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Eigen

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  1. Upvote
    Eigen got a reaction from hopefulPhD2017 in Compiled Advice from @Gradslack   
    Good compilation of advice from early career faculty to new grad students. @Gradslack compiled the questions and asked them to the @NewPi_Slack community via Twitter, then compiled the answers. 
    Nice range of topics from keeping up with literature, preparation for becoming a PI, and the perennial favorite of dealing with imposter syndrome  
    https://gradstudentslack.wordpress.com/blog/
  2. Upvote
    Eigen got a reaction from TwirlingBlades in Just when you thought HELL couldn't get any worse...   
    I would be strongly interested to see what you are basing this on. Not having a LoR from your advisor or second reader from your MA will be a huge, huge red flag in any application. 
     
     
    The bolded part worries me. A PhD program, and the rest of your academic life beyond that, are likely going to be high anxiety environments. They're kind of known for being anxiety inducing. 
     
    The conditions you mention (non-directive advisor, personal problems) seem to be things that are likely to exist in a PhD program. I would say more PhD advisors in the humanities are hands-off than not. Most of my friends have advisors that pretty much sound like your MA advisor. And from what I gather, you've made progress on your personal problems, but that doesn't mean you won't be working through them, or similar issues, in the next 7-10 years. 
     
    To build on St. Andrew's post, what you will do in an idealized scenario isn't what matters, it's what you will be able to accomplish in amongst all the pressures and stresses of a busy and packed academic environment. It's what you can do when you have 15 hours of work that need to be done every day, and 10 hours to do them in. Succeeding in a graduate program, and then in a TT position, is about time and stress management as much as it is about the scholarship. I don't know a single person who isn't heavily overloaded. 
  3. Like
    Eigen got a reaction from Achievable in Pissed because of favoritism   
    Getting an MA when leaving is pretty standard. 
    It’s not surprising that the requirements are different than for getting one as part of your PhD. 
    As to the summer funding... if the advisor had grant money and was willing to pay, that’s not program favoritism. It’s their money, and they think this is a worthwhile expenditure. 
    Many things in grad school (and after) are about networking and convincing people that you need or deserve funding for things. Some people are better at selling themselves and their work than others. 
    Take this as a learning experience to advocate for yourself. It might be that you could have gotten your advisor to hire you for the summer, or gotten your MA the same way. Did you ask?
  4. Upvote
    Eigen got a reaction from lmb123 in Question about undergraduate research experience and PhD programs   
    Most of what makes research valuable is not the field/subfield specific nature- it’s learning how to take a project through a longer time period to see ups and downs. That’s usually more about depth (sticking with one area) than breadth. 
    You can pick up new techniques pretty fast in a new lab in grad school, most profs don’t care as much about the specific skills (one assay or a type of instrument) as they do a long period of in depth work in a research environment. 
  5. Like
    Eigen got a reaction from zept991 in Question about undergraduate research experience and PhD programs   
    Most of what makes research valuable is not the field/subfield specific nature- it’s learning how to take a project through a longer time period to see ups and downs. That’s usually more about depth (sticking with one area) than breadth. 
    You can pick up new techniques pretty fast in a new lab in grad school, most profs don’t care as much about the specific skills (one assay or a type of instrument) as they do a long period of in depth work in a research environment. 
  6. Like
    Eigen got a reaction from biotechie in Question about undergraduate research experience and PhD programs   
    Most of what makes research valuable is not the field/subfield specific nature- it’s learning how to take a project through a longer time period to see ups and downs. That’s usually more about depth (sticking with one area) than breadth. 
    You can pick up new techniques pretty fast in a new lab in grad school, most profs don’t care as much about the specific skills (one assay or a type of instrument) as they do a long period of in depth work in a research environment. 
  7. Upvote
    Eigen got a reaction from Beanstian in How to email a lab you want to join   
    Honestly, only some of this needs to be done before you apply. 
    You don't need to know all of the faculty are taking students/have funding when you apply, just before you accept an offer. 
    And if you take out those parts, it's easier to contact faculty without "over-selling" you wanting to join just their lab. 
    Then you can send a more general email as a student who will be applying, and is reading out to faculty who they have particular interest in. 
    My personal advice is... Don't contact someone unless you have specific and relevant questions to ask them.
    Ask about possible directions for their work- something like "I'm really interested in the work you did in X paper 2 years ago, and was wondering if you have plans to pursue Y direction?"
    You can include some things about yourself and your background as you ask these questions, which comes across less pushy than an overt "sell". 
    If you can get a conversation started, you have more opportunities to sell yourself down the road. 
    Keep the first email short and make it have a specific point. 
  8. Upvote
    Eigen got a reaction from sheldina in Is this common   
    IMO, what start as an innocent request "hey, can you send me an electronic copy of this" turned into a more serious inquiry when you said you didn't have one. 
    If I was the professor, the first thing in my mind would be "well, I didn't think this was plagiarized, but I certainly do now". 
  9. Upvote
    Eigen got a reaction from NeilM in Getting off to a good start   
    See, personally, I feel that working on one task (school) for more than a certain amount per week (usually around 50 hours or so, depending) has severely diminishing returns. 
     
