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TakeruK

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TakeruK last won the day on July 31

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About TakeruK

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    Planetary Sciences

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  1. Oh okay. To me, since you also have your work, it sounds like it is much better to just apply abroad and not do the 1-year of PhD preparatory courses. If you have to pay for these preparatory courses, that's even more reason to not do them unless you have to. If you really want to go abroad for your PhD, I think it's best to focus on that. You're not that old so if it doesn't work out and you have to spend an extra year next year for preparatory courses, it's not that much time.
  2. This is a personal choice. How much work would it be to register for a PhD in Egypt? At some points in your post, it seems like you just need to apply, so it doesn't seem like more work than applying to another school abroad. But at other places in your post, it sounds like you might have to write some exams and such in Egypt? Again, this is a personal choice, but if I was in a similar situation, I would choose to apply to schools abroad and within my home country in the same year. However, in my field, there and home country, there is no extra work required to apply to schools at home, i.e. it's just another application, like the ones abroad. If applying at home is a significant amount of extra work and you cannot do it all, I think it's better to focus your energies into doing a smaller amount of things well than to spread out too thinly and do a large number of things not so well. In this case, since you want to go abroad more than you want to stay, I'd apply abroad first and then in Egypt the following year. However, you say you are searching for "scholarships" abroad. I am not sure where you are applying to, but most North American PhD schools don't have separate scholarship applications. You would just apply directly to the PhD program and if there are scholarships available to you, it will be part of your funded offer.
  3. To add to fuzzy's great advice: - For profs you want to work with, one thing that has worked well for me was to let them know at the beginning and then set up a followup meeting to actually start the project. In my PhD program, we are expected to work with 2 profs on 2 projects during the first year. I set up my first project during the admissions process and most students don't begin the second project until January-ish. But I knew who I wanted to work with so in September, I talked to that prof to tell them about my interests. We discussed possible projects and decided on something for me. We also decided that I won't start working on it until December/January so we decided that we will meet again later that year to really start work on the project. I liked this format because it helped me to know I already had something set up and that if I did get some spare time over the next few months, I could start doing some reading on the topic on my own. In addition, profs only have so many places for students, so I wanted to ensure I would be able to work on a project I really wanted to work on. This worked out for me, since this project eventually became my thesis project. - I find that for discussions with faculty members beyond work topics, it's easier and better to let the faculty member take the lead at first. Definitely consult with senior students to see how the program feels. Relationships with your fellow students are different though! Especially with your cohort, it's up to you and your cohort-mates to decide how you want to interact with each other. So even if it's not typical for grad students in your program to hang out with each other after work, if you and your cohort-mates want to do so, you should! The thing with grad student culture is that it has a high turnover rate as people leave and new people arrive. Obviously, as a new first year student, it would be awkward if you tried to change how the 4th and 5th year students socialize, but within your own cohort, you should feel free to find the balance that works for you.
  4. I don't think anyone *needs* a Macbook Pro, but it is certainly really nice. When I started grad school, my school had a sale on their MBPs and I got one in 2012 for $1050. But the newest MBPs are a lot more expensive now, unfortunately . In my program, I would say 90% of the people use Mac and probably over 2/3rds of my entire field uses Mac. My cohort was 100% Mac! At five years old, my current MBP no longer runs fast enough for me to do serious work on it. I am looking to upgrade soon, but can't buy one yet since there's lots of startup costs with moving and I only received my first full postdoc paycheque recently! I am currently encountering tons of problems opening large PDFs or even just working on powerpoint when I have large files. Not so much a problem for scientific talks, but I also give a lot of outreach talks which have nice movies and animations so my powerpoints are 50MB+ and it can be very difficult to edit them. Even opening a dialog box (e.g. if I want to save a file from Google Chrome, it takes 30s or more to open up that screen that asks me where to save the file). My advice for laptops is to get something that will still be useful to you in 3-4 years. Although each person will vary, I regularly take my laptop with me whereever I go, so I have found that 3-4 years is about the time where laptops start to fall apart (although my MBP have been way more sturdy than the Dells I had in the past). Because of that, there's no point getting the top of the line laptop for a regular user, since your laptop could fall apart physically before its hardware becomes obsolete. For desktops and more sturdy computer, I think it's best to get as close to top of the line as possible, so that it is still computationally relevant in 5-7 years. When my advisor in grad school bought me an iMac desktop, they asked me to put all the upgrades possible on it. It was only a few hundred dollars more, but now that I've left, the next student is able to use my 3 year old iMac and it's as relevant today as it was when I got it. Finally, while I agree that with Mac, you pay more than you would for the same computing power with a HP or Dell, I think the look and feel of a computer has value too. And its ability to interface with your work computers and your colleagues. I probably should have upgraded my laptop last year, but waited to see what setup I could get at my postdoc location. Since I am able to work on a Mac here as well, I'll plan on getting another MBP when I upgrade my laptop later this fall.
