Thursday, March 6, 2008

All But Dissertation Defence

In 1986, while I was an assistant professor at the University of Lethbridge, I enrolled in the Computer Science Ph.D. program at the University of Calgary.

It is important to a university that its professors hold the Ph.D. degree, so the University of Lethbridge encouraged and helped me in this endeavor. I was in a tenure track position, and as I neared the next evaluation point, it became clear that I would not complete the requirements of the Ph.D. degree in time. For that and other reasons, I left this position and took employment at WordPerfect Corporation in Orem, Utah.

I kept in touch with the department at the University of Calgary, and, shortly before the 10 year limit, completed the writing of a dissertation. All that was left then was to defend it in front of a committee. This I was not allowed to do.

So, I hold what is considered to be a Ph.D. ABD (all but dissertation). In my case, the dissertation is written but not defended.

Looking through old disk drives recently, I located the files from which I printed out the dissertation. Now, I am in the process of publishing the dissertation on the Internet. It is quite difficult because the documents were produced using WordPerfect 5.1 for DOS, and Microsoft Word doesn't convert these files very well.

So, I'm running WordPerfect inside of DOSbox and saving each file in a generic format and then hand editing by inserting HTML tags. The diagrams are screen-captured from Word's attempt, or reconstructed. Otherwise, I am leaving everything exactly as I wrote it in 1995.

So far all that I have to show for it is Chapter 6.


Nancy Heiss said...

Good for you! It's nice to know that others will have the opportunity to read your hard work...I won't guarantee that I will be one of them since I'm sure it will be way, way, way over my head. :)

Bruce Conrad said...

Watch for Chapter 1, which includes material inspired by your uncle, LeRon Torrie, and also by Joe Stevenson, whom you may know from Raymond. That chapter should be accessible to any educated reader.

Myrna said...

Nancy did know Joe Stevenson, but since she was two when we moved from Raymond, it is doubtful that she remembers him...and were he to see her now, it is doubtful he would recognize her! (Sorry to have gotten behind in reading your blog!)