The Neverending Proposal
Now I have a week and a half to prepare for my actual qualifying exam, scheduled for July 28th, where I'll have to walk my thesis committee through a presentation of my proposal. This is when I can expect to be asked questions designed to make me squirm, not just about the proposal but also about "... more general topics in the field of computational and systems biology related to the research or course-work preparation of the student" [per the official description of the qualifying exam]. In other words, pretty much anything is fair game, so there's no point in going insane about it -- que será, será. My plan is to read through the notes from my classes, hope for the best and be prepared to deploy the phrase "That is known, but not by me" at the appropriate times.
Should anybody have time to kill and/or want to bore themselves by reading a copy of my proposal [with the ever-so-tantalizing title "Whole-genome re-engineering in service of systems biology"], consisting of 20 pages of fevered dreams, tarted up with learned references to papers I probably didn't read as thoroughly as I should have, and lightly sprinkled with dollops of "It's so crazy, it just might work !", let me know and I'll be happy to send you a copy.