The showdown happened yesterday (7/24/2006) around 11am at Stanford University in Packard 202.
The chairman for the orals was Prof. B.T. Khuri-Yakub, the other examiners included Prof. Mendel Rosenblum (my research advisor and founder of VMware), Prof. Hector Garcia-Molina, and Prof. David Mazières (both Hector and David are also on my reading committee).
The public part of the orals defense took about 1 hour, this is where I get to do a presentation about my work, and the public is invited to attend. After that we took a 5 min break then the private part started, where the profs got to hammer me with all types of questions to reveal whether I really know what I am talking about . I think that took about 45 minutes. They then asked me to leave the room and spent about 15 minutes deliberating (felt like eternity). Prof. Khuri-Yakub (with his very pleasant smile) was the first one to come out and give me the good news.
BTW, according to Google Scholar, my first paper in this series (published in 2002), is the most relevant result for the query “Dynamic Content Distribution” (thanks Google), and has 35 citations so far.
There is still one step left to get the PhD degree, and that is to finish the thesis (the book). It’s currently about 90% done, and I am targeting end of August to complete it, so if everything goes smoothly, I should be done by end of this summer quarter.
One thousand thanks goes to a very long list of folks that helped me achieve this (hard to list them all), thanks also goes to Stanford for being such an amazing entrepreneurial School, and to Yahoo! for being a company that cares about my career just as much as they care about the work I do for them.
You can get a copy of the presentation and my papers at this link: