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MathCat

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MathCat last won the day on July 1 2015

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About MathCat

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  1. I'm in California - both my stipend and fellowship amounts are taxed at the same rate federally. I believe California does not tax the fellowship, but does tax the stipend.
  2. If you are very confident that the shelter would look after her well, it is not the worst option, since you've said they're a no-kill shelter. But you might be able to find a better local rescue, perhaps ones that specialize in senior cats or those with medical issues. Even if the shelter is no-kill, a cat with health problems may be there for a very long time. Some rescues have better environments than shelters. However, given that you say that the issues may be behavioral, I would probably take her with me and see - it's my attitude that getting a pet is a commitment for life (but if you are unable to care for her, the responsible thing is to find somebody who can - I'm not trying to make you feel bad about this.) You can do some research in advance to verify that there are good local shelters/rescues that you could take her to in your new location if it is still needed. If you keep her, I would recommend you sign up for some pet insurance. It is likely that you wouldn't be able to get any of this covered, if there's anything in her vet file showing this is "pre-existing", but you can avoid such high bills in the future. If there's nothing in her record, I suppose it is possible that pet insurance could cover much of this (there's no diagnosis yet, which might make a difference). You'd have to read the small print. If you're in the US, I've had good experiences with Healthy Paws.
  3. I adopted a somewhat old cat 2 years into my PhD (she was around 6). There's the obvious things to worry about: finding housing that accommodates pets, including roommates that you trust with your pet, and necessities such as food, litter, toys, etc. But you should also consider pet insurance, especially if you plan on adopting an older animal (which I think is a good idea, as younger cats require a lot more play time. I wouldn't ever consider a kitten as a graduate student.) Pet insurance does not cover routine costs, but is totally worth it for the unexpected emergencies - and older cats will have them at some point, and can easily cost over $1000 if tests like x-rays or ultrasounds are required. I've had good experiences with Healthy Paws pet insurance. For routine costs, if you're in the US and there are any locations nearby, Banfield pet hospital has a wellness plan you can pay for which is really good value - I pay about $50 per month. For this, all visit fees are waived (about $60 saved per visit I think), vaccinations are free and flea and other parasite preventative medicine is included. They also include two comprehensive physical exams per year, as well as one tooth cleaning. I believe there is a cheaper plan that doesn't have the annual dental cleaning. As an advanced PhD student, it is somewhat inconvenient to have a pet, as I have to find somebody to care for her whenever I'm away at conferences. But overall she has been very good for my mental health, and I do not at all regret adopting her. I do spend close to $200/mo. on the cat, including the insurance and wellness plans, but I feed her pretty expensive food. If my budget required it, I think I could do it for under $125/mo. I do recommend waiting a year to see how things are going before making any decisions.
  4. It means you weren't ranked high enough to be in the first round of CGS-D offers. If you are ranked high enough, you may be upgraded to a CGS-D if one is declined. A fair number of them do get declined, as you can see if you look at previous years' threads. (A common reason they are declined is that they cannot be held at foreign institutions - so people in that situation downgrade to a PGS-D instead.)
  5. I moved to another country (the US) after living with my parents my whole life. I was very nervous, but it was fine. It was a bit lonely at first, but pretty quickly I clicked with some people in my cohort. I think moving for grad school makes it easier than it could otherwise be, because when you meet your cohort most of them will be in the same situation of not knowing anybody.
  6. Mine would go up more than $5000 according to that calculator, and that's not taking into account the lower base deductible amount for non-resident aliens. It's also unclear to me if/how the proposed changes would impact my state taxes, or my taxes in Canada.
  7. Yes, some people are supported by fellowships, but it is a pretty small portion at most schools. Things would be different at the very top institutions I imagine. The school would lose money from those, I'm not disagreeing with that. In my department, the annual TA wage is about $19,000 if you don't get summer funding - though I'm not aware of anyone who can't get summer funding if they need it (either through grading, TAing or being funded by their advisor). With average summer funding the annual wage would be about $25,000 gross. The cost of living here is very high (e.g. rent on a ~500sq ft apartment near the university starts at approx. $1600, with 2 bedrooms being over $2000 generally - and these aren't extravagant places. The cost does not decrease much as you go further from the university, either.). This wage is livable but very tight right now. Students literally couldn't afford to have their tuition taxed, especially out-of-state or international students, whose tuition waiver is worth about $36,000. So, if the dept. wants to retain their graduate students, and hence their TAs, they would either need to significantly increase the wage, or do something to reduce the value of the tuition waiver. I'm not even sure that a public school can do anything about the latter.
