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About Elephas

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    Double Shot

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  • Application Season
    2018 Fall
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  1. I'm not in that field but generally working with the population you'd like to do research with in the future is a good sign that you've thought it out. I.e. volunteering w/ a non-profit, working at a charity something along those lines.
  2. I gave them the rough draft and then I followed up with updated versions as I went along however the message I wanted to convey was in the rough draft. You can also arrange a meeting (in person or online) to discuss your research goals and that may be enough to fill them in for what's missing currently in the draft. I like to think the SOP updates were also reminders for them to actually write the letter lol.
  3. When I was at your point I sent them a document like I outlined in this post and gave them a timeline as to when they could expect a first draft state SOP. But providing them the information like I did here gives them enough time to at the very least outline your character/relationship with them and some of the introductions of your research interests/why you would excel in that subject matter. Then later on it'd be easy enough for them to fill that section out more.
  4. Thank you! I came from engineering and had one of my professors write me a letter even though I was going into CS because they knew me well, and I worked for them as a TA. Also a thing that I did was provide each professor with things that I wanted them to mention i.e. you worked with me on ____ can you say how this could extend to skills in ___. Also if either of your CS professors was one for an algorithms analysis course they could be a great contender to discuss some of the mathematical background.
  5. If you've worked in this processing lab for several semesters that professor will be able to more credibly recommend you. You'll have a track record with them and even though you don't consider it research you've likely gained skills that can be applied to research. I recommend the EE professor also because even though it's not in your field of choice, you're showing initiative by having worked in a lab already.
  6. I haven't officially started my program yet, but I knew what area i wanted to focus on during my application process. I was able to communicate this general area within one sentence and break it down into several topics I am interested in. I was inspired by experiences with classmates and those I tutored as well as my personal background.
  7. It depends on how much room you have in your SOP. I went more in depth w/ people I was interested in working with directly on the applications (3-4 sentences) and then cursory (1-2 sentences) allusion in the SOP. I think research background should be weaved into your SOP but you do not have to completely restate things on your resume but highlight how these backgrounds have led to your current trajectory (i.e. while researching _ i learned _ which led me to want to do __ ___ ___ ___). So I'd say focus more on the future and how your past has brought you to it.
  8. In my applications if I didn't closely align with a professor I didn't mention them in my SOP. If I still ended up recommended to that professor (i.e. they called to interview me because someone slid my application in front of them) I would see how our research could be more closely aligned at that point. I wouldn't go as far as to mention a "committee" in your SOP though just persons you could see yourself working with and how your research ties into their work.
  9. Elephas

    seeking for PhD in HCI application advice

    I will say if you're interested in an US university and haven't already, especially UW, start studying/prepping for the GRE. They are very competitive not only within the US but with International students also. I went from an engineering undergrad to cs phd but i studied computer which is closer. My SOP is what came up most frequently when talking with professors as I have a good idea of what research I want to pursue and was able to convey that without being too specific and having the professors think I'm "pigeon-holing" and not open to other research. I had one formal research experience but no paper at the time and I do not have a masters. I will say with your uncertainty of whether you'll enjoy your masters it may be worth it to complete your first year, work a job during a gap year, and apply to US programs in that time. All the while establishing a good relationship with people at Cambridge can help you if you do want to return.
  10. Elephas

    Recruiting participants on social media

    Before disabling the comments like psygeek suggested, maybe including a form link in the comments for them to submit an email like inquiry would help with the confidentiality.
  11. Elephas

    Oakridge research opportunity drug testing

    While I haven't been there specifically, all of my internships with national labs and government contractors(think northrup grumman, boeing etc) have required drug testing.
  12. Elephas

    When to send/request transcripts?

    You should start by checking when each school requests transcripts be sent (perhaps after acceptance). After finding out those dates I would have them sent at least 3 weeks in advance of that deadline to ensure there is time not only for them to arrive but for the grad school to see them and process them. Finally I would recommend that you check with the graduate admissions office to see what kind of transcripts they accept (i.e. physical vs online) and make sure you send the right format. I had one school say they accept online but they later said only via xyz software which my undergrad school didn't use so I ended up having to resend a physical copy.
  13. Elephas

    Being shy about talking about your accomplishments

    In my position as someone who has a general idea of where I'd like my career to go coming out of undergrad I sometimes feel guilty posting all of my accomplishments. So I typically only post about a sampling of them now and again and with delays in between. I.e. I got two awards but only posted about one until many months later posting about the other(as a part of my graduation accomplishments). I also feel like sometimes it may seem like I am trying to outshine everyone else which is why I pick and choose what to share. I typically share with close peers/family and my institution these types of things and they end up posting about it before I do on occasion. I am thinking about starting up a personal website this summer so that I can keep things like this on the professional side but still have some place to put it and be proud (not a blog but an "about me" "my research interests"... type site)
  14. Elephas

    Regrets and "if only's"

    You may find this forum helpful:
  15. Elephas

    MRes at Imperial vs PhD at Purdue

    Ah I see, I guess I would compare the cost of living in both areas also. You're correct that you would be able to save a lot of money in the US which could be beneficial when you're ready to move to the next place. I would consider looking at past alumni profiles and see if you can reach out and see who went abroad post degree. I am not sure as that was only anecdotal but seeing as abroad most programs are much shorter there'd be less time for developing skills in teaching etc.

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