  5. Depends completely on each school. You could contact each department that lists this to find out. At my PhD school, programs could only choose between "Required", "Strongly Recommended" or "Not Required". If it's "Not Required" then applicants cannot submit scores. So, programs that want an optional reporting have a website that says "Strongly Recommended" even though it could really just mean "completely optional". However, other places are more like what you've said: they expect you to take it unless you have some other reason, or they expect some people to take it (e.g. a multidisciplinary program related to Physics might expect you to take the Physics GRE if you had a Physics undergrad but not if you are coming from a Biology degree with the intent to do Biophysics research). So if in doubt, just ask!
  6. Sorry to hear about your supervisor For your latest question, I think it depends on what you are hoping to get from the "on-paper" supervisor. It sounds like you are very close to finishing, right? So, your "on-paper" supervisor might just be that: on-paper only and you may not require that much interaction with this person in a supervisory role. In this case, it doesn't really matter who your "on-paper" supervisor is because they are largely filling an administrative role: just signing off on your thesis and graduation documents. In your case, I would still put the name of your current supervisor as your thesis supervisor on things like CVs etc. and explain the situation if it ever comes up. However, if you are looking for more guidance from a faculty member as you finish up, have you considered asking both of these faculty members to be on your MSc thesis committee? Your MSc supervisor serves two roles: someone who can read over your work and give you guidance on the science and someone who knows you professionally and can provide guidance on career and professional development. It seems like you can split these two roles between the two people you mentioned quite nicely. It might also work out better because these two faculty members might not have time to suddenly add a whole student to their groups, but if you split the duties, it could work out. In addition, if you do decide to go for a PhD program and cannot get a letter from your first supervisor, you might want to have both of these letters. One can speak to the significance of your work since they know your field better and the other can speak to you as a researcher because they know you better (if you could only choose one letter though, I would pick the stronger relationship prof). Finally, if you are actually constrained by who can officially serve on your committee, for some reason, I would pick the person that would be the most helpful to you finishing sooner. If the person that is aligned with your field is the type of person that continually asks students to do more experiments, you might want to avoid that person for your committee, especially since someone who is close to your field but isn't actually in your field is the type of person most likely to ask for unnecessary experiments/analysis! But, if you feel that not having this person on your committee might make your dept/committee think that there is no one "expert" enough to evaluate you, then there's good reason to include this person. I think this is a good discussion to have with your dept chair, or whomever is in charge of determining the transition plan for your supervisor's group.
  7. Ah, interesting. All of the society-run conferences (i.e. the major networking ones) in my field will list your membership type (Jr, Full, Emeritus, Associate, Sponsor, Non-Member, etc.) on your badge. And at specific networking events, these badges are very helpful to identify where a person is during their career (i.e. a Non-Member is likely an undergrad, most Jr. Members are grad students, and postdocs/faculty are full members). It also helps prospective grad students: we're told to look out for Jr. Member badges to distinguish between grad students and postdoc/faculty if you are seeking someone from a school you are applying to.
  8. In addition to what Eigen said, a typical score might be an average, which by definition, means that about half of the people actually accepted score below this typical score. Even at the top schools, an accepted student is not necessarily one that is above-average in every aspect of their application. Your profile is evaluated as a whole, not in each part individually. You may be surprised at the large range in things like experience, GPA, GRE, letters within an admitted class of students. Within the department, it is easy to weigh some aspects above others, and in STEM fields, experience is often weighed much more highly than GRE scores. As Eigen also said, the part where applications can get stuck are when there are requirements from beyond the department (e.g. the grad school) that the applicant does not meet. Depending on the school, this may require a special appeal from the department, which costs time, effort and "political capital" (i.e. one can only make so many of these appeals). As long as you don't fall below these minimums, I would still apply if there's a great fit. And even if you do fall below, it's worth a discussion with the profs there before skipping that school, unless you have other reasons to not be interested anyways.
  9. Here are some reasons why I would not register as a student when I am a postdoc: 1. If it's found out and there are consequences, it will all come down on you. So do only what you're comfortable with. 2. Events like this are meant to support students, and they still cost money. The reason that students are free are either because there is outside sponsorship to cover students, or the paying attendees subsidize the cost for students. I feel that it's only right that we stop benefiting from free student things once we have gainful employment and are no longer students. Especially if there is a limit on the number of free student spots at this conference, I'd feel wrong about taking it from an actual student. 3. Usually at these things, your name badges clearly say what you've registered as. If you are here to network, having it say "student" (or the wrong thing) isn't going to help you. So, honestly, I feel like misrepresenting yourself doesn't really do yourself any good and could cause harm to you. It sounds like you do want to talk to your advisor about this so if you are looking for advice/encouragement, I would say you could consider something like point #2 and #3 above instead of just saying "we shouldn't break the rules" since you know this angle doesn't work with him.
  10. Hint 1: The remainder when dividing by 10 is always the ones digit (i.e the last digit) of a number. Hint 2: When you have crazy large numbers like this, you are rarely expected to actually calculate the entire number. Instead, look for a pattern in the part of the number you care about and then use that pattern to get your answer.
