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prolixity

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prolixity last won the day on July 14 2011

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  1. This is the most ridiculous question I've seen on this forum; congratulations. Do you want to attend a professional school or learn a science? This is totally an apples and oranges comparison. Hey Guys! Should I become a professional golfer or a field geologist? I don't even know!
  2. Unless a master degree is your terminal degree, it's a waste of money. Even if it is your desired terminal degree, you should probably enroll in a Ph.D. program and drop out with a master degree. Only fools and professionals pay for their master degrees.
  3. Okay. You are interested in astrochemistry and that's fantastic. Here's a photo of my desk, just so you know that I know what I'm talking about. You're going to need mathematical skills. This is true of even just vanilla chemistry, but especially true for astrochemistry. Many of the big problems in astrochemistry are solid-state problems, and the experimental setups to probe these systems involve surface analysis.. and these require mathematical skills. You're going to need to know how dynamic dipoles behave on metal and oxide surfaces; you're going to need to know how light interacts with substrates, how terminations of bulk produce electronic surface states, how physical and chemical adsorption works, how to account for quantitative measures in mass spectroscopy, how to develop microkinetic models for fundamental reactions on surfaces, etc. etc. etc. It's not easy, but it's not impossible either. You'll find the experimental setups (UHV chambers) to be very fun to play with, very easy to break, and very frustrating to fix. You'll learn more spectroscopic techniques than you ever imagined existed (In my four years of surface science, I've performed: XPS, UPS, ISS, LEED, Quantitative temperature programmed desorption, Quantitative temperature programmed reaction spectroscopy, Quantitative isothermal desorption spectroscopy, Quantitative isothermal reaction spectroscopy, RAIRS, HREELS, TAP, AES, STM, di/dv stm.. all sorts of analyses). To be an effective researcher, you will have to know how to write scripts for automated data analysis and most importantly, how to solve differential equations. There's no getting around it. You will need to know physical chemistry better than your peers in your undergraduate institution. As far as places to be: Anywhere with an established Astrophysics/Astronomy department will likely have an astrochemist or two. Syracuse, Harvard, University of Hawaii, Princeton, a bunch of places in Europe, and a ton of other schools out there will do you well.
  4. Stanford isn't as good? They have an entire institute devoted to materials and catalysis... check out SUNCAT at SLAC: http://suncat.slac.stanford.edu/
  5. I think you're making a lot of unfounded assumptions here, but what do I know? I'm only a fourth-year at Harvard.
  6. There's a fantastic email floating around from a disillusioned postdoc in the Movassaghi lab. The guy sent this email to the entire MIT chem department and to total synthesis luminaries all over the world... blaming all of his problems in his failed postdoc on a graduate student he mentored, when it was the postdoc's own issues that led to his downfall. The postdoc guy is seriously insane and I thought you'd all like to read about it. For what it's worth: I think that Movassaghi is an excellent mentor and researcher, though I am not working for him. Posted here with names redacted: Dear MIT Faculty, Postdocs, Graduate Students, It is my academic duty to respectfully report a severe case of academic misconduct, academic fraud, and plagiarism that is being totally endorsed and practiced at MIT; in order to protect my fellow researchers from similar situations. On top of all things, I am officially reporting academic theft of my research results and official research academic harassment at MIT. After I finished my project that was "supposedly" funded by DuPont, Mohammad Movassaghi was harassing me to submit my success and manuscript to his utterly failing graduate student, XXXXgradstudent in order to salvage his appointment at MIT (for an unknown personal reason). When I refused, Mohammad Movassaghi threatened me with my letter of recommendation if I do not "cooperate" with his failing student [cooperate here means to accept to be screwed over]. I believe previous committee members of XXXXgradstudent would know what I am talking about. I finished my project single handedly, perfected every step and intermediate to a multigram or multidecagram scale, fully characterized all intermediates with 1H NMR, 13C NMR, IR, COSY, HSQC, HMBC, TLC, and HRMS. I synthesized 80 mg of the final compound after I fully investigated at least five different chemical synthetic routes to furnish it. My notebooks are superbly organized, color coded, and full of every little detail about each single step and reaction, dates, times, amounts, equivalents.....everything. I recently discovered that Mohammad Movassaghi wrote on my appointment forms that I was funded by an "Eli Lilly Award" while I attest that I never won any awards from Eli Lilly and did not even know that it exists on my forms instead of DuPont. Mohammad Movassaghi scammed DuPont and DuPont legal counsels had no idea before I officially conveyed this information to them. Furthermore, Mohammad Movassaghi warned me against looking for an apartment for my family and he told me: "just find an efficiency room