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    Surfing, Snowboarding, Skating, Rock-climbing, SSBM, and Billiards. HMU
  • Application Season
    2019 Fall
  • Program
    Electrical Engineering

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Zanelol's Achievements


Decaf (2/10)



  1. @wookie55 Wow, I haven't posted on here since before I started my Master's. Now I'm almost done. Crazy how time flies. I haven't hears of anyone negotiating something like that. I know there are houses on campus geared toward families so maybe you could request one of those if you're willing to spend a little more. Most of the grad students (PhD or Master's) had roommates though (if by roommates, you mean people living in the same apartment but in different rooms). For your own apartment you may need to get something off-campus. I haven't seen too many apartment complexes near campus (besides the Stanford ones) so I'd assume you'd have to live in Mountain View or San Jose. I will also say that I haven't heard of anyone getting bad roommates because most people are pretty studious and keep to themselves (except for maybe the Law students). So even if you had to live with others, you likely wouldn't have to interact with them too much if you don't want to.
  2. I, for one, disagree with @armchair_revolutionary's argument. You are going to be with the people in your research lab 24/7 and being friends with the people in your lab is a HUGE plus. I've been in labs with people I liked and people I didn't like and I truly believe the environment of a lab is a primary concern. I would see if the Professor from School A would be open to having you perform research in your area of interest. One of the PhD students at my current lab (for my UG) made and is working on a project that is in a different field (health) than the rest of the projects (information security) in the lab. Good work comes out of vibrant and social environments.
  3. Hey bro, UCLA is a fantastic university, and you shouldn't get down on yourself for going there. I know there are plenty of other students that would love to be in your place right now. Keep your head up and realize that life isn't all about GPAs and academic prestige. Life's a journey with ups and downs and these superficial concepts do not define your worth. Furthermore, enjoy your life while you're still young. Self-fulfilment doesn't stem from stress and heavy work-loads; it stems from a well-balanced life wherein you always feel you're doing what you love to do. Cheers
  4. I truly do not understand the obsession people have with GRE scores. Sure, they are a quantitative way of comparing one application to another, but after a certain point (approximately 315/320), they cannot be used as a measure of how grande someone's research will be. Time and time again, studies have put into question the validity of scholastic aptitude tests in regards to predicting future success. In reality, these tests only show the amount of preparation someone put into it, and how much someone is willing to spend on studying materials. Don't believe the hype--ZERO universities will require you to achieve 170Q to get admitted. They look at you, the person; not you, the test score. FYI: I received a 166Q/160V/4.5, and got admitted to CMU, Stanford, and Cornell for my M.S. When I did the practice tests, I consistently got 167+ scores in quant (and the occasional 170). I only took the test once and then chose to spend my time/money elsewhere (I advise you to do the same).
  5. I had a similar choice between Stanford MSEE/ CMU MS ECE/ Cornell MEng ECE. Personally, I find them all to be similar in terms of prestige/ quality of education. I don't think choosing either would be a detriment if you choose to go into tech/consulting. However, usually people work at approximately the same location they attended university (due to the ease of applying to jobs in that area), so it's worth considering where you want to work in the long term. I chose Stanford because I love California (I've lived here all my life and I am an avid surfer). Lastly, I don't believe in the whole "cash cow" argument @itheproofofstupidity brought up. I've looked into this and people online have said the same thing regarding MSEE@Stanford up until 5 years ago. I believe both programs are difficult to get into and are both respectable (if you choose the PhD route).
  6. @DevoLevo Going there next year for an M.S., and I'd say go for the studio apartment if you can get it for $1200 a month. The cheapest option I've seen, housing-wise, was $872 a month. Personally, I find this insane. I've spoked to PhD students at my current university (UCI), and they're only paying $600 a month (for accommodations similar to the $1200 a month options). If your goal is to meet people via your housing situation; however, I'd say go for a three/four-room apartment and hope your housemates are gregarious. Unless you are constantly knocking on doors to invite people to parties at your place, it is unlikely you will get acquainted with your neighbours. The Escondido South four-bedroom apartments (for $872 a month) are the best option I've viewed seen on the residential website. I doubt that the general socialness will vary greatly between different buildings in EV. Note: The information I'm giving is not based on prior experience with the university. I am simply relaying what I've discovered during my undergrad years of testing out various housing options (on campus, off campus, commuting from family home). In terms of getting the best bang-for-your-buck, you could just do what I'm doing for my M.S. next year: Buy a used maintenance van and prepare it for vanlife. This housing option will come out to about $50 a month (assuming I resell the van).
