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Physwimic

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  1. Upvote
    Physwimic got a reaction from kewz in Is Ivy League Grad as Prestigious as Ivy League Undergrad?   
    In my opinion, the "ivy league" brand name matters little in grad school. To the general public, it matters a lot. Particularly if the ivy you are talking about is Harvard or one of the other well known ones. The name recognition gets you a lot of bonus points when you tell friends. And if that's why you're going to grad school, then by all means choose the most widely known ivy. Inside your field, people will be much quicker to consider the reputation of the school in the field. While some big name schools carry weight in the academic world (and the ivies often fall into this category because they often have excellent programs), personally, I think if you are trying to judge how "well" you did in the application process, you are much better considering if you got into a top ten vs. top 100 program. This being said, I would caution you to remember that a huge part of grad applications, at least in the more academic fields, seems to be random. While getting into a top program marks you as a good candidate, not getting in doesn't necessarily mean you suck.

    As for clout in grad vs undergrad degrees, I think by choosing to go to grad school, you have already placed yourself in a tier above most undergrad students, and this is largely irrespective of where you go. At the end of the day, I'd place a lot less importance on the ivy league name and just choose the place that offers the best fit for you personally. Forget about what other people think; that isn't important. What is important is that you are happy.

    Finally, before other people jump down my throat for posting this, I will say that I have a ugrad degree from an ivy, and chose not to go to an ivy grad school after being accepted to one. My decision was based on what I said above. Draw what conclusions you may...
  2. Upvote
    Physwimic got a reaction from emg28 in Is Ivy League Grad as Prestigious as Ivy League Undergrad?   
    In my opinion, the "ivy league" brand name matters little in grad school. To the general public, it matters a lot. Particularly if the ivy you are talking about is Harvard or one of the other well known ones. The name recognition gets you a lot of bonus points when you tell friends. And if that's why you're going to grad school, then by all means choose the most widely known ivy. Inside your field, people will be much quicker to consider the reputation of the school in the field. While some big name schools carry weight in the academic world (and the ivies often fall into this category because they often have excellent programs), personally, I think if you are trying to judge how "well" you did in the application process, you are much better considering if you got into a top ten vs. top 100 program. This being said, I would caution you to remember that a huge part of grad applications, at least in the more academic fields, seems to be random. While getting into a top program marks you as a good candidate, not getting in doesn't necessarily mean you suck.

    As for clout in grad vs undergrad degrees, I think by choosing to go to grad school, you have already placed yourself in a tier above most undergrad students, and this is largely irrespective of where you go. At the end of the day, I'd place a lot less importance on the ivy league name and just choose the place that offers the best fit for you personally. Forget about what other people think; that isn't important. What is important is that you are happy.