and if you look for an apartment then this is your choice and you should bear the consequences". He even wrote me a fake letter warning me of piles and piles of lies that he invented while I was moving my family to Boston (to black mail me with this letter to submit my success to his failing student XXXXXgradstudent). A similar situation happened with XXXXXXX, a postdoctoral researcher. Guess what, Mohammad Movassaghi fired both of them when I indicated that I will head straight to the office of The President at MIT. Recently, Mohammad Movassaghi and his graduate student XXXXXXXothergradstudent reported some of my exact data in their publication without any reference to my name, this is academic theft and plagiarism. I have all the original FID files that XXXXXXothergradstudent stole from my data and there will be severe legal consequences. I presented my progress in front of DuPont at The DuPont-MIT Alliance before. The level of ethics at MIT: when I reported these academic crimes to Human Resources at MIT, XXXXXX threatened me with my academic career if I pursue Mohammad Movassaghi legally. When I reported these academic crimes to Professor XXXXXXXX, The Head of XXXXXXX at MIT, she threatened me with my academic career if I take legal paths, and threatened me to cancel my publication with DuPont-I am not sure she had full idea about the scam that DuPont experienced anyways. Somebody please advise Movassaghi not to talk disrespectfully about Professor XXXXX, Professor XXXXXX, and Professor XXXXX and ProfessorXXXXXX at Scripps. Poor me I just had to nod silently in order to get back to my work otherwise get ready to face HELL if you do not sympathize with his anger. For example, he used to tell me that Professor XXXX is only good at recruiting students by turning on marshall military music while he explains to them the new synthetic mission impossible, the most polite example I can mention in an email-but that was before XXXXgradstudentXXXX incident anyways. I also have emails from Mohammad Movassaghi harassing me to come do work in his laboratory after the expiry of my visa and while I was on a temprary leave of absence. THIS IS IN VIOLATION OF THE USA HOMELAND SECURITY RULES as he is forcing me to violate my status and against the warnings I received from MIT officers and that he knows it. Somebody will be in deep trouble if not in jail. XXXXXXXX from HR at MIT foolishly said that I cannot prove anything since (she imagined) "that they erased my MIT email account and that MIT is not obligated to reproduce the emails to me". I replied to her that she can stop hallucinating because I backed up my whole account in three different servers as well as with two lawyers. This information has been officially conveyed to Professor XXXXX, The President at MIT, to Professor XXXXX, The Vice Provost of Research at MIT, The Office of The Dean of The School of Science, The Provost of Research, The Ombuds Office at MIT as well as scientific staff and legal counsels at DuPont. I also filed an official grievance of academic misconduct against Mohammad Movassaghi and requested an official investigation and full copies of my notebooks. Please see attached document for details. Again, all my fellow researchers beware. I believe if a female student is raped in the Movassaghi group, she will also be threatened with her academic future by XXXXX and XXXXX if she opens her mouth, and XXXX will tell her some nonsense. Respectfully, XXXXXX
  7. MIT is a great place to master out. Be prepared to teach your first semester.
  8. UC Irvine was my alma mater. It has a great reputation in chemistry.. in fact, Minnesota and Irvine are virtually tied (Irvine leads by 0.2 points) according to the ARWU ranking system. Irvine is quite expensive and you'll need a car to get around - grad student housing will run you more than $1000/month - and off-campus housing will be somewhere around $1600 - 1800 for a one bedroom apartment.
  9. Davis is a charming small town and is supremely bikeable. It's a thirty minute bike ride from Sacramento, which is a city of about 400,000 people. There's plenty to do in downtown Davis, including bars, pseudo-nightclubs, and great restaurants. I wouldn't say it's that boring of a place. Check out the beer shoppe and university of beer if you're into craft brews... It can be quite hot there..
  10. Knowing what I do now about the climate in the Northeast, I agree.
  11. You're already admitted; dress normally. We (current grad students) are just going to get you guys wasted anyway.
  12. don't be dumb; I didn't receive the bulk of my acceptances until late January/mid-feb.
  13. oh please. I had the best stats ever, got into the highest ranked programs in my field, and I'm still struggling. Get over it. This person will either transform into an excellent scientist or master out. It's none of your concern.
  14. Yeah, fellow anteater. I ended up at Harvard. I'm saying that a lot of us shoot ourselves down before we even apply: "I only went to UC Irvine.. I'll never get in to Stanford, Berkeley, MIT, etc.".. and this isn't the case. While my cohort IS mainly Berkeley, Stanford, Ivy's, and private institutions, there were quite a few from LACs I'd never heard of and a few random state schools. Just find the advisors you want to work for, ensure that there are others at the institution for whom you'd like to work if that doesn't work out, and apply. In your personal statement, explicitly state for whom you would like to work and why you would be a good match (suggest an experiment, etc.). Good luck!
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