Got My PhD!

Written by Michael E. Cotterell on 2017-12-29.

I did it. I got my Ph.D. in Computer Science from the Department of Computer Science at the University of Georgia in December 2017! It was a long time coming – I started the program in Fall 2011; however, it feels really good to be done with that particular part of my life.


My dissertation is dedicated to my parents, John and Emily, and to my Aunt and Uncle, Sheila and Jim.


I would like to thank all those who, over the years, have helped me progress towards the completion of my doctoral degree. This includes my lab mates, Mustafa, Hao, and Nick, as well as my colleague Xiaoxiao, who all contributed directly to different aspects of my research. While too numerous to enumerate, this also includes the other lab mates, close friends, family members, and lizard people (i.e., my Tuesday trivia group) who helped keep me motivated towards the completion of my goals.

I would also like to thank Ping Ma for his guidance on the statistical aspects of my dissertation, especially the parts related to functional data analysis. I would like to thank my committee members, Maria Hybinette, Yi Hong, and Thiab Taha for their guidance. Their wise and generous constructive criticism was extremely helpful. Without their feedback, this dissertation would not have been possible.

I would like to especially thank my major professor, John A. Miller. He served as my faculty advisor during my undergrad and suggested that I take a directed study course under him. I did. That directed study was the catalyst that propelled me toward research in computer science. In my opinion, John’s general approach to problem solving and teaching is a healthy balance between pragmatism and practicality, both of which have been nothing less than inspirational. It has been an honor and a privilege working with him.