Words of Wisdom

At the supper celebrating a successful defense of one's Ph.D. dissertation, the Ph.D. candidate imparts words of wisdom. These are the words of wisdom of ESPL graduates.


Thomas Kite

  1. The quality of interaction with your advisers is proportional to your willingness to interact with them.
  2. Be confident that your work is good and that other people want to read it.
  3. Talk to the guys [and girl] in the lab. They may have useful things to say--or they may just brighten up your day.

Dong Wei

  1. Work hard
  2. Work smart
  3. Enjoy life

Murat Torlak

  1. If you think that you have made a major breakthrough, then your solution is probably wrong. Check your solution.
  2. The happiness of your advisors is inversely proportional to the happiness of your family.
  3. Doing a Ph.D. makes you an expert in three areas: time management, money management, and your research area.

Biao Lu

  1. Choose the proper advisor.
  2. Respect everyone in the lab as your teacher.
  3. Doctorate of Philosophy for women is Doctorate of Impressive.

Niranjan Damera-Venkata

  1. Be consistent and balanced in your work schedule -- put some effort into your work everyday.
  2. Work on some problem for the sake of the problem and not because it has any practical value.
  3. Always try to share your ideas with your labmates and seek professors for their help.

Guner Arslan

  1. Share your knowledge -- knowledge increases with sharing.
  2. Your work is only as good as you present it.
  3. Help your friends when they need help -- eventually you will need help too.

Milos Milosevic

  1. Rely on your self -- nobody wants your Ph.D. more than you do.
  2. Rely on your friends -- because they mean good to you, and rarely you can do on your own.
  3. Keep your chin up and hopes alive -- because end will come in a good way.

Dogu Arifler

  1. There is no such thing as a perfect research problem, so don't spend many years trying to find one
  2. When you realize that there is too much to be done, you're ready to graduate
  3. Goethe: "Enjoy when you can, endure when you must".

Ming Ding

  1. Broadband: don't be too narrow in your approach
  2. High-speed: utilize time efficiently
  3. Communication: talk to your supervisor, group members, and others

Serene Banerjee

  1. Have a positive frame of mind
  2. Always have faith, but don't think about fear
  3. Never compete with anyone, including yourself, rather enjoy your work

Vishal Monga

  1. Take coursework seriously--it's the foundation for good research and is not a distraction.
  2. Think more and code less--analyze the problem well before writing code.
  3. Respect your peers and learn from them--ethnic diversity implies intellectual diversity.

Zukang Shen

  1. Be humble and learn from everyone.
  2. Do not be afraid to start new work. Just do it!
  3. Listen to your advisor and committee members. (They remember the comments they made in your qualifying exam during your defense.)

Kyungtae Han

  1. Make it better than yesterday.
  2. Stick to your interests.
  3. Relax as much as possible.

Hamood Rehman

  1. Work hard and the results will come.

Gregory Allen

  1. Two birds, one stone: try to make your graduate research work align with other responsibilities
  2. Have a plan and an outline: it's hard to get there if you don't know where you're going
  3. Schedule [weekly] time specifically for dissertation writing and keep it sacred

Kapil Gulati

  1. Collaboration: Look for mutual collaboration, particularly at the start of your PhD.
  2. Confidence: Have confidence in your knowledge and your work-- it reflects in your publications and presentations.
  3. Companionship: Seek support from your loved ones for emotional strength.

Aditya Chopra

  1. Faith in self: Have faith in yourself. Even when the challenges seem insurmountable, patience and perseverance will guide you to your goals.
  2. Faith in the PhD: Have faith in the PhD. It will make you a better, stronger person.
  3. Faith in people: Have faith in the people around you. Your advisor will guide you, your colleagues will help you, your family will support you, and your friends will make your life complete.

Marcel Nassar

  1. Be curious: explore other academic departments and interact with people having different backgrounds
  2. PhD is a journey not a goal: make the best of what the university has to offer to develop academically and personally
  3. Collaborate: working with other people rocks

Jing Lin

  1. Don't be afraid of detours
  2. If you can't get everything, just pick something
  3. Set a timeline

Kyle Wesson

  1. Exercise every day
  2. You're always learning something
  3. Set realistic goals; there is always more work to do

Chao Jia

  1. Have a healthy lifestyle.
  2. Choose a research topic that you are passionate about.
  3. Take risks. Don't be afraid of failure.

Karl Nieman

  1. Be open minded and feed your curiosity: The results will surprise you.
  2. Take breaks: Some of the greatest ideas happen when the pressure is off.
  3. The world is yours: Own your future and never settle for less.

Yousof Mortazavi

  1. Work on things you enjoy doing. It's much easier that way and the motivation will help you get through tough times.
  2. Life balance: While you're young and healthy try to enjoy life and pay attention to work-life balance.
  3. Finish the PhD before working if you can help it.

Debarati Kundu

  1. Don't compare your journey with others, every PhD is unique.
  2. Don't be afraid to fail and learn from mistakes.
  3. Collaborate and keep yourself abreast with what other researchers are doing.
  4. Maintain a good work-life balance to avoid a burnout.


In addition, we have also included the words of wisdom for Prof. Brian L. Evans on the event of receiving tenure and promotion:

Brian L. Evans (tenure)

  1. Stick to your principles.
  2. Look for mutual collaboration.
  3. Balance everything, your mental, spiritual, emotional, and physical lives.