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  1. Upvote
    jendoly got a reaction from waiting123 in eReaders   
    iPad 1. Seemingly infinite battery life (well, like ten hours straight of use, or months and months in standby) which is amazing to me given that my laptops never last more than an hour ): Didn't want an iPad until I got one for graduation, didn't use it all summer, came to grad school and discovered iAnnotate PDF and GoodReader and then became an iPad missionary (two of my friends walked to the mall and bought iPads within 24 hours of trying mine out). I keep my entire technical library easily sorted in GoodReader, including papers, theses, everything. I just reviewed and annotated with comments a 50 page technical proposal on a two hour flight with it. I took notes on the pdf slidedecks my professors last sem provided, syncing with Dropbox minutes before class to get them each day. I cannot speak more highly of it as an eReader (please note, DID NOT WANT IT either.)
  2. Upvote
    jendoly got a reaction from mandarin.orange in Open letter to Congress from grad students re: federal spending on scientific research   
    This might be of more interest to the science/engineering crowd, but hopefully also to anyone who has ever written a grant or proposal for federal funding programs - a letter to the Join Selection Committee on Deficit Reduction, started by the MIT Science Policy Initiative.

    The text of the letter is pasted below, but please visit the link if you would like to sign (and add your own comment to it).

    To: The United States Congress Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction

    Dear Member:

    America’s science and engineering graduate students need your help. Our country is on the precipice: with US finances in a desperate position, upcoming decisions will determine the shape of our nation for decades to come. We urge you to seek common ground in Congress to preserve the indispensable investments in science and engineering research that will drive our nation’s prosperity for generations. We urge you to avoid any cuts in federally funded research.

    We could reiterate that scientific progress and technological innovation have kept the US at the head of the global economy for over half a century. We could remind you that rapid changes in health technology, information security, globalization, communications, artificial intelligence, and advanced materials make scientific and technological progress more critical than ever. We could warn you that our global competitors are ramping up investments in research and development, inspired by our own rise to economic superpower. But all this is well established[1][2][3][4][5][6]. Instead, we’d like to discuss a crucial element of research funding that is often overlooked: human capital.

    Over half a million graduate students and postdoctoral associates study science and engineering in the US[7]. These researchers form the bedrock labor force of the world’s best university R&D community. The value of these graduate students is not limited to the experiments they run and the papers they publish. Researchers in science and engineering learn to develop and implement long-term strategies, monitor progress, adapt to unexpected findings, evaluate their work and others’, collaborate across disciplines, acquire new skills, and communicate to a wide audience. Scientists and engineers don’t just get good jobs; they create good jobs, enabling their employers to produce the innovative products and services that drive our economic growth. Every science and engineering graduate represents a high-return investment in human capital, one impossible without federal support.

    Federal research funding is essential to graduate education because research is our education. Over 60% of university research is federally funded; private industry, although it dominates the development stage, accounts for only 6% of university research[8]. America must remain competitive in the global economy, and we cannot hope to do that by paying the lowest wages. We will never win a race to the bottom. Instead, we must innovate, and train the next generation of innovators. Innovation drives 60% of US growth[9]. Economists estimate that if our economy grew just half a percent faster than forecast for 20 years, the country would face half the deficit cutting it faces today[10].

    Does federal research funding promote innovative technology and groundbreaking scientific progress? Absolutely. It also provides our economy with the most versatile, skilled, motivated, and creative workers in the world. We graduate students understand the severity of the fiscal crisis facing our country. Our sleeves are rolled up; we’re ready to be part of the solution. But we need your help. Congress’s goal in controlling our deficit is to protect America’s future prosperity; healthy federal research funding is essential to that prosperity. In the difficult months ahead, we ask you to look to the future and protect our crucial investments in R&D.

    America’s Science and Engineering Graduate Students
  3. Upvote
    jendoly reacted to UnlikelyGrad in Recently Thrown Out; Need Help/Advice, Please   
    By now it should be no surprise to the regulars here, but I'm going to suggest getting out of the abuse, no matter what the financial cost is to you. If that means that you have to take a break from school to earn money, do it.

    You may think you can "fake an apology" to get through one more year. However, as others have said, by doing so you are only reinforcing your parents' behavior. This will not make the situation better: it will only make it worse. Abusers tend to push the boundaries as far as they can, so if they think this level of abuse is "OK" (i.e. that you will take it), next time you interact it's only going to be worse.

    You may also think that if you just make it through one more year, things will be okay. Again, this is not the case. The foundation of abuse is control, and your parents will find ways to control you one way or another, even if you're not living at home.

