I recently was awarded my PhD from the University of Edinburgh, School of Engineering. The thesis is titled “Online optimisation of information transmission in stochastic spiking neural systems” and I defended it in early September 2011. This was almost a year after finishing the actual work and writing up, mainly because of me being in Greece while finishing up and the thesis having to be defended in the UK. There were also other unfortunate occurrences, but they involve other people so I wont go into detail, suffice it to say that for some time it looked like the PhD would never end. But it did, and I’m glad.
I’m glad because this is how I feel about my PhD now that it is over (I’m paraphrasing Hunter S. Thompson): “I wouldn’t recommend doing a PhD to anyone, but it worked for me.”
It is a very strange experience and it is definitely not for everyone. You can get a surprisingly good and detailed look at what it feels like by reading PhD Comics. More about my PhD experience to follow.