Dissertation Topics


One of the suggestions provided during the PhD Student/Faculty Retreat was that we should spend our first year as PhD students “dating” different topics for our dissertation.

I’ve created this page to serve as a repository for my dissertation thoughts.  So I’ve started a list – these are clearly not narrow enough to be effective dissertation topics, but they’re a start.  I’ll continue to add throughout the year.  As I “date” a topic, I’ll post a blog entry on the main page about it.

List (in no particular order):

  1. Vocational education / No Child Left Behind — vocational education and the social separation those children experience from their academic peers.  Bifurcation of society?
  2. Re-thinking the provisioning of power.  Changing / decentralizing power generation on the grid.  Alternative power sources such as PV cells on homes, residential wind power, geo-thermal, bio-diesel, etc.
  3. Improving government performance.  Doing more better with less.  How automation of process has not necessarily improved performance.  What changes to process should be made – especially given our increased pressure to spend less.
  4. Open Internet – the effects of restricting the open Internet.  Need to expand on this topic somehow, but not sure exactly how.
  5. Public personnel policy, bridging the generation gaps, incentives, paybanding, work-life balance, telecommuting.
  6. Government and technology policy – wireless computing within the government, personal web pages (Facebook), etc.  Has policy kept up with technology?  Hotdesking is difficult because we don’t use virtual locations for telephone; we’re locked into a location.  21st century technology exists, but we’re using early 20th century rules.
  7. Public/private partnerships – intellectual property issues (NASA, Nat’l Labs).
  8. Social networking and the government.  What are the implications, risks, rewards?
  9. Comparison of international arms control treaties and their verification methods.  How effective have new on-site inspection regimes been in forcing compliance?
  10. Presidential signing statements.  What has been their effect?  When are they most often used?
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2 responses to “Dissertation Topics

  1. Great idea! I started a similar list a while back but haven’t done much with it in a while. You’ve reminded me to keep this list open so I can continue adding ideas. I also have a similar list of readings that are important in my areas of specialization. That way, I have a head start on comps.

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