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emmm

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  1. Downvote
    emmm got a reaction from TwirlingBlades in Just when you thought HELL couldn't get any worse...   
    That's a bit harsh. One year longer than expected really isn't that long...especially with the less than ideal advising the poster seems to have received. It does not mean that she would not do well in a PhD program. There is a lot about this situation that we don't know. I would rather err on the side of being too supportive, rather than being so discouraging. There are professors who are jerks (sadly) and it seems likely that the poster had the bad luck to be stuck with one. Her current difficulties may more validly be attributed to him than to any serious deficiency of hers.
  2. Upvote
    emmm got a reaction from foreignstudent in PhD going bad.....   
    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.
  3. Upvote
    emmm got a reaction from charlemagne88 in To Curve or Not to Curve?   
    Grades need not be inflated for everyone to get As -- especially in grad school. If everyone works hard and learns the material, they should all be rewarded with the As their hard work earned. In grad school, especially, where students are already supposed to be among the best, what is wrong with everyone doing well? If they could not succeed in grad school, they should have never been admitted. Don't hand out As like Halloween candy, but don't be afraid to give them either.
  4. Upvote
    emmm got a reaction from eternallyephemeral in Indecision   
    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).
  5. Upvote
    emmm got a reaction from Chai_latte in PhD going bad.....   
    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. 
  6. Upvote
    emmm got a reaction from ShogunT in PhD going bad.....   
    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. 
  7. Upvote
    emmm got a reaction from Jknips in Graduate school - a luxury?   
    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.
  8. Upvote
    emmm reacted to ExponentialDecay in Is this common   
    I don't think it's problematic, frankly. In legal parlance, what OP did would be called coming to the nuisance. Suffering consequences for somebody else's mistake is an extremely frequent part of life, and whilst such an eventuality should be minimized to the greatest extent possible, that minimization of risk must come from both parties involved. Not only should OP have kept a copy because it's common sense to keep a copy, but he should have realized, being the big boy that he is, that, if his work got lost and he got a bad grade for it, it would be his problem, not the professor's, so it's in his interest to do everything in his power to make sure the professor had an easy time of grading his work. It would be nice if the professor admitted she lost it and gave OP the benefit of the doubt in some way - and that's assuming she's asking for a copy because she lost it, which is in no way a certainty - but that's up to her discretion, and OP shouldn't act entitled and assume that strangers' discretion will always work out in his favor. 
    I think it's problematic that you paint people in their teens and early twenties as children incapable of thinking two steps ahead. When I was in high school, I knew that, if I crossed a highway on a red light and got run over, it would be my problem because I'd be dead, so I took more precautions than simply expecting everyone to stop what they're doing and let me do as I please. I likewise knew that, if a teacher couldn't grade my assignment for whatever reason - because they lost it or because I refused to resubmit it - the bad grade would be my problem, not my teacher's. So I took more precautions than tossing whatever their way and being like, it's your problem now man figure it out. Because it's not their problem. It's my problem. They're not affected by whether I get an A or an incomplete. I am. Basic life skills, man.
  9. Upvote
    emmm reacted to Imaginary in Is this common   
    I'll add another perspective, here. I am a graduate student and former high school teacher. I would never expect a student, even a student in university or graduate school, to turn in an electronic copy after they had already given me a print copy. I find such a request extremely irresponsible at this level. As a high school teacher, I once misplaced a student's assignment. I felt terrible and it caused me a lot of anxiety; thankfully, I found it. I have taken great care to never repeat that mistake. Even at the university level, why should students have to do extra work due to an instructor's mistake? That said, such problems could be avoided simply by requiring all students to turn in electronic copies rather than print copies.
  10. Upvote
    emmm reacted to fuzzylogician in Is this common   
    Seriously?? This is equivalent to the following conversation:
    A: Could you pass the salt please?
    B: No. 
    A: What do you mean 'no'? It's there right next to you. Don't you see it?
    B: Yes. (Doesn't pass the salt.)
    This has got to be one of the more ridiculous conversations I've had in a while. 
  11. Upvote
    emmm got a reaction from SymmetryOfImperfection in PhD going bad.....   
    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. Upvote
    emmm got a reaction from doobiebrothers in you lucky ones   
    @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.
  13. Upvote
    emmm got a reaction from yield in Do PhD grades matter?   
    Yes, your grades do matter, since they are a reflection of how your professors view your work. You sound a bit immature complaining about the professor's "subjective BS." Maybe some of that attitude is coming across in your classwork? Even if it's true, it's part of life, and everyone has to learn to deal with it. However, first year is stressful, and there's a lot to adjust to. It's entirely possible that your grades will improve as you get used to your program. While you shouldn't ignore your grades, you should not obsess about this one, either. It is satisfactory for your program, and you should move on -- strive to learn what you need to learn and to make the right impression on people in your program. They will be your network later, when you need advice, recommendation letters, etc. Congrats for making it through your first term of grad school!
  14. Upvote
    emmm reacted to PhdStats in Increasing quality of application   
    How are your letters? You should focus on that. If there is any opportunity to do research and/or improve your chances of getting a great letter, that's what you want to do. 
  15. Upvote
    emmm got a reaction from starxd in Biostat Ph.D. program, U Washington or UC Berkeley?   
    Congratulations! Hopefully, you'll be attending Visit Days at both schools (?). If not, I do highly recommend visiting anyway and meeting with people in the department to see which feels more "comfortable" to you. It has always been helpful to me to get a feel for a place before making such a major decision. At least you  know you can't go wrong! Both are fantastic programs :-)
  16. Upvote
    emmm got a reaction from Fleet23 in Tips for bouncing back after a post-interview rejection?   
    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.
  17. Upvote
    emmm reacted to avflinsch in Older students?   
    Started college in 1979, switched majors in 1980
    Switched schools and majors in 1982 and 1984
    Switched majors again in 1985 and 1986 -- at this point I decided to just go to school in order to learn enough to get better and better jobs
    Life intervened, got married, kids, and a new career which was going well until 2002 when my position got shipped overseas
    I started working at Rutgers in 2003, I was intending on taking advantage of tuition benefits and going back to finish my undergrad as soon as possible, but life intervened again (another child) and I did not start again until 2007
    When I was finally finishing my undergrad in 2014, I applied to a grad program.
    In my original personal statement I specifically addressed my prior academic history, and spun it in my favor. At this point I was going back to school for ME -- because I wanted to do it, and not for any potential employment opportunity that would result from the graduate degree. I also stated that I would also be interested in continuing on to a possible PhD after the masters (my application will be going out later this year for the 2017 academic year).
    Overall, I don't think my varied academic history hurt me in any way while applying to a grad program, in fact, the diversity may have helped me.
     
