Wednesday, November 12, 2008


The blog has gotten neglected over the past couple of months because I was preparing for my preliminary exam, which I took on Monday. For those of you unfamiliar with the PhD process, the prelim is the oral exam that qualifies you as a candidate for a PhD. Where this happens in the process varies from discipline to discipline, but in chemistry at Illinois, we generally take the prelim in the first semester of the 3rd year. If you pass, you continue your research for the next 2ish years to complete your PhD and if you fail, you're typically asked to leave with a masters. We submit a preliminary report, then give a presentation to our committee of four who are free to ask us anything they want.

The short story is that I passed my prelim on Monday, which is quite nice to have out of the way. I still have plenty that I want to get done in the lab, but hopefully I'll get back up to speed here as well.