    Keeping other interests in life, relationships and leisure activities gives your brain time to work on different tasks, or have downtime, and you usually end up better for it- your research and studies as well, in my opinion. 
     
    That's not to say that there aren't crunch times where you have to work more, but my anecdotal experience is that people working more than 50 or 60 hours a week are usually less efficient than those working less, and tend to spend more time on tasks that could be finished in less. Most European researchers, I've found, are very dedicated at working a short, highly productive week. They get in, take the job seriously, work 8 hours, and then clock out and do something else. It makes their working time more productive, and limits burnout. 
     
    You may think that you're the kind of person that avoids burnout, but I have not yet met someone who isn't susceptible to it in some way- you may just be less productive, you may miss connections that you'd otherwise see in your work, or you may just not have as good of a perspective of how your work fits in the broader scheme of things. 
     
    There are a lot of discussions on the inter webs about work-life balance, and I have yet to see any convincing data that focussing on your work to the exclusion of all else in your life is ever beneficial, and there are lots of suggestions that it's actually detrimental, both to the quality of your life and the quality of your work. 
  10. Like
    Eigen got a reaction from MettaSutta in For positions in academia, will a J.D. substitute for a Ph.D. since it is also a doctoral degree?   
    More than likely, yes. And those won't earn you a livable income, anyway.
    From what I know, anyone adjuncting in a law school is usually an experienced practicing lawyer brought in for expertise.
    In the other areas you mentioned the job market is so tight that there are going to be dozens to hundreds of people with PhDs willing to adjunct that you're competing against. If you're an exceptional teacher with a good track record, or have connections, it's possible.
  11. Like
    Eigen got a reaction from MettaSutta in For positions in academia, will a J.D. substitute for a Ph.D. since it is also a doctoral degree?   
    This is highly field dependent. Math and languages (for example) fairly commonly have graduate students as the instructors of record, in my experience.
  12. Upvote
    Eigen got a reaction from huntersghost in thesis proposal help   
    My go to for when I have to write a proposal his Heilmeier's Catechism:
    What are you trying to do? Articulate your objectives using absolutely no jargon. How is it done today, and what are the limits of current practice? What's new in your approach and why do you think it will be successful? Who cares? If you're successful, what difference will it make? What are the risks and the payoffs? How much will it cost? How long will it take? What are the midterm and final "exams" to check for success? It comes from a former DARPA director (Heilmeier) and was designed to help both program officers and grant writers think through their proposal. 
    Not all questions are applicable to all fields, but I find sitting down and doing a more free-form writing to answer each of the questions helps me get a lot of what I need down for writing a proposal. 
  13. Like
    Eigen got a reaction from bleepfrog in My advisor is ghosting me?   
    It’s summer, responses are going to be slow. Especially because theres nothing that needs to be done until you’re actually there, it means it’s easy for your requests to drop down on the priority tree. 
    Just email again, say you understand things are busy but wanted to check in. 
  14. Upvote
    Eigen got a reaction from Sigaba in If I knew then what I know now (Officially Grads version)   
    Definately discipline specific. In chem, our first year is the busiest too... You have to combine research, coursework and teaching. The second year, you're usually dine witn most classes, and are mostly settled in to your lab/research.

