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Showing content with the highest reputation on 07/03/2016 in all areas

  1. 2 points
    I would focus on getting your GRE scores up and maybe doing some shadowing. I don't get the impression that research matters unless you are aiming for a PhD.
  2. 1 point
    I always found it funny how some STEM people see themselves as very smart, yet many of them show such obvious failures in basic logic. Obviously you're not saying you agree with that general perception, but it's genuinely dumb for anyone to believe non-STEM fields make no contributions to society. It's not even something debatable--it's just empirically wrong and an honestly dumb idea to hold.
  3. 1 point
    The bare minimum you need: - Valid passport - Signed I-20 - Paid SEVIS fees Extra things that you should have with you but you may not have to provide (in order of most likely asked to show to least likely): - Acceptance letter - Proof of funding - SEVIS receipt (only necessary if their computer system is down and they can't access proof of payment, or you paid it hours or a day before entering the US so it's not in the system yet) - Immunization records* - Bachelor degree certificate* (* It is very very unlikely you will be asked these things unless you get pulled aside for additional screening. However, these are things you should bring with you to the US anyways as you will need them for non-border related things. And, if you are flying, you should always take all important documents in your carry-on, not your checked bag, so you should have them accessible at the border anyways). Also both starred items can be obtained after you enter the US because they are required by your school, not by the border officials. Some students don't finish undergrad degree requirements until August so they won't have the actual certificate itself when they enter the US. Overall, you will be fine and you have everything you need!
  4. 1 point
    See if there is someone from your time in college who will advise you. You're going to need LOR.
  5. 1 point

    PI is a fringe scientist.

    Yeesh. I mean it's not the best thing that he's looked upon as a "bad" scientist, but also, what he'll be saying about you has nothing to do with that. If you feel like he makes a bunch of claims about his work without having evidence, I might encourage you to come up with someone else who doesn't evoke such a response from fellow scientists. But if you decide to keep him, the adcoms are evaluating you, not him. I might reach out to an unbiased 3rd party (maybe an academic advisor?) to see what they would do. Be honest with them and they might have some good suggestions.
  6. 1 point

    Art History Masters Programs

    In terms of Canadian schools, McGill's East Asian Studies department could be a good fit. Yuriko Furuhata does super stellar work on Japanese film and media.
  7. 1 point
    The sport has little to no impact on your application. Your writing score is a little low. The lack of experience and research is somewhat problematic, but not unusually so. Overall, your portfolio sounds reasonable. Ask your advisor; perhaps there is some work you can do now to bolster your portfolio. Good luck.
  8. 1 point
    Quantum Buckyball

    Defended successfully! 

    Defended successfully!
  9. 1 point

    GRE Prep

    270/340??? How does that translate to today's scoring for the GRE? I don't think it's wise to dispense advice about people "reconsidering career choices" based on a practice test score, or on their first GRE attempt for that matter. Apparently you didn't read all of the posts above, because as I mentioned in mine, I scored 62 points higher on my GRE exam than I did on my first practice exam. This isn't that uncommon among those of us who haven't studied math in years. Where exactly are you getting your data from?
  10. 1 point

    Where to apply? (Microbio PhD)

    You're aren't going to like this, but a gap year will be best for your application. An extra year of 40 hour weeks will really let you mature as a scientist. Right now you barely if it all are meeting what adcoms consider to be "required" amounts of research and it will show if you get to the interview stage. I'm not sure what your intentions are after grad school, but you are potentially leaving prestigious schools on the table because you want to rush into grad school. In all honesty, a gap year isn't wasted time when you are talking 4-5+ years of graduate school plus postdocs. Just my 2 cents.
  11. 1 point

    Where to apply? (Microbio PhD)

    There's is no doubt that you will get in, the question is more when and where. I think that if you want to aim for schools with more resources and prestige, you should consider taking a gap year to increase your amount of research exposure and potentially acquire a recommendation letter from another PI. It would be ideal if your three letters came from people that have supervised you in a research setting since your professors cannot fully assess your capacity to conduct research. With your current credentials, I'd advise to get apply to a wide range of schools to increase the likelihood of getting in, though I wouldn't apply to placed that you'd be unsatisfied being at.
  12. 1 point

    Importance of GRE

    I think you're fine. Those quant and verbal score are amazing! I'd work on other aspects of your application instead of trying to "fix" an already great GRE.
  13. 1 point

