I mentioned a while back that I was accepted for a modestly prestigious post-conference seminar for graduate students.  It said “Nominees
must have substantially completed their courses
and must have formulated a dissertation proposal.”  I’m working on my proposal (formulated but not submitted, defended or approved), so that seemed close enough.

Then I got an email explaining more about the substance of the seminar:

In the small groups, students are expected to describe their
research, and students and faculty are expected to provide helpful feedback,
to ask thoughtful questions, to make suggestions, and to push the students’
thinking. Each student will have about 45 minutes to an hour dedicated to
his or her project.  Students will be expected to prepare a presentation of

their research (approx. 20-25 minutes)
, and following their presentations;
the remaining students and faculty actively engage the presenting student.


Each student will participate in one of three of these poster sessions.  In
each poster session about 14 students will present their research in poster

So yes, I’m supposed to present this work (that I haven’t done yet) in both a small group and a full on poster session.  To give you an idea of where I actually am:

  • Still trying to get my head around hierarchical linear modeling
  • Still massaging data, specifically
    • Do I include students who I don’t have all 4 years of data for?  What about ones I have 3 years of data for, but not 4?  Do the 3 years have to be consecutive?  (I have 310k students for 3 or 4 consecutive years, but another 23k who skip a year….I don’t think I can use them….)
    • What about students for whom the school identifier is invalid?  (Luckily not a lot, but still…)

How do I do this without embarrassing myself, my school or my adviser?