Thank you for being my muse, editor, proofreader, and sounding board

Carrying out the requisite work and then writing this thesis was, undoubtably, the most arduous task I have undertaken. However, one of the joys of having completed the thesis is looking back at everyone who has helped me over the past three, seven, and twenty-five years.

I would like to begin by thanking my three supervisors: Professors Sasha Movchan, Ian Jones, and Natasha Movchan. It is an often used cliché, but in this case it is no overstatement to say that without the consistent guidance, tutelage, support, unparalleled knowledge, and encouragement of my three supervisors, this thesis would never have existed. In particular, I would like to thank Natasha who went above and beyond to read every line of the manuscript in meticulous detail. I must say a special thank you to Sasha and Ian who, during my third year as an undergraduate, whetted my appetite for research and gave me the opportunity to study mathematics further.

Thank you also to Will Daniels and Serco Assurance for piquing my interest in industrial mathematics and providing me with such an interesting project to study during my third year as an undergraduate.

I would also like to thank the co-authors of my papers: Dr Mike Nieves for his encouragement, support and guidance; Dr Michele Brun for his hard-work, willingness to help, and knowledge, but mostly for his sense of humour; and Professor Ross McPhedran for his unsurpassed experience and knowledge of Mathematical Physics.

I should also like to thank fellow graduate student Stewart Haslinger, and indeed all the graduate students at the Department of Mathematical Sciences, primarily for giving me someone to moan at when work wasn’t progressing according to plan.

To my family, particularly my parents and sister, thank you for your love, support, and unwavering belief in me. Without you, I would not be the person I am today.

Above all I would like to thank my wife Nicola for her love and constant support, for all the late nights and early mornings, and for keeping me sane over the past few months. Thank you for being my muse, editor, proofreader, and sounding board. But most of all, thank you for being my best friend. I owe you everything.

Finally, despite my love for mathematics, the work reported in this thesis would not have been possible without the financial support of an EPSRC studentship (EP/H018514/1), for which I am grateful.

Contributor: @DanielColquitt

Source: Colquitt, D J (2013) Mathematical modelling of the dyamic response of metamaterial structures, PhD, Liverpool University

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Thanks to all those on #phdchat…for the enormous help, moral support, motivation and kindness

To describe this as a journey is an understatement. It has been hard work, ridiculously difficult at times, but extremely rewarding, and I am surprised and amazed to have made it to this point. I have a number of people to thank for their support in getting this far on this doctoral journey.

First, thanks very much to my supervisor Ron Thompson, for his constant support, advice, calmness and tenacity over the last five years, and also to Roger Crawford my second supervisor for his advice on my draft thesis, and a big thanks to all the tutors who generously gave up their time for me to interview them.

Next on the list, a massive thank you to my husband, Duncan, and my lovely children, Nicola, Sam, and Lauren for all their love and support, for putting up with my moods and grumpiness at times, and for allowing me time away from family stuff to get this thing completed, and to you this thesis is dedicated. I am also forever indebted to my mum and dad for all they sacrificed for us, and thanks also to my lovely brothers: Dave and Pete; and sisters: Janet and Debbie, who are so supportive in whatever I do in my life.

A huge thank you to two very special colleagues: Cath Ellis, for believing in me and giving me the confidence to start on and continue on this doctoral journey; and to Liz Bennett, who I have been lucky enough to have had travelling this same journey alongside me, and whose constant support, practical advice and optimism has helped to keep me going, and dragged me to the finish line. I’d also like to thank Cheryl Reynolds and David Powell for all their support along the way.

Finally thanks to all those on #phdchat on Twitter, too many to name individually, for the enormous help, moral support, motivation and kindness. Phdchat is a great example of the affordances of social media, providing a personal learning network of doctoral students worldwide supporting and collaborating together.

Contributor: @SueFolley

Source: Folley, S (2013) Bridging the gap between face-to-face and online teaching: a case study exploring tutors’ early experiences of teaching online in a UK university 2009-2012. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield

I am very grateful to them for sharing their expertise with a lowly undergraduate

There may be only two names on the title page, but this project exists because of the help and hard work of many people. I would like to thank Dr. Alda for being constantly supportive, helpful, and kind, whether we were meeting face-to-face or corresponding via email across the Atlantic. As well, this project would have gone nowhere without the patient guidance of Claire Slaney, Joanne Petite, and Ryan Blagdon. Dr. Barbara Pavlova was an invaluable extra set of eyes when I needed the feedback most, and Jeff Cullis was always there to save the day by finding data at a moment’s notice. The entire team at the Mood Disorders Clinic was a pleasure to work with, and I am very grateful to them for sharing their expertise with a lowly undergraduate. Finally, I would like to acknowledge the support of my family, friends, and every person who found themselves making small talk with me this year and listened with genuine (or feigned) interest when I described what I was working on. Thank you.

Contributor: Jacqueline Vincent

Source: Vincent J (2012) Cognitive dysfunction in bipolar disorder with and without comorbid diabetes mellitus, BSc, Dalhousie University

…the discerning input of my brilliant proof readers

I’d like to thank Dave Millard for his support and guidance through the course of this research. His uncanny ability to ask searching, difficult questions has undoubtedly strengthened my critical abilities, not to mention this work. My thanks also extend to Andy Stanford-Clark, whose shrewd input and enthusiasm have kept me on track and engaged.

I’ve had the good fortune to have guidance from many others, notably including my second supervisors Dave de Roure and Mark Weal. I’m grateful to the many study participants who so generously gave up their time, and for the discerning input of my brilliant proof readers. This work was also made possible by IBM’s generous support.

The communities at IBM Hursley and LSL have been welcoming and supportive, while figures such as Faith Lawrence and Max Wilson been role models for conducting doctoral-level research. I continue to draw inspiration from those around me, particularly Wendy Hall and Nate Matias, who achieve great goals with dedication and hard work while supporting the many communities around them.

I’m lucky to have many wonderful people in my life, and I’d like to thank them for their support: amongst people too numerous to list, my thanks extend to Reena, Jane, Don, Thomas, John-Mark, Ruth ‘n’ Tim, Alan, Hugh, Dave and the OGC crowd. Thanks for putting up with me!

Finally, and most of all, my thanks to Alisdair for his unfailing support, which is too extensive to enumerate.

Contributor: @ClareJHooper

Source: EngD, University of Southampton