Trolling BMG for some positive vibes

UPDATE: I PASSED!  Details posted in the comments

Holy jeez.  My PhD thesis defense is in one hour: “Effective Algorithms for Discovering Degree Constrained Spanning Trees in Sparsely Connected Graphs”

It’s just like American Idol, only it’s four Simons and no Paulas — and I’ve been perfecting the same routine for the 7+ eight years.

The talk is an hour, then Q&A, private Q&A, and then the committee discusses things amongst themselves.  By about 2:30 I’ll know if I’ll be allowed to submit my thesis or if I’ll utter the famous words of Bluto Blutarsky.

Wish me luck!

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33 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. Is a spanning tree like those old trees where the branches meet over the road on Route 6A?

    (GOOD LUCK!)

  2. Just Remember Stomv,

    when it comes to algorithms for trees in connected graphs subtrees can be explored in parallel with every cut on the tree having a size 1.

    Go get em Euclid.  

    eb3-fka-ernie-boch-iii   @   Tue 4 Dec 7:00 PM

    I haven't had to think about spanning trees in years. Better you than me. :)

  4. With a title that long...

    Your dissertation must be a thousand pages! (Or is there an inverse law in effect here?) Good luck!  Though by this stage I think your degree of highest education is probably in the bag, as you most likely know more about the subject than anybody on your panel.   As chief Brody said, "You're gonna need a bigger chainsaw"    

  5. Good luck Dr. stomv

    Knock 'em dead.

  6. Good Luck!

  7. Good luck!

    It's finally here!

  8. Good luck!

  9. Best of luck!

    The title sure sounds impressive. Maybe the committee will learn something.

  10. Stomv, I know you don't have much time,

    but could you take just a couple of minutes to explain your thesis here?  Just enough so we can all understand it!  Best of luck.

    • I'll pinch hit

      Obviously I don't know what stromv's thesis is, but I'll explain some of the terms in the title.

      Graph:  A graph, in this sense, is just a bunch of points, called vertices, and lines connecting them, called edges.  It's a useful abstraction for any number of real world phenomena, cities and the highways between them, computers and fiber optic cables, the power grid, social networks like Facebook, etc.

      Sparsely Connected Graph: This means there aren't very many edges in the graph relative to the number of vertices.  To use our analogies, it's a nation with many cities but only a few highways, or a social network where no one has very many friends.

      Tree: A tree is a set of edges that are all connected to each other, but contains no loops. (Imagine like a real life tree, you have a bunch of limbs branching out, but you never see any branches reconnect with each other)

      Spanning Tree: A tree that contains every vertex in the graph.  To use our highway analogy, a spanning tree would be a set of highways that connects every city in the country without containing a loop.

      Degree: This refers to the number of edges that connect to a single vertex.  The number of "friends" a person has in our social networking example.

      Degree Constrained Spanning Trees: In addition the restriction that there be no loops, we restrict the maximum degree any vertix can have.  To use our highway analogy, we now want to find a set of highways that connects all the cities in the country without any loops and we went no city to have more than 5 highways from our set leading directly to other cities.

      Effective Algorithms: Finding Degree Constrained Spanning Trees is a known to be an NP-complete problem, which means its very unlikely that there's an easy way to solve it all cases.  By limiting it to only sparsely connected graphs, Stomv has presumably invented algorithms that can find these spanning trees in a reasonable amount of time.

  11. I hope you're breaking a leg!

    You're one of the smartest people I know and have had a huge impact on my writing (a good thing, I think :P), so I know you'll do well... but I understand how nerve-wracking something like that can be.

    Here's a little Adam Lambert for some positive vibes to be sent your way. (I don't like American Idol, but have to admit I like some of Lambert's songs, now that he's off Idol).

  12. Good luck!

    I'm actually pretty interested in reading yer diss.!

  13. Good luck!

    On a side note, I once had a friend do a defense for his BioChem PhD.  I came close to buying him a set of boxing gloves, mouth guard, and spit bucket as a gag.

