Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The illustrated guide to a PhD

Here's how Prof. Matt Might (University of Utah) explains to fresh PhD students what a PhD is:

Imagine a circle that contains all of human knowledge:

By the time you finish elementary school, you know a little:

By the time you finish high school, you know a bit more:

With a bachelor's degree, you gain a specialty:

A master's degree deepens that specialty:

Reading research papers takes you to the edge of human knowledge:

Once you're at the boundary, you focus:

You push at the boundary for a few years:

Until one day, the boundary gives way:

And, that dent you've made is called a Ph.D.:

Of course, the world looks different to you now:

So, don't forget the bigger picture:

Keep pushing.

Taken from http://matt.might.net/articles/phd-school-in-pictures/ - licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 License.


  1. This is true, but remember you couldn't increase the human knowledge with this dent 1 paper before your PhD. You might reach it but not increase it.

    Keep pushing :)

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