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IceCream & MatSci

Materials Science and Engineering Applicant Profiles for 2019 Admission

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58 minutes ago, mseapplicant said:

just got into UCSD! now considering between UCSD and UCLA.... any thoughts on quality of life at the two schools for a PhD in mat sci? research fit is pretty good at both schools. still waiting to hear from other also cool options but just thought i'd ask if anyone went to/has spent time at UCLA or UCSD! thanks :) 

Congratulations! I’ve had experience with both schools. LA will generally be more expensive than SD. UCLA is in a fairly urban environment, so if you’re looking for city life LA would be the place to be. UCSD is in La Jolla, an affluent suburb of SD, so there is much less of a city environment. The nature in SD is also better than LA, with beaches and hiking trails. Both schools are in great areas, it just depends on your type of living preference. Both cities are large and spread out, so I would also suggest a car at both schools if you’re looking to explore what each city has to offer. 

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5 hours ago, matscigradapp said:

Congratulations! I’ve had experience with both schools. LA will generally be more expensive than SD. UCLA is in a fairly urban environment, so if you’re looking for city life LA would be the place to be. UCSD is in La Jolla, an affluent suburb of SD, so there is much less of a city environment. The nature in SD is also better than LA, with beaches and hiking trails. Both schools are in great areas, it just depends on your type of living preference. Both cities are large and spread out, so I would also suggest a car at both schools if you’re looking to explore what each city has to offer. 

Just want to echo what was said here. I am an LA native and spent a decent amount of time in SD. LA is definitely where you want to be at if you want to be in a diverse, urban area and SD is more of a suburban, very spread out city where you really need a car. SD feels more like enclaves spread out through an area with lots of nature in between, if that makes sense. If you are more into spending time outdoors, SD if definitely where you want to be. LA definitely has a lot more going on though, so if spending time in the city is what you're looking for definitely go to UCLA. In my opinion, SD just has bubbles and is lacking in the types of cultural & nightlife events that LA constantly has--and while both cities are racially segregated, it is MUCH more apparent in SD. 

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Thank you @TITX and @matscigradapp! appreciate the insight. Yes I'm the same way, I love the nature and chill vibes in SD but I'm a city person (grew up right next to SF) so am worried I would miss out on food / nightlife / general things to do. Anyways we'll see, thinking about it! 

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On 3/29/2019 at 11:51 AM, mseapplicant said:

Thank you @TITX and @matscigradapp! appreciate the insight. Yes I'm the same way, I love the nature and chill vibes in SD but I'm a city person (grew up right next to SF) so am worried I would miss out on food / nightlife / general things to do. Anyways we'll see, thinking about it! 

There is still plenty of good diverse food in SD and plenty to do (ie. North Park, Gaslamp, Pacific Beach). The food and stuff to do isn’t at the caliber of LA, but it’s nothing to sneeze at, only LA, NY, and the Bay Area can definitively outdo SD in diversity, food, and things to do.

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On 1/8/2019 at 12:32 AM, IceCream & MatSci said:

@matscigradapp Wow, your profile is awesome! I think you can definitely get into the schools you applied to! By the way, UMichigan is a great awesome school! I was luck to be able to visit it last year.

Can you provide me with any comparison of UMichigan, CMU and UPenn in terms of materials and semiconductors. I recieved an admit from these three and cannot decide which is better. 

Edited by AkshatJ47

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16 hours ago, AkshatJ47 said:

Can you provide me with any comparison of UMichigan, CMU and UPenn in terms of materials and semiconductors. I recieved an admit from these three and cannot decide which is better. 

I visited UPenn.  The program there is smallest of the three, I believe, and they have a distinct nanomaterials focus.  If you go to Penn, you can find an advisor anywhere in the school of engineering and applied sciences, so I'm sure there will be semiconductor research.  In the MSE dept, there are the Murray and Kagan labs that do research on nanocrystal synthesis of devices, many of which are semiconductor devices or adjacent technology.  I believe there is also a good amount of photonics research.  Most schools I have visited are slowly dialing down their core "semiconductors research" in favor of newer technology.