  8. This depends a lot on field. In my field, almost everyone is supported through TAships, not their advisor's research grants.
  9. It is US income, I had no income from Canada for 2016. Specifically, it's part of my stipend from the university which is classified as fellowship income (basically, I TAed at half the usual amount, and the 'fellowship' amount included a top up so I was paid the normal amount for a full time TA). I will call the CRA.
  10. It's me again, with yet another tax return mistake! Well, I'm hoping it is a mistake. For the 2016 taxes, I had income only from the US: TA wages (say $X) on a W-2, and fellowship income (say $Y) on a 1042-S. A tax accountant in the family (informally) helped me with my Canadian tax return, but honestly I am not that confident in some/much of what they did. The result was that on my T1, in box 104 'other employment income', the amount entered was $(X+Y). I believe this is a mistake - after all, my fellowship income is not employment income! This definitely seems to be what earlier posts are explaining. As entered, I would have owed a significant amount to CRA (I had a large fellowship amount that year). I did not include my tuition waiver as income, but I did file the TL11A for tuition credits. I think this was also a mistake - CRA has contacted me asking for justification for this, and from what they ask for it seems that I should have included it in my income as well, which makes sense in retrospect. Should I simply have added this amount to my income and included the TL11A? No other forms required (e.g. showing the tuition waiver as income in some way - I do get billed for it and then it gets paid by the dept, but it doesn't appear on any tax forms)?
  11. If you get your funding year round, it's not surprising to me that they ask you to do something to earn it during the summer. My program does not require students to take classes or TA during the summer (in fact, there are no courses to take in the summer), but students can apply for TA positions if they need summer funding. There are also other funding opportunities as RAs, e.g. for REUs or just grant funding from your advisor.
  12. I would recommend posting this in the 'languages' sub-forum: http://forum.thegradcafe.com/forum/39-languages/
  13. When I TAed for classes that were in a fairly small classroom, say seating at most 50 people or so, I would mostly stay at the front with the professor and only walk through the aisles to answer questions from students. I think walking around in a relatively small classroom can be disruptive. I'm now TAing a larger class and the exams happen in a 150-200 person lecture hall. I do think it is worth walking up and down the aisles a couple of times during the exam, both for shy students and to go stand at the back. From the front, it's easy to see if somebody always has their eyes on the exams in front of or beside them, but from the back you may identify other kinds of cheating. I wish I didn't have to be so vigilant, but my school has serious problems with cheating in many of the large introductory courses from many departments. We also require students to bring their exams to the front and leave their phones if they need a washroom break. This doesn't really prevent cheating during a washroom break, since we don't escort them, but I guess it's something.
  14. This is my first year filing as a factual resident (long story there, but suffice to say I have to correct my 2015 tax return...), and I'm uncertain on how to answer the question for my province of residence on Dec. 31, 2016. I guess I am a factual resident due to my ties to BC, and that is where my permanent Canadian address (i.e. my parents' house) is. But it is not where *I* lived on Dec. 31. So do I answer British Columbia? I'm using UFile online right now. The options are: say BC, or choose one of 'deemed resident' or 'non-resident', neither of which applies to me, I believe. edit: nevermind, I found the answer: I do indeed say BC. Found here: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/nnrsdnts/ndvdls/tmprry-eng.html "For each tax year that you're a factual resident of Canada for tax purposes, use the General Income Tax package for the province or territory where you keep residential ties. Generally, this is the province or territory where you lived before you left Canada."
  15. My department has a lot of non-math TAs, mostly from fields like engineering or physics. Never enough people to TA for all those calculus classes! I also frequently get emails advertising TAs for language courses, usually the speaking/conversational component of the course. Usually they want a native speaker.
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