Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The data arrived!

I think I’ve already told everyone I’ve talked to in the last 24 hours or so, but I’m still pretty excited. I mailed my completed application for the Add Health restricted data set in early February, with hopes that it would take 4-6 weeks to process, maybe 8 weeks if things got difficult. Instead, it took a solid 3.5 months, arriving yesterday afternoon. This, I have learned, is why we build time into dissertation schedules.

Now that it’s arrived, it’s time to really get to work. This is a little scary, as it seems like I’ve been working. I’ve been pushing my way through the programming for the computational model that comprises the final 1/3 of my dissertation, and have thankfully realized in the last few weeks that I’m actually almost done with it. There are still some parameters to set and experiments to run, but most of the really frustrating stuff is done. After a minor crisis of confidence as others in my program are publishing papers and moving along their paths, I realized that I’m moving along too! Fingers crossed, I will have a draft of (ironically, as it's likely to be the 1st one done) the 3rd paper of my dissertation within the next few weeks. And if all goes well with the data, the rest of it can a follow along soon.

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