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@mseapplicant I did my undergrad at Columbia. What professor are you looking at? The department is quite small and even as an undergrad I really got to know most of the faculty quite well. I took some classes at the graduate level and about 93-95% of the master students are international. I would honestly say their masters program is just a source of income... Did not really have much interaction with the PhD students so I can't speak much on their camaraderie. NYC is way better than SD in terms of urban escapades.. no question there. I love the small size of Columbia's campus. It's 1 avenue by 6 city blocks and you can probably walk across the whole campus in 6-8 minutes. UCSD is an enormous campus in comparison, but you have the beach, I guess. It is a bubble if you stay within the area but that honestly never bothered me since the subway is literally across the street. Let me know if you have any specific questions. 

Edited by TITX

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4 hours ago, TITX said:

@mseapplicant I did my undergrad at Columbia. What professor are you looking at? The department is quite small and even as an undergrad I really got to know most of the faculty quite well. I took some classes at the graduate level and about 93-95% of the master students are international. I would honestly say their masters program is just a source of income... Did not really have much interaction with the PhD students so I can't speak much on their camaraderie. NYC is way better than SD in terms of urban escapades.. no question there. I love the small size of Columbia's campus. It's 1 avenue by 6 city blocks and you can probably walk across the whole campus in 6-8 minutes. UCSD is an enormous campus in comparison, but you have the beach, I guess. It is a bubble if you stay within the area but that honestly never bothered me since the subway is literally across the street. Let me know if you have any specific questions. 

Thanks! Yes it does seem like a tiny department but they put a ton of funding into a new electrochemical energy center which seems good. Unfortunately at UCSD they couldn't guarantee me funding for the first year and "TA positions are very competitive" so I'm not sure if I could even go there if I wanted to! Very weird how they admit but without funding, public schools man 

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On 12/6/2018 at 8:33 AM, IceCream & MatSci said:

I will go first! Just as an FYI, most of the programs I am applying to are in biomedical engineering. However, my background is in MSE and some of the programs I am interested are still in this major. Additionally, I did my undergrad at NC State, so if anyone wants to learn anything about that school, their MSE department, and/or Raleigh, NC, feel free to ask me.

Undergrad Institution (approx. rank/reputation in STEM): a leading public research (heavily focused in STEM) university located on the east coast/south, ranked in the Top 25 Engineering Schools in 2019 according to US NEWS

Major(s): Materials Science and Engineering
Minor(s): Biomaterials concentration
GPA in Major: 4.00/4.00
Overall GPA: 4.00/4.00
Demographics/Background: Hispanic/Latina, from a lower middle class family (resulting in occasional financial difficulties and many loans for undergraduate), one of my parents immigrated from Venezuela, grew up on college campuses (my mother is a university professor)


GRE Scores:
Q: 157 (65%)
V: 152 (56%)
W: 4.0 (59%)

*I know these scores aren't the greatest. I really suck at standardized tests and don't have the finances/desire to retake it*


LOR: Two letters from professors I had classes with (one of the professors I also did research with and the other professor I connected with before taking their class through a research program they run that I was participant of) and a letter from a supervisor I did a summer internship with last year


Research Experience: A little over a year of research = 9 months of undergraduate research with the same PI (research on materials used to improve electrochemical processes) + 10 week summer research experience at a university in Australia (research on a ceramic material used for refrigeration applications) +10 week summer internship at NASA (research on growing graphene for gas sensor development)

 

Publications/Abstracts/Presentations: Two poster presentations at state-wide conferences for NASA research, poster presentation for materials science and engineering senior design project at my university's undergraduate research symposium

 

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: 

  • Received travel grant to visit University of Michigan
  • Valedictorian of my graduating class
  • Outstanding senior award in my department
  • Best senior design paper award in my department
  • Semester Dean's List for seven semesters (didn't get it for my last semester because I wasn't a full time student)
  • Received for four one-time scholarships in the past four years.

 

Fellowships/Funding: Applied for NSF GRFP and GEM Fellowship

 

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: I know it is recommended to not discuss activities done before undergrad but I did a summer internship at Jefferson Lab, a national accelerator facility, when I was in high school that exposed me to the world of research/helped me discover that I want to be a researcher

 

Research Interests: Broad interest are biomaterials, tissue engineering, regenerative medicine, wound healing, and drug delivery; more narrow interests are using polymeric scaffolds for tissue growth/regeneration

 

Institutions/Programs:

  • University of Delaware
  • Boston University
  • University of Connecticut

Were you admitted to the programs you applied for? I applied to UDel and BostonU too. Nervous!

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