    There's only one way to stop abuse, and that's to get out whatever way you can. Please, get help. Go to the counseling center at your school. Go to the financial aid office. Talk to as many people as you can. Abuse flourishes in dark, hidden corners but tends to shrivel up the more you expose it to the light of day.
  4. Upvote
    jendoly reacted to Eigen in Lab Websites   
    Research Section up to date...

    Publications up to date! Link to available PDFs if you can.

    Keep the group photo/people up to date- it's much easier to find who you're looking for that way.

    I recommend having a synopsis of each graduate students project in addition to the overall research sections, but that's my personal preference.

    I also think a "news" section for announcing grants/fellowships/authorships, etc is good.

    And I really like the group pages that have updated "alumni" sections- it lets you see where people from the group have ended up.
  5. Upvote
    jendoly got a reaction from UnlikelyGrad in Lab Websites   
    For the love of all that is holy, keep the research sections up to date. That's what prospies reference when they're looking at your lab, and if all the info is outdated, it's hard to tell where they would fit in if they're referencing projects from five years ago... *speaking from personal experience as a prospie...*
  6. Upvote
    jendoly got a reaction from rising_star in Lab Websites   
    For the love of all that is holy, keep the research sections up to date. That's what prospies reference when they're looking at your lab, and if all the info is outdated, it's hard to tell where they would fit in if they're referencing projects from five years ago... *speaking from personal experience as a prospie...*
  7. Upvote
    jendoly reacted to starmaker in PhD student hanging out with MA students?   
    Why not, if they are people with whom you would enjoy socializing? I don't necessarily expect that to happen much, because people do tend to prefer socializing with those close to their age, and most professors are older than most undergrads. And you do have to be careful about friendships with people that you supervise, whether you're an undergrad TA for an undergrad class, or a tenured professor. That doesn't mean not having those friendships at all - some of them might predate the supervisor/supervisee relationship, for one thing - but you have to be on guard about your professionalism when you're in a professional context. Ultimately, though, if they seem like friend material, whatever your definition of that is, then maybe you should consider a friendship.

    Work is not social life. Professional hierarchies don't carry over to social settings. That's why they're professional.

    You keep claiming that you don't have anything against master's students in general, that it's just these ones that are the problem, but you also keep making statements (like the one that I quoted) suggesting that you DO think that their status as master's students is itself a barrier, even if you are willing to make the occasional exception (especially for those who want to hang out with the cool kids "superior" PhD students). Your thread title suggests that - it doesn't say something like "Quiet, laid-back student hanging out with partiers," it says "PhD student hanging out with MA students." When you describe offensive behavior, you make a point of saying that an MA student did it. I believe you when you say that you're just looking for friends who are more to your taste, but you do come off as having issues with master's students though the characterizations in your posts. I mean, why was it even necessary to bring up the MA vs PhD thing in order to have this thread? Why couldn't you have just said "I'm looking for friends at my university, but I don't enjoy hanging out with most of the other students in my department because [reasons], and in fact I'm worried that being sucked into their dramas will hurt my graduate career. And we don't have enough interdepartmental events for me to have met students in other departments. I want to have friends in my university community. How can I find potential friends?"
  8. Upvote
    jendoly reacted to starmaker in How to put GRFP into your email signature without being pretentious   
    And I am pretty sure that the ones who are doing this successfully aren't doing it with their email signatures.

    There are a bunch of contexts in which it's not only appropriate but necessary to play up your accomplishments. For example, an application of any sort (job, graduate program, fellowship). People who do well in these tend to set themselves apart by a combination of being proactive about finding opportunities, having good work to show, being able to write and speak well about their accomplishments and their potential, and (depending on what they are applying for) having good connections and social/professional networks.

    Putting the highest-profile items from your CV in an email signature just seems odd. You could have professors with an email signature that went on for half a page. If you really want people to be able to find these things from your email signature, include a link in the signature to your professional website or your LinkedIn profile, and mention them there, since those are both great places to put lists of accomplishments.

    Since you asked, no, I don't have an NSF, but I have one of my school's two most prestigious internal master's student scholarships, and I don't put it in my sig.
  9. Upvote
    jendoly reacted to BassAZ in Boston & Cambridge, MA   
    For those looking for housing around August and are going to BU, look on craigslist, sift through the apartments by owner. That'll give you a good starting point - try searching specifically for August apartments. The problem is that the realtors that you've been working with cater to college students who go June/July-Sept. for summer programs and September for the rest. You do NOT want to get in to the September rotation of moving because the entire city moves in and out on Sept. 1st. Cars double and triple-parked, crazy amounts of trash, horrendous traffic. Another key thing will be to look along train routes - try further down Beacon Street along the C line for somewhat quieter, more professional areas or the B line for cheaper housing or more apartment buildings. [On the C-line] usually going out as far as BC will be a 45min commute, Cleveland Circle ~30 mins, Coolidge Corner ~20 mins all going in to Kenmore.

