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Faraday

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About Faraday

  • Rank
    Macchiato
  • Birthday March 7

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    USA
  • Interests
    trail running, swimming, being outdoors, organic chemistry, teaching
  • Application Season
    Already Attending
  • Program
    Chemistry

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  1. Fair enough. A former postdoc of his said he was done with grad students. I guess if you're really promising he's willing to make exceptions!
  2. Just as an FYI, Grubbs is no longer taking grad students and he hasn't been for the past few years. Good luck with you applications!
  3. You need to be weary of some of these official statistics. Schools will often spin them to look better than they might really be. For example, in most cases schools will define the "% of students who get a PhD" as the "% of PhD candidates (those having passed orals) who get a PhD", rather than all entering graduate students (a much uglier number). Other creative statistics which might go on would include using "average time to completion of PhD" data for the class that started ~5-6 years ago. Obviously the students in that class who are still struggling on through their 7th years are not included so the data can remain around the nice and pretty 5 year average... On another note, I'd strongly advise against working the summer before you begin graduate school. This is the last summer you will have to devote entirely to relaxation and fun for the next 40+ years until you retire (or maybe for the rest of your life). Don't squander it in the lab.
  4. Atkins' books are not very good in my opinion. That's what I used for my Pchem class and I just ended up buying McQuarrie because Atkins was so bad. I should point out that I'm also not a math person and I still felt McQuarrie's book to be the best. The math chapters are really helpful for making sure you understand the relevant mathamatics. As someone above said, it's also quite readable. For general chemistry I initially learned from Zumdahl, but I've found Brown to be the best book that I've come across. For organic chemistry the only book I've ever used was Solomons, and I really enjoyed it. It was really readable for me and it goes into a lot of depth and a good number of details on subject without getting too complicated. As such it's probably a bit longer than most organic books. Berg is my favorite for Biochem. It is very comprehensuve yet not too cumbersome (I'm looking at you Lehninger). I've heard good things about Voet but I haven't used it myself. Almost all analytical books are pretty bad. Harris is the only one that's not bad.
  5. This shouldn't really surprise anyone. The culture around the departments at Scripps and other top universities (Harvard, Berkeley, Stanford, Caltech, and MIT) is fairly well characterized...
  6. Faraday

    Taxes

    You should consider the possibility you may be required to list yourself as independent if you have moved to a new school for your graduate programs and you have to start the process of getting "in-state residency". For my programs if you don't file as an independent in your new state of residence is usually prevents you from applying for in-state tuition (if it's applicable) during that following year. Just something to consider.
  7. Faraday

    Boulder, CO

    To offer an alternative opiniton as someone who originally lived near Washington D.C., the traffic here really isn't all that bad. It's traffic and it will slow down your commute but in the grand scheme of things it's about average for what you would expect living near any major metropolitan area. I always get a chuckle when the locals here complain about how bad their traffic is... Most people I know who commute to Boulder each day agree it's not fun (especially when it snows) but that the various reasons for living outside of Boulder (cheaper rent, SO needing to work somewhere, etc.) outweight the negatives of the commute. As you alluded to there are some really great suburbs between Denver and Boulder that are closer to CU (less of a commute problem) but still pretty close to Denver. There are a few nice places but Broomfield is in my opinion the all around best location. It is quite literally in the middle between Denver and Boulder, and there is lots of reasonably priced housing there. As mentione above the RTD buses will go by there each morning. it should also be noted that the RTD bus pass isn't "free". As a graduate student (at least in my experience) you'll be paying several hundred dollars in student fees (unless your department coveres these, which is rare) and if you go in and look at the itemized expenses you can see the RTD bus pass you are paying for. You don't get and option and it's a great deal but you are definately paying for it along with a number of other less useful things.
  8. There are no "pure biochemists" anymore. Often someone who is in the "Biochemistry Department" (at my school Chemistry & Biochemistry are one huge mega-department) is probably dipping into either molecular biology, chemitry, or physics for the main focus of their research. I don't see your background being a problem. Just make sure you show clear interest in some of the groups at the schools you are applying to and connect movitation to working with them to what you've done in the past and that should show your fit.
  9. Faraday

