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!)

Papers, papers… some more papers

So, looking at my blog, I realized I hadn’t ever actually made a post about finishing my thesis.  I defended successfully at the end of November, made the committee’s corrections, and now have a final version of my master’s thesis.  If you’d like, you can find a copy here.

I’m continuing on at K-State, and now working on my PhD.  I’m currently working mostly on my classes / breadth exams, though since I did my MS here, I have an opportunity to finish pretty quickly.  I’ve also begun some work on my doctoral research, which is pretty closely related to the stuff I worked on for my masters: I’m looking at applications that run on K-State’s MDCF.  Eventually I’ll work on application development (process, tool support, etc.) specifically but for now everything’s just getting started.  One nice thing about this project is that it was already underway, so things are moving quickly.  In fact, our group has a paper accepted to the Software Engineering in Health Care (SEHC) workshop at the 2012 International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE).

You can read the full paper here, if you’d like.  It looks at requirements specifications for applications that run on MDCF-like platforms (so-called “Medical Application Platforms”).