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SANDIEGO

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  1. Upvote
    SANDIEGO got a reaction from halfhipster in Dealing with Xenophobia   
    The problem with continually accepting this kind of behavior is that it continues to perpetuate and reinforce the same future behavior. For example, take the more charged topic of racial discrimination. If someone is continuing to use race as a means for harassment, it is not actually productive for society to "move on", but rather to make people aware of what's happening and the stakes involved.
  2. Upvote
    SANDIEGO got a reaction from psycho_killer in CMU Course-Only MS in CS   
    Hi fwoomp,
     
    CMU is great! I would take it over UIUC, Georgia Tech and John Hopkins. Most masters programs in CS are considered terminal programs, even ones with research components. If you end up getting accepted to Stanford, you'll find that their MS is course based as well, unless you find an RAship on your own time.
     
    If you want to leave the option of a PhD open, it'll be in your best interest to get some research experience. It doesn't have to be in the form of a thesis, get involved with a professor, ask about RAships, do some work over the summer etc.
  3. Upvote
    SANDIEGO reacted to josefchung in Are updated US News graduate school rankings on the way?   
    http://www.usnews.com/education/blogs/college-rankings-blog/2013/02/14/best-graduate-schools-rankings-coming-march-12
     
    Will CS rankings be updated? Any predictions?
     
     
  4. Downvote
    SANDIEGO reacted to selecttext in What's with the Masters consolation prizes?   
    it means they are trying to improve their bottom line
  5. Downvote
    SANDIEGO reacted to bamafan in Program rankings/tiers   
    Rankings are worthless. They're mostly arbitrary and when it comes down to schools within a "tier", they're mostly comparable and it's just a wash to rank them. I've always felt that rankings are designed to boost the egos of some people and allow parents to brag. Instead, you should look up PIs in the fields or areas that you're interested in.
  6. Upvote
    SANDIEGO got a reaction from soar2962 in Are there any schools that do classified government research?   
    See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_college_laboratories_conducting_basic_defense_research
  7. Upvote
    SANDIEGO reacted to fukuyama in Are there any schools that do classified government research?   
    This isn't a very precise question. I would say most large CS departments have an intersection with classified research. There are government labs (Oak Ridge National Labs), government-funded university labs (MIT Lincoln Labs) and there are projects which either have clearance or citizenship requirements (or both) which either restrict from on-site visits (i.e. even some non-citizen PIs can't see the end implementation on-site) or faculty and students who work on the project (DARPA has a lot of these). 
     
    My undergraduate and master's university (Minnesota) had relationships with all of these. In my area (data mining), clearance might open a few doors at ORNL, but I dont think it's a driving motivation or advantage. As a U.S. citizen grad student, I have been approached by at least three faculty who want to write a DARPA proposal with me because I meet this requirement. With clearance, the solicitations might be more. 
  8. Downvote
    SANDIEGO got a reaction from selecttext in Great funding from my last choice, not so great from my top choice!   
    Actually there is a HUGE difference in "cachet", or even global recognition. UBC is well known here in the states while Western is virtually unheard of.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_Western_Ontario#Reputation
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_British_Columbia#Reputation
     
    Given that this is the school that the OP wants to attend, feels that their fit is better with, has some degree of funding, AND has a leg up in reputation, I think it's preposterous advice.
     
    You can always quote people who end up hating their "dream school" or "dream professor", but this would be like taking the anecdotes from people who dropped out of school and were successful. By and large, your instinct and gut will be correct in deciding on a school. Obviously, you might end up hating it, but it's a risk regardless of what school you take, and you're mitigating it to some degree by taking the choice you feel is the better one at this point in time based on the research you've done.
     
    Good luck, hope this helps with your decision.
  9. Upvote
    SANDIEGO got a reaction from ssk2 in CMU Course-Only MS in CS   
    Hi fwoomp,
     
    CMU is great! I would take it over UIUC, Georgia Tech and John Hopkins. Most masters programs in CS are considered terminal programs, even ones with research components. If you end up getting accepted to Stanford, you'll find that their MS is course based as well, unless you find an RAship on your own time.
     
