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Eigen last won the day on January 6

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About Eigen

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    Cup o' Joe

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  1. Just posting some clarification here, and sorry for the slow responses- most of the moderation team is currently traveling, and moderating via cell phone isn't the easiest. We don't screen for veracity of claims. Nor do we penalize people for calling out bad information, or information as suspect. That said, there's a fine line between calling out information as bad, and calling out a user as a troll. Stick to the information, don't target the user. Similarly, there are lines that have been crossed in the past wherein current bad posts cause past non-objectionable posts to be down voted in multitudes. I will also mention that we take people posting from multiple accounts very seriously, and is usually results in banning of one account along with suspension of the other account. That said, it is especially difficult to tell when people are positing on multiple accounts- many people here post from universities, and have the same IP address. Basing suspensions and bans on IP address is a really bad thing, as there are several of you here who share an IP address with MSW2MD- banning that IP address would indirectly ban you. We are honestly doing our best to keep up with this, and we really appreciate how hard all of you are working to ignore and report rather than responding.
  2. Your publications matter a lot less than (a) the letter from your advisor on what kind of researcher you are, and (b) the fact that you'll have had a lot of research experience. Generally, getting publications as an undergrad is a bonus, but not in any way required for getting into a good graduate program- much less needing to have publications in the area in which you're applying. Although not your specific question, I would also caution you strongly against being this certain of the area you want to go into this early in your career. As a sophomore, you haven't really seen much chemistry OTHER than organic, so it's quite hard to know for sure that's what you want to do and be convincing of that. The number of students who want to go into organic chemistry early in undergrad is immense, because that's the first course you encounter thats really *chemistry*. Go into the other courses with open minds, don't be so focused on what you think you want to do (organic synthesis) that you miss other interesting options.
  3. Also, I'm not sure if this meant you sent your offers from the masters programs to the PhD program, but having a "better" offer for a masters program will do almost nothing to sway a PhD admissions committee. They're not the same type of program, and it's assumed that a really competitive applicant might be able to get a particularly well funded masters (which is a less competitive program), but not a PhD. There's also a good chance that if you sent them other offers and both were for masters rather than PhD programs, they don't view the chance of you not taking their offer as very serious, since very few people would want to take a masters over a PhD.
  4. That's not really statistically true, depending on how you define research. Most people with a PhD will end up in a research-associated job. Not as many will end up as PIs, or at R1s- but that's not the entire research community, and to think it is is relatively narrow. Very few people with a PhD will end up being journalists, and still relatively few as consultants. The former because there aren't that many jobs, the latter because most people prefer a consultant that is also currently research active (i.e., a professor or leading a team in industry). I think you're twisting these career presentations into something they aren't. People don't talk about academia because that's the base assumption- it's expected everyone has that as a significant goal. It's to open people up to other career options that they may or may not know about. And to be inclusive of people pursuing PhDs for careers outside of academia. There's been (long term) a huge stigma against people mentioning anything other than "I want to be an academic" in graduate school, and many programs are only recently working to change that messaging to be inclusive of other career options. I tell my students they should be honest and themselves on interviews, look for a group and a PI they feel they will fit in with, and be flexible about career goals. I think almost no undergraduate, or even junior graduate students, have enough experience with either career options or the field they're in to make a fully informed and final decision about a career. Graduate school is about learning and being flexible enough that you are open to new options as you learn about them, and being willing to follow your research into new areas that you didn't know about when you started.
  5. This isn't true. No one is hiring science consultants where an MBA and PhD would compete for the same job. Many positions will have the PhD as the base requirement. As to the "what is an MS sufficient for", I think the important distinction is what it is intended to do. Generally, an MS isn't seen as a research degree, even with a thesis. It's seen as a degree that makes you a subject matter expert. For many, many careers, the importance isn't being a subject matter expert- it's having significant experience as a researcher at the cutting edge of your field. For anything where you're talking about the practice of research and publishing (copy editor of a journal, science journalist, policy analyst), the PhD is the requirement because of the time it ensures you spend actually doing research.
