Bachelor Thesis Log 13

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This is an English translation of a blog post that was originally published in German.

September 28th, 2010

Welcome to the last weekly report on iteration 1 of my bachelor thesis. Not to beat around the bush: since yesterday evening I consider it finished for the first time! That means: all chapters are written, there are no more gaps in the manuscript. On the other hand, that doesn't mean there's nothing left to improve.

At the moment, I feel relieved that the work is now at this level, which gives me some relaxation. I am even a few days ahead of my schedule, which actually foresees the completion of the work only for the day after tomorrow.

At the moment, I'm most worried about the proverbial operational blindness. I've read the text of my bachelor thesis so many times in the last weeks and months that I can't read it anymore – I keep skipping whole paragraphs because I still know them by heart. This makes it very difficult for me to look at it critically. I would actually like to, because I wrote the chapters in a completely different order than they are in the paper now. This is of course a breeding ground for sequence errors and implicit forward references. Unfortunately, I have to wait at least a few more days (if not weeks) until I can read the text “properly” again.

What Happens Next?

A look at the schedule in the last report reveals that the next items are the feedback week from October 1 to 8 and the colloquium talk on October 4. I will prepare for the talk from now on, so to speak, and draft some slides. It will take place next Monday. So if you want to be there, now is your last chance to let me know.

The feedback week starts next Friday. On that day I will send out the then current version of the thesis (I might still correct some small things until then) to quite a few people. I've decided to send an email to everyone who has expressed some kind of interest and let them decide if they want to have a look at it and give me some feedback. Maybe I'll get some feedback, maybe not. If I get any, I'll work it in starting October 8. After that I'll continue with feedback from Axel, for the rest see the planning in the last report.

Of course you can still express interest in the work and be provided with a preview if you like. Just contact me for that.

Continuing These Reports

The completion of the core work phase does not end the time of these weekly reports. My goal is to continue them until the final submission of the work. In the future reports, apart from the current status of the feedback cycles, I will mainly provide further reflections on the process. Maybe some tips and hints for future thesis writers will fall out in the process, we'll see. I don't really know yet myself.

We'll do nothing that involves thinking for today (sorry, I need a little break), so here's a bit of useless knowledge:

My thesis is currently 47 A4 pages long in total, including cover page, table of contents and appendix. The PDF file is exactly 666886 bytes in size. (Should that give me pause for thought?) Of the 47 pages, 18 fall to my core text. Another 24 comprise the interview transcripts. One page is taken up by an email report in the appendix, and another by the single, solitary figure in the paper. Apart from that, there are only the cover page, table of contents, and bibliography.

After converting to plain text and automatic counting, the paper currently consists of 17730 words including the appendix and 6126 without it. Not as much as I thought actually. The main LaTeX document has 1178 lines, but this does not include the interviews. Of these 1178 lines, 36 are comments. Of the comments, 7 (i.e. less than 20%) are “real” comments, the rest are commented out lines of code. Good thing my LaTeX doesn't usually have any code complexity worth mentioning.

Here's a list of the most frequently used words and their number in my core text, minus articles, prepositions, particles, and other boring stuff: teachlets (84), participants (60), teachlet (49), moderator (39), software (31), participants (29), definition (26)


Next Tuesday I will tell you about the colloquium lecture and about the feedback week by that point. I'm curious to see how both of these things work out. See you then!

Addendum: I just sent the mail for the feedback. While writing it, I noticed that one week is actually quite short. So I spontaneously extended the feedback week to two weeks. Let's see if I get any answers.


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