I attended the thesis defense of one of my friends yesterday. This thesis defense gave me a good lesson and a concrete example about in which way a PhD student should understand and think. While a PhD thesis can be a stapling of several papers together, thinking from a rather high level is always much more important and difficult than understanding the technical details.
Actually I knew this guy ever since nine years ago and I’m quite lucky to witness a relatively complete process for him to get the doctor’s degree. Both of us went into the same high school and the same department in the same university, then became PhD students under the supervision of the same advisor, although I’m always in the grade one year lower than him. This is purely coincidence, as each time I graduated from a place, I chose my next stop following my heart, and I believe it would be a bad idea to follow others’ way to success or try to be someone else. As a matter of fact, even the required courses at school are almost the same for us, he and I have been interested in and focused on quite different things all the time, including different research topics during PhD career. And I think this is a good evidence of biological diversity.