Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Today I finally reached the formal end of the road in my PhD, and sat the Viva Voce exam here at King's College. I have been told time and again that I should enjoy this process because it will probably the first and only time that people will actually read all my research in depth and are obliged to be concerned with it. And indeed it seems that my examiners Mark d'Inverno and Alexandra Coddington were concerned with my thesis and actually read it in its entirety, so the whole process was a tad harder than I initially anticipated. Ultimately though, the whole defense was uneventful, since I knew my stuff, and I was approved with minor corrections to the final volume of my thesis.

Oddly enough, I do not feel exhilarated about this whole thing, which brings me a sense of guilt about not feeling good about having accomplished this. I guess this whole last year has drained my expectations about everything, since it seems my degree is not getting me anywhere in the current economic climate. Well, that is me, an incurable optimist.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

IMAX yesterday, Shit today and Mock Viva tomorrow

On a slight follow-up of the last post, today my supervisor told me that I will have a "mock viva", which unlike the name may suggest, is not a PhD defense where people mock me, or where I practice my mocking skills, but rather, a preparation for the real deal viva voce next week. Oddly enough, I do not feel a thing about it, neither fear, nor excitement, nor apprehension, not even happiness that this whole PhD process is coming to an end. My supervisor thinks I may get cocky for the process and screw it up, but the truth of the matter is that I am completely apathetic to the viva itself. This is no bragging or anything, but I think that at this point, I need to put on a real effort to screw the pooch in my viva, since the combination of my supervisor's and my perfectionism meant that the thesis I submitted is unlikely to be rejected outright (otherwise I would not have submitted it, and my supervisor would not allow me to do so), and my obsessive behavior means that I will definitely read my thesis and flag it abundantly, regardless of how boring it is at this time.

My apathy in reading this stuff leads me to what I did yesterday, which was to finally watch Star Trek, on the IMAX. And my apathy is not really towards the movie, I thought it was a very good movie, and the IMAX screen made the viewing experience much more enjoyable. The only problem is that, since J.J. Abrams was trying to emulate the space shots from the Battlestar Galactica series, that is shaking the "camera" a lot during combat sequences, it was very disorienting to watch it in a cinema with a screen that covers all your field of view. I suppose that if my mind was not so screwed by all the shit that is going on (or not going on as I expected) in my life, I would have had more of a blast in the movie theater yesterday. But then again, who knows...

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Back from AAMAS in Budapest

From Budapest

So now I am back from my trip to Budapest where I attended the AAMAS conference to present a couple of my papers, as this year I was lucky to have gotten two papers in the main conference, and one in the Industry Track. Now I should be focusing on reading my thesis for my Viva next Tuesday, but somehow, given my current lack of destination, this thesis defense thing is not as exciting as I have been expecting to be for the last three years. I surely hope to feel something at the defense time, but this seems rather unlikely now, and my motivation to re-read my thesis gets smaller by the minute.