Thesis word cloud… Part II

In Part I, somewhere at the hazy beginnings of this blog, I decided to reduce a lot of blood, sweat and tears, a large declaration of scientific effort into what was essentially a postcard.

In what was, at the time, a personal act of self-mutilation… I have decided to extend this gift of brevity to other theses. So Part II’s word cloud comes from a thesis entitled “Using metabolomic analyses to study mode of action of and resistance to Eflornithine in Trypanosoma brucei” from a baptised (through hell and fire) protégé. Read the whole thesis, it’s quite the page turner.

50,000 odd words, 317 pages, 65 figures, 13 tables, 6 chapters, and a Trebuchet font past the finish line…

Representing an entire thesis as word cloud is quite meaningless. As much as this act is a gross under-representation of what it’s like to write a thesis, or go through a PhD for that matter, it gets us to thinking about words.

‘aliquoted’ word or not a word? #phdthesischat

— Heather Doran (@hapsci) Juin 5, 2012

Specific words within our theses and the words we choose to describe the science that we do (god particle anyone?).

Writing about science, in whatever form, is a precise matter (as it should be). For a thesis, lofty ambitions and rhetoric, are for the most part, put aside in favour of exactitude.

“Outwith” is a word that occurs thrice within this thesis. And which was the topic of debate during the viva (so I hear).

As I write this I am reading that Jorge Cham over at PhD Comics is going one better… that is animating an entire thesis!

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What had I twaught…


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