  6. Not currently, but have previously. Currently at a SLAC where almost all of my students are going to graduate school.
  7. First off, your opinion is not truth. First off, lets talk about your example of journalism. In this day and age, do you honestly think it's a bad thing to have well educated scientists writing about science for the general public? There's a reason that's part of NIH and NSF's outreach goals (communication to the general public). Consulting? Depending on what you want to consult about, having a PhD is a valuable credential and well spent. Looking back at your original post, your arrogance is astounding. You seem to be sure that you know better who to allocate to projects (masters students vs PhD students) than people who have experience managing researchers. You seem to think that as an applicant, you're in a position to say who should or should not be allowed into a program, moreso than the people who are actually writing grants to fund those researchers. Personally, I don't look for someone who's life is dedicated to science. I think that's an attitude that leads to burnout. I also don't just pick students who want to go into academia. I pick students who I can forge a good professional relationship with, and who have a positive attitude, a good work ethic, and who have interests outside of our research. And as for your comment on picking advisors: That's the advice I give to every one of my undergraduates applying to grad school, and what I gave to every prospective graduate student I met. Attrition from people who didn't pick based on a god mesh of personalities is huge in grad school- and grad school is about training and learning, and you do that best when you have a good fit of personality with the person you're working for. I can guarantee the mentor is picking people they mesh with in return.
  8. I use something similar to this. I use Endnote to manage references, and give a numerical label to each new reference I add (it gives a unique identifier, and lets me figure out approximately when I added the reference to my library). All my files are in a single folder in dropbox with the reference number, first and last author, year, and a handful of keywords. I can either easily search for a single entry, entries by authors, years, or keywords in dropbox, and I have them organized for more detailed searching in Endnote. Since nothing I've found is perfectly cross-platform, having my articles in dropbox lets me pull up any article on my phone/ipad when I need it, or on any computer where I have internet connection.
  9. As mentioned in the post, you should submit a report using the report function. The moderation team will then review your request to decide if there is sufficient reason to delete your account given our parameters, outlined in the post linked above.
  10. Just to be clear, the CGS resolution is not a binding document. It's a guideline a number of schools have agreed to for mutual benefit. It's also worth noting that the CGS resolution only effects financial offers- not admission offers. A school can ask you to accept an offer of admission before April 15th, just not an offer of a financial package. They're usually (but not always) one in the same. Some schools offer financial packages after admissions. I also suggest you be wary of thinking of this as intentionally unethical on the schools part- the honest truth is that many graduate faculty and departments have no clue what the CGS is. It's something a dean or provost signed, but not necessarily something they educated the school about. Finally, I'd remind everyone that the CGS resolution isn't directly intended to benefit students, although that's a good benefit. It's intended to put all graduate schools on an even playing field. The person "wronged" by a school jumping the gun is the other schools who are not, and might lose a good student- although this indirectly has a negative effect on the student, by limiting concurrent choices. That said, it's a harsh change of reality when after grad school the chances of ever deciding between concurrent offers is nearly non-existent, and you have to decide on what's currently available in a vacuum.
  11. Not commenting on the rest of this, but curious... Why do you feel you can so definitively say this thread is for applicants? It was started by the person you're saying shouldn't post here, and there no forum wide restriction on who posts where. As for compromising the "integrity" of a thread, why would you post in a thread started by someone who you feel ethically compromises it? It rather seems like you're trying to tell someone they don't belong in a conversation they started, which I really don't get.
