0 days to go

I didn’t submit the thesis. The problem is the grade signatures that I need to get from three lecturers. The missing signatures are complications of the missing examination session of the eighth semester.

They gave me time until Thursday to get the signatures. Getting the signatures is one of the most disadvantages of this school. It’s a secondary school for most of the lecturers, so they are difficult to reach and available in very short time windows. Their mobile phone numbers are unavailable. Their office phone numbers are unavailable as well. They rarely respond to e-mails. The hunt starts on Monday.


0.5 day to go

Half a day, that is. Saturday is a good day for thesis submission, as I will not spend as much time in traffic jams as usual.

The thesis has 92 pages. Initially, I thought it’s going to have approximately 50. Charts and tables take up a lot of space. Some of them occupy a whole page.

PDF is ready, URLs are black, I also solved a problem of two version of the thesis. It is required that two copies of a submitted thesis differ slightly. The third page of one of them needs to contain certain frames for grades and signatures. I have solved this problem by replicating appropriate pages and pulling the page counter two ticks backwards. Once the two copies are printed, I’m going to throw out the appropriate pages from each copy. It allows me to avoid preparing two versions of the PDF file.

1 day to go

Cosmetic changes do not take as little time as I expected them to. I’m still creating an index. URLs became magenta for some reason, but I think I can sort it out. I’ve translated the abstract to Polish, just in case.

I have to say that LaTeX has proven to be a very good technology for thesis writing. I’d like to point out two major advantages:

  1. There was a moment, when I stopped paying any attention to the presentation. My task was to enter the content. It does not mean I didn’t examine the PDF every now and then, only to ensure that everything looked fine.
  2. Cooperation with other people was easy thanks to the fact that LaTeX uses plain text source files. I used source control (Subversion) to keep track of every change in the document, and revert changes if needed. Lenina just edited the files, adding comments when needed. I was examining in vimdiff every change she made, reviewing it and merging into my sources.

The biggest trouble I (or rather Lenina) had was the articles. My native language does not have them, so I couldn’t really relate English text to it. Nevertheless, I think I’ve learned more English in last few days than in the previous two years.

2 days to go

I have extended the theory part, inflating the thesis to 89 pages.

I’m leaving in an hour for a meeting with my supervisor. The plan for today is to work together and apply final changes. I hope that there will be only minor ones.

Plan for tomorrow is to take care of technical things: index, glossary and further corrections if necessary.

2×2 days to go

Just a quick note. I’ve got to expand some parts of the thesis. Unfortunately, I also need to get my grades signed by lecturers, which means hunting for them around the city.

To move around faster, I’ve borrowed a car from my mother. Of course, the first time I wanted to park, the side window wouldn’t close. I really need to get those signatures, so I just left it open, first making sure that nothing valuable is left inside.  It’s not the right time for things to break.
Luckily, writing goes forward. And ― thanks, Lenina!

2×2×2 days to go

I removed a huge appendix from my thesis to make it thinner, but the thesis is still growing. The current chapter, the analysis, contains dumps of the models, where one model can take up a whole page.

It’s 23 days left to the submission. I’ve promised my supervisor a final-candidate on Sunday, so I’ve got today and tomorrow to do it. It’s going to be a busy weekend.

I am somewhat disappointed with the predictive weakness of the models. There are lots of false negatives, even though the classification threshold is low (5%). Fortunately, the classification is not a key point in my thesis. The models can still be used for fair comparing the hospitals.

Last but one step of the analysis

So far, everything I was doing was a preparation. Now, there are 10102 days to go and I’m starting the actual data analysis, i.e. the final multiple logistic regression. Two mighty servers are currently processing my data. They have already calculated the simple additive models without interactions. I hope they will finish the models with interactions by tomorrow.

After many conversations with my expert consultant,  I have achieved results that do make sense to him. No revelations, but I don’t expect them anymore. It’s good enough when the regression results match his expectations.  The calculatated coefficients are informative, as they represent the size of the effect.

Once I have the regressions ready, I’ll be ready to perform the hospital comparisons, the very final phase of the analysis.