For four years I’ve been researching the intersting field of manifold learning. Indeed, I’ve defended my PhD thesis last friday and now I have a PhD in electronics, electrotechnics and automatism in the university Louis Pasteur in Strasbourg, France. Those years after my engineering school allowed me to read and to learn a lot, but I’m still glad those years are over.
During these years, I enjoyed looking for new solutions for my problems, and it helped me discover some technologies I didn’t really master (like Python but also C++, parallel computing, … now I can use some of them safely). So this is my advice to every new PhD student: read a lot, and not only articles or books in your field, but also in the other fields, like the tools you may use (Computer Science mainly) so that you can use the best of them (it takes some time, but you’ll be rewarded in the end).
And before I forget: read http://phdcomics.com/ (my favourite character being Mike, although since he’s doing a post-doc, we don’t see him much :().