    If you want to leave the option of a PhD open, it'll be in your best interest to get some research experience. It doesn't have to be in the form of a thesis, get involved with a professor, ask about RAships, do some work over the summer etc.
  10. Upvote
    SANDIEGO got a reaction from bedmas in Great funding from my last choice, not so great from my top choice!   
    Actually there is a HUGE difference in "cachet", or even global recognition. UBC is well known here in the states while Western is virtually unheard of.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_Western_Ontario#Reputation
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_British_Columbia#Reputation
     
    Given that this is the school that the OP wants to attend, feels that their fit is better with, has some degree of funding, AND has a leg up in reputation, I think it's preposterous advice.
     
    You can always quote people who end up hating their "dream school" or "dream professor", but this would be like taking the anecdotes from people who dropped out of school and were successful. By and large, your instinct and gut will be correct in deciding on a school. Obviously, you might end up hating it, but it's a risk regardless of what school you take, and you're mitigating it to some degree by taking the choice you feel is the better one at this point in time based on the research you've done.
     
    Good luck, hope this helps with your decision.
  11. Upvote
    SANDIEGO got a reaction from bricheet in CMU vs. Harvard vs. Yale for Master's in CS   
    There's nothing really wrong with his question imo. He's asking about the general brand recognizability of Harvard vs. the less recognizable (in general, but with higher dept. recognizability) brand of CMU, it's a legitimate concern (even if the choice is more obvious to some of us).
  12. Upvote
    SANDIEGO reacted to juilletmercredi in Relationship with Adviser   
    My advice is to stop comparing yourself to other people.

    I know, it's inevitable.  We compare ourselves to others.  But there is ALWAYS going to be someone "better" than you.  After grad school, it'll be that postdoc in the lab at the university down the lane who's always scooping your topics and publishing faster than you and has the K award.  If you go tt, it'll be that hotshot new AP who managed to get an R03 while teaching 3 classes a semester and all the students love him.  So on and so forth.

    You have to decide on your own personal pace and what you're willing to give up, or how hard you want to push yourself.  If you want to write more papers, you can, but you have to become a machine - live and breathe research most hours of the day and write, write, write like a maniac.  I know some people like that and they are really annoying to me, but they get shit done.  On the other hand, you can choose to be a little more normal.  Most people fall in the "normal" range - they publish okay but not spectacularly, and they also have time to do other things.

    It also depends on your goals.  I initially felt a bit inadequate compared to some of my peers.  Then I realized that 1) my advisor adored me and thought I was doing fine and, even more importantly, 2) I just didn't care as much as they did.  I love research but I didn't want to live and breathe it 16 hours a day, and I wanted to end up at a teaching-focused institution anyway.  Once I stopped comparing myself to them and to people who had similar goals to ME, I felt muuuuuch better.
     
    Even if you continue to compare yourself to other people, though, don't compare yourself to the superstar.  That's just setting yourself up for insanity.  Compare yourself to the other average joes.  There's always going to be a superstar; you have to decide whether you want to be the superstar, or compete with the superstar.  If you do, power to you, go for it.  Most people don't, though.
  13. Upvote
    SANDIEGO reacted to zapp7 in Frustrated with my research and my supervisor   
    I am about to turn 27 and I am about 2.5 years into my PhD program. I am in science and I am somewhat of a special case because I am in a special accredited stream for the field in which I plan to specialize. This stream is basically a standard PhD, but with a heavy course load. So far I have completed 8 full term (4 month) courses and I'm currently finishing another 2. I have achieved excellent marks in all of these classes.
     
    I have been struggling with my research project. It involves some difficult mathematical modeling in which my supervisor is an expert. In fact, my supervisor is a super star researcher in his early 60's who works long hours and manages a lab of around 15 people, meaning he is always extremely busy. He has not shied away from expressing his displeasure with this accredited stream I am in, as the heavy course load has gotten in the way of research some times. Just this week I had to reschedule an experiment because I had a midterm the following day and realized I simply had too much material to review. Knowing how he feels about it, I find that I feel constant guilt for even being in this stream and for every time I have to prioritize course work over my research.
     
