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DiscoTech last won the day on June 7 2017

DiscoTech had the most liked content!

About DiscoTech

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  1. The PI, quite justifiably, is trying to get a sense for hiw likely you are to end up at their institution. If you tank them #1, the PI can stop looking for other candidates if/when you decline their offer of admission. If you tank them low, the PI will actively keep looking for other candidates.
  2. DiscoTech

    "Kiddie Tax" on Fellowship

    Presumably there is some advantage to your parents claiming you as a dependent on their return. If this advantage is less than the tax you owe, it might be worth revisiting your filing status.
  3. DiscoTech

    Bombed quant, applying for quant related discipline

    There is a lot to unpack here. The point of the GRE (general) is to give universities a way to compare students from different undergraduate institutions (and/or majors). Is a student with a 3.85 from Middling State University (MSU) really as good a candidate as a student with a 3.45 from MIT? Well, if both students' GRE scores in the same ballpark, it does make reviewers feel more comfortable about the 3.85 from MSU. So if you aren't yourself coming from a top tier undergraduate school, a low GRE score will make it easier to overlook your academic achievements. Whether this is right or not, I don't know. I do not see what acing calculus has to do with the GRE. It is a test of quantitative reasoning. You are being asked to (quickly) draw conclusions based on quantitative information. "i felt this tested more of my test taking skills since I'm not great at standardized tests" - I am not huge fan of this cop out. Not because it sounds like complaining, but because it fosters a defeatist attitude. You sound like someone quite capable and who has worked hard through their academic career. Surely there were some classes where you had to work harder than others because the material did not come naturally to you. Why is the GRE any different? If your reasoning skills aren't sharp enough just yet, work on them. Why should this be the one thing where people get to throw their hands up and say - "I am not a great test taker and that is that"? It is not like getting into graduate school means the end of dumb exams (see departmental qualifying exams). As far as whether you have hurt your chances at schools, it is hard to say. If you graduated from Princeton or something, I am sure schools would treat your GRE scores as an anomaly and give it less weight. That said, a 149 is really bad for a sciences applicant. If you are applying to diploma mills (schools that trade on their brand name by handing out MS degrees for $100,000), your GRE scores are unlikely to hurt you. However, if you are applying to top tier (top 10-20) programs with the hope of earning financial support (through an assistantship of some kind) AND did not come from from a brand name school AND do not have a personal connection to the professor you want work for, your GRE scores will be a big drag. My advice is to suck it up and take it again. A graduate education is a long term investment. 5-10 years from now, how will you feel knowing that you walked away from a chance to attend Stanford because you did not want to retake a very learnable standardized test 5-10 years ago? BTW, you do not absolutely have attend graduate school in the fall of 2019. You have a job - a great one it sounds like. You can always stay there a little longer and put together a great application next year. This is probably not what you wanted to hear, but I hope in the end it is better you hear this now while you can still do something about your scores.
  4. This is not true - (https://www.linkedin.com/in/nicholas-harris-7114b233/). The question is whether your work at your MS institution will be of a sufficient caliber to make the MITs and Stanfords think their initial assessment of you was incorrect. Being a perfectly good MS student at a good school isn't enough to change that assessment.
  5. DiscoTech

    New NDSEG website not secure?

    That was partly sarcasm. I say partly because Spokoyny called out STI-TEC on twitter and linked to this thread in his criticism. It is really weird that someone joined Gradcafe and immediately put up a post defending STI-TEC and did nothing else. I mean, I get seeing STI-TEC's point of view but it is just weird for that to be triggering event to create an account here.
  6. DiscoTech

    New NDSEG website not secure?

    Looks like STI-TEC setup a sock puppet account. Don't blame them. Professors Spokoyny and Armani are blasting them on Twitter (https://mobile.twitter.com/ArmaniLab/status/985630862631780352). Spokoyny linked to gradcafe!
  7. DiscoTech

    Help - Stanford vs VTech

    In every instance, no. If there is absolutely no one at Stanford you are interested in working for, VT might make sense. But I doubt that is the case. My assumption is that there are at least a couple of people at Stanford doing research you are somewhat interested in. It is hard to excel in graduate school if you are miserable where you live. For some people life is miserable because of low stipends in expensive metros. For others it is living in boring places with superficially nice folk in middle America. If D1 college culture and small town America aren't your cup of tea, I wouldn't recommend Blacksburg.
  8. DiscoTech

    Help - Stanford vs VTech

    Having to TA and deal with Stanford's "up or out" approach to culling its PhD pool is pretty annoying. But you say you want to be pushed. Well, you will be! Sounds like you will thrive under the pressure. Also, you will not be starting at square if you leave Stanford with just an MS. You should also be able to knock out 1-2 years worth of course requirements at where ever you love on for your PhD. All that said, the real reason not to go to VT is that Blacksburg is incredibly depressing a place to be for 4-6 years. Especially if you are someone who likes what vibrant metros have to offer. When people try to sell me on a place because of its low cost of living, I always remind myself - "the cist of living is low here because no one wants to live there!" Some people like the idea of living in bu$$fu$k with a big sports culture. I get the sense that isn't you.
  9. You can explain the situation to your second choice U and see if they are willing to extend their deadline by a week. Presumably that is a reasonable enough time for your top professor at your top school get back to you. I did this and the POI at my second choice kept the offer open for 2 weeks.
  10. Why did you email your second choice professor at your top school if you were going to pick your second choice university over them anyway?
  11. Oof. I don't know that many people would recommend you stay with the DC school. Working towards with a constant background level of fear is just not healthy. Just make sure that the grass is actually greener at Syracuse. I switched programs going from MS to PhD. Now the reason for my switch had nothing to do with any unhappiness about with my MS institution. However, I did notice that my impression of my PhD school came back down to earth after 8 months on the job. I am happy with my choice, but it wasn't all it was billed to be. Thankfully, I fully expected this to happen. Also, don't fall into the rankings trap. Small differences in actual program reputation (3.7 vs. 4.0) on US News' scale might translate into a huge difference in ordinal ranking (#15 vs. #30). Just make sure #2 vs. #21 really translates into a meaningful difference in program perception. Good luck with a difficult situation. I think I would leave if I were in your shoes, but that is easier said than done.
  12. DiscoTech

    UW Madison ECE PhD - No funding yet

    It depends on the particular program. Some schools guarantee funding for all admitted PhD students (MIT and Princeton come to mind). A lot of other schools will admit a few PhD students without funding, either hoping that the student finds a way to get an RA/TA or hoping that the student takes the gamble of paying for a semester or two out of pocket before finding funding. I am not familiar with Wisconsin's program in particular, but I would not be surprised if they were in the latter category of school.

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