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About irfannooruddin

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  • Birthday 08/05/1973

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  1. I think you'd be a very strong candidate. i don't get the list of schools though and would advise you to talk to your UR polisci profs sooner than later about your plans.
  2. Fwiw, if I could change one thing about my undergrad/grad training, I would have taken more political theory, or at any rate have read more of it outside of class. That others might deem it "irrelevant" is, well, "irrelevant." You're preparing yourself for a lifetime of scholarship in a particular discipline. Why one wouldn't want a solid background in the core texts of the field escapes me.
  3. In general, yes, if only because it's an appropriate level of abstraction and provides the fundamentals you need. The more comfortable you are with differentiation and integrals, the easier most of what you see in a standard first-year sequence will be. Of course, the list of math "wants" is long and in a perfect world you'd find time to take a good linear algebra course too. I am old fogey on this point and can't imagine learning anything, let alone math, from an online course. But if it works for you, sure. But if you're serious about learning it, you need to make sure you're solving pro
  4. Tips: 1) Study calculus. Get as comfortable with derivatives as you can. If you find you have an aptitude for math, push forward to even a basic intro to matrix algebra. All of this will make a standard first year methods sequence easier. 2) Identify some data that you'd want someday to analyze. Methods are much easier to learn when you have an application. 3) Don't every use the phrase "undergrad cherry" again. Congrats on your admission and best of luck.
  5. Know what you are going for. That will allow you to define success precisely. And once you do, let us know so that we can offer our advice more meaningfully.
  6. With all due respect to the collective wisdom represented on these boards, to crowdsource this decision strikes me as crazy. You should be talking to your advisors, and to key faculty at the two excellent programs to which you've been admitted. Then follow recent placements at each and see which place does better placing graduates doing the kind of work you wish to do at the kinds of places you wish to work. Congrats on your admission and best of luck.
  7. 1) For good serious students, I write a ton of letters. For the rest, I don't. Only you know which of those two categories you fall into for your letter writers. 2) The econ vs polisci bit is just flat wrong in my experience. If you can articulate an interesting question and display an analytical frame of mind, your background is pretty irrelevant. 3) More recent and research-intensive experience with a student makes the letter stronger. Letters that remember a student as being good in class count for very little. Best of luck.
  8. My point was there are insufficient data points for that to be a basis for your decision. I've served on admissions committees and on more search committees than I care to count. Not once did the candidate's age come up. EVER. That's not to suggest that some committee members didn't factor it into their analysis, but no sensible committee would discuss potential age discrimination openly. And, (most) departments don't admit people based on place-ability, other than as indicated by the quality of ideas. I'm not trying to minimize your concerns. Lots of biased people out there. Fortuna
  9. Don't overthink things. 3 letters from people who know you well, ideally as a researcher, is what you want. But connections do matter, especially if your LOR writers are willing to do some lobbying on your behalf too (i.e., beyond writing the letter).
  10. Seconded. Today's potential professors are tomorrow's search committee members and the day after that's tenure letter writers and so on. Thank them for their attention and the opportunity and keep it short.
  11. Don't get me wrong. As a grad student, I served as steward and on the steering and bargaining committee for one of the best and second-oldest grad unions in the country (the Graduate Employees Organization - GEO - at Michigan). I'm all about grad students getting paid. But negotiation 101 is that you have to have leverage to succeed. And annoying a DGS with demands that are not in her power to grant is not standing up for your right to be paid; it's shooting yourself in the foot. So do your homework, figure out what's important to you, and ask for it. But if you think you can parlay an offer f
  12. I had several classmates who worked during grad school. I imagine I've had several students who have done so too, though they didn't necessarily tell me. You do what you have to do to pay your bills, but the truth is that a serious PhD program is a very serious time commitment. At times I struggled to fulfill my TA obligations and complete coursework, let alone make progress on a dissertation. Adding an outside job to that mix would have sunk me.
  13. If you can, you should make sure to attend both programs' open houses. And, yes, I think both Masters degrees would be overkill.
  14. Fwiw, I had a good friend get off the waitlist at Harvard on April 14th. He declined their kind, if late, offer to go to Stanford instead. Point of that story is that waitlists do clear and patience is a virtue. Fingers crossed that you get happy news from Michigan. I'm biased, of course, but I can't think of a better place to spend one's graduate years. Go blue.
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