I learned about this Tumblr blog where people try to summarize their PhD dissertations in the style of xkcd’s “Up Goer Five” comic—that is, “using only the ten hundred words people use most often”. There’s an online text editor that checks whether you’ve strayed from these thousand most-common words.
Inspired by this blog, here’s my attempt to summarize my dissertation (Koszul and generalized Koszul properties for noncommutative graded algebras) in “Up Goer Five” style:
You can add and times numbers. There are ways make up a set other things you can add and times like you can with numbers. We call these sets “rings”. Sometimes, with these new things, the order in which you times things changes what you get.
Some of these rings have floors, like a building. When you times two things in the ring, you have to add the floor numbers to figure out which floor the thing you get is on.
There is a way to study these rings with floors with strange add and times that comes from the study of forms in space. Given a ring with floors, you can make a new ring with floors that is sort of like it, but with some things about it inside out.
I studied stuff about these new rings with floors coming from the old, especially in cases where the order in which you times things changes what you get from times.
And here’s Sarah’s “Up Goer Five” summary of her dissertation (Search for single top quark production with the CDF Run II detector using a multivariate likelihood method):
We made very very very small but very heavy things (called top things) in a new way. These top things are very small and are like a point, but are very heavy. They also live for a very short time. Usually you see two top things made at the same time. We found one top thing made with another thing. This one top thing looks a lot like other small heavy things that are made more easily. So, we had to tell our one top thing from all the other small heavy things that we made as well. It was hard. We used computers to help with the numbers. I worked with many people. But, I found the one top thing turning into three other things, while other people found the one top thing turning into two other things. We added my finding with my friends to make a strong finding.
Our finding was so strong we thought for sure it was true. But, we like to know for sure for sure for sure, not just for sure. So, the next year another friend made another finding of the same thing. With our finding and the new finding and we thought for sure for sure for sure it was true. So, now every person thinks our finding is true as well. Now our finding is in the way of seeing other new very small very heavy things, but that is life.