  7. @Patrick McMahon First of all, I wanted to tell you that it takes a very strong person to be able to get through college when you have suicidal depression. My mother has had it on-and-off, and I know how it eats away at you every single day, and how it takes conscious effort to ignore how you feel/ think. You are doing a great job, and don't let anyone tell you differently. Second of all, and to answer your questions, I believe you should be making academic decisions that will be beneficial to you in the long run (i.e., do not inundate yourself with a heavy workload if it would lead to you performing worse and worse). With your drive, and I can tell you have it, you will be able to succeed in a field like music (assuming you go on to grad school for it). However, if Math is truly your calling, you should focus solely on that and try to select only courses that are required for that major (and keep music as a hobby). Regarding how grad schools look at people applying to a major when their undergrad was in a different major: It would be very difficult to do a Math PhD if you major in music for your undergrad. The courses required in a Math PhD assume you have a firm understanding of the Math fundamentals. Other students you would be competing against for the PhD position will most likely be students that majored in Math in undergrad (or a STEM major like Engineering, Physics, Computer Science, etc.). Thus, they would be preferable from the get-go because they would be less of a risk. Tips for you in particular: -Try to talk to your counselling office about getting special accommodations for your test anxiety. Every university must abide by national laws regarding these issues. -Consider doing your undergrad in 5 years instead of 4. I am doing mine in 5 years, and after going through the grad school application process, I can tell you that doing undergrad in 5 years will not be looked down upon by grad school admission committees. Doing undergrad in 5 years will give you the option to take fewer courses per semester/quarter and would give you more time to improve your mental health through extracurricular activities.
  8. @cccO_O Both of these schools are pretty comparable in many fields. Sure, MIT has more name recognition if you were to speak to the masses, but Caltech is highly reputed in the technical realm. I'd look into research coming out of both Universities and then determine which interests you more. If you can't decide, I'd pick Caltech if you desire to be in California. Being a So-Cal native and someone that will not be going to either university (heading to Stanford for an MS), I couldn't tell you exactly what the student life will be like. However, I've talked to my friend on this topic and he's visited Caltech multiple times to attend conferences. From him, I've gleaned the following information about this university: -They are very focused on STEM. They live and breathe it. They love the work, and they love the Math. They even have whiteboards in lounging areas for spontaneous problem-solving. -They are passionate and care about what they do. They're willing to put in many hours because they believe it's worth it. -They have a tendency to seem a little off sometimes due to their obsession in their fields. This is either a pro or a con depending how you look at it. I find eccentric people entertaining and more fun to be around; to each his/her own. -They are not as "well-rounded" as the people at MIT for one reason or another (though this is on average and can vary greatly from person to person). Note: A lot of these statements can very well apply to a myriad of MIT students. I am simply relaying the information I've been told about Caltech. Being from California, I rarely come across people from MIT (in fact, never). I predominantly come across alumni from Stanford, Berkeley, UCSD, and Caltech. MIT students are also rare in Silicon Valley (placing #20 in top feeder schools source: https://poetsandquantsforundergrads.com/2017/04/27/top-feeder-schools-silicon-valley/). All in all, you will likely work where you set your roots. Cheers.
  9. I believe 3/6 is too harsh. I'd give this a 4. I can tell you are a native speaker, and I very rarely have heard of native speakers receiving a 3 or below. My Advice: -Try shortening your sentence length. Each sentence should be more to-the-point; doing so would make them more powerful. -Try to elaborate on why someone would believe technology complicates our lives so that you could better refute that belief.
  10. If you are certain you will be in the Aerospace field, go to USC if that's where your heart is pushing you toward. Otherwise, I would choose Columbia because applying to Aerospace-related jobs with an MechE degree would not pose a problem whereas an Aerospace-degree may be non-preferable if you are applying to a MechE job. Don't choose based on rank because all of these universities are similarly ranked and are all highly regarded.
  11. My two cents is that you should just accept it, and if you get into the other school with funding, just go there instead. It probably wouldn't be too difficult to leave a university after accepting their offer. Furthermore, I am sure that you could figure something out regarding funding your PhD because every student I've met at UCI doesn't pay for their tuition (and UCI, debatably, has less financial resources).
  12. Hey man, I thought I'd post on here to help you out. Personally, I don't know too much about the grad school at UCI, but I am just finishing my undergrad at UCI so I do have some things to say. First of all, UCI is a grande university with many excellent students. I did my undergrad in engineering but spent a lot of time at the business school due to how nice their facilities are. The classrooms are all decked out with new tech, and the business side always has free coffee (much to the chagrin of the Starbucks). Don't choose UCSD over UCI due to prestige. The two are very close in that regard, and UCI has been going up in ranks while UCSD has been stagnant. IMO, the only reason one should opt for UCSD is if he/she is a surfer (this is why I applied there for grad school) because there are more stellar waves in the San Diego area. However, even this reason is questionable due to UCI's proximity to Newport Beach, and as someone that lived there for two years, that city is beautiful.
  13. How's it going bro? I, too, will be going to Stanford for EE (though for M.S.). I'm pretty stoked to be going there. Especially because of their awesome rock climbing gym. Have you looked into any clubs as of yet?
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