Gas station without pumps

2013 December 28

PhD thesis presented in other forms

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 11:32
Tags: ,

For several years there have been Dance your PhD competitions, where PhD students try to embody their theses in choreographed dances.  Some of these are amusing, some are elegant, many are painful to watch.  I’ve never been the least bit tempted to join in the “fun” though, as dance has never struck me a particularly good way to communicate ideas, and producing a watchable dance video is a tremendous amount of work.

Better than Dance your PhD are the one-sentence thesis summaries at Here, hundreds of people have summarized their theses in tweet-size summaries.

I’ve been trying to think up a good summary for the thesis I wrote 30 years ago.  So far, the best I’ve come up with is

Doing VLSI layout the wrong way, by writing programs. Special bonus: an NP-completeness proof entirely in pictures!

I haven’t decided whether to submit that or to wait for better inspiration.



  1. It is not just for thesis work, but in Computer Science there is the “online journal” TinyToCS, where papers are limited to 140 characters. See

    Comment by Alan Fekete — 2013 December 28 @ 15:07 | Reply

  2. This is good. My style of writing.

    Comment by Garth — 2013 December 29 @ 07:32 | Reply

  3. You have now introduced me to a website on which I may waste more time than Facebook. Thanks! These are hilarious and wonderful!

    Comment by Mark Guzdial — 2013 December 29 @ 15:37 | Reply

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: