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Quantifying hardwork

  1. Dec 8, 2007 #1
    Hi all,

    i've seen a number of threads, asking how to study and how shud one work towards PhD etc and the general response has been to 'work hard'.
    now, can anyone elaborate on this 'hard work'?
    i'll be soon beginning my research on quantum transport in solid state physics and more from an engineering perspective. could someone throw light or share any links on the 'hard work' i shud do?
    or on the other hand, for those who are pursuing research, what does 'hard work' mean to you guys?
    how to quantify hard work and how to know whether i'm working hard?
    because, it's easy for one to think that he/she's working hard but in fact it might not be hard work on what matters or what's important..

    another question, i've been trying to familiarise myself with the literature by reading technical papers and it's easy to lose track of the objective and also waste time coz, each paper refers a number of other papers for certain results and those papers do the same themselves for other results. is there a way to tackle this issue efficiently or reading all the references is inevitable?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 8, 2007 #2

    symbolipoint

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    Compare the number of class instructional hours per week with the number of hours you spend outside of class exploring(studying) the course. That is a beginning, but that tells very little about the complexity of the course being studied. Studying Hard must involve thoroughness, and not just time quantity.

    For reading and learning from scientific journal articles, the reader should ideally know something about the topic or componant of the subject and not need to check very many of the articles referenced in the current article. The current article really should be reasonably thorough by itself. You should be able to select whatever referenced articles to read using your own judgement - really difficult to say. Pick the ones that you believe would help in gaining "prerequisite" knowledge. The references are put in for you in case you want to know more about the details of history of related scientific work.
     
  4. Dec 8, 2007 #3

    marcusl

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    If you have no life outside of working on your PhD, then you are working hard. The challenge is to keep it up long enough to finish. Once you are done with classes you can ease up a *little* so you don't go crazy before reaching the finish line.
     
  5. Dec 8, 2007 #4
    what do u mean by 'no life outside of working on your PhD' ?
     
  6. Dec 9, 2007 #5

    marcusl

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    Sports, concerts, girlfriends, parties, travel or whatever else you'd normally do.
     
  7. Dec 12, 2007 #6
    damn i'm never getting a phd.
     
  8. Dec 12, 2007 #7

    cristo

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    There is no need to work every day god sends us in order to obtain a PhD. Everyone in my office works normal office hours (around 9-5, or 10-6 each day).
     
  9. Dec 13, 2007 #8

    marcusl

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    I think you need to work hard (defined above), especially at a top school, during the years you take classes. Once you start on your thesis research, you go at your own pace and can ease up. How much you play and how long it takes to finish are related in some way :eek:)
     
  10. Dec 14, 2007 #9
    I have a question about hard work during my undergrad years. Is it enough to just do the assignment questions that are assigned or should I plan on doing all of the problems in my chemistry and Calculus text books, or even Biology for that matter? I mean I understand the concepts and all, but I have a feeling that is what a lot of people actually do in order to be the top. Am I right?
     
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