I'm considering a doing PhD in this stuff am i mad?

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Old 08 August 2009   #16
I'll most probably be taking the Masters (at Bournemouth) next year, after I finish my undergrad degree, and probably do the same as you and enter the industry I enjoy the academic side, but ultimately my goal is to work at Senior level in a major studio, and for a TD, I think the experience outweighs the PhD option (although you never know whats around the corner!).

P.S. As mentioned before, by another poster, if you want to swing a message my way, about anything else, be it invovling academics or general computer animation/graphics discussions/questions feel free
 
Old 08 August 2009   #17
Originally Posted by Carina:
I wouldn't indiscriminately recommend anyone to do a PhD, but an option of doing a PhD which gives you industry experience as well sounds like a brilliant opportunity (wish I'd had the option of doing that!)



Exactly,

I'm just finishing up my PhD, not in the CG areas purely but some. Mine's been purely full time academic research, one with experience in the industry would really help you get into the industry.

I'm now a lecturer at uni which I love, doing the PhD and having the opertunity to assist in the teaching allowed me to realise thats what I wanted to do at the Undergrad level.

If your going to think of doing the PhD (not too sure what/where/how funding comes from in your case and the levle of flex you have in the area) it may be worth looking into the areas that you will be researching, Citeseer and google scholar a good sites to gather papers in a subject area.

As people have said if you want to ask a question about doing the PhD then I can tell you about what I've had to do.

Cheers
 
Old 08 August 2009   #18
Do the PhD. But once you are done with the program, always, always (and can't stress this enough) always join the RnD team outside uni. If you are going on purely mathematical side of things. There are plenty of high paying opportunities as well as awesome jobs in CG ( as well as other industries like Finance, Economics and other ares) that are accessible only by means of PhD.

Since it is a funded program, you can't go wrong with that. Since you are not going to be doing purely artistic side of things, PhD gives you the best side. Don't stop with a Masters that is useless.
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Old 08 August 2009   #19
Originally Posted by rakmaya: Do the PhD. But once you are done with the program, always, always (and can't stress this enough) always join the RnD team outside uni. If you are going on purely mathematical side of things. There are plenty of high paying opportunities as well as awesome jobs in CG ( as well as other industries like Finance, Economics and other ares) that are accessible only by means of PhD.

Since it is a funded program, you can't go wrong with that. Since you are not going to be doing purely artistic side of things, PhD gives you the best side. Don't stop with a Masters that is useless.


Some sweeping generalisations here. Research within academia is not a less valid route than research in industry, though it might not be for everyone (though indeed industry R&D is not everyone's cup of tea either). Added to this there is often a considerable cross-over between the two, especially with funding bodies increasingly supporting joint research projects between them.

Similarly a Master's is not useless. The value of a Master's, like any other degree, depends on what came before it, what it taught you, and what you yourself put into it. There are times when people do go for ill suited Master's degrees yes, and find themselves no better off, but then that can be the case with any type of degree.
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Last edited by Carina : 08 August 2009 at 06:09 PM.
 
Old 08 August 2009   #20
Theres a lot of reasearch within Unis that otherwise would probably not get done outside of acedemia. Theres also a lot of funding that can be had from industry to a acadedmic research base, KTP's for one for joint research. We work with a lot of companys with joint research with a lot of success.

Both are valid and produce results, I would not say that you need to get out ASAP, you would be best off seeing what your options are when you get there.
 
Old 08 August 2009   #21
Originally Posted by Carina: Some sweeping generalisations here. Research within academia is not a less valid route than research in industry, though it might not be for everyone (though indeed industry R&D is not everyone's cup of tea either). Added to this there is often a considerable cross-over between the two, especially with funding bodies increasingly supporting joint research projects between them.

Similarly a Master's is not useless. The value of a Master's, like any other degree, depends on what came before it, what it taught you, and what you yourself put into it. There are times when people do go for ill suited Master's degrees yes, and find themselves no better off, but then that can be the case with any type of degree.



Master is not completly useless. But inorder to be top in RnD (Finance/Econimics/Comp Sc), you need to have a PhD to get in to those well funded research. Also, if you are taking up private research, public/private funding becomes easier when you have lots of PhD guys in your team. (The list goes on. You need to have worked in both sectors to see the diff).

With Masters you can of course get there. For example, we have 2 very good quant in our team who has Masters from Princeton and Columbia. But majority are people are with PhD and now especially they look at what you did with your PhD (strong vs. weak phd).

Doing an PhD and doing a Masters requires different set of mentality. I don't know about all colleges. The level of research you do to get the PhD is very much a scale apart than providing a master level thesis. And people who are recruiting for RnD knows this very well. When you want to work with core RnD team, they expect people with similar research mentality. Unless you have top colleges on your certificate with Masters, it becomes very hard, especially economic situations similar to the current one.

Research in some universities is also very good. For example, if you are in Physics research in U.Chicago is top notch (much bigger than the biggest private/govt research).

In CG, you will have to look at what exactly your topic is. Most of the time, real world experience is very valuable. A very good example of this is what happened to the fluid dynamics research. Being able to work at the heart of the research is what matters. Depending on your topic, it may be in a university or might be in a studio. But considering the CG environment, I would say the majority of them (at least the ones I like) are outside the uni.
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Old 08 August 2009   #22
Of course you do Rakmaya, who's going to give a R and D team funding that dont have the required qualifications?? It dosent mean that the team has to be outside of the uni.

