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Graduate student frustrated

  1. Jan 17, 2009 #1
    Hi all..
    I am now a first-year graduate student in engineering.
    I have been working on a research problem for 3 months.
    I thought that I have solved the problem recently and wrote up a manuscript and was ready to submit that.
    However, suddenly, I found an error with my work and it cannot be fixed. A stupid error I made in the very beginning of the research...
    I feel so frustrated and shameful and start to doubt whether i should continue graduate school....

    Anyone has similar experience to share..?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 17, 2009 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Welcome to the club.

    Move on, there is nothing to see.
  4. Jan 17, 2009 #3


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    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    I agree, this isn't all that uncommon.

    You can't expect all research to go perfectly - especially when you're still a student. Also, the error could not have been that stupid, otherwise your supervisor should have picked up on it as soon as he/she saw it. Be glad that you found the error now and not, say, on the night before your defence.
  5. Jan 17, 2009 #4

    I feel like I am so stupid...

    The mistake is really stupid...i can gaurantee...
    My advisor did not notice this probably because he trust me and he didn't read every step...so...

  6. Jan 17, 2009 #5


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    Science Advisor

    What, 2+ 2 isn't equal to 5?
  7. Jan 17, 2009 #6
    I had the same experience doing an undergraduate research project, where a too-good-to-be-true result turned out, as I was starting to finish everything up, to be untrue. C'est la vie.

    Did you learn something from the experience?
  8. Jan 17, 2009 #7
    It's all part of the learning process.
  9. Jan 18, 2009 #8
    I learn..that i have to be more organized and be more careful....

    and i also learn that i am quite stupid..~.~
  10. Jan 18, 2009 #9
    Oh this stuff happens. I once had probability greater than one and didn't notice it until 2 weeks later when a friend of mine says, it all makes sense until here (the 5th equation i wrote.) Sometimes you have lapse in judgement. Get up start again and hope for the best.
  11. Jan 18, 2009 #10


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    Staff: Mentor

    As long as you are aware of the fact, there is still hope.
  12. Jan 18, 2009 #11
    World history is fully of silly mistakes made by very bright people. Why should you be different? Note, the worst thing you can do is to try and hide this mistake or try and fudge some results--that's partly why world finance is in such a mess! (Look at all the silly mistakes made there!)

    Mistakes are a *very* good part of the learning process. And if the worst happens? I once messed up a backup procedure, which resulted in me not having my contract renewed--instead I got a much better job! And I never messed up backups again! And I never again worried so much if I made other mistakes (which I did). Have a chat with your supervisor. Even if the mistake was as daft as 2+2=5 he should laugh if off with you--otherwise he's the one at fault.

    We're all "quite stupid", as Socrates pointed out...
  13. Jan 18, 2009 #12
    Thanks all for the replies...
    I feel better after reading these..
  14. Jan 18, 2009 #13
    hope for what?
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