    Practice GRE scores vs. real GRE scores

    I used Kaplan's Premier GRE 2016 book/software (provided by a research program I did over the summer). Did practice problems out of the book and took one computer-based practice test through this software. Practice test score: 167 Q / 159 V (QVQVQ) Actual score (3 October): 168 Q / 165 V / ¿AWA? (VQVQV) Hours studied: ≤20 (I was spending 6 to 12 hrs/day for 5 weeks on the Physics GRE, so I neglected to pay much attention to the General) Observations: Taking at least one practice exam of the type you'll see on exam day (computer or paper based), especially for someone preoccupied with studying for subject tests (e.g. math and/or physics, where the subject is much more important than the general), is crucial. This may seem obvious, but I have friends who have tried to take it cold because they couldn't find authentic practice exams. Understand that, assuming you're 1) taking the computer-based and 2) aiming for a high score, your second half of the exam will be hard! I actually took a bit of a mental break on my experimental section because it noticeably easier. If that was my actual second verbal section, then my score would have been too low to report anyway. Sure enough, a harder verbal came in the 6th section and I knew it was genuine and to focus on it. Math questions in study books ≠ math questions on 2nd half of the GRE (for anyone in the ~165+ range, that is). This was the biggest thing the practice test taught me. I took a few paper-based practice sets out of the Kaplan book and would get 39/40 or 40/40 in roughly 1/2 or 3/4 of the allowed time. Your test day experience will be very different from these practice sets if you're shooting for a perfect quant, and you need to be mentally prepared for this. (I gave myself a little mental pep talk before the 2nd math section of my actual exam, because I knew this section would be challenging.)This might be a matter of personal preference, but take all the allotted time on a given section! If you finish answering and checking your answers with ≤5 minutes left (e.g. on the first quant and verbal sections), don't skip the remaining time. If you're sure of your answers, take a break and just relax. I was one of the last people done when I took the exam, presumably because everyone else rushed through. I don't know why you would willingly force a brisker pace upon yourself – if anything, use the remaining time to review the questions a second or third or fourth time, rather than forfeiting it. Takeaways: Second-half quant questions for top-end scorers are much harder than questions I found in review books or online.Knowing what difficulty your second-half questions will be will help you spot (and take advantage of) the experimental.
  14. 1 point

    Grad. School Supplies?

    Here's a random list of some things that have helped me: 1. A decent coffee/espresso machine. And a travel mug. (That is, if you are a caffeine addict.) Saves money and time. 2. A few outfits that make me feel very "put together." 3. As others have mentioned, a good citation program that you feel comfortable using. (Do yourself a favor and learn this ahead of time.) 4. The latest edition of whatever citation style your discipline uses. (Again, do yourself a favor and flag the most frequently used pages ahead of time. You will thank yourself when it is 2:00 AM and you are trying to wrap up a paper for the next morning. This will happen to you at some point. Be prepared.) 5. A gym membership/yoga classes/something that you can use to stay fit. Your body and mind will be much better off. For me, my gym membership was the best stress-buster (plus your school probably has a fantastic facility that you can use for free). 6. Most importantly: An external hard drive. I have heard too many horror stories about losing papers, research, and (gulp) even dissertations. I use a decent drive that I have hooked up to Time Machine on my Mac. Peace of mind. 7. Lots and lots of post-its. This is how I jot down thoughts/organize them in front of me/flag things in my reading. 8. Ohhhh, also important: a good planner. I use this one. $15. And free shipping with: 9. Amazon Prime! You should be able to get a one year free membership with your .edu email address. This has saved me tons of money on (new) books, even compared to used books on websites like Abe, Biblio, Half, etc. 10. Someone who you can call to vent/cry/talk to. Figure out who this person will be and warn them. Luckily, for me, this person is my husband. It could be anyone. You will need this person at some point, more than you think. No matter how fabulously you are doing, you will get stressed out. This does not make you a baby. You might have a bad case of impostor syndrome your first semester. I sure did. This is normal. Just make arrangements for times when you are feeling overwhelmed. You will be glad you did. And to second some other suggestions: 11. A filing cabinet. Use it. Weekly, at least. I stick to one morning each week, when I just take a bit of time to file new things. It does not get overwhelming this way. 12. A decent printer. I have a laser. I refill my cartridges for about $6.00 (compared to the $70+ cartridges in the Office Supply store), by buying the toner on eBay and refilling it myself. It takes like 5 minutes. (I learned it from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smBYKSG7vCU.) 13. A good bag. 14. I love (love love love love love) Scrivener. I am not one of those people who can continuously sustain a complicated thought while I am writing for more than a few minutes. I have too many ideas bouncing around at the same time. This helps me to get all of my thoughts out/organize them. I'm sure I'll think of more, but this is a start. Good luck!