Tonight Professor John Rayner will share results of his research into how PhD students construct their ideas about their research.
John's interest, together with that of his colleague Craig McDonald, is in the way in which PhD students construct their thinking when undertaking their thesis. In particular he is interested in the extent to which they use conceptual models/frameworks to try to give it some structure. So far he has conducted extended interviews with 18 people who have recently completed their PhDs. He has undertaken a preliminary analysis of their responses, but there is still much to be done, making it very much a work in progress. In this talk John will discuss the nature of creative thinking and also say something about conceptual models as an introduction to the project itself. He will then describe the project and present some of the initial results. In the long term he and Craig hope that they will be able to make some rather more general observations about the nature and attributes of creative model-based thinking. From the talk John is hoping to get some feedback and insights from others, suggestions about future directions and names for possible additional interviewees.