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Fail. - Lindsey Kuper [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Lindsey Kuper

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Fail. [Sep. 15th, 2008|06:56 pm]
Lindsey Kuper
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I didn't pass the foundations qual. My letter from the anonymous exam review committee reads, "You have a basic understanding of the definitions of computability and complexity theory. However, you need to demonstrate the constructions and proofs that are required to give complete and correct answers to the questions on the exam." I just mention that "basic understanding" part because I don't want you to think that I entirely suck.

It's hard to take. I keep telling myself it shouldn't be. It doesn't mean I'm worse at foundations than the other Ph.D. launchies -- most of them didn't take the foundations exam at all, choosing to take the algorithms one instead. There are only about three of us who even like this stuff. But, well, for a long time my concept of myself as a computer scientist has been Lindsey Kuper: Bad At Systems, Good At Theory!, so...what's left when that's what you think of yourself and then you fail at a test of your knowledge of theory? Yeah. Ouch. Thank goodness for Alex oniugnip, who always tells it like it is: "Well, you are good. You're just not Ph.D. good. Yet."

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Comments:
[User Picture]From: deepdistraction
2008-09-16 03:14 am (UTC)
Alex is absolutely right.
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[User Picture]From: billings
2008-09-16 04:11 am (UTC)
Seconded.
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[User Picture]From: idealisms
2008-09-16 04:37 am (UTC)
Keep at it. Getting a PhD is largely perseverance and hard work. Liking the stuff is the important part.
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[User Picture]From: dan_o_m
2008-09-16 05:40 am (UTC)
I Alex for saying that and you for being you.
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[User Picture]From: cola_fan
2008-09-16 02:16 pm (UTC)
Don't worry. Who passes their quals a minute after entering a PhD program? Very few people! That's what you are there for.
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[User Picture]From: pmb
2008-09-16 03:15 pm (UTC)
Knowledge and skills are what you are supposed to have when you leave. When you enter, all that you are supposed to have is potential.
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[User Picture]From: lindseykuper
2008-09-17 04:44 am (UTC)
Thanks, everyone. You make me very happy.

And I'll be okay. I'm doing fine in classes, which is what I most need to be doing fine in right now. If I still haven't passed quals two years from now, then we can all commence freaking out.
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[User Picture]From: floydcollins
2008-10-28 07:01 pm (UTC)
Study up, take it again next year. This isn't easy stuff, and math is all about repeated failure, until success (cf: negative binomial distribution).
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[User Picture]From: lindseykuper
2008-11-07 07:27 pm (UTC)
That's one of my favorite sayings, actually: "Fail 'til you succeed."
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