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emmm last won the day on January 2 2011

emmm had the most liked content!

About emmm

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    Latte Macchiato

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    2016 Fall
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    finishing in bio field...applying CS now

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  1. You haven't really shared enough information for people to even speculate about your chances -- and all it would be is speculation, at best. Your applications would need to include the very important LORs and personal statement, which matter quite a bit more, generally, that just the GPA. If you are worried about not having a CS degree -- I will be starting in a PhD program in the fall without a prior CS degree (though I did do quite a lot of relevant coursework). So, it is possible, but you should contact programs you're interested in to see what advice they may be willing to share with you and talk to some of your former professors as well. In addition to providing LORs, they may be able to introduce you to colleagues who might be able to advise you better than we can.
  2. From what you've described, Rutgers seems like a better overall fit for you (and your preferred school). Given those considerations, unless the fellowship is highly prestigious (if it is just awarded by the school, it probably isn't) or covers the majority of your costs, it seems perhaps not valuable enough to turn down Rutgers. But only you can decide what is best. For PhD applications, you will need great LORs from people whose opinions are respected by the admissions committees at the programs you apply to. You are more likely to get great letters if you are able to do work that interests you and that fits in with your goals. And being able to work with researchers who are respected and making an impact on your field of interest is only going to help you in the long run. So, I think it sounds as though you'd be giving up a lot....you'd have to be sure what you're getting in return is worth it (to me, NO incurred debt WOULD potentially be a fair trade-off).
  3. It seems like a very different program than the one you initially applied for -- are you actually interested in switching directions to that extent?
  4. Agree with @ExponentialDecay. A teacher (undergrad course) lost a small HW assignment of mine once. Math problems, done in pencil. I said no problem, I'll do them again and get them to you later today (still fresh in my mind). She later found the original. And, speaking as a teacher, checking for plagiarism generally doesn't even require an electronic copy. A few randomly selected lines entered into a search box (i.e. little enough text that typing in by hand from a printed submission is no big deal) generally is all it takes. Very few of my students, anyway, are very clever in their cheating (or maybe SOME are.... but I find plenty who aren't).
  5. Most graduate students who get funding are expected to work for it. I teach at local community colleges and I have TA'd, and it's a lot of work! Grad students are also cheap lab workers, so even though having an RA can help move the student's work forward (as opposed to having a TA, which doesn't), it's still labor provided in return for funding.
  6. I think the program at NYU is more highly ranked. I don't know details of any of these, sorry. Congratulations on having so many choices!
  7. It's hard to know whether you will be admitted or not. It is not always the strongest applicants on paper who get accepted. I applied from a non-traditional background and I am doing some "catch up" coursework now. What I had in my favor was some unusual experiences in my background that people thought could contribute to the overall program, a clearly articulated plan for why I wanted to join the program, AND a professor in the program who was willing to work with me. Because of factors like these, admissions predictions are really tricky, and I would guess more so for those of us who don't fit the typical profile.
  8. I recently applied and was accepted into a CS PhD program from a biology background. However, I had taken quite a few CS classes and other related classes. You may need to work on getting more CS background before you'll be considered competitive. The CS subfield you apply for will also come into play -- there are some that are really not going to be as accessible to you without a much stronger CS background, including, probably, the most popular (hence competitive) subfields. You'd be well served to take some more classes and form relationships with people who might be willing to work with you as a grad student and who would support your application to their programs. Given your bio background, you do have something unique to offer, provided you have the CS foundation to convince the programs you apply to that you will be able to keep up with the required coursework. To me, it doesn't sound like you have nearly enough. As comparison, how would you react to someone who said I am a CS major with research in CS. I took an intro bio class and now I'd like to apply for a PhD in immunology? It's a pretty similar scenario. To answer your other questions, yes, you can have professors in non-CS fields write you LORs, but I limited my non-CS letters to ONE. You have some time to work on whatever weaknesses you think you can address in your background before applications start being reviewed (late Dec/early Jan timeframe). You will need to determine whether that gives you enough time or not. You should be able to go to the CS graduate program office at your school and talk to someone about what preparation they generally want to see, at a minimum, from non-CS applicants. I did this, and it was very helpful.
  9. This is a decent summary of what foreignstudent should expect from a faculty mentor. http://polaris.gseis.ucla.edu/jrichardson/documents/mentor.htm If his advisor is not a mentor (either through ignorance or unwillingness), he should find an advisor who will be one. The qualities listed here do not include "will do mentees work for them" (which is another form of very bad mentoring, by the way). From what foreignstudent described, I think his mentor failed in a number of the areas listed.
  10. @Eigen I guess we'll have to agree to disagree on this. Especially as research becomes more interdisciplinary, programs are going to keep accepting people with varied backgrounds. Such diversity can contribute positively to any project or program, provided the "outsider" is given the support needed to get to the point where he/she can contribute meaningfully in this new context. Even with background in one subfield, many use grad school as an opportunity to learn new skills -- it IS school, after all -- and even changing between subfields of the same general field can be disorienting and require time to get up and running, The learning process is a lot more effective if it's not expected to be "sink or swim" on your own....
  11. It is also possible that foreignstudent does not have a very good advisor and should consider looking around for another. Or even that foreignstudent does not have a "bad" advisor, but does not have a good advisor for him. Ideally, if a student is struggling, the advisor would try to provide helpful guidance. The form of this guidance should be tailored to the needs of the particular student. I have rarely found that just being told you're not doing well is sufficient "guidance" and it is not what I would consider advising or mentoring. Your advisor should discuss your potential research with you in a way that makes the exchange of ideas feel safe. As a new student, you will probably come up with some awful plans that may, however, contain a kernel of a useful idea. Your advisor should help you learn how to distinguish between ideas worth pursuing and those that for whatever reason wouldn't work, and then help you form a plan going forwards. If you enter a program with a lot of research experience already, you are more equipped to do much of this on your own. If you are new to research, it is not something you necessarily just know how to do. I also think the tone of this thread has been too negative toward foreignstudent, and I hope there is someone within his program he can go to for advice and assistance. And I do think that switching to a new advisor with a different "management style" should be a serious consideration -- if the current pairing is not working well, switching sooner rather than later can save everyone a lot of grief.
  12. emmm

