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    Cognitive Science

technological's Achievements


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  1. I'm wondering if it is worth it do a MS or even a PhD in Europe. I'm looking specifically at Sheffield University in the UK since they offer a great MS program for the kind of research I'm interested in (computational cognitive sci). I also like the fact that tuition is a fraction of the cost of any US MS program and the free health care for international students the UK provides. Considering I do well in the program, will grades be looked at in the same way as if I were coming from a MS program in the US? Will grad schools look at my MS as less equal to that of a US institution because I choose a cheaper alternative that was not in the US? I figure any program that you liked and did well in would count for you, but I'm thinking that politics/business may get in the way if you're coming from an international school. I'm also looking at and applying to some MS programs in the US (mainly in computer science) but so far the program that best fits my interest in the UK.
  2. Am applying to graduate schools and need some advice on who to ask and when to do it. I'm applying to several PhD programs and a few MS programs as backups (I didn't do so well undergrad & have only a years worth research experience in my field, so LoRs are probably going to be very important in my case). I also didn't really have too much one-on-one time with any professors except one whose lab I worked at, so I'm pretty comfortable asking him. I have emailed two others in the past - I'd gotten A's in both their classes & had no interaction with one and very minimal with the other (the latter I sincerely enjoyed his class & it really did have an impact on what I wanted to research). In the past I asked for recommendations from them for a MS program & didn't get in. I'm wondering now if I should ask two different professors for LoRs - perhaps ones that were in my field. I didn't get much face time with any profs in my field other than for lab projects in which I worked on in a group - I also didn't do as well as I could've for their classes (B-/B) but was experiencing health issues. I've heard it's generally not good to get a LoR from a class you've gotten a B in, but I'm also thinking it's not so good to have a recommendation from someone who didn't get to know you at all. Also, I graduated in December 2011 so haven't talked to any of these professors for years at this point (not counting the profs I asked for LoRs in the past). Anyhow, I'd like some input on what I should do. My earliest deadline is November 26th, so I know I have to send a general email letting them know that I'm applying to graduate programs and ask them if they can write a LoR. Please let me know what you think. Thanks!
  3. Hi all, I know this post may be a bit cliché, but I could really use some advice and direction as far as applying to grad school. I already have seen a grad school advisor, have done some research as far as programs and know the basics (getting good letters of recommendations, doing well on the GRE, applying to programs with my research interests, having a good GPA and contacting faculty). I feel like I really should be engaged more yet I feel like it’s almost pointless to try given my situation. First off, I should probably write some sort of introduction and a bit about my background. I am a senior undergrad who will be graduating this year (or this semester rather) who is a readmit. I took a medical leave of absence from my university halfway through my sophmore year b/c I was extremely depressed, was engaged in self-destructive behavior (drug/alcohol abuse) and being extremely antisocial (still am to some degree). During my leave of absence I took some classes at community colleges around my hometown and tried to start again at another university but failed out b/c I wasn’t really dealing with my problems. Finally, after going to rehab and being clean for half a year, I decided to return to my university, 3 years after I had originally left. No one that I knew was still there and I felt so alone so eventually turned back to my old ways, though not as intense as before and wasn’t isolating as much. Needless to say, I didn’t do so well after returning b/c of this, even worse than I had done when I had originally left halfway through sophomore year. I did finally stop using again after my 1st year back and I also started on some meds to help with control my major depression and anxiety. However, my anxiety and depression never fully came under receded and I have not managed to make any meaningful relationships while at college, nor really get engaged in my field till recently. As of last summer, I finally did manage to get a research assistantship in an area related to my major, cognitive science, and have managed to get an A during a summer course. So, b/c of my anxiety, major depression, possible bipolar disorder and drug addiction I ended up doing really poorly in many of my classes at my school. And I have a pretty low GPA…a 2.5 at this point (although this semester I’m doing a LOT better) and didn’t do so well on my GREs (in the 56th percentile for Quantitative Reasoning, the 62nd percentile for Verbal Reasoning and the 72nd percentile for Analytical Writing). At least I do have a “job” (in quotes b/c it doesn’t pay) as an RA at a psychophysical lab and attend a top research university (not Ivy Leagure but up there in the rankings), so I figure that counts for something. I really do want to go to grad school and get a PhD. That has been my dream since high school. Unfortunately, I feel like all that I could have done to get closer to that dream, so I am stuck in a conundrum that is causing my considerable agony. So, knowing all this can anyone give some advice as to how I go about applying to schools? How do I go about getting letters of recommendations from professors that hardly know me in classes I haven’t done as well in as I could or should have? How should I go about contacting faculty at departments at other schools? Should I switch research interests just because I think I’ll have a better chance of getting into a school that isn’t as hard to get into but isn’t doing the kind of research I want to be doing? What should I write about in a letter about extenuating circumstances? Should I apply to a MA program instead of a PhD program? Sorry about the dreadfully long 1st post. Thanks
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