    Finally, before other people jump down my throat for posting this, I will say that I have a ugrad degree from an ivy, and chose not to go to an ivy grad school after being accepted to one. My decision was based on what I said above. Draw what conclusions you may...
  3. Upvote
    Physwimic reacted to Nerd_For_Life in Am I being a badger by emailing for a status update?   
    Just wait. If you haven't heard by April 1 and/or you have other deadlines that you need to decide by, then you are in a position to be asking them again. If you don't and you have until April 15, then just be patient. Others are in the same position as you are and some programs don't notify until the end of March.
  4. Upvote
    Physwimic got a reaction from Shari A Williams in Why do some unis have so few international students?   
    I'd add to that list funding concerns.  Depending on how the department get's their funding, they may not be able to fund international students very easily.  Also, it is often harder for international students to win external funding (ie the NSF or other US fellowships that require citizenship).  This makes international students less appealing.
  5. Upvote
    Physwimic got a reaction from monkeytreerocketship in Declining offers politics.   
    First, in my opinion, whenever a school asks you "if you are really interested in going there," it is kind of an obnoxious thing to do.  They know that we are all in hard situations where we are weighing a lot of variables and often don't have all the information when we are asked this question.  In that sense, I think you were perfectly justified in answering "yes, I am considering your school," and are also perfectly justified in declining a spot later.  There is also a reason to visit at the open house for any school if there is a chance that you may want to go, since this gives you an opportunity to meet your potential classmates, other students in the program, and get the information to make a decision either way.  As for the idea that you would be "stealing" a spot from someone else, if you believe there is a chance that you may go to that school, it is your right to visit.  There is no way to even be sure that you dropping out will free up another spot.  That being said, if there is no way that you are ever going to go to the school and you still choose to go to be wined and dined, then you have entered into an amoral regime.
  6. Upvote
    Physwimic got a reaction from saphixation in Declining offers politics.   
    First, in my opinion, whenever a school asks you "if you are really interested in going there," it is kind of an obnoxious thing to do.  They know that we are all in hard situations where we are weighing a lot of variables and often don't have all the information when we are asked this question.  In that sense, I think you were perfectly justified in answering "yes, I am considering your school," and are also perfectly justified in declining a spot later.  There is also a reason to visit at the open house for any school if there is a chance that you may want to go, since this gives you an opportunity to meet your potential classmates, other students in the program, and get the information to make a decision either way.  As for the idea that you would be "stealing" a spot from someone else, if you believe there is a chance that you may go to that school, it is your right to visit.  There is no way to even be sure that you dropping out will free up another spot.  That being said, if there is no way that you are ever going to go to the school and you still choose to go to be wined and dined, then you have entered into an amoral regime.
  7. Upvote
    Physwimic got a reaction from fieryfox99 in Declining offers politics.   
    First, in my opinion, whenever a school asks you "if you are really interested in going there," it is kind of an obnoxious thing to do.  They know that we are all in hard situations where we are weighing a lot of variables and often don't have all the information when we are asked this question.  In that sense, I think you were perfectly justified in answering "yes, I am considering your school," and are also perfectly justified in declining a spot later.  There is also a reason to visit at the open house for any school if there is a chance that you may want to go, since this gives you an opportunity to meet your potential classmates, other students in the program, and get the information to make a decision either way.  As for the idea that you would be "stealing" a spot from someone else, if you believe there is a chance that you may go to that school, it is your right to visit.  There is no way to even be sure that you dropping out will free up another spot.  That being said, if there is no way that you are ever going to go to the school and you still choose to go to be wined and dined, then you have entered into an amoral regime.
  8. Upvote
    Physwimic reacted to qed67 in Declining offers politics.   
    Hey guys, I'm trying to see what the "moral" thing to do is in this situation. It's gonna take a few sentences to explain this. I got into like 5 schools, all top 10 or so in my field. Here's the scenario:
     
    School A: I think this is my #1 pick... did research here for a summer and know the guy I would work with if I were to attend.
    School B: Just as pretigous as school A, but never been here before. Don't know anyone.
    School C: Same academic "tier" as A and B. I've visited the department before and sit down the guys I would like to work with.
    Schools D&E: Litte lower in "prestige" than the above. Never been to either so I don't know if it's justifed to say so.
     
    Now school A I like the research, but the enivorment was a little depressing. School C, I like the departement/city/vibe, but I don't think their research is as good as A or B.
     
    The people from school C called me a couple weeks ago and asked me if I really wanted to come to C, because when I visited it "seemed to them that I was more interested in A since I had already worked there." Now at the time I had no idea if I would really get into A, so of course I said I really liked C, and was offered admission to C a few days later.
     
    Here's what I need help with:
     
    Now I'm not sure what the best way to handle these offers is. I'm going to decline E because the visting days conflict with A. School D, I don't know what to do with. It's a very good school, but the only way I would go is if I visit and I find that the environment beyond amazing. But this may be unrealistic to expect, and I don't want to visit and waste their time & money when I could decline now and let someone else that really wants to be there have the spot (If they have a waitlist that is... IDK).
     
    Now C... I feel I'll make an enemy if I decline, because he was basically asking me if I will definitley come. I think I was being "bullied" with that call though, so this can't be helped. I just need to think about it some more before I make a decision because I think I might be happier at C despite the research being not as good. Anyway, should I visit C again? Is there a point in going to the open house if I already met the faculty?
     
