A week ago I finally managed to complete my qualifying exam at Guelph. It was a rocky road getting here, and the exam wasn't easy but thankfully it's done and I passed. The biggest criticism I received was regarding my focus. I was too ambitious with my proposal and need to pare down what I want to accomplish so that I finish in a reasonable amount of time.
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So it looks like instead of an entire working implementation, I'll just be focused on a very small subset of my grand dreams from when I started my PhD. On the upside - I'll still have lots of ideas to continue with when I'm finished and hopefully I can get a job that lets me continue to work away at them :)