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Deadmeat

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About Deadmeat

  • Rank
    Caffeinated

Profile Information

  • Location
    New Jersey
  • Application Season
    2013 Fall
  • Program
    Mechanical Engineering Ph.D.

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  1. Did you find apartments? When I visited in Feb. there were almost no graduate/professional apartments left. I was lucky enough to snag 1 that was a bit pricey, but it's 2 blocks from campus and only for grad students. I also heard to avoid anything owned by 'The Apartment Store' apparently they are the worst.
  2. My gut feeling would be to go to a new school in a new area. Don't go back to your undergrad school unless you had no other choice. Trust me, you'll want the experience of meeting new people in a new part of the country. It's really worth the effort from my experience. Plus the school that is farther away is also more prestigious, so seems like an added bonus. My worry would being too "comfortable" with an adviser you know from undergrad in the same setting. Find someone new that has a different dynamic, you will have to adjust but I think you will grow as a researcher and person. Thats j
  3. Top 5 for what ranking criteria? There are plenty of ways to rank schools other than US News... Hell how they rank programs is kinda crazy to me (100% peer reviewed score for the major?!?!). I would use those as 'ballpark' ranking. I'm basing this on Mechanical Engineering which ranks over 150 programs, so anything that is ranked in the top 20 to me felt pretty similar in terms of respect in the field. I even asked professor's at my current school and they said "yah, if you do good work in any of those programs you will get noticed" I think it is a little trickier if you are debating
  4. I can't speak on the programs, but Penn State has a pretty awesome graduate culture from visiting and talking to current students. It's a huge campus with tons of people, so always events or activities to take part in. Might be something worth considering as well.
  5. I always get "Why didn't you apply to X, Y, and Z schools in the Philadelphia area (where I live)"... Because I want to get the hell out of this area!
  6. School B sounds like a better fit for your personal life from what you said in your last post. That is a huge factor, especially if you are in a serious relationship. High ranking and money don't matter if you hate your life outside of school and contrary to popular belief grad students still need a social life. Honestly I would go with school B. You are getting a great education, funded with a fellowship, and you get to keep your relationship strong living in a location you really enjoy. That would make for a much more balanced 4-6 years of your life.
  7. It appeared there was a couple hydropower projects when I visited penn state. They even have one of the biggest water tunnels in the world for testing things in water. Also, energy seemed to be a big focus there, but they have a large department so they hit on many topics. Did you email any professor's that match your interests? I think that might be a good way of figuring out if they have openings, etc.
  8. I got accepted to both but have different interest areas. Would you prefer a big city or a small town?
  9. One minor thing is when publications are from. I'm talking how ACTIVE are they now? I've been turned off by some very good POI because they havn't updated the website in 5 years, don't reply to emails, and clearly when spoken at interview they didn't have much going on in there lab at the moment. These were older professor's though who I think were just on autopilot, BUT if I just looked at publications/prestigious of the work they blew everyone else away since they had so many top pubs for so many years prior. Just a thought.
  10. It sounds like you should lean towards Penn since you have funding. Though I would always be wary basing a decisions on a single professor, it may not work out. Plus, since you listed it it seems you value being close to girlfriend, and long distance in grad school is not fun. The whole adviser might leave and you are screwed isn't really appealing. If you want to consider location more. Granted Ithaca is a low-key small area, but it is absolutely gorgeous and always rated as one of the best town in the country. If you are looked for a nice area but still lots to do, I would pick Boston ov
  11. Were you at the Penn State Mechanical Engineering recruitment event about month and half ago or so? What area are you trying to study in? I would go with Penn State, they are funding you and if you were not at the event I'll tell you that they said pretty much they make sure everyone is fully funded throughout the program. Sounds like going to UT Austin is a huge financial risk. Also, I'm not really sure what you mean by reputation, they sound pretty equal to me. They are both in the top 25 for grad programs, but neither is in the top 5 or 10, so honestly I would put them similar. Go where
  12. "In addition, although paying for tuition is not the biggest problem for me" - Is it because you have loads of money, or is it because you simple are not worried about taking out 2x the loans? I would pick Upenn if its half the cost based on if you have to take out loans. Otherwise I would pick wherever has the most people doing research that you want to be involved in (chances are the first adviser you really want won't have a spot for you), that way you have many options. I don't know about CMU, but Upenn is in Philadelphia, and being from there... well I wouldn't choose to live the
  13. That seems risky as others have mentioned. I chose a very large program that has several people I wouldn't mind working for. I don't have a locked in POI or lab group for the Fall though. I'm preferring to feel out the situation and get some experience as a TA first. That might be the safer route.
  14. I wouldn't go to a school unfunded in engineering, that's just my 2 cents though. It sounds like you are factoring in other things like the major (ME/EE) or the location as well, so those could be important in your decision, not just the school. Applied cold to the program? Isn't that what most people do? I surely didn't have 'contacts' to any of the programs I got accepted to. It's too hard to tell if someone is a good fit for you without meeting them in person and seeing the lab dynamic. That's why I'm sticking with being a TA for my 1st year to feel out everything. I wouldn't say you n
  15. You should really talk to the adviser you want to work with, they can vary widely in what they expect. A couple people at the school I'll be starting at in the fall flat out said "I expect you to be here 9-7 monday through saturday, and I expect you to only do your homework at home" others were more of the mindset "get your work done, put in a normal 40 hour work week and you are fine". The former was a little intimadating since I'm not what I'd call 'gifted' it takes me many hours to really read over class notes and do homework. I'm an efficient worker but I'm precise and slow, so expect
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