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synorg last won the day on May 1 2013

synorg had the most liked content!

About synorg

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  1. He was a joint student. He was a person, and a member of our community in the Caltech Chem department. For anyone reading this: it's natural to be curious about situations like suicides that occur in departments you are considering. But, please remember that the community is still healing from this tragic loss of a life. I encourage you all to exercise discretion and good judgment in future discussions of the matter, whether it be on a forum or here at Caltech. Also, don't get the bulk of your info from 1st-years, because they don't know a damn thing. Most first years are just now transitioning into something of a full-time lab schedule. So take what they say with a grain of salt. I'll be around most of the recruitment shit this weekend, so if you happen to talk to me I'll give you straight answers But seriously, please be considerate regarding Gregory's passing.
  2. all organic admits have for sure been notified. i believe other subfields have as well.
  3. It depends on what you want to do with your career. A friend of mine in my program worked at Merck before coming to grad school and she said that they heavily favored applicants with total synthesis backgrounds over their methodology-focused counterparts. Funding in the labs is the most legitimate concern addressed so far. Unless you're at a top group, you're probably going to be severely limited in what you can work on. Low hanging fruit in total synthesis is a waste of time and only serves to give ammunition to those who wish to eradicate the field. As for what Eigen said, there is a large benefit in the breadth of chemistry that you become exposed to. There are also times, however, where you beat your head against a wall over one reaction for a long time. That type of hurdle is fairly general to the grad school experience, though, and not unique to total synthesis. If choosing between TS and Methods, I'd go TS all the way. Methods involves very little learning. You buy almost all of your material, and if you have to make a substrate, you probably never care about the yield. You screen the shit out of every metal source and ligand you can get your hands on. Not a lot of synthetic technique required. But for learning more techniques, TS a good move (unless you're working on a stupid molecule where the only stereocenter you set is done with an enzymatic resolution - a laughable post-doc application to my lab). For industry, it will help. For academics, your advisor/institution matter the most. Publications (many and high-impact) are obviously needed. Good luck!
  4. i don't know any specific examples of this in chemistry, but a friend of mine in aerospace engineering was in this situation and ended up attending school B. it's not going to make school A happy, but i doubt many of the faculty will hold a grudge if there's a substantial difference in program prestige. now, if you do this sort of thing between caltech and mit, or berkeley and stanford.... then proceed with caution.
  5. all about options. sounds like 3 vs 1. if you went to minn twin cities and it didn't work out with that one prof then you might be miserable for 5-6 years. your perspective might change by the time you arrive on campus so it's best to be able to make adjustments if necessary
  6. ftr, i work in a lab where the expectation is roughly a 70 hour work week. there are some people who work less than that, and some who work more. they will all likely graduate in roughly 5-5.5 years. if you want to be a PI, you should be more concerned with the quality of your thesis, and not how quickly you got out.
  7. grad school is NOTHING like undergrad. there is very little structure. it's not a list of successive milestones that much be reached. you must independently investigate a problem. and if mother nature isn't having it, then you're SOL. that 7 cubed shit is cute but if you work for two years on a dead end project, then you're still at square one two years in. get over yourself. leave your ego at the door, and focus on solving the task at hand (i.e. your project). the smartest people don't always finish first. dumb people might get lucky. there is very little that you can control. you may be able to control your schedule but that still guarantees NOTHING.
  8. super rare with young faculty. their career depends on the blood, sweat, and tears of their students and why the hell would they let their best workers go when they're at the peak of production??? an older PI might give less of a shit. i'd venture to say that the majority of folks who leave after 4 years do so with a Masters... and that is not really where you wanna be final thought: if you are entering grad school with even the smallest shred of expectation/hope that you'll be a PhD in four years - DO NOT GO TO GRAD SCHOOL!
  9. outside of extreme circumstances, all acceptances are sent out by mid february. the first visiting weekend is a little over a month away and planning can't really happen unless all accepted students have been a) notified and b ) given enough time to rsvp
  10. the chemistry community is much smaller than you may realize. getting drunk won't ruin your career but if drunken you thinks it'd be really cool to stand up on the bar and scream whatever top-40 bullshit is playing, you may want to proceed with caution. you'd be surprised how much people remember about "those visiting students" ...because honestly, if you're working 70-ish hours/week in lab, there won't be many opportunities to see people act like fools in social settings and so your blunder will leave a lasting impression. tl;dr - drink responsibly
  11. that gpa is pretty bad, but i don't see why you couldn't get into some top schools. you seem to have more than enough to outweigh the gpa, although it may distract some adcom members. talk to your PI and see what he/she thinks. have fun working for dan nocera or nate lewis haha
  12. don't count on things to always "make sense" in grad school... at my program you get paid once a month...at the end of the month... so you have to float several hundred during your first month when you arrive haha
  13. http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-UUBBVvfBUcM/T1t8Zi673mI/AAAAAAAAA0c/uEdZ-PA4IpI/s1600/homer-simpson-bush-gif.gif
  14. accepted NSF as well. hopefully NDSEG still has awards to give out. it'd be really weak to string folks out like this for nothing.
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