Who can help you find a math dissertation topic?

Congratulations! You have made it. You started long ago at the age of four or five and it has all come down to this last piece of work before you are officially a Ph.D. It’s very overwhelming. This lengthy and highly formal argument should be your educational crowning achievement that will ultimately influence your work-life moving forward. So how do you even begin? First, understand what makes a good topic before you begin choosing one.

What Makes a Good Topic?

  • It must be original or substantial. You do not want to simply regurgitate someone else’s ideas. You need to find a topic in which you care about and provide a solid and original argument for it.
  • Back it up with evidence. It’s a good idea if you can conduct experiments or surveys in order to provide a fresh perspective in your dissertation.
  • Don’t choose a topic you are not familiar with. While it may be exciting and you want to learn more about it, it isn’t going to make a good dissertation topic if you do not already know a little something about it.
  • Choose something interesting. You are going to acquire an intimate knowledge about this topic. Make sure it keeps your focus and you are thoroughly interested in it.

Who can help me choose a topic?

  • You can. This is your dissertation; use it as an opportunity to define yourself. Really think about what you want to write about.
  • Family and friends are another great resource when it comes to choosing a topic. Your dissertation is going to take up a lot of your time and you are going to want to talk about it with the people around you. So choose something that you can discuss with them or at least something that they are not going to roll their eyes at.
  • Your advisor. This is the single most important person you want to get on board with your topic.

Role of your advisor or mentor

  • Often your dissertation advisor will give you suggestions on topics. They may give you one or two topics that you can choose from. Other times they will simply help steer you in a direction that gives you the confidence to make your own choice.
  • Your advisor will also be your biggest cheerleader. Unfortunately, every dissertation is going to run into some unexpected pitfalls. You are going to get discouraged. Develop your relationship with your advisor; they will be there when you need them most.