    My project itself has been frustrating in the sense that when I run into problems or challenges, I simply don't have the necessary experience with this modeling to know how to address it. I have tried anyway, but with little success. When I consult him for advice, he will usually give me an idea of what to try, or most often he is unsure and doesn't have the time to look into it. This causes me to hit a brick wall, and then he will put me onto another path. The end result is that now I have a ton of ground work done for about 5 different projects and in each of them there is some problem preventing me from moving forward.
     
    He recently expressed concern about my progress given that I am 2.5 years in and have "little worthwhile" to show. I have had periods during this program where I have been guilty of procrastination or lack of motivation. But this week I felt I got re-motivated to really tackle my modeling project and I sent him some results via email (he's out of town for 2 weeks.) His response indicated that there was an issue with the data and his tone made me feel completely useless. He even ended the email with "I am surprised you are not aware of this????" After reading this I am completely demoralized. I am constantly worried about my research and feel as though I lack the necessary skills to progress. For the first time, thoughts of just quitting are running through my mind. My supervisor's previous students have had the reputation of taking very long to finish. (4 years for a masters, 2 PhD students that each took 8 years, another that took 7 years...) I feel like I am headed toward this, and the thought of doing another 6 years of this makes me extremely depressed.
     
    I don't really want to quit, given that I know this will lead to the job I want and I don't have a good alternative plan, but I am sick of feeling useless in this project, and I am sick of being made to feel like an idiot when I consult my supervisor.
     
    Any advice?
  14. Upvote
    SANDIEGO reacted to fuzzylogician in Life of a PhD in this day and age. How does it compare to dental/medical school?(help for a lost undergrad)   
    My experience, which I've also shared in other threads, is that you have time exactly and only for those things that you find important. It's easy to get sucked into the work and occasionally indeed there are pressing deadlines and you need to work crazy hours. But on a regular basis, you structure your own time and schedule your own events. If downtime with your family and friends are important to you, you'll have time for them. If you neglect them, on the other hand, you might end up not seeing them at all. Same goes for hobbies, sleep, chores, volunteer work, trips and any other activities - you often need to be active in making those things a priority, but if you do then there is no reason why you can't have a good balance between your work and other aspects of your life.
  15. Upvote
    SANDIEGO reacted to rae303 in Reversing a rejection with an email? Sending email while waiting?   
    I think it depends on whether you have been formally rejected or if you are waitlisted.  You mention waiting in your title.  If you have already been formally rejected, no, begging will not change anything.  Asking for tips on where you can improve for the next application season is not frowned upon, though, and can lead to some great insight for next time. 
     
    HOWEVER, if you are waitlisted, that is something else entirely.  You can absolutely sway a decision (in either direction) based on communication while you are waitlisted.  Supplying additional materials along with a well-worded, polite cover letter can launch you to the top of the waitlist or even make them reconsider acceptance.  When I was applying I was waitlisted at my first choice and one of my recommenders told me to treat it as if they were saying, "We like you, but we're not convinced.  Convince us."  I attended the visiting weekend, met with as many professors as I could, submitted another writing sample, along with a brief cover letter restating my desire to attend.  They responded by attempting to find additional funding for me, and eventual offered me admission along with full funding.  So it is definitely possible to sway a decision, as long as the decision has not actually been made yet.
  16. Upvote
    SANDIEGO reacted to funny_bone in Should I retake the GRE?   
    I was always a great student (top 10% of high school class, all A's first two years of college), but when I moved to a new city and out on my own for the first time, my grades suffered. I work 40 hour weeks in retail, my dad started having a lot of health problems (heart surgery), and I was often just too tired/burnt out to even make it to class.
     
    I now have a 2.91 GPA, and this is my last semester. I'm taking 6 classes, and will take 1 more in a 3 week 'Maymester' to graduate by June 1. I'm doing great so far (about halfway through the semester with all A's), so my GPA should be just over 3.0 by graduation. My boyfriend of 6 years is moving with me to Boston in July, both for a chance to live near my mom for the first time in my life (I live in TX), and to take a shot at better schools (he's a graphic design major and I want to go to grad school for colonial American history).
     
    I just took my GRE. I got a 159 on the verbal, 148 on the quantitative, and 4 on the essay portion. Not completely dismal, I suppose, but I literally took the test with zero preparation thanks to a crazy work schedule in the weeks leading up to it (class from 8-4pm Monday through Friday, work from 4:30-midnight Monday through Saturday, homework Sundays, repeat).
     
