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By that time, my habit of procrastination had become very serious.I tried my very best to procrastinate on things that I didn’t intrinsically love, such as writing the Ph D thesis.
This incident shocked everyone in the stats department at ISU later, and I quickly became “famous” before I arrived at ISU in Ames.
The faculty and staff in the department kindly donated a good amount of cash to me.
From that week, I started to have a mixed feeling in my heart: I was super excited by knitr, and I felt guilty to leave cranvas behind.
Every week I met with Di, I felt anxious because I procrastinated indefinitely on cranvas, which was supposed to be the topic of my Ph D dissertation, whereas knitr was not on the original plan at all.
Heike gave me a large sum of cash when I first arrived in Ames, but never cashed the check I wrote to her a few months later after I no longer had financial difficulties. I have always been a self-motivated person, and almost always know clearly what I want to do.
It happened that I was extremely interested in statistical graphics in the first two years at ISU.When I was interviewed on the R Podcast on Feb 3, I briefly mentioned my early career crisis for the first time to the public.In this post, I’m going to write about the details.That was the reason I donated the royalties of the knitr book to the department four years later. Sometimes I make good trouble, and sometimes I make really bad trouble.Anyway, this incident was a tragedy to me in the beginning, but became a fond memory later. I want to start this post from my Ph D life at Iowa State, because I believe a seed was deeply planted in this period (4.5 years), which eventually led to my crisis.I was so fascinated by the fact that I could eventually significantly improve Sweave, which had tortured me for a number of years.I didn’t talk to my advisors in advance, and jumped straight into knitr.Someone at the table recalled that I missed the use R!2016 conference at Stanford due to visa issues, and my classmate Stephanie Zimmer said “You’ve always got issues, Yihui” followed by her trademark “Ha-ha-ha-ha” after she heard about the incident. When I first arrived in the US in 2009, my backpack was stolen in a restaurant in DC, and I lost a lot of things, including my money, passport, and the plaque of the John Chambers Software Award (I went to DC first because of this).I finished the thesis only a few days before my defense.I was supposed to send the thesis to my Ph D committee at least two weeks in advance, but I bet no one would read it two weeks in advance, so I only sent them a Dropbox link instead of a PDF attachment in the email, to give myself a few more days to complete it.