I finished my PhD!

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My dissertation defense (thanks to Dr. Bill Hsu for the photo)

On June 17, I successfully defended my doctoral research. Last week, I received final approval of my dissertation. It feels pretty weird to say it, but I now have a PhD, and am “Dr. Procter.”

I’m finding it hard to summarize the entirety of my grad school experience, so I won’t try. Rather, I’ll say that it was on the whole a very positive, enriching time and what I will miss the most are the people I met and spent time with while I was in Manhattan. I imagine that sounds sort of cheesy, but it’s true: most of the time I spent in my office reading papers or hammering out code or revising a draft has already started to blur together. Conversations with people — in the graduate school or at conferences or just out and about in Manhattan (or Lawrence or Kansas City, where I frequently found myself) remain quite vivid, though.

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Another view of the defense (thanks to Dr. Bill Hsu for the photo)

In the big scheme of things, it of course hasn’t been very long: only a couple of months have passed since I was in front of everybody trying to explain what I’ve spent the last 4.5 years doing. I’ll write another post soon about what I’m up to now (preview: I got a job and moved east!), but for now, I’ll just say that while I’m happy to be done, I already finding myself missing a number of things about Manhattan (like Varsity Donuts!)

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