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About merlinyx

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    2019 Fall
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  1. Hi friends! I'm having a hard time choosing between the two schools. The context is that I'm an international student, currently undergrad in the US. UW and EPFL both have good locations (for me), and I'd be down to learn French for daily use, but in some other aspects I don't know which would be better. In terms of funding, EPFL is a little better than UW (this included considerations like health insurance and tuition). There is a 1-year fellowship, and the lab is well funded. But they require students to teach every semester, although the PhD students there told me it's not very hard and basically you only teach tutorials, and grading is mostly done by undergrad TAs. UW requires 2 quarters of TA, but if advisor runs out of funding I'll have to TA. Right now I'm not so sure about the funding situation at UW, but I heard that my POI is new so they will have start-up funding. In terms of research fit, I like both schools' research. EPFL's POI is already very established and our meeting went pretty well too. I feel they have a clear framework of doing good research. The lab also has three postdocs (another is coming in the fall too) and currently 2 PhD students (one of them is graduating soon), and they publish regularly at top conferences in my area. I feel I will have a lot of freedom and get to learn from many experienced researchers. UW's POI is AP, hasn't had students yet and I would be in their first batch, so there is a risk if I choose them. Their publication records have been pretty strong. They are very excited about me, but one of the potential projects we talked about during the meeting seemed less interesting. There will be one postdoc coming into the group. In terms of career prospects, graduated students from EPFL's lab all had pretty good placement, but I'm not sure if being non-EU international will change things (I heard work permit in Switzerland is hard to get). UW apparently has a lot of advantages because so many companies are in the Seattle area. My goal is to go into academia/industry research positions if possible, but okay with software engineering jobs as well. I really appreciate your opinions on the two schools/experience with them! Thanks!
  2. Hi all! The situation is that I went to a school visit last week, and my POI there just sent me an email saying that some other prospective students already accepted the offer and kind of "pushed" me to accept as well. Although I know the professor is definitely going to be a great advisor (because their students spoke very highly of their technical skills and that they cared for the students genuinely), I'm in another visit and actually feel more inclined to join the school I'm currently visiting. Research fit is great at both schools, but I think my POI at the one I'm visiting now would have more time (since they just started last year) and seems less intimidating to interact with. I'm not sure how to respond to such an email because I really liked talking with the professor and also think that they are a great researcher, but I don't think I would actually go there. The email seems a little forceful, which made me feel more intimidated. Is it normal when professors try to get students to come? Thanks for any advice on this!
  3. Hi everyone! I want to ask for help on this situation: Currently I'm admitted to several programs and they all invited me to go to their visit days. Program A invited me to do an on-campus interview and then will make the decision. Their visit is right after another visit from school B, and I can't fly there in time, so program A coordinator offered to change it to one week earlier. But today I just got notified by another program C and their visit days are in that same week. I would rather go to the visit of C that has admitted me, but my POI at school A said in email that he really wants to meet me. I would love to visit school A and meet my POI, but I think the chance that I would attend A is low. And I don't want to miss any more schoolwork as there are already a couple of visits on weekdays. But my concern is that I don't know if directly turning down the interview will leave a bad impression and would make future collaboration less likely. One of my recommenders has collaboration with my POI at school A and I think that's why he is willing to interview me. To clarify, I don't think this will affect their relationship, but I don't know if this affects my academic career (?) as my POI and I apparently have common interests. How should I phrase that I cannot go to the interview and will likely not join the program? Sorry I don't know if I'm thinking too much about this and I really appreciate any help!
  4. Thank you, that's very helpful Yes I'm thinking of asking about how to prepare before I start too! I'm still waiting for other decisions. You are definitely right; the funding differs a lot from school to school. Good luck to the rest of the season!!
  5. Thank you so much! That's very useful advice!
  6. Hi friends, I'm a little anxious about an upcoming call with my POI. I recently got admitted and my POI emailed me saying that she would love to answer any questions I might have/introduce the school more. I really want to have this call as well, but I'm not so sure what kind of questions I should ask. I know she must be very busy so I want to make good use of the time. We had a Skype call before the admission decision and already talked about current projects, her group (she is a new AP and just started recruiting PhD students), my interests, and the city where the school is. Currently I'm thinking of asking about funding (the offer letter says TA/RA already though), and maybe the style of advising? There is a visit coming up for the school too, but I don't know if the funding question/asking about visit days is too much on the logistics side and might not be worth asking, but otherwise I cannot seem to come up with other valid questions. Please advise! Thank you very much!
  7. I didn't even notice the change of PI & research interests being changeable until I saw this discussion! thanks @timkartar I got interviews from profs I listed in the form and my SoP!
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