Unfortunately, this is going to be a question mostly directed at the PIs in the readership, but I think it will be of interest to the grad students. The end of the semester and academic year is rapidly approaching (not fast enough, however, IMO) and with it comes a storm of thesis defenses. All of those innocent requests to be a committee member ("you won't be a core member, so you won't have that much to do, I promise!") are coming home to roost and I am staring at three thick envelops on my desk, with more arriving.
So my question today is how much of the thesis do committee members read?
It is common to have published work included in the thesis, so commenting on those chapters is fairly useless. They do, however, provide context for others.
The presentation time for defenses here is short, only 30 min.
If a "non-core" committee member is getting the thesis, it has already been approved by the advisor and two other PIs closely related to the work.
So, do people read these things cover to cover? Rely on the presentation? Or something in between?