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fuzzylogician

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fuzzylogician last won the day on August 10

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About fuzzylogician

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  1. As a general rule, I would always prefer to submit a published paper than a manuscript with any application. Now, that said, I would want to submit a writing sample that's actually directly related to the job ad, and would not submit papers in another subfield as they are not going to maximally showcase my strength in [job ad's subfield].* I'm not sure what other materials you are submitting as part of the application, but this published paper will presumably feature not only in your CV, but possibly in your research statement and/or cover letter, as will your dissertation topic and perhaps the main arguments/findings. So either way, I would imagine that you'll discuss both of these texts. As a student, I was also always told that it's important to submit a dissertation chapter to show the committee what I am working on and to allay any concerns about the state of my writing. But then, applications I submitted wanted on average 3-5 samples of writing, so I never had to choose just one. So I guess the bottom line is that you need advice from someone in your field, and no one here can tell you with confidence what to do (not to mention, we don't actually know the content or the level of scholarship; not every paper in a top-3 journal is that amazing and not every chapter is that non-amazing...). If you pressured me for my instinct independent of all these caveats and gaps in my knowledge, I'd say diss chapter, since it's the one on-topic. But I could be very wrong. * side note: if I could submit multiple papers and I had work on a side-specialty that the ad mentions, I might choose one, as long as I also showcase my work in the main field. Either way, I'd mention this work in my materials as it's relevant to the ad.
  2. My condolences. On the practical side, since you're close to done, what I imagine the department head will offer you is the opportunity to finish your research under someone else's supervision. It won't be perfect, but this situation is far from ideal and everyone will make do. You shouldn't have to start over since it sounds like you're pretty advanced in your research. The technical aspect of who is your advisor on paper could be separate from where you actually get help. This would be a good time to cultivate these other mentorship/advising relationships that are outside your department, both for advising and for future LORs, in case you plan to apply for a PhD (you didn't say). In the latter case, you might also discuss with the dept head ways of securing a strong letter from your department, which may be a combination of a generic letter on file from your advisor if he is willing and able to do this for you now, and a letter from the head possibly building on this letter and explaining the situation. In the event that you want to apply for a PhD or use LORs for anything else in the future, it might be best to have the head be responsible for letters, combining insights from your advisor as best you can get them with additional feedback on the rest of the process once someone else takes over. (Or, whoever takes over as your supervisor might do this for you; either way, ask about this now.) It's better to have someone who you can reach out to for updated letters, though a letter from your supervisor saved with some archiving service would also be helpful, given the circumstances. Re funding, it probably depends on the source and you'll have to ask your department to be sure, but in similar cases I know of, the grant continued to be disbursed and students continued to be supported for some time after the untimely death of a PI.
  3. Yep, same. I've also been to quite a few conferences where if you ask the organizers nicely (and especially if you don't have your own funding), they will let you register at the reduced student rate even if you've already graduated. Name tags never indicate status or how much you paid in registration fees, that's entirely unimportant. Worth asking the organizers, OP, even if just as clarification "Dear organizers, I was wondering if postdocs should register as students or faculty" (except, of course, if there is a special "postdoc" category. In my field there almost never is). You never know, they might solve your problem for you.
  4. Conferences vary in whether they consider postdocs as students for the purposes of registration fees (at least in my field). If that might be true in your case, I would feign ignorance and try for the free registration, as your advisor suggests. If this stresses you out, though, you might as well just pay the fee and get it over with. Depending on the context, I don't really know if this amounts to "my advisor is asking me to lie", though.
  5. One option is to try the writing center at your school, if one exists. Most schools will have some version of this service, and the writing tutors tend to be very good. They do precisely what the copy-editor will not -- sit with you and explain what changes should be made and why. Beyond that, one other thing to try is to identify friends/colleagues who could help you, in exchange for some reciprocal help (comment on their work, help them with whatever they need help with - data coding or low-level grunt work, etc, or just take them out for coffee/lunch if they don't want actual help). I've done this for several non-native-speaker friends. Something else to do is to go back to older drafts of your own work, go through them systematically, and collect your original writing and your supervisors' comments/suggested wording. You might notice patterns in your own writing and in their comments based on that. (You might also bring these drafts and comments to a meeting with the writing center, since they can help you identify patterns and address systematic problems. Or, if there is no writing center, you might be able to find a tutor through the English department who could do this for you.) Beyond those suggestions, while I think that your efforts are admirable, it's hard to see how you can learn what you need to learn under the time pressure that you're under. You probably need a more concentrated effort, though the automated tools you suggest might provide some clues.
  6. I write "MA student" and the years. This is right after a year where I was an "exchange student" at another institution, and both didn't lead to a degree. My BA is listed as "BA in XYZ, summa cum laude" and my PhD is listed as "PhD in XYZ", and in the first couple of years I also listed my committee and dissertation title. I think it's honest but also doesn't exactly draw attention to the distinction. In the rare occasions where someone wanted transcripts, I explained the situation and they were fine with the answer, no confusion or problems.
