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About cwr

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  • Birthday 12/02/1993

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  • Application Season
    2016 Fall
  • Program
    PhD Physics

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  1. If you're doing HEP, then a Macbook is almost required. You can always dual boot or otherwise configure a PC to run what you need, but everything will run out-of-the-box in a Mac, which is why I use the word "almost." As far as getting it subsidized, I think this is relatively standard as well. Worst case, you could ask your advisor or department if there are funds for this. My undergrad advisor/department paid for my Macbook when I was starting out a few years ago, and I will probably need to replace it before I start my Ph.D., so I'll see if I can get my new department to cover it when
  2. I use a Macbook Pro (256 GB SSD, 8 GB Ram, 2.6 GHz Intel i5), which is essentially the standard setup for HEP-ex, and it works fine for my purposes. Then again, anything computationally heavy/long I will do remotely just for the sake of convenience, so if you're going to be doing heavy lifting on your own machine (by which I mean working remotely on a university/lab cluster is not feasible), I would not take this recommendation too seriously.
  3. Oh, that's awesome! Congrats on the Marshall. Did you do a one- or two-year? And okay, I feel a tiny bit better then, because hopefully I would get something more relating to things I've done. But, realistically, no one goes into the Hertz expecting to win, right? I think you just try and enjoy the interview process, and then if something good comes out of it, even better. (Which was essentially my attitude towards all of these international fellowships.) You bring up a good point about Harvard having more resources for the Hertz than your undergrad; hopefully, if I struck out with
  4. Which fellowship, if you don't mind me asking? I understand what you mean about not having people from your undergrad to ask, because I dealt with this all year for fellowships. With the exception of the NSF, everything I applied for was uncharted waters for students from my university. The best we had was one faculty member who was a previous winner for one of them, but no current or former students to ask. Okay, so that's in keeping with what I heard about the interviews (the obscure, almost unanswerable questions). Are you (or did they have reason to think that you would be) fam
  5. cwr

    GRE fee help

    I was going to make a snide remark about the "Nigerian Prince" scammers changing tactics given the economic downturn, thought better of it because this seems like a reasonably earnest young man trying to go to graduate school in the US, and then checked his Reddit post history and realized he's also seeking investors in an effort to open a casino in Nigeria. So, it's totally a scam. Hopefully the mods will lock/delete this thread. Link to his Reddit post history: https://www.reddit.com/user/hulega. His posts in /r/education and /r/GradSchool exactly coincide (within an hour) with th
  6. I am not qualified to speak on the specifics (your department, A&M, the exam, etc.), but the Dean of the Graduate Division at my (undergraduate) university would always say, in advice to undergraduates applying for their Ph.D., that: "if they don't fund you, they don't want you." Now, I realize that funding is a stickier situation in the humanities/arts and some social sciences (for the record, though, this guy is an English professor), but you're talking about engineering, where funding ought to be much more plentiful. I understand that this is further complicated by the fact that y
  7. I was going to ask which you meant, but – after thinking about it – I realized it had to be the Hertz. It really does feel like an old boys club, doesn't it? I can't really complain because I didn't apply this year (I backed out of applying to all grad fellowships other than NSF, focusing on intl. awards and Ph.D. programs), but the Hertz just feels almost purposefully exclusionary. Save for a friend of mine (who was an MIT undergrad, surprise surprise) that won the Hertz last year, I didn't know a single person who I could ask about the process since I didn't do my undergrad at one of th
  8. Wow! That's incredible. Best of luck to you! I'm doing Part III next year, but thankfully my spot in a (physics) Ph.D. program isn't contingent upon my marks at Cambridge.
  9. Does this mean that you need that finish in Part III, or in your current program? Because asking for a top-half distinction (which I assume means finishing in the top half of those receiving distinction) in Part III is really quite a request, especially when couched as "oh yeah, just get a top-half distinction in Part III, that's all."
  10. Just agreeing with @TakeruK regarding applying to a relatively large number of schools. If a student wants to apply to the top programs in their field, it would be foolish to only apply to a couple of them. I applied to a large number of top programs, and while I had done enough research into the programs to exclude some otherwise very good programs on the basis their research programs in my field (e.g. Stanford, Harvard), I didn't anticipate getting into all of my top five choices, so I had a lot of work to do after decisions came out deciding exactly which program was right for me. The
  11. Thanks for this. It makes me feel better. I'm generally pretty social, and I just wanted to get a sense of the culture with regard to undergrads versus graduate students. I'm planning to take some foreign language classes (French) because I'll spend 3 years of my Ph.D. living in Europe, so the language will help a lot. I've heard that this is a nice way to meet some more people (usually undergrads, I'm assuming) outside of your program, since the classes are small. I'm also planning to do some sort of activities on campus (at least intramural, if not club, sports), so I'm sure I'll meet
  12. cwr

    Princeton, NJ

    Different departments hold their own admit day/open house, so I don't doubt that the MPP program had their own admit day. My open house (for Physics Ph.D.) was just over a week ago, and Chemistry has had at least three different open houses (based upon signs I saw in the hotel). It might just be that CS doesn't do an open house.
  13. Thank you for that. It is my impression that this is the latter case – smaller field, somewhat burnt out, no one I know is talking about this, let alone as the "next big thing" – rather than the former. The more important consideration, however (which is the reason that I made the decision that I did), is that the research in question doesn't excite me, and I know that being passionate about your work is hugely important for a Ph.D. program. At the end of the day, I could easily be an idiot and have turned down an opportunity to work in a great field, but if that's the case, I will live
  14. I'm currently at a visit for a program that is very highly regarded in my field (and in physics, admissions decisions come before visit weekends, so the department is attempting to sell students they've already admitted on attending), and I have gone from neutral to HELL NO! in one day because of the interactions I've had with people here. This is a stark contrast to other visits I've had, where during all of them, I very much liked the school in question and could easily see myself there. So, I'm wondering: What are you visit weekend horror stories? Either the worst one(s) you've endured
  15. cwr

    NSF GRFP 2016

    I'm not upset with the result (Honorable Mention), but I'm a bit confused about the reviews. R1: E/VG, R2: G/G, R3: E/E Which is fine, it seems like the 2nd referee wasn't very much of a fan, so I was looking forward to their comments (addressing the weak areas of the proposal), only to find nothing constructive – or critical, for that matter. The most "critical" thing any reviewer wrote was R2 in the IM section: "The proposed research is important and it appears that the applicant is enthusiastic about pursuing it. He seems to have a good understanding of the relevant science,
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