    I would add that you should do your best to reach out to other students.. Get to know your cohort. If you can bond witn them, they'll be the best support system available to you for the rest of your PhD. Reach out to older students as well... Don't be afraid to ask for help with coursework or research. It's worse to not ask and miss out on a good source of information tha. To look stupid because you didn't know something.

    Also realize that everyone in your cohort will have differernt strengths, since you're all coming from different backgrounds. Use that to your advantage! Swap help in one class for help in another.

    Keep in mind that grad school is as much about endurance as anything else. Pace yourself! Take time off, take time to go out and make friends/make time for friends. Don't work every evening and every weekend, you'll burn out fast. Grad school is where you start to develop habits that will last for the rest of your academic career... It's closer to life as a professor than undergrad by far, and you need to start looking for a balance that you will maintain for the rest of your life (assuming you want to stay in academics).
  15. Upvote
    Eigen got a reaction from TwirlingBlades in Getting off to a good start   
    See, personally, I feel that working on one task (school) for more than a certain amount per week (usually around 50 hours or so, depending) has severely diminishing returns. 
     
    Keeping other interests in life, relationships and leisure activities gives your brain time to work on different tasks, or have downtime, and you usually end up better for it- your research and studies as well, in my opinion. 
     
    That's not to say that there aren't crunch times where you have to work more, but my anecdotal experience is that people working more than 50 or 60 hours a week are usually less efficient than those working less, and tend to spend more time on tasks that could be finished in less. Most European researchers, I've found, are very dedicated at working a short, highly productive week. They get in, take the job seriously, work 8 hours, and then clock out and do something else. It makes their working time more productive, and limits burnout. 
     
    You may think that you're the kind of person that avoids burnout, but I have not yet met someone who isn't susceptible to it in some way- you may just be less productive, you may miss connections that you'd otherwise see in your work, or you may just not have as good of a perspective of how your work fits in the broader scheme of things. 
     
    There are a lot of discussions on the inter webs about work-life balance, and I have yet to see any convincing data that focussing on your work to the exclusion of all else in your life is ever beneficial, and there are lots of suggestions that it's actually detrimental, both to the quality of your life and the quality of your work. 
  16. Like
    Eigen got a reaction from dartdoc in Getting off to a good start   
    What I've noticed that tends to give a bad impression in past first year students in our program. Some of these, hopefully most of these, should be really obvious. 
     
    Don't focus too much on classes, and not enough on everything else. Courses should be a minor part of what defines you as a graduate student/researcher. When your life revolves around courses, and you spend hours not in the lab because you're "studying" for courses we all know don't need that much study time, it makes you seem like you don't really get what grad school is about. 
     
    While it's obvious, act like an adult. Be professional in your interactions with people, own mistakes you've made and move on without too many excuses. Don't be the guy that can't get over the fact that he now knows people who are married/have kids/are in their 30s. 
     
    That said, treat your work like a job. You're getting paid to take school seriously and do research. If you show up at 10, go to a class, hit the gym for 2 hours and leave at 3, you likely won't make good impressions. That said, you don't need to make school and your work the entirety of your life. 
     
    Along with that, lean how to be at least a little bit social. You don't want to be the new department party animal (well, you might, but that's on you), but you also don't want to be that first year who never does anything social with the department, and leaves all the department functions early/doesn't come. 
     
