It is official, last Sunday (June 17th, 2007) was the graduation ceremony at Stanford, my PhD degree is now conferred and I received the diploma.
You can see photos from the graduation ceremony on flickr at:
Here are some simple stats:
- 11.5 years from start to finish
- 3 research topics (i.e. changed topic 2 times)
- 6 years on research topic that lead to final thesis (while working at Yahoo)
- 3 great research advisers (Fouad Tobagi, Nick McKeown, and Mendel Rosenblum)
- 5 published papers (3 for final research topic, 2 on previous topics)
- 100 page dissertation
- 4.0 GPA for the course work
- 2 years leave of absence in middle (which is Stanford limit)
- 4 kids, all born during this period
- 1 startup (VivaSmart/Aptivia, acquired by Yahoo in 2000)
- 5 classes for which I was Teaching Assistant (some were pretty large)
- 50 pounds gained
When I came from Egypt to Stanford in Sept 1995, my goal was to get the PhD and return to my country to teach (I love teaching). That goal changed quickly though, as you can get spoiled very quickly in the Bay Area, it is truly a land of opportunity, cutting edge technology, natural beauty, and very hospitable for immigrants (folks here are from all corners of Earth). After joining Yahoo my career was flourishing, but I still had to get the PhD, it is like an Olympic medal, an achievement that I have to do for the sake of achieving it, more than anything else.
To all those that helped me achieve this goal, my deepest thanks from the bottom of my heart.