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About FishNerd

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  • Interests
    Molecular ecology and evolutionary genomics
  • Application Season
    2018 Fall
  • Program
    Biology (Ecology and Evolution) PhD

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  1. Hi! I know a lot of people who use Adobe Illustrator to make figures for publications, but unless you have access to this for free through your university or you can get a copy through your advisor you probably don't want to pay for Illustrator. A lot of people in my program, including myself, use Inkscape to create figures for publication since it is basically a program very similar to Illustrator but free. When I was first playing around in Inkscape I found a good series of Youtube videos on how to use Inkscape for creating scientific figures. These tutorials may not be as helpful for creating drawings like the example you provide above, but I thought I would share the link below. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eyqH0IrzYLc&list=PLxtauMB7RON_2tg-mRQTuieFUr29IOKzW
  2. I've seen a couple other podcast threads posted in the past so I've included them below. I'm not sure if the focus of the podcasts that are included are helpful to you but I'm sure it's worth perusing.
  3. I apologize if the advice I gave isn't the best for academic writing in history since I am not familiar with the field. What I thought I was suggesting didn't come through in what I actually wrote because several of the things you mention Sigaba sounds like what I was thinking especially what I quote of your response below. This is what I was really trying to get at in my response. I would look to the academic articles for guidance on citing rules since that is the type of article the OP is writing rather than looking for citing guidance from a piece written for a more generalized audience since that is not the type of piece the OP is writing. In my field I basically only cite academic articles or books and the citation rules are pretty much standard across all my sources so I didn't think my generalized comment could be interpreted very differently for history. Again, sorry if my advice did not hold true for a different field since I am not used to citing rules varying widely across a variety of sources since that doesn't occur in the sources I encounter in my field.
  4. I don't have any advice but I definitely understand how you're feeling. I'm so nervous about getting my masters thesis published that I keep putting it off. I also have an opportunity to present my thesis research to a much different audience than I have in the past. I'm super nervous that reviewers or outside eyes are going say that I did something completely wrong and my whole study will be a wash. I'm not really sure how to move past it but I just wanted to say I also sympathize. I just know I need to push past my nervousness because I know at heart my thesis is worthy of publication and I need to do sooner rather than later. Not sure how I'm gonna do that other than pushing all my nerves to the side and just going for it!
  5. Okay so I am not a historian but I too faced similar questions when including citations for my masters thesis. I don't know that I can answer all of your questions but I do have a few suggestions. I think if you acknowledge these other's contributions at the start of your paper that that will cover a lot of your responsibility in citing them. In the case above where you could clearly talk about this treaty negotiation with primary sources I think that will be sufficient when you are talking about this negotiation. However, if there is part of your argument that has been crucially influenced by one of your secondary sources then you should definitely cite them again. I would say to follow others in your field. If other historians are not acknowledging similar points I think you could probably follow their lead. I do also have a general suggestion that if you find you have a ton (over 4 or 5) of footnotes for any one point you could always pair it down to the most important sources. I think as long as you acknowledge that this point has been brought up in the literature before you don't have to cite every source that has made this point. I've been given advice that it is sometimes good to find the first source that used this point to cite and also include a more recent source as well in the sources that you cite. Also keep in mind that if your advisor is good and reads your paper thoroughly they will likely flag areas that you actually need a citation or instances where you have overcited. They should be able to give you a lot of guidance on all of these questions you have posed.
  6. Not sure if this answer will be in time before you defend but: 1. This is really a matter of preference. I've seen both done for a Master's defense. 2. Like I and others have said in this thread your committee will likely ask questions directly related to your thesis and probably will not ask you any off the wall questions (unless you have the oddball professor who likes to see if you truly are a Master of whatever degree you are getting). That's not to say they won't ask you about important concepts, ideas or terminology that is directly related to your thesis but they probably won't go beyond that. 3. I personally would think that if you want to do anything like that, that you should do that with them one-on-one after your defense at some point. But if you want to do it after the presentation you can do that but I'm not sure many people do. 4. Typically after a masters defense the student answers the questions posed to them and then in my case I was ask to leave the room while they talked about how I did and whether I passed. So no it was not business like and there were no shaking hands with people during my experience. But it could be different at different schools so if you have the opportunity to ask a student who has defended that might be your best option for some of your questions.
  7. I'm also in biology and I have noticed at times that us biologists do tend to first focus on talking about our work but I found that that went away after the first few weeks of my masters. So it might just be that people in your program are comfortable taking about their work right now but will be willing to have deeper conversations later. I am also one who likes to have "deep emotional talks" as you put it and I find that if I bring up those subjects early in conversing with a new person I just draw attention to my nature of being a pretty open book when it comes to more serious conversation topics. Kinda joke about it if I need to. I also let my conversation partner get to opening up to the same degree on their own time. I try not to press them into sharing to the same degree I do because I understand not everyone is comfortable with talking so seriously until they've spent more time with a person. Usually it works for me because at least I have someone to listen to the deeper topics I want to talk about and then eventually the person will feel comfortable enough themselves to share more openly as well. As for when people talking about their work pretend to know everything, I think that's pretty typical at the start of a program. People don't want to make a first impression of being inept or behind other members of their cohort. Just remember that everyone is probably nervous to be starting this new thing and everyone probably has some imposter syndrome that they are trying to cover up. Also as for D&D - do you have a group you could Skype/phone in on if you can't find a new group in your new location? I know it's not the same but it could get you through until you do eventually find a group.