    (Also, look at the bright side - it's a technical subject.  Technical subject defenses are a little more cut and dry because you either did the work and considered everything or you didn't.  By comparison someone doing a liberal arts defense could wind up arguing a point of conjecture and opinion (with suitable backup, one assumes) that is antithetical to a reviewer's entire career.  One thing I love about science is that when you prove another scientist wrong, they say 'thank you'.  Liberal arts not so much.)  

    Seriously, knock 'em dead.

  14. stomv, best of luck today!

  15. Taking a chance there

    I thought theses were required to have a colon.

    You're a punctuative rebel.

    sabutai   @   Tue 4 Dec 7:00 PM
  16. Cool.

    Sounds interesting.  So your studying tempurature variations from tree to tree in a sparce forest.  How exciting! : ) Please share with us when you're done. Good luck Stomv!

  17. Break a leg--Dr!

  18. Hard to think of anything

    clever to say that hasn't been said. Hard to say anything not clever to say that hasn't been said either.

    Uncleverly wishing that you do your best and your committee realizes it.

  19. Just saw this

    Is it bad news that you haven't posted an update?  

    When I was in seventh or eighth grade my high school aged brother was relating a story at dinner.  He said that his math teacher had asked for the defintion of a circle.  His classmate responded with, "The set of all points, an equal distance from a given point."  He and his classmates were all impressed!  

    "Wrong!" says the teacher.  "You have just defined a sphere.  A circle is 'The set of all points, an equal distance from a given point on a plane.'"

    Well the next day my teacher asks, can anyone define a circle.  The students are all giving imprecise definitions.  I remembered the previous night's dinner conversation and gave a letter perfect answer.  No wonder all my classmates hated me.  Boy was I a teachers pet back then.  

  20. Can I have a copy?

    As the author of "Spanning Structures and Undecidability in Random Graphs", I'd love a copy.

    You should have told us sooner.  I might have been able to pop over and ask some good questions...

    Congratulations.  Enjoy the weekend - you've earned it.

  21. Congrats!

    Dr. V!

  22. Congrats!

    I join those here who believe your absence in the last 20 hours is due to your on-going celebration of both being done and the positive experience of your defense. I expect this morning we can call you Doctor.  

  23. Ley us assert, with 95% confidence

    that your defense was successful

  24. Doctor.

  25. good luck

    "private Q+A" sounds scary!

  26. UPDATE!

    First, apologies on not responding sooner.

    11:30-12:00 set up slides, etc. 12:00-1:00 public lecture, few interruptions by the committee with questions 1:00-1:30 public questions, few from the crowd, mostly from the committee, nothing too hard.  better still, the first two questions allowed me to pull up my first two "backup slides" which had more complete answers 1:30-2:15 private questions.  The audience is asked to leave.  Now, they ask the tough ones... both related to my thesis and about anything else.  They also wonder why I didn't fully develop the third component of my thesis (the discrete time extension to the polychromatic degree constrained spanning tree problem).  They then decided that instead of merely posing that problem and suggesting an algorithm, I ought to simulate the problem and solve it so I can show results.  Ugh. 2:15-2:45 private discussion.  They ask me to leave, and talk junk behind my back for a half hour.

    3:00: Congratulations!

    So, I've passed the defense.  I have until July 1 to make any and all changes to the thesis, and it needed lots of work before the committee decided to add all this extra work.

    After the defense, went and had a beer with my wife (who I had seen for three hours over the past 14 days), took a nap, got some dinner, slept a whole bunch, dug ditches for 8 hours yesterday as part of the community service project, ate dinner and went to bed.  This is the first timeI've seen the Internets in 44 hours.

    Thanks for all your well wishes, and I'm not technically a PhD until July 1.

  27. Congratulations!

    Just finished a defense myself - feels so good to be done, huh?

    Now we have more time to read BMG!  

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