Posts Tagged ‘dissertation’

Dissertation is Written

May 25 2012

After getting the encouraging but plentiful comments back from Herbert, I polished up my dissertation this past week.  And, finally, my dissertation is ready to send to my committee and post online for all to see.  So, for those of you who have been waiting with bated breath, I posted it on my website for you.  In my unbiased opinion, it is a good read.

Although I have two pages (which will become four pages with the Duke double spaced rule) of acknowledgments, I cannot say thank you enough to everyone who has helped me and supported me these past five years, especially those who regularly read (and comment on) on my blog.  Thanks so much!! Since I spent some time writing my acknowledgments, I will copy them here so you don’t need to open the dissertation to read them (although why would you not want to look at my dissertation?!?!):

The person to whom I owe the most gratitude is my future husband, David L. Millman. He has selflessly supported me from the first day of graduate school. Thank you, Dave!, for all of your love and support.

The next person I would like to thank is my adviser, Dr. Herbert Edelsbrunner.He has supported me in my endeavors, introduced me to many researchers in our field, and always provided honest feedback on my writing, on my presentations, as well as on my research. I thank you, Herbert, for all of your support and guidance.

I also thank my other committee members: Dr. Hubert Bray, Dr. John Harer and Dr. Carlo Tomasi. Thank you for your discussions that have helped to develop my dissertation and for the time that you have committed to serving on my = committee. I am grateful for the support and resources made available to me from Duke University and from IST Austria. I thank Dr. Pankaj Agarwal, Dr. Sayan Mukherjee, Dr. Caroline Uhler and Dr. Jeff Phillips for their valuable discussions.

I thank my undergraduate institution, Saint Joseph’s University, for preparing me for graduate school. Thank you to Dr. Steve Cooper for encouraging me to study computer science. Thank you to Dr. Sam Smith for introducing me to topology and patiently working with me on my undergraduate thesis. Thank you to Dr. Paul Klingsberg for your constant words of encouragement and for all of those dim-sum lunches in Chinatown.

I thank my family, the crazy Fasys, who lovingly support me, regardless of where in the world I am. I especially thank my grandparents: Edward J. Ryan, Jr., Gertrude T. Ryan, Jack Fasy and Joan C. Fasy. I would not be where I am today without them. I thank my parents, Joseph F. X. and Terese G. Fasy for their love and encouragement. To my siblings, Joey, Dana and Devon: thank you for always believing in me. I thank my godfather Bill Fasy for his constant encouragement. I also thank my future family: Dr. Ron Millman, Merri Millman and Lisa Millman. Thank you for welcoming me into your family with open arms.

Finally, I thank my friends and colleagues who have helped me develop academically as well as personally. Those who have supported me are not few in numbers, so I apologize in advance if your name is not mentioned here. Natalie Soroka has been my best friend since we were five years old. She proudly displays my papers (as well as Dave!’s) in her office. I also thank Natalie’s parents, Ma and Pa Soroka, who have always treated me like a daughter. I thank Diana Zalewski, who brings enthusiasm wherever she goes. I thank Jessica Klusek, who is always ready for a study date. I am indebted to Kathleen Vaccaro, who is always smiling, regardless of how much sleep she has had. Thank you to my friends at Duke and at UNC–Robby Cochran, Dr. Eduardo Cuervo, Dr. Herodotos Herodotou, Dr. Laura Johnson, Srinivas Krishnan, Alana Libonati, Dr. Justin Manweiler, Elizabeth Munch, Catie Welsh and Brian Williams–who have not forgotten me, despite me living across the ocean. Thank you to Darrell Bethea for always ensuring that, at any hour of the day, there was someone awake and available to talk with me. Thank you to Frank Miller for not doubting my ability to ski down a mountain, even when every direction is up. Dr. Amit Patel became my best “European” friend when we moved to Vienna together in 2009. He has inspired me to work harder and to ski more often. Dr. Bei Wang has taught me the ropes of networking at conferences. I thank Dr. Chao Chen, who is always enthusiastic about research, even at the gym. I thank Dr. Michael Kerber and his wife Michaela. To them, I have just one word: b¨se. I thank Olga Symonova for allowing me to think out loud in the office. I thank Susanna Ricco for not complaining when our office suddenly became a social gathering room. To my friends in Austria–Filip Korč, Novi Quadrianto, Viktoriia Sharmanska and the girls of the Vienna Cherokees–thank your for making me feel at home in a foreign land. I am grateful for my friendship with Morten Bojsen-Hansen. I am in awe of his enthusiasm for learning. Thank you, Morten, for always being ready for an adventure, whether it be learning topology or running to another country.


Less Than One Month …

May 14 2012

I will defend my PhD on the 11th of June.  It’s less than one month away now.

I set my defense date back in February, but it wasn’t until last week that I realized that the end is near and I am starting to feel ready to graduate.  Most of the dissertation is written at this point, although there are many things that I would still like to add into it and many more rounds of editing that I am sure I will do.  I send the second half to Herbert this evening so he can send me his comments (he’s already made comments on the first half).  After I get comments back from Herbert, I will send it off to my committee!

Exploring Inkscape

February 14 2012

Testing out my new tool, inkscape

This is the first figure that I made with the vector graphics editor Inkscape

To create the beautiful figures in my dissertation, I have decided to venture away from my beloved xfig.  Over the past five years, I have become proficient in using xfig, as it is Herbert’s editor of choice.  However, I have found it to be quite a nuisance to constantly export to PS/Tex.

I first tried to use ipe, since this is the tool that Dave uses.  I can save directly to a PDF in ipe, so the extra step of exporting my figure could be eliminated if I were to use this program.  After failing to create a simple example that involved a Circle and four lines, I became frustrated.  I tried for a whole hour to move just one point.

Then, Andy suggested using Inkscape.  He said that it is more intuitive than ipe.  Shortly after beginning my exploration of Inkscape, I found a tutorial online that walked through creating a soup can.  At first, I had some issues with creating ellipses (they all had a pizza slice taken out of them!)  After that was sorted out, I was easily able to make a can, with a customized label and a shadow.