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About Sonny

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    Population, Migration, Urbanization, Development
  1. Geography

    Greetings to everyone! WoW! I am sad that it seems some porn spammers have infiltrated this great forum. Geography grad students should have a venue to discuss and share insights and thoughts about grad life as a Geography student. Oh well. Brittdreams...too bad I didnt get to see you at the AAG. I presented a paper on population deconcentration. Sadly, I will be transferring from Indiana University-Bloomington to University of Washington-Seattle for my Ph.D. I specialize in population geography particularly internal migration and urbanization issues and the population expert at Indiana retired whereas Washington has 3-4 migration experts and has an amazing demography center. I am excited about my move and I am sure I made the right decision to move to UW! Unfortunately, I will start all over again at UW but I guess it wil be for my own good. Hope to hear from other geog-addicts out there.
  2. Geography

    Hey, I am going too! Any plans of meeting up? It has been quite a while eh. Any newbies?
  3. Wow! This thread is pretty helpful. I am on my first year (Ph.D.) and am toying with the idea of transferring. I came here in the US (yes, I am an international student) on a grant that cost-shared with my current university (my current university offered to cover around 95% of the total cost that the grant would have incurred). Ideally, the Department should have an expert in my field but I found out that he just retired and I am left with working with someone who tangentially deals with my topic. Furthermore, the Department does not offer basic and advanced graduate courses in my field of interest anymore. Now, I kinda feel like a "frozen delight." My grant gave me several options and one of which is to transfer. Is transferring an unusual case? Is transferring treated similarly with applying for admissions? In my case, I was told (by the commission administering my grant) that if I want to transfer, I have to secure funding (in the form of TA-ship or RA-ship) from my prospective Department. In a sense, the main thing that I get from my grant is the prestige of the name and support it extended in getting visa and other related matter. If I intend to go transfer by Fall 2007, is it too late now to look for contacts?
  4. Geography

    Kevin, Good luck to you! Why did you say that your purpose statement is not good? What is your specialization? Did you contact a professor who would wanna advise you? -Sonny PS: Is it true that there are issues surrounding GRE particularly with regard to its validity if taken in specific countries?
  5. Geography

    Britt, Hi there. Glad you are doing well there at UGA. Good luck and hopefully, we all here will have the chance to see each other in an AAG conference. I think there will be a new set of rankings in the next couple of years. Geography is just too broad of a discipline to be ranked given the variables that NRC uses. -Sonny
  6. Geography

    The official rank: Anyone may email me and ask for a copy of the excel file with the scores for every variable. Pennsylvania State University 4.59 University of Wisconsin-Madison 4.40 University of Minnesota 4.22 Univ of California-Santa Barbara 4.16 Ohio State University 4.07 University of California-Berkeley 3.99 Syracuse University 3.99 Univ of California-Los Angeles 3.95 Clark University 3.82 University of Washington 3.66 State Univ of New York-Buffalo 3.63 University of Colorado 3.57 Rutgers State Univ-New Brunswick 3.39 University of Texas at Austin 3.38 Arizona State University 3.35 U of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 3.30 University of Iowa 3.23 Louisiana State U & A&M College 3.19 University of Arizona 3.17 University of Kentucky 3.10 University of Georgia 3.02 U of North Carolina-Chapel Hill 2.89 Johns Hopkins University 2.87 Indiana University 2.77 University of Kansas 2.69 Boston University 2.67 University of Oregon 2.61 University of Maryland College Park 2.40 University of Hawaii at Manoa 2.36 University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee 2.35 University of Nebraska-Lincoln 2.32 Oregon State University 2.03 University of Utah 1.96 Kent State University 1.95 University of Cincinnati 1.39 I guess we can make a revised list that emphasizes the strength(specialization) of each department in the list (e.g. UC Santa Barbara - spatial perception, physical geography). Hope this helps.
  7. Geography

    Since we are on the topic of rankings. I found this site that enables an inquirer to assign weights to the variables set by the NRC. You can actually get a customized ranking. However, this does not take into account unquantifiable variables and the quality of your research interest. Hope this helps: The variables used by NRC are the following: 1. Ed Eff Program effectiveness in educating research scholars and scientists, 1993. Scale of 0 to 5, with 0 denoting "Not Effective" and 5 denoting "Extremely Effective". Your weight: 5. Larger values are better. Source: National Survey of Graduate Faculty 2. Years for PhD Median time lapse from entering graduate school to receipt of Ph.D. in years. Be sure to read this caveat about how these values were calculated. Your weight: -3. Smaller values are better. Source: Doctorate Records File 3. Fac Qual Scholarly quality of program faculty, 1993. Scale of 0 to 5, with 0 denoting "not sufficient for doctoral education" and 5 denoting "Distinguished". Your weight: 5. Larger values are better. Source: National Survey of Graduate Faculty 4. Cite / Fac The ratio of the total number of program citations in the period 1988-1992 to the number of program faculty. Your weight: 3. Larger values are better. Source: Institute for Scientific Information 5. # Stu The number of full and part time graduate students enrolled in the Fall of 1992. Not used in rankings. Source: Institutional Coordinator Response Data 6. % Fac Supp Percentage of program faculty with research support. Your weight: 3. Larger values are better. Source: Federal Agencies 7. % RA The percentage of Ph.D.s supported by research assistantships (as a percentage of Ph.D.s who reported their primary form of support). Not used in rankings. Source: Doctorate Records File 8. % TA The percentage of Ph.D.s supported by teaching assistantships (as a percentage of Ph.D.s who reported their primary form of support). Not used in rankings. Source: Doctorate Records File 9. % Fem PhDs The percentage of Ph.D.s awarded to women during the period July 1986-June 1992. Not used in rankings. Source: Doctorate Records File 10. % Min PhDs The percentage of Ph.D.s known to be awarded to underrepresented minorities (only U.S.Citizens or Permanent Residents) during the period July 1986-June 1992. Not used in rankings. Source: Doctorate Records File 11. % US PhDs The percentage of Ph.D.s known to be awarded to U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents during the period July 1986-June 1992. Not used in rankings. Source: Doctorate Records File
  8. Geography