  7. For what it's worth, in a similar situation (advisor delaying progress toward my thesis with basically everything else done for the MA), I chose not to finish the degree. I realized that finishing (if possible, which frankly wasn't obvious) would have meant working non-stop with someone who is being an obstructionist and basically not having any kind of break leading up to starting my very intensive PhD program. I reached out to my new PhD program to ask if it would matter to them if I didn't finish, since my application did mention a projected graduation date, and they said it didn't matter as far as they were concerned. I put the MA "on hold" (an administrative process which would have allowed me to come back and finish it within some amount of time, in the event that the PhD didn't work out), and left in early summer. It was a great decision and I don't regret it for a minute. I never went back to finish the degree, I now have my PhD, and not once has this come up in job interviews or anywhere else -- once you have a PhD no one will care about this MA (and if they ask, there are benign ways of answering). I can't promise that it'll be the same for you, but for me, at least, my mental and physical health meant that I needed a break, and once I had the PhD it became a non-issue. I would suggest reaching out to your prospective advisor/program to ask how they see things. (Disclaimer: it is obvious, I think, what the pros of finishing are, so I'm not even bothering with those.)
  8. Note: participants should be "Anyone who is interested in taking part that identifies as female, fluent in English, is between the ages of 18 and 30 years, and has an Instagram account."
  9. There are different opinions on this, but I would say, in this case, yes. Not finishing will raise some concerns about your commitment and your ability to pursue graduate work, and you should address them and explain what happened with the last program. "I discovered that my interests lay elsewhere" is a perfectly fine explanation. Explanations should always be brief, positive and non-accusatory.
  10. As long as the first two letters are strong, it's okay if the third one is just okay. Based on your description, I would think option 1 is better, since it's a well-known person within your field, as opposed to someone from another field. Talk to this guy again, maybe there are ways to help him write you a stronger letter that you could utilize between now and the application deadline (meet with him a few times, show him some of your recent papers, etc).
  11. To my knowledge the AW score is the least important of the GRE scores. As long as you are submitting strong and well-written essays, and you have LORs that can say you're a good writer, I would expect that things should be fine. There are many other more important components of the application to worry about. Disclaimer: I am not an expert in your field(s) and I don't sit on the admissions committees of the schools you'll apply to; but I did apply with a 4.5 AW score and ended up doing perfectly fine.
  12. The professor seems pretty clear that you should improve your Arabic before applying to the program. The "I and my colleagues have decided..." suggests this may be a policy now, perhaps a new one, explaining why there are currently students in the program with less Arabic than you. You got a very clear explanation of why this is now the policy, given the current state of the job market. Frankly, I would take this advice seriously because once you start the program, as she says, it'll be hard to get your language to where it needs to be. If that means that by that very decision you're going to make it very hard for yourself to get a job after you graduate, it seems wise to take the extra year or two to beef up your language skills and allow yourself a more successful career down the line. One or two years aren't going to make that much of a difference from the other end of a long successful career, but if not investing them properly can mean not getting started even, well, I think it's clear what you need to do. The only thing she says that you should pay attention to is the question of career goals; if you aren't interested in an academic career in the first place, things might be different.
  13. In that case, instead of asking vague questions on this board, I would encourage you to read up on the websites of relevant universities you might want to eventually teach at to (a) identify if/who/how many foreign faculty in your area/field work at that university; (b) read up on their credentials and background to see if there is a pattern (they all have EU/US degrees, they all have XYZ language or specialty, etc); (c) reach out to them to ask directly for their perspective as a foreign faculty member in University/Country. That will be a whole lot more effective than asking here. What you really want to know is not only what's technically on the books (though that matters too), but what are the unwritten rules -- are international faculty shielded from service? helped with language difficulties? assigned easier classes to teach? encouraged or discouraged from joining the staff? That's something insiders will know, and if you make the right connections, you might be able to begin to find out. They could also be your first points of networking and contact, and eventually if you do end up in those schools/countries, they will be some of your best options for allies.
  14. ^ That's a useful thing to do regardless of whether the professor is bad or not. Not everything they do (that work or that don't work) will work for you, so it's always a useful question to ask yourself: how would you teach this class? What would you keep/replace/adapt? This is the case both when you TA and when you take a class as a graduate student, if you eventually want to teach a version of that class yourself.
  15. Generally, I would strongly suggest ignoring RMP reviews for any kind of decision making on your part. Students will form their own opinions, and those are only sometimes related to actual facts. On a practical level, it depends on how much work you want to put in. If students dislike the prof, they may come to you more or they may give up. If you are encouraging and open, you might end up spending a lot of time fixing what the prof broke. They may love you, and you'll get excellent reviews. Or they may blame you for everything that's wrong and whatever you do won't be good enough. There are also questions of how supportive the prof will be with solutions, resolving disagreements, and such. So short answer is, if you want to keep a low profile, you can keep your role to a minimum and follow his lead in how you treat the students, or you could present yourself as the recourse for any confusion he introduces. Part of it you have to play by ear depending on the class you get and its nature, as well as your relationship with the prof. (You also didn't mention how large the class is, what works for a class of 15 may not work for 150, and vice versa.)