Hi, Everyone: I recently passed my oral exams for my Math PHD, and I am going on into the actual thesis prep. My problem is that I (wrongly) believed that the topic I worked on for the 2nd exam -- call it T--,was supposed to be an "entry" into the general area I was interested in, and that topic T would not be the one I would be using to work for the actual thesis, as I was intead hoping/interested in working on a somewhat-related topic , call it T'. It turns out my advisor is dead-set on my working on topic T instead. I had repeatedly told my advisor, while working on T, for the second exam, in many different ways that I did not find topic T appealing, and that I had the right background, training and disposition for T'. I believed ( wrongly, I now realize), from some comments he made in this respect, that he was aware of my wanting to change from T into T', and that he was seriosuly considering looking for some work for me to do on T'.( I am not saying the advisor lied to me; I don't have grounds to say this.) Now, I don't want to spend a couple of years working on something I don't find interesting. I don't know if it would sit well with my advisor if I were to go around now, after passing the 2nd exam, looking for someone who would work with me on T'. The chair of the department is a mostly-conservative guy who wants people to stick with the standard approach of sticking to an advisor and a topic. I am just hoping to get some comments, insights, suggestions on your part. Thanks in Advance.