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About Catria

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  • Birthday 10/23/1989

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    Particle cosmology
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  1. Any schools I mentioned by name in the OP are mentioned for research reasons. I know which professors would best align with my research interests at each listed location.
  2. Since the challenges of autism do not stop once one earns an undergraduate degree, or even at the end of the coursework stage of a graduate program, I wonder which schools may be best for autistic graduate students, at least in terms of disability services. I understand the advisor is a factor (as much as it is a factor for neurotypicals) but, so long as they fit one another, and not just in terms of research interests, the advisor is, unfortunately, not the end of the story as far as life as an autistic graduate student is concerned, even at the research stage. For the coursework stage I do not think it is overly different from what's made available to autistic undergraduates. And we know that autistic students look to graduate school for similar reasons to that of neurotypicals, and can be just as motivated to succeed. Oh, sure, some autistic graduate students "master out" if they realize they only really excelled at coursework (when that is the case, it's usually because of the structure coursework provides), while others take advantage of the looser structure of the research stage to be able to work on the topics they want for extended periods at a time. If field is important, physics (or astronomy in the case of UChicago). Perhaps I'm wrong but I always hear about Caltech, MIT and Carnegie Mellon (in that order; I'm not even sure as to whether I would be applying to Caltech or MIT though, knowing I would assuredly apply to Carnegie Mellon if I tried my hand again) seem to be cutting-edge in dealing with autistic graduate students, whereas other schools may be competent with autistic undergraduates but comparatively clueless with autistic graduate students, with UIUC and WUSTL being in-between (but I would probably think UIUC is better on that particular count, just not at the level CMU is). Notre Dame is decades behind Carnegie Mellon with both groups in that respect. UPenn, UChicago and Waterloo (as are Carleton, York, and possibly UVic) are unknown autistic quantities to me even though, research-wise, I know who I want to work with at these schools, and for what.
  3. And it doesn't end once you've made an attendance decision...
  4. Having learned that the day-to-day work in two areas of observational (or experimental) work in particle cosmology out of three (data analysis and modelling) share quite a bit in similarities with theoretical work, I've been toying with going for observational particle cosmology, rather than theoretical particle cosmology, at the top-10 schools (potentially Harvard, Stanford or UChicago), provided that the POIs I would then choose actually do work in my area of interest mostly using data analysis and/or modelling (I don't think I have the dexterity to do instrumentation, or I am otherwise not instrumentation-minded). But I am confused as to whether to apply for theory or for observation [at top-10 schools], given what I know about the day-to-day work in each area. That, knowing that applying straight up for theory is just fine for non-top-10 American schools (UPenn, Carnegie Mellon, WUSTL, Notre Dame, ASU). But what would have made me like a PhD program would have required actually doing research on some level, and I didn't do any at Minnesota before I left.
  5. Let's say that I was given unacceptable conditions for returning from medical leave; basically I had to self-fund at least the following year of a physics PhD. Knowing that doing so would result in a financial disaster, I am definitely withdrawing from the program, with the understanding that, if I still wanted to earn a PhD at some point, I would have to transfer. I could always mention, in an addendum (if there is space for one), mental health problems, going to mental health services (on-campus and later off-campus) on a regular basis for 75% of the only semester I ended up attending, and leaving school to take better care of myself. (I feel I did what was right from a medical standpoint) But when there is no space for an addendum in an application, I was advised to just drop a line about "personal problems" or "extenuating circumstances". And also, I have two publications on file by now, whereas I had none when I applied to PhD programs the first time around. Because I do not feel my GRE scores were an issue, I do not feel the need to re-take the GRE, general or physics, since they are still valid. But TOEFL, on the other hand, I would have to retake because the scores are no longer valid. Is there anything else I should do? (I do not think I aimed too high the first time around, just too wide; this time around, I am willing to consider Canadian as well as American PhD programs) P.S.: I never had Ws before that particular semester, but still somehow ended up with 3.80 for what coursework remained. if you need more information about my file or anything else, please, let me know.
  6. Suppose that you want nothing to do with academia or cannot work in academia. (The consensus here with respect to academia is, in a nutshell: in humanities or social sciences, you would be lucky to find an higher-ed employer where prestige is considered "just a job skill like another", other than maybe a community college, whereas in STEM disciplines, higher-ed employers seem to treat prestige mostly as simply just one job skill like another, but in K-12 it may not even be a consideration) But nevertheless you know that all alt-ac jobs are neither open to interview you for this, nor will all of them care about prestige. And, of course, even though not many here dream of practicing law, even less in the current state of the legal job market, law is an area where prestige is considered at least as some sort of job skill. I understand that each field has different prestige standards, so please, be specific about the field you're talking about. And also regions may be more prestige-sensitive for a given field than others. East Asian countries (Korea, Japan, China to a lesser extent) have long been considered areas where prestige is a job skill that can often trump more substantive job skills, whereas prestige is relevant to a handful few non-academic jobs in Canada at most.
  7. I often hear about how a leave of absence often ends up being the kiss of death for a doctoral student's graduate career. Even though family or medical reasons are perfectly legitimate reasons to ask for one. But I know that, even if a LOA is asked during the coursework stage, the department takes a big risk. Admittedly it is easier to calculate the risk of a LOA when the student is still in the coursework stage, especially if it is asked before any research is actually conducted by the student. One can easily imagine that often, students who take a leave of absence during the research stage of a research-based degree (esp. PhD but also happens at the MA/MS level, albeit less frequently) will have a lot of catching up to do in their research upon return if they did return. But how often do graduate students actually return from a leave of absence? I would understand if undergrads return from LOAs more often than grad students did...
  8. The only mail I get from a previous tenant were some pharmacy magazines; perhaps the last tenant used to go to pharmacy school and is practicing by now...
  9. The only school I know for a fact where postdoc legacy actually counts for anything is not for undergraduate admissions, but for law school at that particular school. It surprised me that Saskatchewan Law would treat a postdoc legacy the same as having a relative work for the same amount of time in another capacity within Saskatchewan... and the latter somehow gives a bump to an applicant. (Any claim to legacy status has to be mentioned on one's personal statement for law school there)
  10. I know some programs in other disciplines would rather wait until 2nd semester or 2nd year even, to even get lit review started (however when that occurs, one picks the remaining coursework based on lit review and what would otherwise be relevant to their research). But are you really saying that there aren't really not that many failures that occurs because of errors that can be traced back to a lack of grounding in the basic knowledge that is taught in the coursework or due to a lack of time? Doing research when you do not master the basics at a sufficient level can slow you down to a crawl and even grind to a halt.
  11. You would have asked me during my first two months in Minnesota, I would have said my PhD institution without hesitation. Whether it will end up being that way in the long run, of course, will depend on 1) if I ever return from my leave of absence and 2) the research I will get out of my degree if I returned. But I know the departmental receptionist once said that she knew few, if any, people who would feel more strongly for their graduate institution (or any of their graduate institutions if there are more than one) than for their undergraduate institutions - and every single of these people she suspected that would be the case held jobs that required an advanced degree to hold, and maybe even require a specific advanced degree to hold.
  12. Sometimes I wish I could just trade in my ability to do research for perfect grades in any course for the rest of my life...

  13. That might be a crazy wish of mine but I wish I could get 4.0 in my coursework (and an insanely high score on the written comps) at the cost of complete inability of doing research... then again I would take the masters and run by that point; I would then try to take my career in another direction.
  14. Catria

    Dropping Out?

    Please, a resource I would strongly consider would be mental health services as well. Perhaps a mental health issue belies either why you wanted a PhD in the first place or why you doubt yourself by now...
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