  18. Upvote
    emmm got a reaction from radhikapc in Older students?   
    Hello @radhikapc,
    Age can be an issue, but I don't think you have to worry too much. I am older than you and just got accepted into the CS program at UW. I think you will find it is not a negative factor at all. Some people I spoke to before applying to grad school tried to discourage me (friends, admins I spoke with when looking for information prior to applying), but I ignored anyone who was negative and went ahead anyway, figuring I would work on anything I could improve, but my age was my age, and if I didn't try for what I wanted, I'd be guaranteed to go nowhere (hope that made sense). In my experience, my age hasn't been an issue in any classes I've taken, in getting LORs, or in having my applications taken seriously (and getting accepted!). The total GRE might not really be enough to go on -- your program may want a specific Q score, for example. So you might want to look into that, since prepping for the GRE (if you need to get a higher subsection score, for example) IS something you can work on. It is definitely worth going to the department you are interested in and seeing if you can talk to someone -- I have typically been given useful advice on how to make my application stronger by doing this.
    Best of luck!
  19. Upvote
    emmm got a reaction from physicsUndergradIndia in Should I try again next year; or join a sub-optimal PhD program?   
    I think taking the job and applying again sounds like a reasonable option. You sound more enthusiastic about the job offer than about the EE programs that accepted you. A year is not a very long time, and the work experience could be rewarding. I don't think it has to be full-time research to add to your application. You should also try to find out what the weaker applicants you know did differently that got them accepted at schools you are interested in. Not having a CS background shouldn't be a major issue, especially as the transition from EE --> CS seems to be a pretty common one.
  20. Upvote
    emmm got a reaction from Threeboysmom in Older students?   
    Hello @radhikapc,
    Age can be an issue, but I don't think you have to worry too much. I am older than you and just got accepted into the CS program at UW. I think you will find it is not a negative factor at all. Some people I spoke to before applying to grad school tried to discourage me (friends, admins I spoke with when looking for information prior to applying), but I ignored anyone who was negative and went ahead anyway, figuring I would work on anything I could improve, but my age was my age, and if I didn't try for what I wanted, I'd be guaranteed to go nowhere (hope that made sense). In my experience, my age hasn't been an issue in any classes I've taken, in getting LORs, or in having my applications taken seriously (and getting accepted!). The total GRE might not really be enough to go on -- your program may want a specific Q score, for example. So you might want to look into that, since prepping for the GRE (if you need to get a higher subsection score, for example) IS something you can work on. It is definitely worth going to the department you are interested in and seeing if you can talk to someone -- I have typically been given useful advice on how to make my application stronger by doing this.
    Best of luck!
  21. Upvote
    emmm reacted to slporbust2016 in Should I retake GRE?   
    Have you looked at the scores for the schools that you're interested in specific?

    Personally, I'd either use all of the prep stuff that i could find at the library or Magoosh (my preference) for a couple of months with a commitment to work on it a few hours a week. Then I'd take some practice tests and see if there was an improvement and make the decision then. It's one of the only things that you can dramatically change with some effort. Magoosh is $100 and retaking it is another $200. It's a lot less than a second round of application fees. 
  22. Upvote
    emmm reacted to dan0075 in how does this teaching thing work long term?   
    All of these tips are great in terms of teaching. But just as important as managing your teaching load is being vigilant about scheduling time for research and writing and honoring that schedule. In other words, the time you've set aside for writing and research should not be considered any more flexible than your scheduled teaching hours. 
  23. Upvote
    emmm got a reaction from kseeful in Will this be a costly mistake?   
    If you report it to only one decimal place, your number is correct. It's trivial and not worth worrying about.
  24. Upvote
    emmm got a reaction from Byesociallife in Will this be a costly mistake?   
    If you report it to only one decimal place, your number is correct. It's trivial and not worth worrying about.
  25. Upvote
    emmm reacted to pterosaur in bioinformatics at northeastern[Boston}   
    I did my undergrad at Northeastern, so I can answer a bit. Co-ops are not guaranteed. You apply and interview for them like you apply for a regular job, but they have a database of co-ops from employers that plan to hire a northeastern co-op, and almost everyone gets a position. As for salaries, I only know for undergrads, which isn't really relevant.
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