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  1. I haven't posted on this forum in years! But since I'm procrastinating on writing my thesis: My personal opinion is that none of these are cons. - The campus is actually relatively small compared to most universities. No one takes the bus from one end to the other unless they have time to kill. - The program being spread out is not necessarily bad at all. The places you get your best ideas from will never be where you expect. Having to walk by people from other departments might help you in ways you wouldn't expect. - There's a very good reason undergrads and tourists visit Berkeley all the time. - Large labs have their own pros and cons. (They got large for a reason!) It's more important to have options in case it ends up not being for you. Other things: - Did you take into account that Lawrence Berkeley Lab is right up the hill as well? I knew several people who did their PhD's with PIs up there, and I knew many more who collaborated with them. - Biophysics is about as interdisciplinary as it gets, and Berkeley also comes with world class math, physics, and chemistry departments as well. Research from those and other departments have serious overlap with biophysics. Often times the help you need will be a five minute walk away. - Berkeley's alumni network is gigantic. This will matter a lot when you get toward the end! Despite this shamelessly biased post in favor of Berkeley, congratulations by the way, because both USCF and Berkeley are excellent programs!!
  2. PI's want data. If you have enough data, a PI doesn't care if you work 30 minutes a day. Congrats for having enough data for a JACS paper 7 months into the first year! But unfortunately the PI has higher expectations, otherwise she wouldn't complain about tardiness. I agree with Fuzzy, I'd find out exactly what research progress the PI expects from you. This forces her to spell it out in plain text, meaning you don't have to guess what she wants. Then explain to her that you will meet those goals. Also, student health is the top priority. If it hurts physically to get up in the morning, stay in bed and make up the hours later. In a real job you need to worry about sick days and time off, but grad school is not an ordinary job. Grad students seldom work "normal" hours unless they have a family or other outside commitments. If your PI wants to drill you about tardiness, just say it's for health reasons and that you'll have new data soon.
  3. In my opinion, take NSF. More pay. More flexibility (5 year tenure vs. NDSEG's 3). There's also XSEDE and GROW if you care about that. NDSEG is statistically harder to get, but on your CV, you can say that you declined NDSEG. So prestige isn't an issue either. EDIT: congrats, btw!
  4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5rUypc09_A
  5. Don't do it. You'll constantly be running out of toilet paper and it'll take you months to figure out why...
  6. In addition to what GeoDUDE! mentioned, you might still be applying to fellowships in the future, which do take into account grades. Other than that, it makes little difference.
  7. I wouldn't worry too much about more/less money. Your PI should fund you at either institution. At the end of the day, you're not making any money anyway. You'll have enough to live comfortably. Having fewer requirements is certainly nice, but not something that will hold you back from completing your PhD or prevent you from doing great work. Quality of life heavily depends most on your colleagues and your adviser. It sounds like you have quite a few options to choose from at MIT. This is important since you won't necessarily get your first choice. No arguments about the weather, it just comes down to how much you care! Good luck!
  8. Fact: the PI's doing the same.
  9. I like option B as well. As mentioned above, you're going to get stuck on your project no matter what. It's better to be interested in what you're doing in order to help you break through the "wall". In addition to the project itself, make sure that you and your potential advisers share the same values. I turned down the number 1 school in my field exactly for this reason, and I'm confident that it was one of the smartest decisions I've ever made. You're impression of future colleagues also matters a lot since you'll be seeing and dealing with them much more than your adviser. Good luck!
  10. Solved! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ROW9F-c0kIQ
  11. Having gone through this last year, I'll go to sleep at a normal hour. Regardless of the outcome, I think it's best to maximize feeling good tomorrow in any way possible. Similarly, for those of you waiting until tomorrow, it's probably a good idea to eat breakfast before reading the result.
  12. N'oh my God....Inception!
  13. Hey! If you don't like America, then you can geeeet out!
  14. It's not your fault.......It's not your fault....
  15. I was thinking the same thing!!! hahaha
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