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fuzzylogician last won the day on July 27 2019

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About fuzzylogician

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  1. They said your visa was approved, they didn't give you the 221g, they took your passport and told you'll get it back with the visa stamp in it in a week. That sounds precisely like how an approved visa application goes.
  2. @AstroMason Thanks for coming back to update us, and congrats on your successful interview!
  3. There won't be a uniform answer to this question, unfortunately. It's going to depend on the job. Generally speaking, you're often hired into a particular specialty and that's going to affect your teaching and to some extent, your advising expectations. Research is usually more flexible. It's well known that scholars develop in unpredictable ways, so you may gravitate toward field Y even though you were hired as an X specialist. I want to say that that shouldn't cause you trouble if you are productive in your research on Y, but I think it can be the case in some situations that departments are unhappy with such a development, and it might have some influence on tenure decisions. It's honestly impossible to tell how often that happens and actually causes someone to lose their tenure case. What is entirely possible is that you change your interests but are still expected to teach in your original field and to advise work in that area, maybe even to bring in grant money in that field, if that's something that is relevant for you. Something to keep in mind and discuss with your advisors, if they are open to the conversation.
  4. You don't have to attend the whole thing, but strategically speaking, it makes a whole lot of sense to show up at least for some events. Your registration fees have been paid for and you live in town, so this is a free networking opportunity. Why pass up on it? For networking, it's less about sitting in on talks (though attending a few talks in your subfield and asking good questions is useful); it's about the times between talks, the lunches and dinners, the poster sessions, etc, where you can meet new people and catch up with people you know. This is crucial. There is a limit to how many people you can know through direct collaboration.
  5. In that case, your dissertation project might not define the researcher you'll become, but it will certainly influence the way you present yourself when you go on the job market your first few years out of grad school. You'll find yourself saying things like "I am broadly interested in XYZ; in my dissertation, I specifically study ABC and conclude that [blah]" fairly often when introducing yourself to people. Your dissertation topic will obviously change how the ensuing conversation goes and how people then perceive you. It might change what jobs you're perceived as most qualified for. Now, that said, it's also not the be-all end-all of your career. There's something to be said for picking the more promising project, especially if the other project is in a similar area so it doesn't change your academic profile as much. Another important factor is who you'll end up working with. A wonderful topic with a difficult advisor might not be worth it. But also keep in mind that the dissertation writing process is hard, even when you're very passionate about your project, so you should be at least somewhat enthusiastic about whatever you choose now. Something my advisors said to me that I came to appreciate a lot was not to put everything in my dissertation, and instead to have a project that's in earlier stages that could become my first post-PhD project. This was important because it removed a lot of the struggles that I saw some peers go through trying to figure out what to do next, now that this huge project they invested a few years of their lives in was suddenly over. So even if you don't pick a project to run with now, it doesn't mean you can't work on it later. This is an important decision, but it doesn't have to solely define who you become as an academic. I hope you're noticing from this that I'm not going to tell you what to do. There are pros and cons to either decision and you need to make your own.
  6. As a general rule, for a broad audience it's often wise to start out slower, explicitly laying out the basics of your subfield and research question. But you're there to report a new finding, and you should make sure you get to that. Also as a general rule, assume you audience is all smart and well-read, but maybe they're not up on the latest buzzwords of your particular question, so you're there not to educate anyone but simply to make sure you're all speaking the same language at the outset. I'd recommend speaking with your advisor and others who'd attended this particular conference to learn what's expected. Even if the conference is large, if there are multiple sessions you are likely to get people who are interested in your work, hence who have at least some familiarity with your subfield. If that's the case you may not need to be all that slow, though I find it's still often helpful to be explicit about your assumptions, because conference days are long and not everyone will be familiar with everything you say. Think of it as an exercise in being helpful to your audience.
  7. I assume you mean whether you should put the paper with your name on it on your CV, obviously you can't put the other one there however much you think you deserve to. It's your choice what to put on your CV; you're not obligated to put all of your papers on there. If you do put a paper on there, though, I think it's fair game in the sense that you might get asked about it (e.g. in any interviews, or just in casual conversation), and you're signaling that you stand behind the results. If it's a paper stemming from undergrad work where you're a middle author and you're not even sure how your name got on it, personally I would leave it out. I don't think it'll help your career any, and frankly I would prefer not to have my name associated with something like that. And on a broader note, this practice of putting people's names on papers without their knowledge sounds just crazy to me. Also of not giving junior staff their due credit, but geez. How does a paper go through an entire review process when there are authors who aren't even aware of the paper? I would think at the very least there'd be an email and an opportunity to read a draft and comment/withdraw. I hope this isn't common.
  8. You're describing a fairly standard situation: you have some strengths and some deficiencies in your application. Play to your strengths. Define your research interests, as they have developed based on [course X, work experience Y, volunteer activity Z, etc] and support your readiness to pursue them by expanding on the experience(s) you have, regardless of where they came from. Choose schools that are a good fit for those interests and explain why that is the case. Pick about 2-3 such interests/experiences to discuss to show breadth but also focus. There is no reason to play down experiences that come from unusual sources (if that's actually true, I'd bet that lots of applicants have such volunteer/other experiences that shape their grad school choices). If you wrote/will write a thesis, that goes under "research experience", too, and should be discussed as well. Remember that experience is different from publications or presentations; at this stage, the former matters much more. It's about showing your potential and convincing the school that you're a good investment. The rest can come later.
  9. What I am confused about is whether the opportunity to work in this lab (beyond the summer) actually exists or if the OP just hopes that it is. OP, you need to speak with the PI about this option and about your future goals, and whether/how this position would further those goals. I'm also not sure I understand the plan of going from biochemistry BA to an infectious diseases and global health MA and what the PhD would then be in. It's hard to weigh these two options against each other when it's not clear that both are actually options and what the broader end goal actually is. If you want to show an improved GPA, clearly that's something only the MA will give you and a lab tech position will not. If it's research experience, then the lab position will likely help more. If it's defining your research interests, then each option will take you in a different direction and you need to decide which one is better for you. There are ways of leveraging both options into a stronger application next year.
  10. I don't think that there is any risk of being taken less seriously because you start out your first few conversations talking about logistics. I think this would be a good opportunity to get a feel for this potential advisor and see how you get along when the stakes are low, which is a net positive. You should -- at the same time -- also keep your options open and meet with other people. You never know how relationships develop; your potential advisor may not be available for some reason (illness, moving to another school) or just not a good match with your personality. Or, your interests may shift, etc. Take this as a positive starting point, but remember that it's just a first-year advising commitment at the moment on both your parts, so you don't need to worry about it overmuch.
  11. Outside perspective: 12 credits of grad courses can be very different from the same amount of undergrad credits. Some people can do it and some can't. Over time, it can easily lead to burnout. To the extent that you can, I would suggest starting with the recommended number of credits and seeing how you cope and adjust. You could also see if you can track down current students in your program who are trying to do the same thing to get a first hand account of how doable it is. Since you're suggesting this, I assume it's a possibility and at least some students take advantage of it. Ask the department admin or the chair (or whoever you're in contact with) to put you in touch with some of them.
  12. Oh well that sounds a little different. That doesn't sound like an offer yet, but more like a "would you be interested" preliminary step. Given your response and the fact that you visited only 4 business days ago, I'm not too surprised that things aren't finalized yet. It doesn't actually sound like you got a "congratulations! You've been accepted" email yet. I hope you followed up with whoever wrote you and expressed your enthusiasm for the program after your visit. Writing the admissions person might have been skipping a step.
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