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  1. Following Up after an Interview

    1.5 weeks seems a little late... The usual advice I've heard is to send the thank you email one or two days after the interview. Depending on department timelines, they might already have moved on to the next phase in considering your application.
  2. Lots of research group websites have listings of where their alumni go. Checking those out should give you a good idea of career prospects if you choose either program. It's also a question you can ask PIs in person if you plan to visit. Thinking harder about the research available at each institution might also help guide your decision. I can't speak on CME/CMT, but AMO is basically non-existent at Princeton (based on website, they only have two non-emeritus faculty + four postdocs). If you're seriously interested in keeping the AMO door open, then Princeton might not be the best. Also, are these two schools the only options available to you? There are some programs of comparable caliber that are more likely to give you both the career prospects and the research flexibility that you want. Best of luck!
  3. Hey! So, I'm not an engineer, but my situation is quite similar. I'm in a somewhat related field and my profile is almost identical to yours: international student, liberal arts college in the US, good GPA, research experience but no publications, etc. I've gotten into some excellent PhD programs for my field so far: Stanford, Cornell, Universty of Rochester---and all with funding! So, unless you're dead set on like...MIT or something, I think you definitely have a good shot, even without a Master's (those usually aren't funded). As for things you can do, definitely maintain (or improve) your high GPA, make good use of the summer, and start thinking your LoRs: During the summer, try your best to either get a good internship (preferably in a research role), or more research experience. If your past research has been at your home institution, it might be worth looking for an external research program (REUs are rare for international students, but not nonexistent). Otherwise, see if you can continue research with your previous advisor, and see if you can push it to the point where you can present a poster at a conference or start preparing a paper. Even if these things haven't happened by the time you apply, as long you've started working towards it, your advisor should be able to talk about it in your LoR for a boost. Decide on who you want to write your LoRs as soon as possible. If you enrolled in a class with them, let them know about your plans for grad school and that you might ask them for a letter. If there are people you haven't talked to in a while, shoot them an email or find them, and give them an update on your plans. It's also a bonus if your letter writers know you personally, in addition to your academic records, as that will help them write less "standard" LoRs. Finally, start thinking about what kind of research you'd like to do during your PhD. Being specific about the research areas you're interested in will help you with school selection, and help your letter writers tailor their letters better. It will also help you when you demonstrate familiarity and (at least some) knowledge about your proposed research areas later on in the process when you write your SOP. Best of luck!
  4. At my college, people managed to make enough noise and there were enough faculty members sitting on various committees who cared that, as of this year, they are rolling out a preferred first names field and (allegedly) even an audio pronunciation guide field on the student portal. Judging from the graduate school application forms that I've filled out recently, it seems like a fair number of institutions are implementing features that allow people to have preferred first names on file and accessible to instructors who care enough. One of the POIs that contacted me for an informal interview even managed to use my preferred first name when addressing me via email! So, I'm hopeful that sorting out name issues might get easier to deal with in the future. Also, as someone with a rather hard to parse name (I've seen 4/5 of the possible incorrect permutations of the three "words" in my full name), I definitely prefer it when instructors go with the first name I ask them to use. I've gone by my nickname since third grade, so I only ever use my full name on legal documents. It gets awkward when well-intentioned folks try to call me by my full name in person, because I don't even respond to it anymore. Finally, out of the various methods I've experienced, the method of passing out a sheet with given name, first name, etc. has worked best so far.
  5. MIT Admission Results

    Could be that they’re finalizing things re: the weekend before the info goes out with the admittance notification. I am hopeful that they’ll send out results soon!
  6. Anyone know about Rochester, NY?