  8. This is the advice my dad gave me when I got my first credit card and I've always stuck with it because it's great advice. This is how I continue to treat my credit card because I really only have one to build credit and if I happen to get some cash back with this new card then hooray!
  9. I honestly had not researched cash back credit cards because I just got this one as an upgrade to my first credit card through US Bank so I was pleasantly surprised to see I would even have the choice to try and get cash back. So I didn't read any reviews but I'm not concerned because I didn't have to officially apply for this card or anything. I'm just happy it has double the credit limit that my previous card had since I will be needing to buy furniture to furnish my new apartment. But hopefully I can make the categories work in my favor and get a little cash back in the process but if not oh well, I just needed a card I could put furniture on until I get my first paycheck in my new location.
  10. I'm not sure how I like the card yet since I've only had it for a month but I have a cash back card through US Bank. It's the Cash + Visa Signature Card and I thought I'd mention it since it has the option to choose cash back categories in areas you seem interested in getting cash back from. You can get 2% cash back on groceries and 5% on home utilities and a few other categories too (I think gas is another option for the 2% category option and cell phone bills I think is an option for the 5%). You also get 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases and there is no annual fee. This is my first credit card of this kind after my introductory credit card I also got in undergrad when I had no credit score so it might be a good option for you. You can also change your categories every couple months (every quarter I believe?) if you want. Like I said I've only had it for a month so I don't know how much cash back I'll really get from it with regular usage in my cash back categories, but I already have $6 cash back so that's something I guess haha!
  11. Gosh when I read this I so identified with it since my previous department could really be this way as well. I would sometimes get sucked into it and it would make me feel like things were really a lot worse than they actually were, but once I was able to kinda break away from the complaining culture I was so much happier and productive. When you are constantly being surrounded by complaints its hard to see anything positive and you get sucked in to complain about things in your experiences. If anyone else is in this type of environment I recommend breaking out of it and making changes yourself because I find that if you do things better on your end (like stepping up and fixing the issue like Psygeek suggests) you probably won't have many things to complain about and you'll probably be a lot more productive and happier than you would have been before.
  12. When I had my defense for my masters back in April this is exactly how my defense went and I passed it just fine so this is great advice. I will say though that other people in my department had professors on their committee that were more old school and would also ask you general biology questions (outline the Krebs cycle or tell us the steps of mitosis - apparently they really took the title Masters of Biology seriously and wanted you to be able to regurgitate all kinds of general biology knowledge) so it might not be a bad idea to ask around in the department to see if there are any professors like that that may do that to you.
  13. There's lots of potential questions you can ask and I recommend maybe using the search function on this website to find some other threads where other people have recommended some really great questions. I know I found some when I did this when I was applying. Some important questions I can think of are below: What is funding like for the program? What is the stipend and will your tuition be completely waived? Will you have to TA during your program and what kinds of classes and responsibilities will you have as a TA? What kind of research is going on in the department and is it the type of research you want to pursue during your PhD? Related to the previous question: are the professors you are interested in working with taking on new students next fall for whom they would be the main advisor? There are lots more questions you can probably ask but I think the above questions are some of the key ones you absolutely need to ask.
  14. To me it sounds like either of the professors you mention as possibilities for your third recommendation sound good. I don't think it would matter too much if the one PI is in an irrelevant field because they can still write a letter about who you are as a worker in a research lab (as long as this PI knows you of course and can write about you as a worker in their lab). As for the other professor who was the instructor of a lab you TAed for they could be a good option because they know how you are as a TA and can write about that. I guess which professor you would choose would depend on whether you want to have two professors who talk about you in a research context (both PIs you mention - current and previous) or if you want to vary it and have a professor who can talk about you as a TA. If the programs you are applying for will require you to TA at any point it might not hurt to have a recommender who can talk about you as a TA but if you will never teach during your program then it might be more beneficial to have more recommenders who talk about you from the research side of things.
  15. So when I started my master's I had basically no stats background and I did end up taking a biostats course my first semester. However, what I learned in that course was not extremely helpful for the types of analyses I ended up doing for my thesis. I honestly didn't really learn my analyses until I had my full data-set collected and could start working with it. Also I was able to learn the most about my analyses on winter and summer breaks when I could dedicate entire days to learning new programs and such so it may be hard to juggle self-teaching yourself the analyses and programming you would like to learn during your first year with having to also juggle your own coursework and teaching. Instead if you want to start getting acquainted with the future stats you will be doing I would suggest asking your advisor or a fellow labmate for a data-set that you can use for practice and then try to learn the types of stats you will need on school breaks where you can dedicate entire days and several days in a row to fully immerse yourself in these new methods. That's my suggestion since it worked well for me when I had my data-set so I don't see how it wouldn't work for practice data!
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