    On other KEY note: at least once a year, someone tries to take a moving truck on to Storrow drive - do not be this person. Storrow has a max height well under most moving vans and, as such, will cause the moving van's top to shear off, causing your carefully packed van to explode all over the road. Just sayin'.
  10. Upvote
    jendoly reacted to bgk in Forum Stats for Apr' 11   
    Top 10 Posters

    kroms 155
    jendoly 143
    newms 118
    psyentist4good 114
    Bukharan 100
    Eigen 89
    farnsworth 88
    IRdreams 84
    crimsonengineer87 83
    Mal83 77

    Congrats kroms! 3rd to 1st place.

    By the numbers

    In total there were 15,040 posts made this month (9,138 in April 2010). There were 444,438 visits, 141,774 Unique Visitors and 2,271,802 Pageviews to the forum.
  11. Upvote
    jendoly reacted to Zouzax in what does your family think?   
    I'm in the same boat -- I'm the first in my family (extended and nuclear) to attend grad school, and neither of my parents (or aunts or uncles for that matter) went to college. After undergrad, I tried my hand in the business world for a few years but I was really unhappy. I felt like I had so much more to learn & that my mind was literally wasting away while I worried about inane things like shipments & accessories & whether a client got a button delivered on time. When I finally mustered up the courage to leave my job & apply for a post-bac program, I didn't tell my parents for 3 months. I didn't know how to break it to them.

    When I finally got my acceptance letter I told them I was "leaving my job". They accepted it as the university was highly respected & they could brag to their friends. I think they assumed I would find a "real job" after I finished.

    After that program finished I decided that I wanted to go for my Master's, and after that, my Ph.D. I waited a few months to tell my parents this too. My sister is the one who told them, because she knew they would go crazy & she wanted to be entertained. The only way I can describe their reaction is ... pure disappointment. They asked me things like, "What's a Master's? What's a Ph.D? Why do you want a doctorate if you can't even work in a hospital? What do you mean you're going to be in school for another 7 years?... etc etc etc.

    My parents still couldn't accept my decision even a year into my Master's program. My mom called me one day and exploded. She said, "You're still a student, you still have no money, you shouldve become a hairdresser like your sister. Look how much money she has!" My father would continually call me and ask incredulously "And what job are you planning on getting after this Ph.D?". The rest of my family would make jokes that I was "delaying the real world" and wanted to be a "lifetime student" like it was a bad thing.

    It was honestly very depressing. I doubted myself and my decision for a long time. It took a lot of self-reflection to realize that I need to live for myself, not for others. And thankfully I have a great SO that supports me & encourages me when my family gets me down.

    I think everything changed when I started applying for Ph.D programs & writing my thesis. My family finally started to see all the work that goes into it & how difficult it is to be accepted and receive the degree. This past year things have been much better. I knew the tide had finally turned when my little cousin was talking about graduating from undergrad this year. He was unsure of what he should do as a next step. My dad was telling me this story, and afterwards he said, "I told him he should consider grad school". Finally!
  12. Upvote
    jendoly reacted to awvish in Snarky Professors....... How long to put up with them?   
    Switch, without advocating 'look the other way' approaches to unadmirable behavior, I think you'll find you won't have a lot of success trying to teach manners to someone who already clearly gets off on abusing his power. Are you morally in the right to wish to do so? Of course. Is it reprehensible to abuse power in such ways? Certainly. Is there anything you can realistically do without becoming a martyr to your cause? Of that I am not certain at all.

    If what you feel is necessary to stay true to your own code of ethical conduct (everyone has one, they all differ) is to launch some sort of attack (direct, indirect, obvious, anonymous, etc), then you're the only one who can decide what to do and how to do it. Perhaps it's cowardly to not engage, and maybe it's a copout to say 'choose your battles', but I think that's what Xanthan was saying (Xanthan, feel free to correct me if I'm wrong).

    Strangefox, I think 'snark' in this case is to vitriolically and at least semi-baselessly attack another's views, work, lifestyle, etc. I think it's also usually sarcastic and has an element of straw-man to it. I think it also connotes to some degree that those attacked are bystanders (or at least that the attack is unreasonable, but I guess I already said that).