  11. I've noticed that these suggestions have gotten better over time, however, they almost always suggest articles that are quite old and I've read years ago! e.g. most of the articles they suggest to me were published 4+ years ago. Hopefully this feature will improve over time, as right now, I feel that the suggested articles are too outdated for people who keep up with the literature and not well picked enough to be a representative sample for people who need to catch up! I think they come up with suggested articles based on how many other people in your field have accessed a particular article, so hopefully as more usage data comes in, the algorithm is able to pick out the classic/important papers in each year (might still need another way to suggest brand new and interesting articles though!)
  12. After checking out all the other schools and deciding on which ones to apply to, if you are still interested in this school, then sure, apply again. Whether or not you apply to that school again, now is a good time to ask them about reasons, before the next school year begins. It would be helpful to know this information before applying again this fall/winter. I'd recommend to phrase it as looking for feedback instead of sounding like you need them to explain their decision to you. Almost everyone applies to many schools so everyone who asks this question expects you to name a couple other schools you're applying to. Be honest about the places you're applying to. But also be tactful, i.e. if you are interviewing with your #4 choice school, don't tell them that they are #4. My advice is to first answer their question honestly, (e.g. I am applying to schools X, Y, Z), have a brief pause for them to ask followup questions if they want to, but then switch the focus back onto their school. Just say something like, "I am excited to apply here because ..." or something like that. Basically, act like nothing happened. In the application form, they might ask if you have applied before, so answer that honestly. It's mostly an administrative question anyways, not like your answer will affect your application for this year. However, there's no point mentioning your previous application or referring to it during the application materials (CV, SOP etc.). If you do get asked about it during the interview, again, answer honestly. Be prepared to answer a question like, "What have you done since the last application?" with examples of how you have improved as a candidate from last year to this year.
  13. @lewin's advice is really good. I am not in your field but I did exactly what lewin suggested to find my first work experience in my field! I would add that since you say you know some professors well, you can talk to them too because they might have some department-specific advice or might know some good opportunities. Having a good connection with your faculty is important, and one way to continue cultivating this relationship is to email the profs you know well to say that you're thinking about applying to grad school in Psychology and that you would like to meet with them to get some advice / ask some questions. Then, come with some good questions, such as what are some courses that they recommend, what is their advice for selecting grad schools and how to find research experience. They will probably have additional good advice too.
  14. Personally, I would recommend only taking the test once, in November. Three weeks, especially with a busy schedule (also my case when I was taking the GRE) is not much time to make a huge difference in score for a retake and not worth the extra hassle! Also, you may not know your Analytical Writing score before the deadline to register for a November date. November test date is early enough to get your scores in for mid-December deadlines. Should be okay for Dec 1 deadlines too, since it should only take 10 business days to send the scores, at the maximum. The only real advantage of taking the GRE twice in such a short time is that the October test could be a practice run and to get experience writing the test in real test conditions. However, you can also take advantage of the many free online practice tests / simulated tests available.
  15. I agree that a copy editor could be a worthwhile expense for you. My PhD school hired copyeditors for all submitted dissertations and the edits were very helpful. I did not interact with the copy editor directly though: they made the suggestions and edits and it was my choice on what to implement. The copyeditors hired generally have at least Masters degree in a scientific field in addition to knowledge of the English language so they are experienced with technical language. I would say that 95% of the edits did not inadvertently change the meaning of the sentence. In 2 or 3 cases, the copyeditor wasn't sure of what I meant, so they offered two alternative edits, e.g. "If you meant X, then ABC but if you meant Y then DEF". We only get one pass through with the copyeditor. In my field, the journals also provided copyediting as part of the publishing fees and I learned a lot of grammar rules that I didn't really think about before. So paying for a copyeditor could be a good learning experience too. That said, copyediting can be expensive (I have never paid out of pocket for it before), so it's also a matter of how important this is to you. At my PhD school, there is a two-week turnaround time for copyediting and since you need to provide the thesis at least two weeks before your defense, most people submit their theses to their committee and the copyeditor at the same time, otherwise you would have to finish writing a whole month before your defense. So if you don't care about the nicely written thesis in the end, then the expense may not be worth it. However, if your advisor is suggesting a copyeditor because they think your committee won't be able to read your dissertation without these edits, then you have to weigh the costs of copyediting vs. your own time in getting your manuscript to the point where your committee would be willing to pass you on your defense. I think a copyeditor can edit your work at least 5 times faster than you can do it yourself, and I think most copyeditors don't charge a rate that is 5 times your equivalent hourly income. But it can still be a big expense, so it's a matter of what you can afford. In summary: I think copyeditors are great. I would advise hiring one if you can afford it and if you need your manuscript copyedited before you can defend. I understand your feeling of wanting to do this yourself, but I don't think your degree is any less deserving because a copyeditor was hired (otherwise, no one at my school would "deserve" a PhD). And during the stressful time of writing, saving yourself 1-2 weeks of work by hiring a copyeditor is super helpful.