    Don't be too cocky. Sure, you'll hear some of the 4/th/5th/6th year students talk critically about a seminar speaker in their area, or a faculty member deconstruct a colleagues research. That doesn't mean you should always do the same. Don't be the first year who talks about how some of the faculty are deadweight/have bad research/aren't as smart as they are. 
  17. Upvote
    Eigen got a reaction from ZeChocMoose in Apartment Searching Sites   
    Zillow is pretty decent, in my experience. 
  18. Upvote
    Eigen got a reaction from Sigaba in Gender Discrimination   
    .....
    Honestly, you don't seem to really want to have a discussion. You either call other people's arguments absurd, narrow the field of your arguments so they can't possibly be as much of an expert as you are.... And at the same time want other people to provide sources and then argue that that's an "absurdly high standard of evidence". 
    On an academic forum, for a discussion among academics, proper citations and peer-reviewed research with data is pretty much the expected standard of evidence, not "well I've heard" or "I know people who say..."
  19. Upvote
    Eigen got a reaction from M(allthevowels)H in Gender Discrimination   
    .....
    Honestly, you don't seem to really want to have a discussion. You either call other people's arguments absurd, narrow the field of your arguments so they can't possibly be as much of an expert as you are.... And at the same time want other people to provide sources and then argue that that's an "absurdly high standard of evidence". 
    On an academic forum, for a discussion among academics, proper citations and peer-reviewed research with data is pretty much the expected standard of evidence, not "well I've heard" or "I know people who say..."
  20. Upvote
    Eigen got a reaction from RunnerGrad in Gender Discrimination   
    I think calling those things "masculine qualities" is right at the root of the issues. 
  21. Upvote
    Eigen reacted to fuzzylogician in Should I tell the supervisor how I have been feeling?   
    Hold on. You emailed someone and asked them to read your proposal. I'm going to venture a guess that they weren't sitting breathless by their computer just waiting for you to email; they might have actually already had plans for how they were going to spend their time this week, possibly even next. If you're in the US, the semester is wrapping up. They probably have other students, publications to work on, and many other demands on their time that are already in place. I think it's totally reasonable for them to take a week to read your proposal. This seems like an over-reaction, or unreasonable expectations for what you should get from your advisors and on what timeline. 
  22. Upvote
    Eigen got a reaction from KD35 in New NDSEG website not secure?   
    I highly doubt STI set up a sock account on this forum. 
  23. Upvote
    Eigen got a reaction from hkcool in New NDSEG website not secure?   
    I highly doubt STI set up a sock account on this forum. 
  24. Downvote
    Eigen reacted to ARemi4 in acceptance letter - is it ethical to withdraw before April 15th   
    TheAbsurdLife,
    So sorry you are having to deal with these awful comments of other posters, I guess your username explains it though... you do have an absurd life!! Just ignore Fuzzy and Disco, they clearly are either 1) bored and procrastinating or 2) needing something to take their frustration out on. This forum is to ask questions, to vent, to rant, and to help us. And that's exactly what you did! You did nothing wrong. So again, I'm sorry these clearly unhappy viewers decided to lash out at you and take our their frustration. Great job not feeding into it too much! Let the unhappy just be unhappy, no need to feed them
    Anywho, as of your sticky situation, I'm torn as of what to tell you. Only you can really make that call. IMO, it would definitely burn bridges... but as the other antagonistic replies have stated, that may be a bridge that's worth burning. I'm not too aware of how the funding, etc would be affected for other candidates. Do you have any sort of mentor or adviser guiding you through the application process? A professional in your field that wrote your letter of recommendation perhaps? I have had a couple questions regarding things as such, and my lovely adviser who has helped me through this whole process was willing to help me through them. Let us know (actually... forget Fuzzy and Disco... let ME know...) how everything turns out. Rooting for you!
  25. Upvote
    Eigen got a reaction from H C D in Gender Discrimination   
    This.
    It's not very scientific to say "anyone with experience knows this to be true". Especially when there are studies (such as those linked by @TakeruK that show results the opposite of "common knowledge". 
    I certainly haven't seen the biases you're talking about (male candidates being less likely to get in), unless math is strangely different than other closely related STEM fields. That said, my colleagues in math don't seem to feel like this is the case- in fact, conversations with them would assert the opposite- that male students have a better chance. 
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