    A and B I will visit because I haven't seen B and I just so happens to be near A and their visiting days are back-to-back.
     
    Any thoughts on my plan? Should I just decline C and D right off?
  9. Upvote
    Physwimic got a reaction from Tuck in How to improve the deal   
    Just a reminder to factor in the cost-of-living in the area around a school.  Sometimes factoring this in will even out deals, and schools do factor this into their funding packages.  It would be embarrassing to ask for more $ and then get told the deal is equivalent.
  10. Upvote
    Physwimic got a reaction from tovenusandback in Is Ivy League Grad as Prestigious as Ivy League Undergrad?   
    In my opinion, the "ivy league" brand name matters little in grad school. To the general public, it matters a lot. Particularly if the ivy you are talking about is Harvard or one of the other well known ones. The name recognition gets you a lot of bonus points when you tell friends. And if that's why you're going to grad school, then by all means choose the most widely known ivy. Inside your field, people will be much quicker to consider the reputation of the school in the field. While some big name schools carry weight in the academic world (and the ivies often fall into this category because they often have excellent programs), personally, I think if you are trying to judge how "well" you did in the application process, you are much better considering if you got into a top ten vs. top 100 program. This being said, I would caution you to remember that a huge part of grad applications, at least in the more academic fields, seems to be random. While getting into a top program marks you as a good candidate, not getting in doesn't necessarily mean you suck.

    As for clout in grad vs undergrad degrees, I think by choosing to go to grad school, you have already placed yourself in a tier above most undergrad students, and this is largely irrespective of where you go. At the end of the day, I'd place a lot less importance on the ivy league name and just choose the place that offers the best fit for you personally. Forget about what other people think; that isn't important. What is important is that you are happy.

    Finally, before other people jump down my throat for posting this, I will say that I have a ugrad degree from an ivy, and chose not to go to an ivy grad school after being accepted to one. My decision was based on what I said above. Draw what conclusions you may...
  11. Upvote
    Physwimic got a reaction from biotechie in How to improve the deal   
    Just a reminder to factor in the cost-of-living in the area around a school.  Sometimes factoring this in will even out deals, and schools do factor this into their funding packages.  It would be embarrassing to ask for more $ and then get told the deal is equivalent.
  12. Upvote
    Physwimic got a reaction from misskira in How to improve the deal   
    Just a reminder to factor in the cost-of-living in the area around a school.  Sometimes factoring this in will even out deals, and schools do factor this into their funding packages.  It would be embarrassing to ask for more $ and then get told the deal is equivalent.
  13. Upvote
    Physwimic got a reaction from Dal PhDer in Problems with PI? Advice?   
    I don't think that is a terrible start.  The student-advisor relationship is difficult, and can often lead to horrible failure.  But like most things, it takes a little work, on both sides, to cultivate.  When your advisor told you communication was off, he probably didn't mean anything negative by it other than to let you know what his expectations were and how the problem could be fixed.  By addressing those issues, you are back on the right track.
    Everyone has their own personal styles, and as a PI of many students, your advisor has got to realize this.  As a fellow introvert, I can sympathize with your plight.  It can be difficult to talk with PIs, particularly when they are big names.  That being said, they are usually understanding that this whole process is a learning experience for you.  If you continue to make the same mistakes, then he may doubt you, but probably you are being a little paranoid.
  14. Upvote
    Physwimic got a reaction from jacib in Late LOR   
    I think the most important question is whether he gets them in at all.  From talking with people on admissions committees, they recognize that LOR writers are busy people, and your letter is one of many things for them to do.  Generally, as long as they receive the letter before they make any decisions and the letter is favorable, they are willing to overlook them missing the deadline. In short, all is not lost.
  15. Upvote
    Physwimic got a reaction from amlobo in Late LOR   
    I think the most important question is whether he gets them in at all.  From talking with people on admissions committees, they recognize that LOR writers are busy people, and your letter is one of many things for them to do.  Generally, as long as they receive the letter before they make any decisions and the letter is favorable, they are willing to overlook them missing the deadline. In short, all is not lost.
  16. Upvote
    Physwimic got a reaction from lifesgood in Is Ivy League Grad as Prestigious as Ivy League Undergrad?   
    In my opinion, the "ivy league" brand name matters little in grad school. To the general public, it matters a lot. Particularly if the ivy you are talking about is Harvard or one of the other well known ones. The name recognition gets you a lot of bonus points when you tell friends. And if that's why you're going to grad school, then by all means choose the most widely known ivy. Inside your field, people will be much quicker to consider the reputation of the school in the field. While some big name schools carry weight in the academic world (and the ivies often fall into this category because they often have excellent programs), personally, I think if you are trying to judge how "well" you did in the application process, you are much better considering if you got into a top ten vs. top 100 program. This being said, I would caution you to remember that a huge part of grad applications, at least in the more academic fields, seems to be random. While getting into a top program marks you as a good candidate, not getting in doesn't necessarily mean you suck.

