My D-day

June 25. 2012, 12 o’clock, Louhela Auditorium, Science Park, Joensuu

Qinpei Zhao



June 25. 2012

I woke up quite early.  It is an unknown day for me. My defense starts at 12:15 exactly. I try to calm down and prepare somehow, however, I feel that I don’t want to do anything after 10 mins. As Karol said, I have prepared so many years, it is not necessary to do anymore. 

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At 11:00, I have lunch with my supervisor and opponent together in Puisto ravintola. Pasi has a tradition that he will have a small amount of alcohol with opponent and candidate (for relaxing, never known). After the lunch, we wait outside the auditorium for starting the defense at around 12:10.

Cloud Callout: My defense in August……IMG_1767.JPG IMG_1772.JPG

I try to be serious enough. However, it seems that audiences are not.

Explosion 1: defending myself 

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It will not be so difficult when you notice the audiences are all on your side and the opponent is alone.

After we walked out from the auditorium, I can take over the power and the rest of the day is under my control.


Text Box: Our secretary: Eeva get regards from department.The happiness comes after then.

lovely me


dear supervisor


honorable opponent

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PhD is not easy!

I got it and did not go mad!


This is my DAY, and after then, you can call me “Dr. Zhao”.

It looks so happy, however,

1.      Years of work has to be done;

2.      Excitement, pride, depress, sadness… experienced;

3.      Have to go through courses, seminars, conferences and so on.

The happiness at that moment is an exponential function (at least a linear function) of suffering during “PhD Candidate”.  


We are heading for cakes and coffee. The nice-looking cake and wonderful coffee break is organized by Lisa and Jessie. 

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Pasi learned the “victory” sign from Chinese. Hope my dear opponent will not laugh at us.


Thanks to my supporters!

Wish you all the best for the life in Joensuu!





Evening part: Karonkka party

Karonkka party is arranged for the honour of the opponent (in my case Dr. Tapio Pahikkala.) by the candidate as host in Finland.

A puzzle made by myself, which is the key for getting inside the party.


There is also guideline for karonkka party, which I know until my opponent took out a paper from his pocket.

The seating order should be as follows: the candidate sits in the middle of the long side of the table, while the opponent is placed on the right-hand side and the custos on the left-hand side. That side of the table is reserved for the academic people. The opposite side of the table is for non-academics. The candidate’s husband/wife is placed opposite the candidate, and beside him/her are the family members and friends.

During the dinner, Orson was talking about his stories in Joensuu.


The menu is as follows:

Green salad with bread of the house

Sirloin steak with Jaloviina-brandy sauce, potato cake and vegetables

White chocolate mousse with a hint of lime

 During coffee time, speech has to be made. The first speech is mine. I need to thank the opponent, supervisor and everyone else. Then the opponent gives the speech, followed by the custos.

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Explosion 1: gift from sipuIt is happy to have the speech because they congradulate me by gifts during the speech.

Text Box: They want girls in computer science to be more charming.

giant photographer

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I got flowers, cards and gifts. The day will be only once in my whole life.

A moving video from my dear Rocky

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After all, the game part is coming.

We called the game as “god is a girl” because there needs to be a role of god. We have 10 participants in the game, three are ghosts, and the rest are good people. The good people are divided into two groups as four and three people.  The god is to write two similar words in my thesis on small pieces of paper, e.g., classification and clustering, and distribute the papers including papers with ghost to everyone randomly. The good people need to describe to others about the words but prevent the ghosts to know about the words. The ghosts, on the other hand, need to guess the words. The ghosts can be voted to death if most of the people suspect. The ghost can still guess the words even they die. The game is over either after the ghosts are all dead or most of the good people die. 

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Orson was suspected all the time just because he was too talktive and played too well in the first round.

Mikko and Andrei played well as ghosts also.

Ismo is innocent, however, he was suspected as a ghost. I guess he got headache on this.


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We end the party at around 23:00 and then head to a bar. The whole day ends with excitement. Thank you everyone! It was really a nice day.



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