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bamafan last won the day on January 19 2013

bamafan had the most liked content!

About bamafan

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  1. Yup, no problem. That's the most important thing when choosing a program honestly, seeing if there are faculty with whom you'd like to work. They were from UCSC and Washington respectively, I believe with specialties in bioinformatics and machine learning. If you don't mind me asking, what's your research background?
  2. Also, I know of at least two EECS students who got into Berkeley Comp Bio and MIT CSBi respectively. You'll be fine, but again, I think you're chances will be higher if you choose the seemingly more relevant programs to your background. Trust me, if you want to do cancer research for instance, regardless of your final PhD program, you'll be able to do the exact same work and experiments as you would in a regular bio program.
  3. This is a poor reason to apply to a purely biology PhD in my opinion. It's a common misconception that bioengineering is the same as bioMEDICAL engineering, which it really is not. In practice, there is little difference in the research you'll be able to do in any of these majors. It just depends on your interests and what projects/labs you decide to go into. The main difference will probably just be in your classes and how easy it will be get in to the program. You can go into an engineering major like BioE and it doesn't have to have anything to do with devices. I have a bioE background, but my work is all in synthetic and systems biology, as in engineering life (bacteria as factories). That's as "pure bio" as it gets. Some of my co-grads in my UG major were likewise DNA engineers or protein engineers, some even molecular and chemical engineering in practice. We never touched any sort of device nor computational work (I switched actually and am now doing a computational track). On the other hand, being in an interdisciplinary or broader based program gives you flexibility and options if you do want to do something more along your original background (just as I was more or less pure bio in practice, some other students built microscopes and microfluidic devices or did tissue engineering, which is more mechE). Given this last point, I encourage you to apply to bioE programs since it'll honestly be easier for you to get in with your qualifications and background. Don't be scared off by the names of the programs, they aren't really restrictive defined boundaries -- regardless of what program you get into, it will not limit what you are want to do (if anything, being bio only could limit you as the faculty will not be interdisciplinary and may not have access or collaborations with other groups, which is very useful and important).
  4. I think you would be fine honestly. You'll be at a disadvantage, but students come from unconventional backgrounds all the time and your research experience would help a lot. That said, why aren't you applying to bioE or compB type programs? It sounds like you'd be a better fit both based on qualifications and interests. It's not that you can't do those things as a "pure bio" PhD, but rather, I'm trying to figure out why you want to be pure bio in the first place.
  5. Register at two institutions?

    You would be basically leaving scot free, because your work would be split between two universities, and therefore, at best, you're being paid twice as much as you should be. It also is theft because even if it's governmental funds, you are receiving it to do work at the university paying you. Failure to do so would be a violation of the legal agreement. It's like being paid full-time to only work part-time. I did look into this by the way. I don't know what UK university you were planning to scam, but several I checked definitely have legal clauses prohibiting you from being registered anywhere else. If you do, you risk forfeiture to not only your admission but also the funding plus interest. So it is illegal, chum. The funds may be for "research", but it's for research under specific scenarios and circumstances. There are conditions attached, and these are the conditions you hope to violate by trying to mislead one university. If you work out some sort of cross-admission with the universities, that's another thing altogether. But that is nowhere near the ballpark of what you planned to do originally, which I said then and still say now, was extremely ill-conceived, immature, and selfish (and not to mention, again, illegal).
  6. Nothing should go into an SOP that isn't related to your research interests, interest in and fit with the particular program, and your qualifications/experience (you could discuss the health/withdrawals as part of discussing your qualifications, perhaps by describing how you overcame them and kicked total ass in your MA). SOP is not the same thing as a personal statement.
  7. Register at two institutions?

    I strongly disagree. I don't think this is a legitimate question at all, unless it comes from someone who has a seriously lacking understanding of right and wrong and an equally lacking ability to analyze potential risks and consequences that stem from bad behavior. Perhaps my language was strong, but the OP's stance is just so far beyond the limits of reasonable adult behavior that it is unbelievable to me. The assertion that an advisor, let alone a professor, would suggest this is equally outrageous. Under no circumstances could I even imagine an academic, regardless of nationality or origin, giving such advice.
  8. Register at two institutions?

    The OP is obviously trolling, because no one with half a lobotomized brain would even conceive of doing this let alone actually do it. Everything about this idea reeks of sheer stupidity and immorality, and I'm willing to bet real money the OP is just here to jerk everyone's chains. Move along, folks. If this idiot actually is considering doing this, then he/she deserves to get be screwed later on, blacklisted professionally, and kicked out of both PhDs. So simboxon, if you want to do it, by all means go ahead.
  9. Okay, first off, you can't type because it's "bamafan", as in a fan of Alabama. Second, you misattributed a quote to me as I didn't even say those things, someone else did. Third, I said, after trying to give you some financial advice, that you were "somewhat aggressive", which you were then to the above posters and are being now. No one has at any point said that your path is "unnacceptable and stupid". If you want empathy, you should have said so, but instead you asked for advice, which I, and many others, have tried our best to give. I certainly have not at any point tried to disparage or discourage you, and I honestly wish you the best. We gave you our thoughts, as well as useful suggestions. Maybe you didn't get anything meaningful out of our comments, but that's not because we were being rude or unhelpful, but rather because you chose not to appreciate what we said. Try not to be so offended and hostile to strangers on the internet, so much so that you didn't even bother to check who actually said what. This in and of itself lends weight to your behavior and response not being quite so "level-headed".
  10. It also seems like you're pretty set on following your heart regardless of the financial hardship, so I'm a bit confused as to what you even want from the rest of us if not our opinions. Some people gave you their thoughts, and you reacted somewhat aggressively. If you're not open to other people's opinions and judgments, why did you ask for them? Thoughts and judgments are necessarily inclusive when it comes to opinions on your situation. As for your situation, if and only if you're sure you will qualify for debt forgiveness, why not go the route of your dreams and go to USC? But if you're not sure that you'll be able to do this, save the money. As you mentioned, it's not like your salary will be any different regardless of where you went. Are you sure there aren't any grants you could get to finance your education, rather than just loans? Also, as long as you're in school, debt does not accrue interest. If you're really worried about the debt also, why don't you defer a year and work -- even if you only pull in 30-40k, that puts a huge dent in your debt, and more importantly, the eventual interest.
  11. General or Subject GRE

    Well, you don't really have a choice, you have to take the general GRE. The subject is optional depending on the school.
  12. I'm not from Canada, but I've been a few times, and there's nothing wrong with Calgary except the Flames are terrible. Seriously, it's not like you'll be moving to a sleepy town of 3000 people. When it comes to getting your PhD, location is important, but funding and research fit are way more important.
  13. 2013 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

    I picked UCSD over some "better" schools for many of the reasons you mentioned. The reputation in life sciences is very well regarded, and you have some real superstar PIs there, not to mention great affiliated institutes (Salk, Scripps, the soon-to-be new freaking JCVI!!!)
  14. 1. You'll make new friends. It's life. It's not like your old friends disappear just because you're farther part. 2. Always choose funding. Seriously, especially for a masters, it's not worth spending $100k when you could get it for free.
  15. More than Prestige

    I'm going to say something very unpopular but it is kind of the elephant in the room right now. I don't know how serious or long-term your relationship is, but I chose to spend the last year near my girlfriend instead of grad school, a girlfriend with whom I'd been living with for three years (spending 16+ hours/day together over this span...) and we broke up this earlier this year. This is pretty much a worst case scenario -- being somewhere you didn't want to be for someone with whom you are no longer together. Obviously, I don't know your relationship nor would I ever prognosticate anything bad happening between you two, but you should consider this possibility as only you can.