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Your Thesis In Haiku Form

If Ph.D. Comics, the Dance Your Ph.D. contest, and the chemical blogosphere aren’t enough to satisfy your worktime website-trolling itch, allow me to humbly present Dissertation Haiku.

The administrator at this gem of a blog posts haikus about theses that she or he receives from readers. The offerings currently range from biochemistry (which gets its own category) to population genetics to music.

Since there’s a severe shortage of chemistry haikus on the site, I’m calling on you, gentle readers, to contribute your own. Here, I’ll even start us off.

Forging rings in flasks
Could the deep ocean harbor
The next germ killer?

During part of my Ph.D., I was on a team that finished a total synthesis of abyssomicin C, a marine natural product that has potential antibiotic activity.

Beth Halford, who is a far better poetess than I, contributed two haikus. She had a two-part thesis, and the explanations are from her thesis title.

Append an oxime
To Vitamin D’s side chain
Royalties? Maybe.

Conceptually new low-calcemic analogs of the hormone 1[a],25-dihydroxyvitamin D3: Design, synthesis and biological evaluation ;

Tin, lead, and benzene
Make cascade reactions go.
Writing seems safer.

One-pot, multicomponent, sequential reactions: Synthesis of diverse, functionalized E-octeneolides and novel fused cyclopropyl tetrahydrofurans

To contribute to Dissertation Haiku, email your magnum opus to , but we’d love to read a copy in the comments section!

Image: Landscape, Zihong Liu, Stanford University, USA

Materials Research Society


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  • Dec 18th 200811:12
    by Christopher Judd

    Resolution is the goal
    Analysis done

    Christopher Judd
    Sr. Analytical Chemist

  • Dec 18th 200811:12
    by Chemjobber

    Total synthesis
    Why do grad students do it?
    Not for the money.

  • Dec 18th 200814:12
    by Neil Gussman

    Old ladies outnumber
    Old men
    Ten to One

    (My thesis was on aging)

  • Dec 18th 200821:12
    by Chemjobber

    BTW, Carmen, I was not trying in any way to cast aspersions on your thesis, as Chemjobber’s thesis is a not-so-successful total synthetic effort.

  • Dec 19th 200810:12
    by Carmen Drahl

    @Chemjobber, no offense taken. For a discipline that’s supposed to be about the journey, it can be challenging to crack the job market (especially these days) if you haven’t reached a destination.

  • Dec 19th 200813:12
    by Chemjobber

    Oooh, burn! ;-)

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