Douglas Reeves


About Theses and Exams


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If I am your advisor or on your committee, and you have an exam coming up in which I will participate, please help me do my job by following these guidelines, in roughly the order given.

Comments for My Own Advisees

  1. Read and follow instructions posted by the graduate school and your department for theses, scheduling exams, etc. Be sure you are aware of graduate school deadlines, which are long before the end of the semester; also allow for the lead time the graduate school requires for scheduling exams (PhD: 3 weeks!). Some online resources are:
  2. Submit a proposed outline / table of contents of your thesis to me. You and I negotiate this before you actually start writing.

  3. Write a sample chapter for me, in complete form. I can comment on your writing style and logical organization with this sample and probably help you catch some persistent problems early in the game. (By the way, all versions of your thesis you send to me should be electronic, in PDF form.)

  4. With this much feedback, write a complete draft of your thesis. After you write it, proofread it and do your best to eliminate the inevitable problems in writing (grammar, punctuation, spelling, etc.) before giving to me. If you have problems with writing, don't (a) give up, or (b) rely on me to fix them all. It is not my job to teach you the mechanics of writing. I highly recommend you either coax a native-English-speaking friend to proofedit your thesis, or pay a professional to do it. Good work must be written well to be appreciated. [Also see note at end of this page about help on campus ]

    On the other hand, it *is* my job to teach you how to appropriately and successfully present your work and technical ideas. If I can get past the trivial writing mechanics, then we can focus on this essential part of your work: how to describe thoroughly, concisely, clearly, and compellingly what you did and what you found.

    Notation counts, organization counts, and style counts.

  5. Some other frequent thesis problems:
    • Each chapter should begin with the motivation for what it describes, and an overview of the contents. Each chapter should end with a summary of what the chapter presented, and a preview or "lead-in" to the next chapter, relating what follows to what has come so far.
    • Cite work properly and frequently. You can't just make unsubstantiated statements in technical writing because you "know it is true". The reason you know it is because you read it or somebody told it to you, or you determined it is true for yourself. In either the first or second cases, you need to cite the source, and in the third case, you will provide the evidence to let the reader determine whether it is true or not.

  6. In order to get my consent to schedule your defense you must first provide a complete draft of your thesis to me. My normal "turnaround time" for comments is around 1 week, and addressing these comments usually takes the advisee a substantial amount of time.

    Note: I will not bend over backwards to accomodate students who wait to the last minute to give me their thesis, or to schedule their exam. Attempts to rush me or your committee to satisfy your priorities (a job offer, INS problems, wedding date, avoiding tuition for another semester, ...) will be rejected. My priority is to graduate you with a quality thesis. Fair warning!


  7. Faculty are busy people; expect there to be scheduling conflicts for the first few dates you try, and be flexible. Contact me (and other committee members) with 2 or 3 dates you prefer, and I'll tell you my available times on those dates. When you find a compatible time for all committee members, notify me immediately. There is often a flurry of students trying to hold exams at approximately the same time (right before the grad school deadline). First one to nail down a date and a time wins!

  8. Before your actual exam, please review your slides with me. With no interruptions or questions, your presentation should be approximately 30 minutes (MS) or 60 minutes (PhD) long; the actual exam will be longer due to questions and discussion. This equates to a presentation with roughly 20-25 (MS) to 40 (PhD) slides. Long presentations are invariably cut on the spot by the committee, which is flustering, but entirely avoidable.

  9. The exam is a formal event. It is the policy of the College of Engineering (with which I agree) that graduate students may not provide refreshments to committee members. Please do not plan on food at your exam; that is not the purpose, and it strains the independence between student and examiner that ensures you are treated professionally.

  10. You should plan on some "revision time" following an exam. It is possible you will need to make some changes to your thesis, based on feedback from your committee. It is risky to expect no changes, and to schedule something major (like leaving town for a new job) immediately following an exam. In most cases, such changes require only a few days to implement and get approved by the committee.

Comments for Students Whose Committee I Am On

  1. Read and follow instructions posted by the graduate school and your department for theses, scheduling exams, etc. Be sure you are aware of graduate school deadlines, which are long before the end of the semester; also allow for the lead time the graduate school requires for scheduling exams (PhD: 3 weeks!). Some online resources are:
  2. Get your thesis or proposal in good shape and approved by your advisor before giving it to me. The advisor is the first (and most important) person to give you feedback, and to satisfy.

  3. Contact me (and other committee members) with 2 or 3 dates you prefer, and I'll tell you my available times on those dates. When you find a compatible time for all committee members, notify me immediately. There is often a flurry of students trying to hold exams at approximately the same time (right before the grad school deadline). First one to nail down a date and a time wins!