    Good for you, britt. Hope you are enjoying yourself there. Are you going to attend the AAG SF conference next year?
  9. Geography

    I totally agree on a "good match" concept more than applying to a "lesser"-ranked Department. Someone who has amazing academic profile might not get admitted in a top tier (General) Geography program that doesnt have faculty members who are engaged in the applicant's research interest. Has Colin Flint just transferred to UIUC from Penn State? What is your son's specialization? I wish your son the best! The NRC Ranking of 1995 (I think the data they collected are from 1993) may only show an outdated general picture of a department. I have an excel file of that ranking with the variables they used. If you look at the variables, they did not take into account other more relevant factors (unquantifiable). I made that mistake when I submitted my list of schools to the Fulbright grant and I am just glad they revised it and suited it to my research agenda. Fulbright submitted my dossier to the following schools (arranged in rank based on the 1995 NRC ranking) - U Minnesota (admitted), UCLA ("no official response" - I later found out that the professor I thought I would be working with will devote all his time in research and won't get involved in advising Ph.D. students...thank heavens), UGA (admitted with some funding to cost-share with Fulbright), Indiana University (admitted with funding to cost-share with Fulbright) and Maryland (admitted with funding to cost-share with Fulbright). Fulbright encouraged me to accept Indiana and I think I made the right decision given the fact that the Department is not that big and has a strong tradition in population Geography (...I initially wnated to go to U Leeds in the UK which has a high concentration of population geographers and some faculty members either graduated or were affiliated with Indiana). Ranking geography departments does not really adhere to the very nature of the discipline. Geography is broad and one has to concentrate on subfields within the discipline. Thus, it will be much better if AAG ranks Departments per specialization which can be more useful and meaningful for incoming graduate students (tsk tsk...any member of AAG here or has access to Dr. Marston of Kansas State who is the current AAG president). Ultimately, it boils down to research match rather than the rank which is just based on the number of faculty, students, number of PhD students produced etc (thus, a small department won't rank high). I wish everybody the best in choosing the right department that suits their needs. :)
  10. Geography

  11. Geography

    In choosing a geography program, I think the best thing to do is to look at your interest...maybe a specific research interest in economic geography and then, look for geographers who are ACTIVELY engaging in research within the field. Ultimately, it boils down to the quality of advising you will get from your future academic adviser. UGA is a very good school and I think brittdreams mentioned some nice economic geographers in the Department in his past posts. Wish you luck on your application. I suggest you apply in the schools strongest in your research area. I know some people who do not have high GPA's but had contacts and a well-defined research agenda who got into top tier Geography programs. And, generally, funding is allotted for Fall applicants. Thanks and more power.
  12. Geography

    I didn't know that the forum is still active coz I dont get email notification anymore. How's everybody? I will be leaving for the US next month and will go to Nebraska for a Fulbright Orientation and then will be going to my host institution, Indiana University. I sure am glad with my choice since the Department seems to have a nice faculty-student dynamics and that population geography is traditionally strong in the Department. Several of the population geographers I have encountered (both in the US and UK) got their degrees from Indiana or have taught in Indiana. I am just lucky the Fulbright grant revised my original list that was actually based on the general geography rankings by NRC a decade ago. Hope everyone is doing well. Hail Geography!
  13. Status: "No response"

    Good luck to you! I just hope the application/admission process be "demystified." It is much more difficult for international students to get in since academic requirements are much higher compared to "natives." Hahaha..yeah..we got the prettiest girls in the planet. Where did you meet them?
  14. Geography

    How did you know the details of your batchmates? I am very excited to meet my batchmates and would love to know their research interests. Since I am an international student, the idea of visiting a university prior application is unknown. When and how did you visit the Dep't? I wish I had the chance to "physically" visit the Departments before I gave my final list to Fulbright. All I did was to click webpages and correspond with faculty members to "feel" the Department. Also, could you refer to me some of your batchmates who are into population geography? It seems to me that population geography is not really that "in" among geography majors in the US. That was why I initially planned to go to the UK. But then again... -Sonny
  15. Geography