  12. So since we seem to be continuing to discuss here, let me shed some additional light on the decisions. First, Byn was not the only one warned. They were the only ones that chose to take a private warning (something that came with no sanctions other than comments telling them what they were doing that was against the rules) and chose to make it into a public, personal attack against one of the long-standing moderating staff. They were warned for a confluence of several events, none of which individually would have risen to the level of even a warning past the general "cool off" posted by Fuzzylogician in this thread. It's also worth noting that warnings were issued individually several hours after a general warning (posted here) was issued and ignored. First, they were abusing the reputation function. We consider abuse of the reputation function to be consistent and continued down voting of a user that is not linked to the content they post. Byn was down voting YES!!! for both disagreeable posts (those about Manoa) and perfectly benign posts (congratulating someone else on an acceptance). Byn was not the only user warned for such behavior. It's pretty obvious when someone is going back weeks on someones posts and down voting them all at once. Second, we consider the compilation of personal details with intent to cause a user harm a significant violation of the forum rules. This was not the most egregious situation I've seen on my time here (compared to an incident where someones address and personal information were posted), but we consider that the intent matters. Third, they were consistently hounding YES!!!'s posts and accusing them of lying about admits and trolling the forums. Again, not the most egregious violation I've seen, but along with the other two issues it's a pattern of attacks against a specific individual. Hence, a warning. A warning that was private, with no sanctions applied to the account- just a warning telling them what behavior we considered wrong and why. I hardly consider that "scapegoating" someone. And for the record, "warnings" are not publicly visible. So despite all the allegations of who was or was not given a warning, none of you can know that. All you can know is that Byn was given a warning because they chose to make it public. As to the reputation reset on YES!!!, it is not the first time we've done it. Given the extreme abuse of the reputation system exhibited by some users, we feel it was warranted. Each post still has negative reputation tied to it, so it's not like there isn't a record. Similarly, no posts have been removed. The only thing removed was specific information (GPA and GRE scores), which is something we do for any user who feels their identity might be at risk. So there is still a trail of posts and reputation, it's not like any of that has been hidden. The best option would have been to just go back and remove specific reputation groupings, but there is no easy way to do that. So between the injustice of letting a lot of undeserved negative reputation stay, or getting rid of some legitimate negative reputation, we erred on the side of removing it all. Also, FWIW, attacking a school in a fit of frustration, while poor behavior, is not abusive towards another user. Bad posting choices, sure, and in bad taste, absolutely. But not directed to another person here with intent to cause harm.
  13. There are several ways. All of the moderators and administrators can be sent a PM, or you can open a report. Reports are visible to all of the moderation team, and we don't handle reports about our own actions. I will note that most of us take a bit of time to respond to things. Most of the moderation staff are faculty now, and come with the resulting busy schedule that lets us check in at defined times during the day.
  14. I'm going to respond here, because the moderation decisions made in this thread were not done by a single individual but by the moderating team as a whole. We actually do discuss things before we do them. Several users got warnings for extremely abusive use of the rating system (going back over the course of a few hours and down voting every post made, whether the content was objectionable or not), as well as abusive behavior such as pooling information about a user to try to make it easier for an admissions committee/external source to identify the user, with the hope that posts here would reflect negatively on them. Going back and individually checking each reputation given is nearly impossible to do, but with the extreme abuse of the system (and warnings given out), we decided that resetting the reputation was the best way to go. Each post still has reputation tied to it, but the dozens of unwarranted and abusive down votes should not follow someone around for the rest of their time here. I can appreciate disagreeing with moderation decisions, but derailing a thread even more because you disagree with them, without even trying to work it out with the moderation staff, not to mention the personal attacks (blatant dishonesty and unprofessional) just because you did not like being cited for your unprofessional behavior is over the line. Going back and hiding every one of your posts out of spite so they can't be useful to anyone else is just the icing on the cake.
  15. "Rank" mostly tells you: How productive most graduate students are in terms of publications How well faculty are thought of in a general sense How well people get jobs, and How good the funding is. Given that you're considering working with people who have a good record of publishing and seem to have a good reputation.... I wouldn't worry as much about rank as fit. Rank is a really.... Broad and frequently argued criteria for graduate programs, especially once you're down past the top 5 or 10 programs in a field. Name recognition can, sometimes, help you get your foot in the door for an interview, but what is most important is the reputation you make for yourself through your work. Going somewhere that will give you the opportunities and support to build that reputation is by far the most important, imo.