processes"

So: are there actually any one-page PhD theses? Or one-page significant papers?



I'm not sure that either were actually their Dissertations, but they sure were significant papers. I think both Hoare and Djikstra were established when the papers were published. But they could have resulted in a tenure promotion

I've probably got copies upstairs, but no one should have to fight all the cobwebs and Raiders of the Lost Ark traps.

I followed the link, the ACM hasn't figured out that paying for 40 year old papers is not a winning idea.

The Dijkstra semaphore paper is short and very dense. Back in the time, CACM was a journal (before it was changed into a magazine by its editors). My study group of grad students spent hours trying to figure out exactly how it worked.

Hoare's CSP is so dense as to be nearly impossible to read. It might be more than a page, but its not many. What is amazing about it is that it shows how simple mechanisms could be stiched together to allow parallel processing on a scale that was unimaginable at the time. Just what we need today with 100 core CPUs. But no mortal could actually implement the stuff in CSP.
 
Ernest Friedman-Hill
author and iconoclast
Posts: 24203
43
Mac OS X Eclipse IDE Chrome
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I seem to remember learning that one of the greats in quantum mechanics -- Schrodinger, Dirac, Planck, one of those guys -- submitted a two-page dissertation. I can't find any reference to that online, though.
 
Java Cowboy
Posts: 16084
88
Android Scala IntelliJ IDE Spring Java
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Pat Farrell wrote:Djikstra's paper on semaphores was under one page, as was C.A.Hoare's Communicating Sequential Processes.


His name is Dijkstra, not Djikstra.

The "ij" in Dutch is actually one letter, like an "y" with dots over it.
 
Mike Simmons
Rancher
Posts: 3410
34
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Jesper Young wrote:

Pat Farrell wrote:Djikstra's paper on semaphores was under one page, as was C.A.Hoare's Communicating Sequential Processes.


His name is Dijkstra, not Djikstra.


And later he spelled it "Dijksta". Those are what we call "typos". People make those, from time to time.
 
Mike Simmons
Rancher
Posts: 3410
34
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
To be fair, he spelled it "Djikstra" twice, "Dijksta" once, and correctly, not at all. So I guess it's not unwarranted to call attention to the correct version. (Kind of like when I once spelled "Gandhi" as "Ghandi" - a reasonable mistake, I think, but one that deserves to be corrected.)
 
Leandro Coutinho
Ranch Hand
Posts: 423
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

John Smith wrote:This one is 2143 pages long.

Do you his supervisor read everything? =)

MIT has a nice repository with a lot of research materials: http://dspace.mit.edu/
You can search using the name of the author, like: Guy Steele or Gerald Sussman

Thank you for all replies!!
 
Pat Farrell
Rancher
Posts: 4686
7
Mac OS X VI Editor Linux
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Mike Simmons wrote:To be fair, he spelled it "Djikstra" twice, "Dijksta" once, and correctly, not at all.



Gee, I used to be able to type it properly, the eye-jay-kay part is tough and unusual in English, or whatever language American geeks use.

And they said that spelling correcting software would improve communications.
 
Paul Clapham
Marshal
Posts: 24813
60
Eclipse IDE Firefox Browser MySQL Database
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Pat Farrell wrote:

Paul Clapham wrote: Knuth and I both wrote short theses which were in obscure and inconsequential areas of mathematics.

Most of Math is obscure and inconsequential to outsiders.


Yes, that's true, but I was speaking from an insider's point of view when I wrote that.
 
My honeysuckle is blooming this year! Now to fertilize this tiny ad:
Java file APIs (DOC, XLS, PDF, and many more)
https://products.aspose.com/total/java
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!