    Older students?

    @melissa.cox10 A lot of what you mention in your post brought back memories. Many years ago I started school with a 21 month old and a 3 month old. I was able to bring the infant to classes that first semester as she just slept and fed (and was a quiet baby in general). A few years later, I had child #3, and took time off school, but that just delayed me by one year (due to how classes were scheduled only once a year). I would highly recommend taking a face-to-face class if you can somehow manage it. If not, the name recognition of the online program might matter (I am speculating). Something like Harvard Extension would probably get more positive attention than an online calculus class you're taking to refresh math skills through a community college. I am not sure where your online classes fall on this spectrum. You have a harder task in getting professors to know who you are and to feel personally invested in your success. Is there some way you can meet with them via online conferencing to ask for advice applying to grad school. Then, depending on the response you get, decide whether or not an LOR from a given professor would be likely to help your case or, even, potentially hurt it. I didn't study for the GRE. I bought some review books, but found that is you are already at >80%, the books are not focused on bringing you up >90%. So, I figured I might need to take a professional review course. I also wanted an accurate baseline score, to know where I was starting from, so I took the real GRE early as a "practice run," with a plan to sign up with a review course if my scores were not adequate, and then retake. I did fine, so I never did bother studying more or retaking. I will be entering a program in the fall in a field in which I have not done any research, but I think this is unusual and I think it would be seen as more of a negative if I didn't have some relevant work experience (still not research, but it gives me a perspective most applicants wouldn't have).
  13. Would you be able to take the CS classes at school 1 that you think would set you up for your future goals? Or would you be required to stop taking classes once your program requirements are completed? Would you be able to have more than one advisor and do a project in collaboration with someone from CS? I think it is important to work on a project for which you have a lot of enthusiasm. If you go to school 1, will you regret not being in a CS program? That's sort of the impression I am getting (plus it looks like you applied to mostly CS programs).
  14. Actually, the crying probably wouldn't hurt either. It can be a great stress reliever :-) @fuzzylogician gave you good advice in trying to debug the interview. I had a similar experience, but I hadn't felt awkward at all during the interviews. Looking back on it, however, I realized that any time anyone had complimented me on something in my record, I had had to say something to minimize the accomplishment. It was as though it was physically uncomfortable for me to accept a compliment. So, I made a bullet point list of things that I was actually proud of and practiced saying "Thank you, and ..." and then actually discussing the topic further in a positive, rather than a minimizing way. I also took a brief moment before answering (not noticeable, more a mental check) to make sure I didn't say the first thing that came to my mind during the interview, because it could potentially be self-sabotaging.
  15. @nevermind -- You are right about rejection, and I agree that hearing from someone who has what you want saying it's not worth it, etc. is not going to help at all. But I also assumed the intent behind the post was good. It can be especially hard being in a grad program that is making you miserable. You know you're "lucky" to have the opportunity, which can make things feel even worse and make it hard to move on to something else (even if that might be best). There are so many variables, however, that yyou really can't generalize from someone else's experience -- yours could be completely different. So, I would never discourage anyone from going after their own goals. For people who did not get accepted this round, I would probably recommend trying again, and doing whatever possible to present an even stronger application the second time.
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