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TakeruK

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TakeruK last won the day on May 18 2018

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About TakeruK

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  1. First, just want to say that it's completely okay to be passionate about history/your field (in fact, it is a very good thing that you are!) and that it is okay to include this in your SOP. The main reason it's a no-no is that just stating that you're passionate about X doesn't get you very far and it wastes valuable space. When students ask me similar questions about the field I'm in, I advise them to write about it from an academic perspective. So, for "why study exoplanets?", I would tell students to write the scientific motivation for their research area. For example, I am intere
  2. Might be worth checking the prices but if Greyhound + insurance is cheaper than UPS, then for replaceable things (e.g. most books and clothes, except the ones with sentimental value) then I'd personally just take the risk and use the insurance money to replace damaged/lost items. I don't think these methods are *that* risky (i.e. still more likely to arrive safe than not). But a very low risk factor would still be too risky for irreplaceable sentimental things, in my opinion. But there's still some risk and I'd be fine with just buying insurance on the replaceable things. Hope that clarifies w
  3. Usually, when schools say this, they are writing the instruction for "conventional" students that are full time, 30 units per year for 4 years. So the best answer for anyone not in this situation is to contact the school and ask what they want. If this is not possible for some reason, then I think you should try to report the GPA that is closest in spirit of "last two years" as defined above and let the school know what you did. For example, if you were attending at 60% time instead of full time then you probably want to report the most recent 60 units. If your school offers summer cours
  4. Just don't ship anything you really care about via these methods (e.g. sentimental things). I've heard many horror stories of students getting their boxes squashed, water damage etc. If you're just shipping textbooks etc. then I think it's worth getting insurance and taking the risk of damage, but I would not ship any books of sentimental value etc. this way. Another possibly economical way is to take some items as checked luggage with you if you are flying to your destination. The first checked bag is usually $25 then the second is $35 and additional ones are $75 ish? The weight limit is
  5. It all depends on your own comfort level. I would almost definitely say all bedding should be new: mattress, pillows, sheets, etc. The only exception is if you know the person you are buying them from very well and you trust their hygiene and bedbugs status. As a fun aside, if you are bringing a used mattress into Canada, it must either have been in your possession from the original purchase or you must present a certificate that you have had the mattress fumigated for bedbugs in order to import it into Canada. For things like a couch, I personally would not buy a used couch. The "ick" fa
  6. I think you are being too down on yourself! You are interesting and your work is interesting! I am also a fairly new postdoc (this is my 11th month). It's easy to think that what we are doing isn't interesting, but at conferences, people are here to learn about everyone else's work. I find it helpful to just pretend the other person is interested in what I have to say in order to give myself the confidence I need to engage (I'm not a very extroverted person so if I start doubting the other person's interest, I would end up saying nothing). When I talk to a new postdoc, I want to know abou
  7. As everyone said, definitely attend. The advantage of a conference in your home town is that you can selectively attend. I understand the desire to stay in the lab and work on getting your papers out but conferences provide a lot of other opportunities as well. During my last year of PhD, a big conference was in my hometown. It was right during all of the postdoc fellowship applications. I attended even though it meant the time preparing a presentation and attending took away from applications. However, I did many of the things people suggested here: - Selectively chose which days t
  8. I agree with everything fuzzy said. I've even turned down authorship for papers where I did actually contributed but feel like my contribution was so distant from the final result that I didn't feel right being part of the paper. In essence, I had access to a fancy machine and pressed a button at the right time to get a bunch of numbers that I forwarded on to the person requesting said numbers. The other team did all of the work analysing the numbers and came up with an interesting result and invited me to be a coauthor. After talking with my advisor, I decided to turn it down. This experience
  9. How long do you have for your presentation? In my field, at most large general conferences, you get 5-7 minutes to talk. At smaller more focused conferences, you get 15-20 minutes for a contributed talk and 30-45 mins for an invited review talk. So, in my field, you only take the "my topic 101" approach if you have one of these long invited talks. To make sure we're on the same page, when I say "my topic 101" approach, I mean a talk where the majority of the time is dedicated to what others have worked on, so that it's more like a literature review. So, although there may well be differe
  10. Agree with fuzzy: if there's someone you would like to have as your dissertation advisor, it makes sense to request them now and see if they are available. Also, it's often beneficial for students to have multiple points of contacts within the faculty. Although I had a different "first year advisor" for courses and such, I always talked about courses each quarter with my research advisor too.
  11. I thought for the EU fellowship, anyone is eligible regardless of citizenship as long you are hosted by an EU organization (e.g. https://ec.europa.eu/research/mariecurieactions/actions/individual-fellowships_en). For a direct answer, I found this FAQ page: http://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/portal/desktop/en/support/faqs/faq-890.html I know of at least one American who was an EU Marie Curie fellow. I also know of others non-EU and non-US people that are Marie Curie fellows working in the EU. I think the fellowship where you are working outside of the EU may have more re
  12. Don't do this. If I was reading a candidate's diversity statement and read what you described, it would seem that you are being dismissive of the real struggles people from under-represented backgrounds actually face. At best, you would seem naive and uninformed, and at worst, it would appear that you are co-opting a space that is not meant for you. To me, this would be like showing up to a campus support group for people struggling with X and telling everyone about how great you are instead of sharing relevant experiences. And if the reader doesn't actually care about diversity in t
  13. You can also ask your advisor for recommendations on books when you start. I know that a few profs stock these books and are happy to lend them to their students!
  14. This part is very broadly applicable to academia too for other things that are time/effort expensive but bring you little gain (e.g. those requesting extra analysis that won't reveal anything insightful). Just replace: lawyers --> referees, bureaucrats --> coauthors, and "fired as clients" ---> "consider carefully if they will add value before inviting them as coauthors again".
  15. As a grad student, I almost always showed up to my advisor meetings with a notebook open and a pen. Ahead of each meeting, I make notes (like 2 or 3 words) for each item I wanted to bring up. I quickly jot down their responses after each one. To help ensure I keep my notes short, I write each item on one line only, so I am fairly limited in what I am able to write, which allows me to spend most of my time in conversation instead of looking at my notebook. Most of my items are seeking approval/clarification that can be easily written in one line, or I just jot down a few words for me to wr
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