Thursday, March 5, 2009

Master of Science

This morning, after a long writing and revision period, my advisor (S.) declared my M. Sc. thesis research paper officially dead done. Whoopee. I am almost two months late on the departmental deadline (although I have been granted preemptive clemency), and I was feeling pretty unenthusiastic about finishing.

In talking about the broader scope of the project, S. commented, "This project turned out to be much harder than I thought it would be." Oh! Good, now I feel alright that I was so slow to iron out the details in writing. Then he picked up the document -- nearly 30 pages! -- and said, "It's hefty."

And *poof* I felt much better. Whoopee!

A while back, closer to the "real" departmental deadline for M. Sc. research papers, C. tagged me for his "wordle your thesis" meme. Wordle is cute, but easily manipulated. Given a bunch of text, it creates a "word cloud" of the most frequently-used words, with the more frequent words indicated by larger size.

The wordle of my research paper (pdf):

Even though wordle just uses frequency count, it conveys some meaningful information (not a lot). I like that you can tell, just from this word cloud, that my paper is about strings, functions, matrices, numbers, definitions, axioms and theory. I grabbed this text from the pdf, so some symbols didn't convey properly -- like \SigmaB.

The wordle of my research paper (LaTeX):

This tells you that I used a lot of mathcal, Sigma, vec, and wedge. It's cute that some of my own defined tags/symbols got such usage (parityL). In comparing the two word clouds, one can see that I have a very LaTeX-heavy paper: the actual words of the paper are crowded out of the top-150-most-frequent word count when LaTeX commands are included. "String," "matrix," "function," and "theorem" still survive, but look how large "mathcal" and "begin" and "end" are!

This post's featured quote, from S. upon reading the paperwork he has to complete:
Is 'transitioning' even a word?
His real paper dictionary from the '50s says that "transition" is a noun, with possible adjective form "transitional." There was no verb "to transition" in the '50s, apparently.


Haz said...



masha51 said...

Those graphics would make nice woot shirts.

Jorge said...

It's good to see that "begin" and "end" have the same size.


Lila said...

"PowSeq" is the name of a string function that features prominently in my theories.

ntp said...

Congrats on getting it done. Would a copy of it appear soon?
btw, I don't think S. has a link to your home page, so for a long time I don't know that you've got one.