    As for clout in grad vs undergrad degrees, I think by choosing to go to grad school, you have already placed yourself in a tier above most undergrad students, and this is largely irrespective of where you go. At the end of the day, I'd place a lot less importance on the ivy league name and just choose the place that offers the best fit for you personally. Forget about what other people think; that isn't important. What is important is that you are happy.

    Finally, before other people jump down my throat for posting this, I will say that I have a ugrad degree from an ivy, and chose not to go to an ivy grad school after being accepted to one. My decision was based on what I said above. Draw what conclusions you may...
  17. Upvote
    Physwimic got a reaction from Winteriscoming in Is Ivy League Grad as Prestigious as Ivy League Undergrad?   
    In my opinion, the "ivy league" brand name matters little in grad school. To the general public, it matters a lot. Particularly if the ivy you are talking about is Harvard or one of the other well known ones. The name recognition gets you a lot of bonus points when you tell friends. And if that's why you're going to grad school, then by all means choose the most widely known ivy. Inside your field, people will be much quicker to consider the reputation of the school in the field. While some big name schools carry weight in the academic world (and the ivies often fall into this category because they often have excellent programs), personally, I think if you are trying to judge how "well" you did in the application process, you are much better considering if you got into a top ten vs. top 100 program. This being said, I would caution you to remember that a huge part of grad applications, at least in the more academic fields, seems to be random. While getting into a top program marks you as a good candidate, not getting in doesn't necessarily mean you suck.

    As for clout in grad vs undergrad degrees, I think by choosing to go to grad school, you have already placed yourself in a tier above most undergrad students, and this is largely irrespective of where you go. At the end of the day, I'd place a lot less importance on the ivy league name and just choose the place that offers the best fit for you personally. Forget about what other people think; that isn't important. What is important is that you are happy.

    Finally, before other people jump down my throat for posting this, I will say that I have a ugrad degree from an ivy, and chose not to go to an ivy grad school after being accepted to one. My decision was based on what I said above. Draw what conclusions you may...
  18. Upvote
    Physwimic got a reaction from isawnewton in Is Ivy League Grad as Prestigious as Ivy League Undergrad?   
    In my opinion, the "ivy league" brand name matters little in grad school. To the general public, it matters a lot. Particularly if the ivy you are talking about is Harvard or one of the other well known ones. The name recognition gets you a lot of bonus points when you tell friends. And if that's why you're going to grad school, then by all means choose the most widely known ivy. Inside your field, people will be much quicker to consider the reputation of the school in the field. While some big name schools carry weight in the academic world (and the ivies often fall into this category because they often have excellent programs), personally, I think if you are trying to judge how "well" you did in the application process, you are much better considering if you got into a top ten vs. top 100 program. This being said, I would caution you to remember that a huge part of grad applications, at least in the more academic fields, seems to be random. While getting into a top program marks you as a good candidate, not getting in doesn't necessarily mean you suck.

    As for clout in grad vs undergrad degrees, I think by choosing to go to grad school, you have already placed yourself in a tier above most undergrad students, and this is largely irrespective of where you go. At the end of the day, I'd place a lot less importance on the ivy league name and just choose the place that offers the best fit for you personally. Forget about what other people think; that isn't important. What is important is that you are happy.

