Thesis and experiment progress

After setting up my experiment a week or so ago, I’ve now moved into thesis writing mode. At forty pages, it seems to be taking shape quite well. My abstract is more or less finalised (after only two revisions with my supervisor, so I think I must have done a good job the first time round), the thesis overview is ready, a large chunk of my related work chapter was written over the last six months anyway and the methodology chapter is mapped out in my head. I’m not sure how quickly it’s all going to fall into place, but I think I’m well on track to finish by the informal deadline of 1st December which I’ve agreed with my supervisor.

My technical experiment, the results of which will be analysed in my thesis, is also coming along slowly. So far 15 people have taken part (thank you!), which is 30% of the number I’m aiming for and 50% of the minimum I need, so that’s reasonably encouraging, and I’m hoping that some of the people who I’ve emailed today will also take part. Results and analysis is the only chapter which I’m worried about—all the others I know what I’m going to write so hopefully I will get some reasonable results from the experiment which is currently running and the one I plan to setup next weekend.

Between my thesis, starting a new contract and running Manchester FoE without Sam (though assisted by Sarah and Cat), I’m massively stressed out and have had to miss several meetings (including mySociety Manchester and Manchester Free Software) in the last month just to keep on top of things, but hopefully things will gradually calm down in the next month or so and return to mildly hectic, as opposed to the stress-testing madness at the moment.

2 thoughts on “Thesis and experiment progress

  1. Hey Paul,
    I participated in your experiment 🙂
    However, was thrown a couple of times by the left-right switchover of the ratings bar. That may either have fucked things up a bit, or proved that some people don’t register the change (or, some people like me don’t read the thing fully and expect the same layout on each page).
    Hope the results you get are helpful and good luck with the write up.

  2. Thank you! The ratings were supposed to switch, in case people always chose the ones on the left, and in order to try (albeit not successfully I suspect) to stop you from remembering which keywords were yours. The next experiment (coming soon to a screen near you!) will be faster and produce better results I hope.

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