More Thesis Writing

By now, I’m way beyond the 100-page mark. There are still a bunch of “TODO”s in my text, but they are getting fewer. I’ve filled in many blanks. The conclusion isn’t written yet, but that’s ok. I’m going to revisit the abstract, introduction and conclusion at the very end anyway, to make sure that the abstract correctly expresses the content of the thesis, that the introduction starts at an appropriate point and properly introduces the material, and that the conclusion is valid.

I still have to start writing the chapter about bytecode rewriting. It was supposed to include some technical details and some other things that I worked on, namely the schedule recorder, the deadlock detector, and random sleep and yield. I think I will keep most of the random sleep and yield out of this thesis, though, because I haven’t really tested those instrumentors very well. I don’t have any results about how well they work and what delay lengths and probabilities I should choose.

Results generally are a problem. The results sections about the JUnit improvement and the invariant checker are still empty, too. I’m debating whether I need to explain the XML format in greater detail. I also need to go through and check my bibliography, add more citations, and do a better literature review. Then I need to revisit my notes from the blog and see if anything should be added.

Today I went through the thesis and fixed problems with the margin caused by the teletype font. I don’t think I’m doing it right, though, because I have to manually insert hyphenation points. Isn’t there a way to globally enable hyphenation for the teletype font, and for example tell LaTeX that it should make a line break after a dot, e.g. break java.lang.Object into java.lang. and Object?

I could also use proof-readers. Any volunteers? ;)

My mom will be here on May 9, and I think I want to defend either before she gets here or during the first few days of her stay, so that we can talk about the gravely serious issues in our lives later, without disturbing my concentration. That means I have two and a half, maybe three weeks until my defense. That means in the next week and a half, I should get some feedback from my committee, and then I need to schedule the defense. Time really flies.

I’m a little bummed out about not graduating this semester. It would have been very nice for my mom to see me walk again. But defending and finalizing the thesis by next Wednesday would have been impossible. I admit that I slacked off a bit in January and February and that probably ruined it, but I felt just really disturbed by the latest news from my family. I’m glad, though, that Corky doesn’t seem to mind if I postpone everything by a few weeks. It’s just sad that it’s a matter of a few weeks…


About Mathias

Software development engineer. Principal developer of DrJava. Recent Ph.D. graduate from the Department of Computer Science at Rice University.
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