    Finally, before other people jump down my throat for posting this, I will say that I have a ugrad degree from an ivy, and chose not to go to an ivy grad school after being accepted to one. My decision was based on what I said above. Draw what conclusions you may...
  19. Upvote
    Physwimic got a reaction from TakeruK in Research proposals of those who win NSF Fellowships (vs those who don't)?   
    I think it is important to remember that the NSF is not looking for the most creative, important, and just jaw dropping research proposal. In fact, if you propose a project which might win you the next Nobel prize, you probably won't get an NSF. What the NSF is looking for in the proposal is that you can formulate a solid scientific proposal that is doable in ~3 years with a plausible hypothesis, valid methods of testing that hypothesis, back up plans for if/when things go wrong, and an understanding of why the research you are proposing is important. I guess what I'm saying is keep in mind that the NSF is more than just the basic ideas, its about convincing the committee that you can carry out those plans.
  20. Upvote
    Physwimic got a reaction from InquilineKea in Research proposals of those who win NSF Fellowships (vs those who don't)?   
    I think it is important to remember that the NSF is not looking for the most creative, important, and just jaw dropping research proposal. In fact, if you propose a project which might win you the next Nobel prize, you probably won't get an NSF. What the NSF is looking for in the proposal is that you can formulate a solid scientific proposal that is doable in ~3 years with a plausible hypothesis, valid methods of testing that hypothesis, back up plans for if/when things go wrong, and an understanding of why the research you are proposing is important. I guess what I'm saying is keep in mind that the NSF is more than just the basic ideas, its about convincing the committee that you can carry out those plans.
  21. Upvote
    Physwimic got a reaction from SensLu in Research proposals of those who win NSF Fellowships (vs those who don't)?   
    I think it is important to remember that the NSF is not looking for the most creative, important, and just jaw dropping research proposal. In fact, if you propose a project which might win you the next Nobel prize, you probably won't get an NSF. What the NSF is looking for in the proposal is that you can formulate a solid scientific proposal that is doable in ~3 years with a plausible hypothesis, valid methods of testing that hypothesis, back up plans for if/when things go wrong, and an understanding of why the research you are proposing is important. I guess what I'm saying is keep in mind that the NSF is more than just the basic ideas, its about convincing the committee that you can carry out those plans.
  22. Upvote
    Physwimic got a reaction from mandarin.orange in Information Sharing Amongst PhD Students?   
    Alright, I will stick my neck out here. I think this is an okay idea, as long as it is implemented correctly. Everyone should still read all of the articles and think about them on their own, but having just a basic outline of the article can still help you during discussions to remember details about the article or to process your own thoughts. These summaries should under no circumstances contain other people's analysis of the article though, since then I think you would be correct that everyone would enter class with the same ideas and something would be lost. As far as your specific points go, I think 1 is your own personal style. You should remember that life requires collaboration in almost any field. Management often requires you to rely on others to write up reports that you will have to read and understand. 2) If you do the summary as I have suggested above, everyone will still have to figure things out on their own, you will just get a short summary to refresh your mind before class. Also, you still learn the process because you will have to write the summary every once in a while. 3) People will still come to class with their own ideas if they continue reading the articles and analyzing on their own. In fact, this may add to the learning process because someone might think something was really important that wasn't mentioned in the summary and bring it up, and this would underscore that point. 4) Again, I would think this skill of working with other people and reading and understanding someone else's summary will be very important for later in your career, so now is a good time to work on this. This would be a great way to hone your summary writing skills, since you would get feedback during class on what other people found important and what you missed in writing your specific summary, and you can help other people learn from their summaries. 5) As long as you are still doing the readings and thinking about them, I don't feel this is cheating. However, if you are really still worried about this, go and talk with the professor. Carefully ask him if he thinks this is acceptable or not, and if not, can he fill the rest of the class in on his belief without singling you out.

