Maybe we’ll have 4 PhDs in the family?

Uh-oh, my granddaughter Iliana has been warped by living with a grad student.

I guess she’s planning to have it done by her birthday. Everyone finishes their PhD dissertation by the time they are 5, right?

She sure picked a hard topic, though.


  1. Snarki, child of Loki says

    “Everyone finishes their PhD dissertation by the time they are 5, right?”

    Nah, that’s when they enter “thesis avoidance mode”. No telling when they emerge.

  2. pgator says

    Is she typing in Pico?

    I think all the serious preschoolers handcraft their LaTeX in emacs.

  3. Skatje Myers says


    It’s nano. I thought she’d be a vim user like mama, but kids gotta rebel, I guess.

  4. birgerjohansson says

    Is this like in the Dune books, where the child essentially downloads the entire memory and personality of the mother? Or is it like The Midwich Cuckoos where everyone in the clan has access to the memories and talents of the rest?
    Anyway, the Masters degree should be done no later than age ten.

  5. StevoR says

    Most people never get degrees even in this modern era where its a lot more common for people to go to university including outside the elite because higher education become more accessible for more humans.

    PS. Glad to see some blog posts this morning, I was getting worried about you PZ.

  6. rietpluim says

    Being thankful for good examples. When I was a kid, every girl in class wanted to become a dentists assistant or a veterinarians assistent. Not that there is anything wrong with being an assistent, but the thought that they could be the dentist or veterinarian themselves didn’t even occurred to them. We are fortunate that a new generation of role models grew up.

  7. dkortenk says

    Among my 9 kids, there are 7 doctorates and 3 master’s degrees. I thought you might find that interesting and amazing. In fact, a son has both a PhD in astrophysics, and an MM in French horn. Horn is his first love, astronomy his second love. He makes a very good living playing in 3 symphony orchestras and teaching horn. He lives in Iowa City.