  4. Email me a copy of your completed thesis or proposal one week before the exam date. I strongly prefer to get an electronic copy (PDF is best); I can print off a hard copy if I need it.

  5. The thesis or proposal should already have been proofread by a careful, qualified reader for spelling, punctuation, and grammar errors before I see it. [Note: see info at end of this page about a free campus service that helps with this.] Minor errors are no problem, but if the thesis or proposal has serious readability problems I will return it for revisions. I will not be able to understand and appreciate the content if the writing is seriously deficient.

  6. After turning over your thesis or proposal to your committee, but before your actual exam, please review your slides with your advisor. With no interruptions or questions, your presentation should be approximately 30 minutes (MS) or 60 minutes (PhD) long; the actual exam will be longer due to questions and discussion. This equates to a presentation with roughly 20 (MS) to 40 (PhD) slides. Long presentations are invariably cut on the spot by the committee, which is flustering, but entirely avoidable.

  7. It is often helpful to schedule a brief meeting one-on-one with your committee members before a defense, to orient your committee members, and/or to preview issues that may be raised in the exam. This step is optional; some do it, some don't.

  8. The exam is a formal event. It is the policy of the College of Engineering (with which I agree) that graduate students may not provide refreshments to committee members. Please do not plan on food at your exam; that is not the purpose, and it strains the independence between student and examiner that ensures you are treated professionally. If the advisor wants to provide food, that is OK, although my belief is that the time for food, wine, song, ..., is after the exam, not before it.

  9. You should plan on some "revision time" following an exam. It is possible you will need to make some changes to your thesis, based on feedback from your committee. It is risky to expect no changes, and to schedule something major (like leaving town for a new job) immediately following an exam. In most cases, such changes require only 2 or 3 days to implement and get approved by the committee.

Committees I Have Been On

MS, NO THESIS (member)

