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advancing to candidacy soon

Well, these past few weeks I've spent putting together a talk on the research I've been doing. I'll be giving it on Tuesday to a panel of professors and various other people and it will count as my "oral qualifiers", after which--assuming it goes well--I will advance to "PhD candidacy". Something I probably could have done as early as a year ago, but for various reasons it has been delayed. I still have a ways to go before I get the actual degree (at least a year, more likely two), but basically this means that after this all I have left to do is write a dissertation and defend it.

My talk is entitled "Beyond the Pentagon", and I'm putting the slides I've made online if anyone is curious to flip through them. It's about embedding Tom Banks' Pentagon Model into an SU(5)xSU(5)xSU(5) Grand Unified Theory; a paper that we have mostly written, but we haven't submitted for publication yet mainly because Tom is focusing on getting his Quantum Field Theory textbook finished this month, and hasn't had a chance to make comments and suggestions to the draft. Here are my 3 most "colorful" slides:

You can find the rest of the slides here: Beyond the Pentagon

The committee I've selected who will be evaulating me on Tuesday consists of Tom Banks (my advisor), Michael Dine, and Howard Haber from the physics department, and Richard Montgomery from the mathematics department. I also turned in the form which selected the first 3 as my dissertation committee for when I actually give my defense.

Anyway, it's been fun putting this talk together; it will be the first really official physics talk that I give--and if I get lucky, maybe I'll get invited to give it at other places after this (I don't know what the chances of that are--probably depends on how successful the rest of the research is). My task for this weekend: figure out the catering for this event, and narrow down what I have to say in my talk to the essentials so I don't end up running on and on.

On Thursday, I got to meet and hang out with Sean Carroll of CosmicVariance. He gave a really thought-provoking talk for us entitled Why is the Past Different From the Future? which several of us spent the rest of the evening discussing in depth at dinner. In the end, I decided I don't really buy his particular suggestion for solving this problem, but he did a great job of stating what is really going on behind the issue of the arrow of time in thermodynamics, and arguing why none of the current cosmological models satisfactorily address the problem.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 9th, 2007 09:30 pm (UTC)
Good luck!

You don't have to have an outside member for your dissertation committee?
Jun. 9th, 2007 10:50 pm (UTC)

You don't have to have an outside member for your dissertation committee?

Apparently not... I thought I did, but when I went to hand in the form and asked "where do I write the 4th name?" they said "you only need 3" so unless I was supposed to pick 2 inside and 1 outside, which I don't think is the case, it looks like it's not required. I don't know why an outside member would be required for orals but not for the dissertation defense, but that's what I've been told by at least 2 people (neither of which is authoritative, though, so maybe I should verify this further before trusting the form gets processed correctly).
Jun. 10th, 2007 07:58 pm (UTC)
At Berkeley it's standardly 2 inside and 1 outside (though in the Logic group and a couple other departments it's 5 total people, at least one of whom is outside - but we've also got a defense at the end).
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )


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