Post Thesis Depression

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By that time, my habit of procrastination had become very serious.

I tried my very best to procrastinate on things that I didn’t intrinsically love, such as writing the Ph D thesis.

Recently I started reading the book “Principles” by Ray Dalio, and it has had huge impact on me, even though I haven’t finished reading it.

In particular, he mentioned that many people were afraid of making mistakes, and when they do make mistakes, they never review or learn from the mistakes, which is really a shame, because it is such a great opportunity to improve oneself.

This post is my attempt to review and analyze my mistakes, I hope I could do better in the future, and never go through the same type of crisis again.

I also wish this post could be useful to two types of readers: HRs/managers in companies who plan to hire fresh Ph Ds with the similar personality to me, and those fresh Ph Ds who plan to work in a company environment like me in late 2013.I was so fascinated by the fact that I could eventually significantly improve Sweave, which had tortured me for a number of years.I didn’t talk to my advisors in advance, and jumped straight into knitr.That was the reason I donated the royalties of the knitr book to the department four years later. Sometimes I make good trouble, and sometimes I make really bad trouble.Anyway, this incident was a tragedy to me in the beginning, but became a fond memory later. I want to start this post from my Ph D life at Iowa State, because I believe a seed was deeply planted in this period (4.5 years), which eventually led to my crisis.I was not completely focused on cranvas all the time, because of a few side projects, including the animation package and the community Capital of Statisitcs (COS) that I founded in 2006 to help promote statistics and R in China.In particular, I spent a huge amount of time on the latter, without telling my advisors.That shows what an incredible expert I was at procrastination.So Dr Xie got a Ph D degree in statistics, with an invisible “master” degree of procrastination.I remember Philip Guo once said doing a Ph D basically means you exchange wealth with freedom, i.e., you gain a lot of freedom, and sacrifice the potentially much higher income. That was exactly what I gained during my Ph D training.I was very fortunate to have Di and Heike to be my advisors.


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