    I would also be interested to hear other's opinions as well, so hopefully I got the ball rolling!
  23. Upvote
    Physwimic got a reaction from Dal PhDer in Information Sharing Amongst PhD Students?   
    Alright, I will stick my neck out here. I think this is an okay idea, as long as it is implemented correctly. Everyone should still read all of the articles and think about them on their own, but having just a basic outline of the article can still help you during discussions to remember details about the article or to process your own thoughts. These summaries should under no circumstances contain other people's analysis of the article though, since then I think you would be correct that everyone would enter class with the same ideas and something would be lost. As far as your specific points go, I think 1 is your own personal style. You should remember that life requires collaboration in almost any field. Management often requires you to rely on others to write up reports that you will have to read and understand. 2) If you do the summary as I have suggested above, everyone will still have to figure things out on their own, you will just get a short summary to refresh your mind before class. Also, you still learn the process because you will have to write the summary every once in a while. 3) People will still come to class with their own ideas if they continue reading the articles and analyzing on their own. In fact, this may add to the learning process because someone might think something was really important that wasn't mentioned in the summary and bring it up, and this would underscore that point. 4) Again, I would think this skill of working with other people and reading and understanding someone else's summary will be very important for later in your career, so now is a good time to work on this. This would be a great way to hone your summary writing skills, since you would get feedback during class on what other people found important and what you missed in writing your specific summary, and you can help other people learn from their summaries. 5) As long as you are still doing the readings and thinking about them, I don't feel this is cheating. However, if you are really still worried about this, go and talk with the professor. Carefully ask him if he thinks this is acceptable or not, and if not, can he fill the rest of the class in on his belief without singling you out.

    I would also be interested to hear other's opinions as well, so hopefully I got the ball rolling!
  24. Upvote
    Physwimic got a reaction from mop in Broad Research Interests (biology)   
    So I think you are falling into a common misconception that many people have when applying to grad school. Most programs in biology, particularly ones that require some sort of rotation prior to choosing a final lab, don't require you to be too specific about your research interests. Unlike some areas, where getting the backing of a professor is crucial to getting into the school (for example, physics or chemistry), these programs make decisions based on overall merit and promise, not on adding to a specific lab. So you don't have to feel like you must list a specific area.
    That being said, you should let them know what areas you are interested in. Presumably you have certain things that you have absolutely no interest in and others in which you are more interested. The tact I took was to be honest that I was not set on a specific field or topic, but I was potentially interested in X, Y, and Z or closely related areas. It sounds like you have enough of an opinion that you can do this. This worked fine for me and got me into a program that allowed me the freedom to explore these options (which it sounds like you are interested in doing).
  25. Upvote
    Physwimic got a reaction from Quant_Liz_Lemon in Is Ivy League Grad as Prestigious as Ivy League Undergrad?   
    In my opinion, the "ivy league" brand name matters little in grad school. To the general public, it matters a lot. Particularly if the ivy you are talking about is Harvard or one of the other well known ones. The name recognition gets you a lot of bonus points when you tell friends. And if that's why you're going to grad school, then by all means choose the most widely known ivy. Inside your field, people will be much quicker to consider the reputation of the school in the field. While some big name schools carry weight in the academic world (and the ivies often fall into this category because they often have excellent programs), personally, I think if you are trying to judge how "well" you did in the application process, you are much better considering if you got into a top ten vs. top 100 program. This being said, I would caution you to remember that a huge part of grad applications, at least in the more academic fields, seems to be random. While getting into a top program marks you as a good candidate, not getting in doesn't necessarily mean you suck.

    As for clout in grad vs undergrad degrees, I think by choosing to go to grad school, you have already placed yourself in a tier above most undergrad students, and this is largely irrespective of where you go. At the end of the day, I'd place a lot less importance on the ivy league name and just choose the place that offers the best fit for you personally. Forget about what other people think; that isn't important. What is important is that you are happy.

    Finally, before other people jump down my throat for posting this, I will say that I have a ugrad degree from an ivy, and chose not to go to an ivy grad school after being accepted to one. My decision was based on what I said above. Draw what conclusions you may...
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