Third Anniversary Reprint
with margin notes from the perspective of a ﬁrst-year assistant professor
To read the original version without margin notes, visit:
Current release: May 28, 2015
Original release: July 16, 2012
Copyright Philip J. Guo
To the unexpected.
Year One: Downfall
Year Two: Inception
Year Three: Relapse
Year Four: Reboot
Year Five: Production
Year Six: Endgame
This book chronicles my six years of working towards a Ph.D. in com-
These margin notes are
puter science at Stanford University from 2006 to 2012. A diverse
years after The Ph.D.
variety of people can beneﬁt from reading it, including:
At this time, I have just
written in mid-2015, three
Grind was published.
ﬁnished my ﬁrst year
as an assistant professor
• undergraduates who might be interested in pursuing a Ph.D.,
• current Ph.D. students who are seeking guidance or inspiration,
of computer science, so
these notes reﬂect my
current opinions as a
new faculty member.
To download a version
without these notes, visit
• professors who want to better understand Ph.D. students,
• employers who hire and manage people with Ph.D. degrees,
• professionals working in any creative or competitive ﬁeld where
self-driven initiative is crucial,
• and educated adults (or precocious kids) who are curious about
how academic research is produced.
The Ph.D. Grind diﬀers from existing Ph.D.-related writings due
to its unique format, timeliness, and tone:
Format – The Ph.D. Grind is a memoir for a general educated
audience, not a “how-to guide” for current Ph.D. students. Although