Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Just Call Me "Doc Shorts"

I passed my thesis defense today, so I'm now Doctor Van Meter. Or, at least, will be once the final paperwork is done; it has to be printed, bound, and submitted to an all-faculty meeting next month. My committee has some suggested changes, but they left them as recommendations, so the final tweaks are up to my adviser (Prof. Teraoka) and me, as I understand it.

My thesis is, as I've mentioned, "Architecture of a Quantum Multicomputer Optimized for Shor's Factoring Algorithm". After I make the final revisions, I should be posting it on the arxiv, so stay tuned. (If you're dying for a preview, or want to put in your two cents before it's final, email me and I'll drop you a copy.)

After a lot of work and worry, the defense itself was actually remarkably uneventful. I didn't count, but there were about twenty people there, counting the professors, which is a pretty good crowd. My committee asked a number of intelligent questions, but the grilling was moderate, compared to the first presentation a month ago, when I got shelled pretty good. Thanks to the help of my advisers, the presentation got a lot better in the interim.

My committee was five professors, plus one unofficial member. That's a crowd, but in such an interdisciplinary topic it seemed kind of necessary; I had a theoretical physicist (Prof. Kae Nemoto, who will be my boss in my postdoc), an experimentalist (Prof. Kohei Itoh), a computer networking guy (Prof. Teraoka, my official adviser), one parallel systems expert (Prof. Amano), and another architecture guy (Prof. Yamasaki). The unofficial member is Prof. Jun Murai, who is now Keio's vice president in charge of research -- provost, more or less. I'm very flattered that he took the time to attend. Thanks to all of you for the hard work in mentoring me and evaluating my thesis.

Ah, the one real event of the day, which will no doubt go down in history as part of the Rod Legend. Defenses, in this country, are always given wearing a suit. But I hate suits, and the weather is now hot, sticky, and rainy, so I took my suit, still in the dry-cleaning plastic, and shoved it in a bag, and commuted the two hours to campus in shorts and a t-shirt.

Last Friday, Kae said, "On Monday, remind me to..." I interrupted her and said, "Huh-huh, I'm not taking responsibility for that. On Monday, if I remember to show up carrying my laptop and wearing pants, I'll be happy."

Do you see the punchline yet?

I got to campus, opened my bag, and... no pants. I had grabbed the suit coat, but the pants came from the dry cleaners packaged separately. Oops.

Fortunately, that was still early in the morning, Mayumi was coming to hear my defense, and she hadn't left the house yet. I called her, and she brought them with her, and everything worked out.

So, you can call me "Doc Shorts" or "Doctor No Pants" (or just "Doctor No"?). (Beats some of the nicknames Wook has had for me over the years, but I suppose I've reinforced rather than outgrown "Bean Dip".)

Thanks to all of you who have given me so much support over the years. I couldn't have done it without you.


At 11:38 AM, Blogger Janus said...

Congratulations Doctor Van Meter!!


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