    Incidentally, in economic circles there theoretically exist varied checks and balances that are supposed to limit damage and skullduggery, but those seem to only exist in academia for written assertions (i.e. peer-reviewed things) or newbies (junior faculty have to watch their step). The relative invincibility conferred by tenure (or vast amounts of wealth) are indeed infuriating, the system is broken, many people have sold out, it all sucks, I'm right there with you.

    But I don't think it's really appropriate to blame Enron on Xanthan and Strangefox.
  13. Upvote
    jendoly reacted to bgk in Forum Stats for Mar' 11   
    Top 10 Posters

    bhikhaari 324
    newms 166
    kroms 165
    Bukharan 164
    Eigen 145
    lyonessrampant 141
    Amalia222 137
    wtncffts 129
    Strangefox 127
    chaospaladin 119

    Congrats bhikhaari! (Next month congrats newms? )

    By the numbers

    In total there were 27,538 posts made this month (20,021 in March 2010). There were 658,942 visits, 179,111 Unique Visitors and 3,904,239 Pageviews to the forum.
  14. Upvote
    jendoly reacted to HobbesIsMyHero in NDSEG fellowship   
    Rejection or no I just want to be notified so that I can get back to my other obligations sans distractions.
  15. Upvote
    jendoly reacted to Bruin123 in NDSEG fellowship   
    Stages of grief involving the NDSEG:

    1) Denial -- Perhaps those who claim they were notified weren't actually notified.
    2) Anger -- Grrrr, just tell us already (and what is up with all these trolls?)
    3) Bargaining -- I'll do anything, just tell us already. Maybe if well all keep pestering ASEE they'll tell us something?
    4) Depression -- *Sigh* I give up. I was never going to win it anyways. I'll tell my troubles to my beer.
    5) Acceptance -- But I'm ok with that. At least I was offered $ by my institution. Sure, I'll have to TA or RA for it, but it's better than no $ at all.

    I'm at stage 4 right now.
  16. Upvote
    jendoly reacted to HelloEveryone in NDSEG fellowship   
    I called a little over an hour ago, and the lady said that notifications would definitely be out today..
  17. Upvote
    jendoly got a reaction from Kriegsspiele in NDSEG fellowship   
    To share something beautiful with all of you while we wait:
  18. Upvote
    jendoly reacted to jendoly in NDSEG fellowship   
    Probably a good nail in the coffin on the trolling theory.
  19. Upvote
    jendoly reacted to Kriegsspiele in NDSEG fellowship   
    So in summary, you signed up today to:

    1. Tell us you got an NSF on a NDSEG thread and,
    2. Inform us that you will not inform us if you get an NDSEG, on an NDSEG thread.
  20. Downvote
    jendoly reacted to DukeAero in NDSEG fellowship   
    I read threads on grad cafe when I was originally applying to grad school in 2008, and have been since while waiting for fellowship decisions like NSF and this one. I just signed up today to say:

    I got NSF, and if I also get NDSEG, I'm not going to post it on here because you're all a bunch of weird conspiracy-theorists that I had hoped had better things to do than harass the poor souls that posted their decisions on here, but it looks like I was wrong... very wrong.
  21. Upvote
    jendoly got a reaction from topcat84 in NDSEG fellowship   
    ...A screenshot of one of these letters (with the necessary info blurred) might help convince us... though anything can be Photoshopped.
  22. Upvote
    jendoly reacted to jendoly in NDSEG fellowship   
    Worth noting: This blog (and comments) from 2006 reflects that results were sent out at differing times. http://quantombone.b...bout-ndseg.html
  23. Upvote
    jendoly got a reaction from mmk in NDSEG fellowship   
    Worth noting: This blog (and comments) from 2006 reflects that results were sent out at differing times. http://quantombone.b...bout-ndseg.html
  24. Upvote
    jendoly reacted to jendoly in NDSEG fellowship   
    We have a ginormous wind tunnel, but I don't know how "upkept" it is. I know it's pretty dang old, and as with a surprising number of our lab spaces, I bet it desperately needs renovation.

    (FYI to whoever gave me a -1 on the handicapped spot comment - I actually have a handicapped placard/status; it was a little inside joke with myself that I probably ought to have clarified. I'm not that terrible of a person, promise!)
  25. Upvote
    jendoly got a reaction from husky in NDSEG fellowship   
    We have a ginormous wind tunnel, but I don't know how "upkept" it is. I know it's pretty dang old, and as with a surprising number of our lab spaces, I bet it desperately needs renovation.

    (FYI to whoever gave me a -1 on the handicapped spot comment - I actually have a handicapped placard/status; it was a little inside joke with myself that I probably ought to have clarified. I'm not that terrible of a person, promise!)
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