Ph.D. Technology Track

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The technology Ph.D. track, initiated in 2014, develops research in the field of technology. Through associated faculty, it is linked to the School of Engineering and Applied Science, particularly with Computer Science and the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment. A proseminar for the Ph.D. track supports the initial methods and processes for this research. The applied research component is supported by infrastructure, including an industrial robotic arm located in the School of Architecture’s Embodied Computation Lab and research facilities in the Andlinger Center.

Applications can be submitted through the Ph.D. Program Admission page. The deadline to apply is December 31st annually. 

It is strongly suggested that students entering the Ph.D. program have a laptop computer at the school as part of their equipment. Incoming Ph.D. students are eligible to purchase one that is specially priced through the University.

Course Requirements
During the first year of residence, a two-term proseminar introduces students to the process of developing prototype-based research, the literature review process, and methods for innovative scientific hypothesis generation and analysis. It also guides the development of individual research proposals. The course requirements for each student are set by the Ph.D. Committee according to the student’s previous experience, specialized interests, and progress through the program. The course load consists of a total of sixteen courses, nine of which must be taken for credit, including two required proseminar courses during the first two years of study.

General Examination
The General Examination, which is normally taken upon completion of two years of coursework, is designed to ascertain the student’s general knowledge of the subject, acquaintance with scholarly methods of research, and ability to organize and present material. An examination committee is formed from the track committee and external members as needed to reflect the research focus. The General Exam is an oral examination based on the four project reports, papers, and coursework. The projects for the general examination are assembled during the student’s course and project work, with one being developed to the level of a journal paper.

Dissertation
Following the successful completion of the General Examination, students work with the Ph.D. Committee to develop a proposal that clearly defines the field of research, comments on the state of existing research in the selected field, and explains the contributions to the field the dissertation will make. The proposal must outline the basic hypothesis to be explored and the methodological approach to be taken. It must describe experimental methods and include a comprehensive review of previous work. The student then presents a public defense of the dissertation proposal for approval by the Ph.D. Committee. Successfully completing the defense of the proposal marks the transition into independent scholarly work on the dissertation. The culmination of the program is the defense of the finished dissertation at the final public oral examination, which includes a thesis advisor, a second reader from the Ph.D. Committee, and a third internal or external reader.