A lot of conference papers that are presented (good ones) at the Euro siggraph's (and others) I've been to whilst doing my PhD have been developments between studios and Unis, either via partnerships or KTP's. The uni may be in a better position to provide the reasearch by dedicating either a post doc to the job in hand a research team and/or PhD students. Overhere uni's get government grants purely for research, and then supliment that with private sector funding and grants for projects, so I would hazard a guess that uni's are probably in a better funded position than a company (in these times).

There both valid routes for research, ones not better than the other, its up the the individual to decide, the good thing is that doing a PhD you can see how the uni works and if your in partnership with a company you can see how they work, but saying that "always, always (and can't stress this enough) always join the RnD team outside uni" is sweeping statement that dosent hold.

Back to the question in hand, if you get the chance to do the PhD take it but do it for the right reasons and have a think and a chat with other students both in and just finished their PhD to see the level of work required and how the institution works.

If your going to do a high level of maths one of the best programmes is Matlab, superb product.
 
Old 08 August 2009   #23
Yes you are right indeed. Nowadays most of the research is a collaboration between private companies and universities. That goes the same in USA as well.

But what I recommend is that after PhD, people should work in the field outside uni for some time. People don't generally work forever for outside companies for research as that does get technical after a while. They come back to uni and then joins pure research. Many of the most influential people in every field has done so, especially with fields that are not pure theory.
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Old 09 September 2009   #24
Hey

I've actually applied to the scheme.

What center are you doing it at? I have been pursuing the application since the scheme was first advertised. (I have just completed a BA at Bournemouth uni so I can tell you what it is like here etc)

Add me on msn if you want to chat about it. It would be good to know someone else doing it. (I don't know anyone else on the scheme).

As far as whether the scheme is worth doing... (As far as I'm aware my set study areas are just being finalised between the company and the uni) .. My answer is yes. I get to work doing cutting edge RND in the best games company in the UK on a AAA title under the wings of the best academics and developers in the country, whilst being paid a tax free amount to cover my living costs and earning a doctorate. Whats not to like?


Edit:

I'd like to point out to the above posters that this is not a standard PHD. It is very much in industry, working as part of a company.

So firstly you are not doing acedemic waffly research with no application. Your work will be used by the studio so it wont disconnect you from industry or the real world.

Secondly its on the ground experience so every year at the company *is* a year in industry and your pay grade based on experience would theoretically increase also. You'll get the phd and a good few titles/films under your belt.
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Last edited by Simon : 09 September 2009 at 11:08 PM.
 
Old 09 September 2009   #25
[QUOTE=Simon]

So firstly you are not doing acedemic waffly research with no application. QUOTE]

Pardon? To get on board with a PhD your research should have an application and be far from "waffely", whatever that means. You don't wander into a PhD and do whatever you fancy, you need to publish (or at least be at the level) in a peer referenced journal so your research needs to be current and applicable to a subject.

That kind of comment belittles work done in a lot of sectors. Just because its with industry dosent mean it will automatically have an application and be used and accepted, granted it might have more of a chance of being adopted but it still could have no applicaiton at all, thats the point of research, determining new things and seeing if they can be applied, if they can they can, if they cant they cant.
 
Old 09 September 2009   #26
interesting, in kind of the same position here! gonna look into this course you are on about, i was looking a little closer to home as a part time effort, however i have been in the industry for a few years now, and would say, that in some of the newer studios (ie. not the big few in the UK) the department heads and 'money men' will see the PHD as a distint PR benefit if you are looking to add to or set up an R&D element to the business.

i did chat in another thread

(http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthr...78&page=3&pp=15)

about the courses i had looked into and the part time structure i had agreed with a couple of the Uni's.

Let me know how it goes!
 
Old 09 September 2009   #27
Originally Posted by gster123: [QUOTE=Simon]

So firstly you are not doing acedemic waffly research with no application. QUOTE]

Pardon? To get on board with a PhD your research should have an application and be far from "waffely", whatever that means. You don't wander into a PhD and do whatever you fancy, you need to publish (or at least be at the level) in a peer referenced journal so your research needs to be current and applicable to a subject.


Sorry no offense meant, my post reads like flamebait. I wasn't meaning to express a negative opinion of a traditional PhD(I was set to do one before deciding to do the industry one instead). I just get the feeling from most industry veterans (and opinions in this thread) that in their in opinion academia has been left behind. Which is sad as a lot of interesting work goes unread. Very few games companys engage with PhD students, and when they do its usually just to poach them. The professional docterate gives industry the ability to bridge that gap in a much more production friendly fashion. Research areas will be smaller, perhaps less productive in a traditional sense, but allow things to be adopted quicker.
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Last edited by Simon : 09 September 2009 at 11:04 AM.
 
Old 09 September 2009   #28
To be honest, while there is clearly a perceived "applicability problem" of academic research in industry - after all, creating something that can immediately be adopted in an instantly recognisable form is not typically its aim - I haven't actually come across many "industry veterans" who work largely within R&D who would actually say that academia has been left behind, though I know a number that would happily see academic research more approachable.
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Old 09 September 2009   #29
Hi, Just making a quick enquiry on which PhD program this is so I can read up on it.

Thanks
 
Old 09 September 2009   #30
Heres the link:

http://www.digital-entertainment.org/

If you do fancy applying make sure you have an awesome application. Several friends of mine failed to get places.

Quote: I haven't actually come across many "industry veterans" who work largely within R&D who would actually say that academia has been left behind, though I know a number that would happily see academic research more approachable.


I must say that all the vets I know are terribly jaded and bitter so perhaps I'm just asking the wrong people. :P
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