    Boulder, CO

    Boulder is quite multicultural so I don't think many people would make a big deal out of it. As you mentioined of course some people are going to stare, but I think as far as cities in general go Boulder is very liberal and accepting of anyone and you woulnd't be treated like an outcast. You do, however have to make a strong effort to get to know people in a friendly way for that to happen as Boulderites often seem standoffish to outsiders but it's not just you, they are like that to everyone.
  10. Based on what you've said here I would say you have a good chance at getting in, but that's only based on raw numbers. More inmportant non-quantitative pieces of your application such as your personal statements and LORs from advisors go a lot further. It's also worth mentioning that if you are "obsessed" with going to BU then I assume you are very interested in the work professors at BU are doing. If this is the case then you should be getting in contact with them at some point and briefly introduce yourself. If they see mutual interest then they might be able to put in a good word or two in for you with the admissions comittee. Good luck!
  11. Faraday

    Boulder

    If you are worried about finding a place because you might be waiting too long then relax! It's certainly not too late. If you lookd on craigslist reccently there were probably a lot of movement on pre-lease places, but these are almost all undergraduate locations. You wouldn't want to live there anyway. I started looking in early June and I am pretty happy with where I ended up (found on craiglist). I know some people who flew in and started looking in mid-June and they found good places as well. The kinds of apartments you will be looking for will be completely separate from the undergratuate parts of town, and in some cases you will even find complexes that strictly prohibit undergraduates from living there (my apartment included). These places won't begin to know know until around June if they will need to find a new tennant for the following years since the leases often have a 1 or 2 month advance notice requirement for leaving. I've heard it's not too great, and the presentation the gave on it to all of the new graduate students back in August didn't really help that image. The main problems to me seemed to be sub-par coverage in terms of deductable and such, limited coverage areas (you pretty much have to go the to CU-health center for everything unless you get an explicit outside referal from there), and vision coverage is not included but provided as an extra package you have to tack onto the regular plan. With the reccently signed healthcare bill I decided to stay on my parents' plan for the time being. The coverage is all around much better (except I can't go to the CU-health center...) and it is cheaper as well.
  12. If you arewere lookig for well-paying medical jobs in high demand then you should look to being a PA, not a dentist. PA's make around 90K per year and the demand for PAs is high as the number of doctors entering family medicine decreases and PA's essentially step in to become the primary medical caregiver for lots of people. PA school is similar in length to getting your master's degree and the tuiton you would pay is going to be about the same as you would pay as an in-state undergraduate at a public school. I don't know what PA school is like but you could probably do some part-time work (as a scribe or something) to help pay the bills and not rack up tremendous debt while in school. Obviously if you were from out of state and or it was a private school costs would be higher. Malpractice insurance for PA's is much less than for MDs/DOs so in the end their take is pretty close to the actual salary.
  13. Faraday

    Boulder, CO

    You can definately find an apartment for that price. I pay 700/month plus internet/TV and electricity (about 50 split between the two of us) and I live on the eastern edge of the City of Boulder itself. If you were in a suburb I bet you could find better than that. Late May/June is probably a good time. I searched around then and I was told by the agent I talked to that it was still a little early. Undergrad housing is already being leased for next year but gratuate student and older professional housing only needs to be done two months in advance or so. As is the case with anywhere there are some nicer places to live and some not-so-nice places, but on the whole Colorado is very safe so I wouldn't worry about that. I haven't know anywhere in particular to be mentioned as an "unsafe town" while I've been living here. Sadly, the employment is not great in the Boulder area. There are lots of over-educated people looking for jobs and while maybe a bit of an exaggeration, the old tale of your cashier at the grocery store having a PhD is an apt description of the employment picture. Fortunately if he will not limit his search to the Boulder area then he should have a better employment picture in the greater denver metropolitan area.
  14. Faraday

    NSF GRFP 2013-14

    E/E VG/G I see there was no "tie-breaking" reviewer this year. One had nothing to say but great things about my application (both "excellent") and reccomended me for the fellowship while the other was extremely negative, cited a formatting error (but never elaborated), among other things, and gave "very good/good" ratings. Not even honorable mention. There must have been a lot of great applicants, congrats to the winners.
  15. Faraday

    NSF GRFP 2013-14

    Right now I'm imagining an intern who was assigned to update the website at 2AM having fallen asleep at his desk.
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