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Students describe their theses in a single self-mocking sentence

Illustration for article titled Students describe their theses in a single self-mocking sentence

"Summing up years of work in one sentence." That's the tagline for Lol My Thesis, where PhD candidates (Edit: and undergrads) make fun of their own theses by reducing them to just a sentence or two.

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Edit: I mistakenly thought these were mostly graduate theses. The about page describes them as "undergraduate (and some post-graduate) theses."

Students in areas from accounting to aerospace engineering come up with absurd, obvious, and sometimes defeated descriptions of their research. Here are a few examples:

Don't be anxious about your decisions driven by anxiety. -Social Neuroscience, Beijing Normal University

When people have to pick stuff up with a robotic arm and can only see with onboard cameras, they're worse than infants; please pay me to make them as good as 5 year olds. -Integrated Systems Engineering, Ohio State University

We dug a lot of holes and still don't know if measuring beryllium in dirt is useful, but it does cost a lot of money. -Geology, Amherst College

Going into space is pretty dangerous, and the government should keep making rules about folks trying it -Aerospace engineering, MIT

A mathematical theory of discarding irrelevant crap when making a team decision. -Electrical Engineering, Stanford University

Turns out, you can make bacteria have sex! -Chemical Engineering, Rice University

So, colonialism. -History, Wesleyan University

If you want to snark on your own thesis, you can submit your one-sentence description to the site.

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Photo by Mirko Tobias Schaefer. And yes, that's an actual thesis title.

Lol My Thesis [via Boing Boing]

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DISCUSSION

Okay, this may seem like a totally stupid question to some people here but here goes anyways...

What, exactly is the point of a thesis?

Full Disclosure: I only obtained my Bachelor's Degree and a couple Associates (because I had the time) so I never progressed higher because I didn't think society and the economoy would basically determine that the Bachelor's is the new High School Diploma for all it's worth in the job market. Silly me, right?

But a Thesis seems...excessive? You basically write a short novel about some random topic relevant to your field in order to impress a panel of judges into giving you a piece of paper. Why won't a standard test suffice? Or all that time you spent doing the Doctor/professor's actual work in his lab while he sat in his office collecting tenure? Was that not proof enough you knew what you were doing in this field?

What purpose does a 364 page essay discussing the evolutionary traits of the African Dwarf Frog's left knee joint serve at this level? I can see if this is some study for an actual organization that you're being paid to conduct, but to pay other people for the 'privilege' of doing research for them to claim as their own seems...counter intuitive. Wouldn't you want to be the one getting paid?

Like I said, this question probably comes from a realm of ignorance, since I just used my college for the diploma so I could get a job and then told them to fuck off once I received it, but I honestly don't see what purpose this serves that could not have been fulfilled with your work in the labs/with the professor or a test. If anyone could shed some light on this, please do.