  1. (G) Anil Chandiramani (ECE)
  2. (G) Markus Siegle (CSC)
  3. (G) Jeff Mukamal (CSC)
  4. (G) Mike Martin (CSC)
  5. (G) Phillip Johnson (ECE)
  6. (G) Nathalie Kae-nune (ECE)
  7. (G) Angela Williams (ECE)
  8. (G) Ju Kuochung (ECE)
  9. (G) Bryan Cope (ECE)
  10. (G) Rick Suffridge (ECE)
  11. (G) John Cooper (ECE)
  12. (G) Indira Gopal (CSC)
MS, NO THESIS (chair):
  1. (G) Ching-Fei Chuan (CSC, Reeves)
  2. (G) Douglas Maltais (CSC, Reeves)
  3. (G) Brian Harper (ECE, Reeves)
  4. (G) Stanley Hooper (ECE, Reeves)
  5. (G) Srikanth Ramamurthy (CSC, Reeves)
  6. (G) Doug Cox (ECE, Reeves)
  7. (G) Conrad Bilgrien (ECE, Reeves)
  8. (G) Chienhua Chen (ECE, Reeves)
  9. (G) Sheng-Fen Hu (ECE, Reeves)
  10. (G) Mark Rauschenberg (ECE, Reeves)
  11. (G) Herbert Rivera-Sanchez (ECE, Reeves)
  12. (G) Eric Noble (ECE, Reeves)
  13. (G) Phillip Morrison (ECE, Reeves)
  14. (G) Takeshi Shoda (ECE, Reeves)
  15. (G) Kevin Kocher (ECE, Reeves)
  16. (G) Barry Kyu (ECE, Reeves)
  17. (G) Hussein Salama (ECE, Reeves)
  18. (G) Johnathan white (ECE, Reeves)
  19. (G) Bill Roper (CSC, Reeves)
  20. (G) Xiaoyong Wu (CSC, Reeves)
  21. (G) Yousef El Messiry (CSC, Reeves)
  22. (G) Randy Buckland (CSC, Reeves)
  23. (G) Charles Hames (ECE, Reeves)
  24. (G) Randall Banner (ECE, Reeves)
  25. (G) Xialong Dai (ECE, Reeves)
  26. (G) Peter Brown (VBEE)
  27. (G) Ken Mallard (ECE, Reeves)
  28. (G) Shixiong Shang (ECE, Reeves)
  29. Lee Anne Bryant (VBEE)
MS THESIS (member)
  1. (G) Julie Chang (CSC, Honeycutt)
  2. (G) Carla Combs (CSC, Fornaro)
  3. (G) Alex Dalal (ECE, Franzon)
  4. (G) Emilio Fuentes (NE)
  5. (G) Eric Geyer (NE)
  6. (G) Jon Goyer (ECE, Gehringer)
  7. (G) Zeynep Gurses (CSC)
  8. (G) Sonetra Howard (ECE, Alexander)
  9. (G) Bee Leng Choo (CSC, Agrawal)
  10. (G) April Maitre (ECE, Franzon)
  11. (G) Vu Nguyen (ECE)
  12. (G) Maitreya Sengupta (CSC, Brglez)
  13. (G) Bill Treat (ECE)
  14. (G) Bill Wike (ECE, Miller)
  15. (G) Vicki Ore (ECE)
  16. (G) Kerem Karatal (ECE)
  17. (G) Prabesh Babu (ECE)
  18. (G) Amghad Abd Elwahab (IE, Elmaghraby)
  19. (G) Ilya Baldine (CSC, Rouskas)
  20. (G) Brian Habermann (CSC, Rouskas)
  21. (G) Hui Cao (Pulp/Paper)
  22. (G) Kathy Hewitt (ECE)
  23. (G) Syed Hussain (ECE)
  24. (G) Adel El Messiry (CSC, Brglez)
  25. (G) Curtis Smith (CSC, McAllister)
  26. (G) Stuart Towns (ECE)
  27. (G) Dennis Rodriguez (ECE)
  28. (G) JJ Stuckey (CSC, Rouskas)
  29. (G) Joel Gregoire (CSC, Lester)
  30. (G) Tim Sluss (CSC, Fornaro)
  31. (G) Abhijit Hayatnagarkar (CSC, Wu)
  32. (G) He Huang (CSC, Wu)
  33. (G) El-Sayyed S. El-Sayyed (NE)
  34. (G) Srinath Joshi (ECE)
  35. (G) Ho-Yen Chang (CSC, Wu)
  36. (G) Feng Lin (ECE)
  37. (G) Dong Zhou (CSC, Wu)
  38. (G) Vikram Rao (ECE, Conte)
  39. (G) Troy Tolle (CSC)
  40. (G) Yiyun Cai (TxEng)
  41. (G) Yi-An Huang (CSC, Lee)
  42. (G) Jiae Chang (CSC, Healey)
  43. (G) James Jong (CSC, Perros)
  44. (G) Rong Wang (CPE, Byrd)
  45. (G) Vijay Iyer (CSC, Rouskas)
  46. (G) Ashley Thomas (CSC, Lee)
  47. (G) Yun Cui (CSC, Ning)
  48. (G) Chidambaram Arunachalam (CSC, Vouk)
  49. (G) Alfredo Cerrano (CSC, Ning)
  50. (G) Sushil Suvarna (ECE, Snyder)
  51. (G) Gautam Gopinadham (CSC, Byrd)
  52. (G) Ruhiyyih Mahalati (CSC, Dutta)
  53. (G) Itisha Tyagi (ECE, Franzon)
  54. (G) Ting Wang (CSC, Ning)
  55. (G) Nirmit Desai (CSC, Mueller)
  56. Xianbing Ling (NE)
  57. Nitin Shrivastav (CSC, Vouk)
  58. Pritesh Patwa (CSC, Dutta)
  59. Sujeet Desphande (CSC, Dutta)
MS THESIS (Chair)
  1. (G) Sean Alexander (ECE, Reeves)
  2. (G) April Pennisi (ECE, Reeves)
  3. (G) Somnath Viswanath (ECE, Reeves)
  4. (G) Matt Melton (CSC, Reeves/Brglez)
  5. (G) Haining Wang (CSC, Reeves)
  6. (G) Xiaobing Zhang (CSC, Reeves/Wu)
  7. (G) Vinay Mahadik (ECE, Reeves)
