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Eigen last won the day on January 6

Eigen had the most liked content!

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About Eigen

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    Cup o' Joe

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    Natural Sciences
  1. The other exception for contact is a noteable change- grant award, new publication, etc. that you want to append to your application. And congrats, Spunky!
  2. Everything I've heard says don't follow up with an email. It's unlikely to have a positive effect, and has a reasonable chance of rubbing someone the wrong way. I would say the exception to this is if you've been in contact with someone there, or have a colleague that works there- and even then, I'd play it safe.
  3. Yeah, it usually is. There's just always a little voice in the back of my head saying "But what about the places you didn't get interviews? Maybe you would have if you reworked your materials!" Or maybe they just didn't feel my subfield was the right fit- it's hard to know.
  4. I'm in the midst of my usual angst deciding whether to rewrite materials, heavily revise, or lightly update. On the one hand, they could always be better. On the other hand, it's an immense time commitment and my materials got me a lot of interest last year.
  5. Interestingly enough, the IRS has been trying to offer this system here for years, but it keeps getting blocked by tax preparer lobbyists, who argue that the government would use it to "trick people out of money", even though the IRS's proposed system would let you *either* use the pre-filled form OR do it yourself. Given the average cost of an accountant.... I'd much prefer to just get a bill and not have to deal with it yearly. I could go over it and see if anything looked wrong, but wouldn't have to figure it all out from scratch.
  6. That sounds remarkably small. I was paying around $3500 back in 2009 when I was married and my $30k stipend was our soul income (so we could use the full married deduction). My single friends were paying around $4000-$5000, depending on other withholdings and circumstances, with similar stipends. Are they perhaps just considering federal taxes and not state? Even then, $1000 seems small. Turbotax's quick and dirty calculations say that federal taxes alone will be $2200 for a single person on a $32k stipend, and my state taxes are roughly equivalent to my federal taxes.
  7. I guess I lumped that in with my second paragraph- primary sources to illustrate things, rather than an academic source as we think of them (or as you put it better, data).
  8. Just curious, are you actually allowed to use newspaper articles for sources in your thesis? Or are you using them to illustrate current media opinions? I've just never heard of using newspaper articles as a source for a piece of academic writing, other than people relying heavily on primary sourced accounts to illustrate things.
  9. All of the above. The workload is usually a significant increase, with courses covering 1.5-3x more material than corresponding undergraduate courses. Depending, obviously, on what you were used to. Papers are generally expected to be lied and more thorough, and the reading load is a lot higher. Lab work is almost nonexistent in courses, but you're expected to be working 40ish hours a week on your thesis project outside of classes. Grading is generally harder, but if you went to a top notch undergrad and are comparing to a lower tier grad school, it may not be as different. That said, the main challenge isn't coursework, as courses matter less. It's learning to do independent research. If you're looking at coursework only programs, some of the above might not apply to you.
  10. Could you elaborate a bit more on why you feel unwelcome in the department? I can completely understand the housing issue making you feel unwelcome at the University, but I don't really see from what you've written why you feel unwelcome in the department. It seems like people aren't exceptionally present or social- and that might not be the type of program you'd fit in with- but it doesn't really seem unwelcoming. Is it from the comments in your first year review? Reviews aren't intended to make you feel better. They're intended to point out everything that the reviewer feels is lacking for you to correct. Mitigating circumstances, or the "whys" of the situation aren't supposed to be taken into account. That's for you and your advisor, not for the official review. The official review is supposed to, relatively dispassionately, point out what's wrong with performance, and what needs to change. If there was a life event that threw you off, you know that, and it makes it easy to change the next year. Your advisor and graduate coordinator say everything is fine- why do you not believe them? They've seen the grades and your reviews, and they know your situation. If they say things are fine, unless you suspect they have a reason to be lying to you, go with it. Similarly, you say that no one would have positive things to say about you in a recommendation letter, but why do you think that? Do you not have positive interactions with faculty? Or are you basing this off of your first year review? The point of a recommendation is different than a review. The review points out all the flaws, no matter how small, so the review-ee can work on them. A recommendation paints a whole picture of you as a person, failures and accomplishments.
  11. It's hard, but I would advise decoupling how you think of your happiness for career success. Any of the options you list are going to be hard to land even with a PhD, and I think you overestimate the amount of happiness you'll get from the "challenge" of the work.
  12. This is an almost impossible post to read (as many of yours are). Please try to use correct punctuation, full sentences, etc. if you want people to read and respond. This reads like a stream of conciousness post, with no real coherent topic.
  13. My go to for when I have to write a proposal his Heilmeier's Catechism: What are you trying to do? Articulate your objectives using absolutely no jargon. How is it done today, and what are the limits of current practice? What's new in your approach and why do you think it will be successful? Who cares? If you're successful, what difference will it make? What are the risks and the payoffs? How much will it cost? How long will it take? What are the midterm and final "exams" to check for success? It comes from a former DARPA director (Heilmeier) and was designed to help both program officers and grant writers think through their proposal. Not all questions are applicable to all fields, but I find sitting down and doing a more free-form writing to answer each of the questions helps me get a lot of what I need down for writing a proposal.
  14. I don't recall either of them being too bad. They're intended to be used as final exams for courses in ACS certified departments. When I had to take mine, I just went and reviews my undergrad textbooks and tests, and they were close enough.
  15. Science doesn't give the type of answers you're looking for. There's never going to be a conclusive answer that says "there are no other benefits than X", because there's no way to prove it. At best, we can prove that we don't know any other benefits using a given set of methods at a given time.