Reduce Your Thesis To One Sentence

Have you seen the Tumblr lol my thesis? It challenges holders of graduate degrees to summarize their thesis or dissertation in a single sentence, usually with a touch of humor.

This reminds me of the joke about computer programs. It is said that every computer program…

  • …has at least one bug.
  • …has one line that can be removed without affecting functionality.

The only logical conclusion is that all computer programs can be reduced to one line with a bug.

I asked tech staff at Pointwise give it a shot and here’s what they came up with.

Weird stuff happens when you apply a magnetic field to flowing liquid metals; sadly, no humanoid self-generation a la Terminator, but weird nonetheless.

– John Rhoads, Experimental Study of Magnetohydrodynamic Effects and Heat Transfer in Free-Surface, Flowing Liquid Metal, Ph.D., Princeton University

Wind tunnels and CFD agree: elliptical airfoils suck.

– John Dreese, Experimental And Computational Investigation Of Elliptical Airfoils, M.S., The Ohio State University

How can I run a complex simulation on an arbitrarily connected multi-block structured grid on a complex geometry with a push of a button?

– Mike Remotigue, Structured Grid Technology to Enable Flow Simulation in an Integrated System Environment, Ph.D., Mississippi State University

Mo’ blades, mo’ better.

– Carolyn Woeber, A Computational Validation Study of Parallel Turbo for Rotor 35, M.S., Mississippi State University

Understanding the behavior of oxide bifilms in aluminum castings is very important; we are not sure how they are formed, but we certainly know where they are going.

 – Claudio Pita, Modeling of Oxide Bifilms in Aluminum Castings Using the Immersed Element-Free Galerkin Method, Ph.D., Mississippi State University

Dynamic stall is really dynamic.

– George Shrewsbury, Dynamic Stall of Circulation Control Airfoils, Ph.D., Georgia Institute of Technology

Not all wind turbines are HAWT, some must evolve to optimize their performance.

– Travis Carrigan, Aerodynamic Shape Optimization of a Vertical Axis Wind Turbine, M.S., The University of Texas at Arlington

If the flow is going really fast, everything is moving in the same general direction.

– Rick Matus, Numerical Solution of the Steady Gasdynamic Equations, Ph.D., The University of Texas at Arlington

There exists > 0 people, who given enough controls, knobs, dials and time, can piece together a gratuitously complex mesh on a fairly simple geometry.

– John Steinbrenner, Generation of Hybrid Grids for Computational Fluid Dynamics, Ph.D., The University of Texas at Arlington

Human blood is really complicated and I can only simulate part of it; and even that part isn’t very accurate.

– Daniel LaCroix, A Mathematical Model of Blood Coagulation Utilizing the Intrinsic and Extrinsic Pathways, Ph.D., Texas A&M University

Sometimes you can ask an algebraic grid generator to do too much.

– John Chawner, Development of an Algebraic Grid Generation Method with Orthogonality & Clustering Control, M.S., The University of Texas at Arlington

[Updated 07 Jan 2014 with one additional entry.]

How to make too few gas molecules look like too many gas molecules in a couple of places, thermodynamically speaking, while sticking it to your advisor’s FORTRAN simulation by using C instead.

– Jim Colby, Stochastic Modeling of a Dilute Gas With Buffered Regions, M.S., San Jose State University

Care to try this on your own thesis? We’d love to see what you come up with, either in the comments here or at lol my thesis.

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6 Responses to Reduce Your Thesis To One Sentence

  1. Tim Tautges says:

    One of the pieces of advice I give to students and metees, so many times they’re probably sick of hearing it, is to give their thesis presentation in progressively smaller amounts of time, down to one minute. Now I guess I have to add a lower unit of one sentence. And with that:

    Parallel processing can effectively speed up nuclear reactor safety analysis, but only if you use both data and functional partitioning to do it.

    “The Parallel Processing of Nuclear Power Plant Severe Accident Simulation Codes”, PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1990.

    Bonus tidbit: this research was done on commercial shared memory parallel processing machines (Alliant and Sequent), when such things existed (the first time around).

  2. jdrch says:

    This is hilarious.

    • John Chawner says:

      Hi Judah. I’d like to have the imagination to come up with an idea like LOL My Thesis in the first place and create the Tumblr. You can get lost on there reading everyone’s input.

  3. GregB says:

    “Four years of learning how to debug code really well and kludging together multiple disciplines to design cool geometries.”
    – Greg Burgreen, Three-dimensional aerodynamic shape optimization using discrete sensitivity analysis, PhD, Old Dominion University

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