  8. (G) Akshay Adhikari (CSC, Reeves)
  9. (G) Krithiga Thangavelu (CSC, Reeves)
  10. (G) Nipul Shah (ECE, Reeves)
  11. (G) Khurram Khan (ECE, Reeves)
  12. (G) Prashant Gupta (CSC, Reeves)
  13. (G) Prashant Murthy (CSC, Reeves)
  14. (G) Mithun Acharya (CSC, Reeves)
  15. (G) Qinghua Zhang (CSC, Reeves)
  16. (G) Ranjana Rao (CSC, Reeves)
  17. (G) Young June Pyun (CSC, Reeves)
  18. (G) Steve McKinney (CSC, Reeves)
  19. (G) T.J. O'Connor (CSC, Reeves)
  20. Fernando Barsoba (CSC, Reeves)
PHD (Member)
  1. (G) Zhenhai Chen (ECE)
  2. (G) Jim Conrad (ECE, Agrawal)
  3. (G) Tugrul Dayar (CSC, Stewart)
  4. (G) Andre Fredette (CSC, Cleaveland)
  5. (G) Clay Gloster (ECE, Alexander)
  6. (G) Mark Graham (ECE, Gyurcsik)
  7. (G) Sanjeev Kumar (ECE, Agrawal)
  8. (G) Chris Kurkler (ECE)
  9. (G) Hungying Lo (ECE)
  10. (G) Suresh Rajgopal (UNC-CH)
  11. (G) T. S. "David" Chun (ECE)
  12. (G) Shyang-Tai Su (ECE)
  13. (G) Ken Vu (ECE, Nilsson)
  14. (G) Todd Cook (ECE)
  15. (G) Lap Huynh (ECE, Nilsson)
  16. (G) Sonetra Howard (ECE, Alexander)
  17. (G) H. C. Kuo (ECE)
  18. (G) Vincent Wilburn (ECE, Alexander)
  19. (G) Steven Wright (ECE, Viniotis)
  20. (G) Illia Baldine (CSC, Rouskas)
  21. (G) Chien Vu (ECE, Gehringer)
  22. (G) Mouna Nakkar (PhD, Franzon)
  23. (G) Toby Shaeffer (PhD, Franzon)
  24. (G) Peter Denz (PhD, Nilsson)
  25. (G) Changhe Bai (Materials Science)
  26. (G) Chih-Jen Chang (ECE)
  27. (G) Tsung-Li Wu (CSC, Wu)
  28. (G) Feiyi Wang (CSC, Wu)
  29. (G) Jack Buchanan (MAE, Kleinstreuer)
  30. (G) Zhi Fu (CSC, Wu)
  31. (G) Pronita Mehrotra (ECE, Franzon)
  32. (G) Ho-Yen Chang (CSC, Wu)
  33. (G) Xiaoliang Zhao (CSC, Wu)
  34. (G) Phillip Longest Jr. (MAE, Kleinstreuer)
  35. (G) Lisong Xu (CSC, Perros)
  36. (G) Yodyium Tipsuwan (ECE, Chow)
  37. (G) Ashish Sureka (CSC, Wurman)
  38. (G) Sangjoon Park (ECE, Sichitiu)
  39. (G) Pai Peng (CSC, Ning)
  40. (G) Dingbang Xu (CSC, Ning)
  41. (G) Donggang Liu (CSC, Ning)
  42. (G) Kun Sun (CSC, Ning)
  43. (G) Fei Xing (ECE, Wang)
  44. Sangjoon Park (ECE, Sichitiu)
  45. Yifan Zhu (CSC, Mueller)
  46. Mithun Acharya (CSC, Thuente/Xu)
  47. Emer Sezer (CSC, Ning)
  48. Heshan Lin (CSC, Ma)
  49. Chong Kyung Kil (CSC, Ning)
PHD (Chair)
  1. (G) Caglan Aras (ECE, Reeves)
  2. (G) Sanjeev Rampal (ECE, Reeves)
  3. (G) Hussein Salama (ECE, Reeves)
  4. (G) Gavin Cato (ECE, Reeves)
  5. (G) Mike Izquierdo (ECE, Reeves)
  6. (G) Errin Fulp (ECE, Reeves)
  7. (G) Kehang Wu (ECE, Reeves)
  8. (G) Xinyuan Wang (CSC, Reeves)
  9. (G) Qinglin Jiang (ECE, Reeves)
  10. (G) Fang Feng (ECE, Reeves)
  11. (G) Pan Wang (ECE, Reeves)
  12. (G) Qinghua Zhang (CSC, Reeves)
  13. Young June Pyun (CSC, Reeves)
  14. Young Hee Park (CSC, Reeves)
  15. Kyuyong Shin (CSC, Reeves)
  16. Juan Du (CSC, Reeves)
  17. Jung Ki So (CSC, Reeves)
My sincere intent is to help you succeed, and to make your thesis and defense a satisfying experience. By following these guidelines in advance, I hope that you will decide afterwards that I was a constructive, conscientious advisor or committee member, that I treated you respectfully and professionally, and that I was helpful to you in writing and presenting a quality thesis

Note for students who need help with writing, or looking for someone to proofread their thesis:

"Contact "Writing and Speaking Tutorial Services" here on campus - check out their website at http://www.ncsu.edu/tutorial_center/writespeak/
They are not sponsored by the graduate school, but they are a free service to all undergraduate and graduate students. " Thesis Editor/Residency Officer
The Graduate School NC State University

 


Last modified on Wednesday, 17-Sep-2014 07:00:22 EDT
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