CHAPTER 2

Goals of Ph.D. Research

Before we describe in detail how to get a Ph.D., we want to first discuss the ultimate goals of Ph.D. research in this chapter, so that you “begin with the end in mind” for your Ph.D. study.

2.1   GOAL #1: BE THE BEST IN THE FIELD

The number one goal of your Ph.D. study is that, in an important, albeit narrow field (i.e., your thesis topic), your research is the best in the world (in terms of novelty and significance) at the time when you complete your thesis, and you are among the very few best experts in that topic.

We can use a very simple figure to illustrate this, as in Figure 2.1. The x-axis represents a certain domain, such as artificial intelligence or water purification. The y-axis is the expertise of ...

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