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About NeuroBatman

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  • Birthday 06/25/1982

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Hartland, VT
  • Application Season
    2016 Fall
  • Program
    Cognitive Science

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  1. Put on the spot

    Thanks everyone! All of your responses have been really helpful and make me feel much less alone. It is hard being an introvert in a lab dominated by extroverts, but just knowing that it's normal to be caught off guard when one is in the early stages of his or her graduate tenure is extremely encouraging.
  2. Put on the spot

    @EigenDo you have any suggestions for getting better at answering difficult questions or is it just something that happens naturally over the years? During undergrad I was very good at seeing divergent points of view and thinking about things in many different ways. In grad school (at least in my program), it seems like everyone wants to one-up everyone else and make the room as uncomfortable as possible--it doesn't help that my advisor smirks at us after asking questions (I doubt he does this on purpose, but it is intimidating).
  3. Put on the spot

    First year grad student here: So . . . let me preface this post by stating unequivocally that I understand that grad school is a time to improve my ability to think on my feet. That being said, my advisor often puts me on the spot at lab meetings, asking me questions/makes inquiries that are often ambiguous and unrelated to what I'm currently researching. For instance, the other day he asked me to discuss the connection between two disparate projects, one of which was run before I was even in the lab and therefore, something I'm not overly familiar with. Needless to say, I was at a loss for words and came across as a blathering fool to my lab mates. My concern is that my lab mates are going to think I'm a dumbass, who is ill prepared. Let me add, I was fully prepared (and took the time to be fully prepared) to discuss the methodological question he had asked me to be prepared for a few days ago. Of course, he covered this information himself and asked me the question about something we have never discussed before. Has anyone had similar experiences? If so, how did you resolve them? I've been feeling more and more like my colleagues think that I don't belong here.
  4. Alcoholism and Grad School

    I'm not trying to be a jerk, but I find it a bit ironic that those drinking regularly are saying things like, "I drink to deal with the stress.". Perhaps grad school is so stressful because you are doing it whilst regularly consuming a depressant that influences your neurobiology. I say this based on experience. Stop drinking for a while and you will quickly learn that most who complain about the difficulty of grad school are making it more difficult by drinking regularly and managing their time badly.
  5. How Much Do You Weigh Ranking?

    If you haven't yet, I recommend that you check this out: After looking at the numbers on this site, I was able to make a more informed decision. When you look at the US News rankings, it gives you a single ranking. Dartmouth's PBS program, which I'm starting in the fall, was ranked in the middle of the pack. However, after looking at the numbers here, I was able to see that after controlling for 'diversity,' Dartmouth is a top tier program. Of course, diversity is important, but for me was not a game changer. In fact, the program is tied for 1st place for student outcomes. So I wouldn't take a single number as an indicator of quality. I think having a few metrics to look at will give you a better idea. Of course, the most important factor is fit with your potential adviser. I think if you are happy where you are, you will be more productive, which will result in a more impressive CV. I don't buy into the notion that you will only be able to get a great job if you go to a top ranked university. I think what's more important is having a cohesive body of research that contributes to your field. Regardless of where that research was conducted. I hope this helped and best of luck. Cheers!
  6. Prestige vs. practicality???

    Thank you all for the feedback. I have noticed a trend: several comments have suggested that I can't get a job at an R1 if I attend ASU or UGA. Is this really the case? I've seen many faculty members who attended less than stellar state schools with good jobs at R1's. Certainly, I would concur that if I want to work at an Ivy or Public Ivy, Dartmouth would be my best bet. But I'm not so sure that attending ASU or UGA would bar me from getting a job at an R1. But with full disclosure, my goal as of now is to teach at a liberal arts college once I graduate. This might change, as I'm becoming more and more passionate about research, but who knows. Do you really think that my job prospects are reduced based on the school I do my Ph.D. at as opposed to my productivity at that school?
  7. Prestige vs. practicality???

    Thanks for the response! I'm not questioning what you said, but I'm curious as to where you got the info about Dartmouth being 'highly regarded in the field of cognitive science.' I know it's a great program, but can't find any rankings, etc for cog sci programs. The ones I have found for Psych departments as a whole or Cognitive Psych programs, have Dartmouth ranked in the middle of the pack--e.g., In fact, those lists have ASU ranked higher. It may be that I'm missing something, so please let me know where you got this info or if it's just something that you know based on the reputations of researchers, etc.
  8. So I've been admitted to three Ph.D. programs in the area of Cognitive Science/Neuroscience--Dartmouth, Arizona State and the U of Georgia. I'm having a hard time deciding where to go. On the one hand, Dartmouth is Dartmouth and has a fantastic cognitive neuroscience program; however, during my visit I did not get the best impression of the relationships between departments and the students and profs were not nearly as friendly as they were at other programs. Conversely, the culture at Arizona State is fantastic--I had a great time talking with faculty, grad students and other prospective students. Finally, the program at UGA is good, the faculty and students are very friendly and they offer a teaching certification, which is great considering that I want to become a skilled lecturer. Based on your experiences, what advice would you give me? Do I go where I feel welcomed and where I see myself fitting in the best, or do I go to the school with the best reputation--the school that will stand out the most on my CV when I go looking for jobs. Any help would be greatly appreciated!!! Thanks for reading.
  9. Hmm . . . That's interesting advice and I don't want to be the person asking for advice who then dismisses the advice I get. Nonetheless, I have a problem excluding information that essentially speaks to me as a person, when 99% of the essay is professional qualifications stuff. I feel like I need that 1% speaking to where I come from. Am I wrong in thinking this? I've heard in so many places 'Tell them what makes you unique.' Well, working as an audio engineer really did give me an upper hand when it comes to doing research--the two undertakings are similar in a number of ways. To me, it is telling the committee that I can quickly learn new software programs given my experience working as an audio engineer. Failing as a musician inspired me to divert my passion towards academia. I hope I don't come off as snarky, but truth be told--I am pretty satisfied with the introduction. I was more worried about the body being mundane.
  10. Sorry. One last question: Should I make my explanation longer since I'm given 1000 words? In other words, should this be an entirely separate essay or addendum?
  11. Thank you for the helpful replies by the way. I really appreciate it.
  12. Oh, to clarify, most of my applications have a separate section for discussing this. Does that make a difference?