    I'm applying to UMASS Boston, Simmons, and Salem State. All have spring and fall admissions (or rolling admissions), require a 2.5 GPA, and want GRE scores reported but don't state a minimum. I don't have a lot of time to study or prep for the test again, not to mention coming up with the money to retake it. However, I'm worried that my transcript necessitates it at this point.
     
    Any advice would be appreciated. I need as many different perspectives on this as possible, whatever they may be. Thanks for your time and help!
  17. Upvote
    SANDIEGO reacted to OhMySocks in [FIXED] What area of research is your focus/did you apply for?   
    The one thing I did prefer with the old one was that it gave you the option to choose several options, instead of having radio buttons. I sit in a weird middle ground between a few of the listed fields so anything that I chose wouldn't really be accurate. 
  18. Downvote
    SANDIEGO reacted to ssw1n in [FIXED] What area of research is your focus/did you apply for?   
    This is more like it. Kudos to you !
  19. Downvote
    SANDIEGO reacted to Pauli in [FIXED] What area of research is your focus/did you apply for?   
    I have no qualms with saying that the original poll was very flawed: it wasn't exhaustive and repeated certain fields by listing their different subfields.  This poll is more exhaustive and more accurate to give us a better feel of people's demographics in this subforum.
  20. Upvote
    SANDIEGO reacted to Haggis in Cambridge interview   
    So, in case anyone is interested, I just had the interview. It wasn't too bad.
     
    There were the usual questions: Why did you apply here; what are your plans; talk about your research; etc
     
    There were also a couple technical questions that weren't too hard but that I still fumbled with because I hadn't thought about stuff like that in quite a while. They covered stuff like the basic functioning of the stack, heap, garbage collection, memory allocation, that sort of stuff.
    I think I got there in the end and showed that my transcripts are not actually forged, but I'm not sure how much the fumbling will hurt me. Guess we'll see.
  21. Upvote
    SANDIEGO got a reaction from Angua in How do you decide the top university?   
    To re-iterate what's been said.. pick UIUC. The ranking divide presented in this situation is just massive, and to me it's a no-brainer.
  22. Upvote
    SANDIEGO got a reaction from Hanyuye in The sub-3.0 GPAs ACCEPTANCE thread   
    This is remarkable and inspiring. Thank you for sharing.
  23. Upvote
    SANDIEGO got a reaction from koli0701 in What is a good GPA for a graduate student?   
    Highly dependent on the school. If you end up taking undergrad courses where the grades are curved more strictly (and even moreso if the school has a grade deflation policy) an average of 3.5+ would be great.
  24. Downvote
    SANDIEGO reacted to selecttext in I need serious help...I feel like this is no longer normal grad school anxiety?   
    just be glad that you don't have to wait for acceptance letters while also writing a master's thesis that is already late
  25. Upvote
    SANDIEGO reacted to Artoy in I need serious help...I feel like this is no longer normal grad school anxiety?   
    I know the feeling. Last year, I was in the same situation, waiting endlessly for acceptance into anywhere. And the nerve-wracking wait just got worse when I knew that many of my friends were getting acceptances into their top choices or somewhere. In the end, it turned out I was rejected by all the programs that I applied to. I was so ashamed to tell this to my lab-mates, my advisors, my friends and everyone else who knew I applied for grad school. I had been through the shame, the self-doubts, the anger and the frustration but I didn't give up. I hold on to my goals and move on with my other plans. I tried again, and now I'm going to attend graduate school this fall, doing what I wanted to do.
     
    I know this is tough for you but some truths remain. No matter how hard you think it's gonna be the end of your world if you got all rejections, it's not! Attending grad school THIS YEAR cannot be your life-determining event and your only plan. Whether you like it or not, there are so much more you can do before the next application season. You can always try again as long as your don't give up. And you are not alone! I believe there are many people on the forum, including myself, who have been through two or even more rounds of application before getting to where they wanted to be. Key is you have to realize that things don't always work out the way we wanted them to. 
     
    Try to let go all the negative thoughts and move on while holding on to your dreams and goals. Things will always work-out eventually. And always get help if you need to. Good luck! =]
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