68

No, in my experience this is not common. But that shouldn't stop you from asking. Your suggestion is certainly within the reasonable parameters in which simply offering your help wouldn't be offensive. (Provided of course you do so tactfully, i.e. following the usual etiquette when pointing out that someone else's work could be improved upon.) I have friends ...


67

I could not follow a proper rubric to the bone. That's not unusual. Following a rubric is indeed difficult, even for people who have had many years of experience in teaching. And the rubrics supplied by professors to TAs are often not very good. Most often I'd have to make a rubric myself, That's a good thing - you found something that helped you get ...


55

Background: Some time ago, I've been working at a German university as an assistant in electrical engineering, and we had some students from Arab countries. Generally, they were much better than the Germans in reproducing content they had learned, but had more difficulties than their colleages in applying that knowledge to the problems at hand. And the ...


26

Students perspective here: Grades Germany and Austria are countries where bad grades are possible and commonly accepted. Getting a C or D is what > 50% of the students usually get in the hard subjects. Other countries (e.g. UK) have more of an "if you pass, you pass with at least a B" approach. This can be devastating for new students. So check ...


24

You are mixing two things. Your performance as a TA is independent of your performance as a PhD student. Being a good TA or a grader is no requirement for you to be a good PhD student. So leave out the thought of being terminated from PhD. TAs make mistakes all the time. So do professors and lecturers. Grading is not easy and there is no solution to it. In ...


18

You ask a number of questions, but i'll focus on the title. The graduate committee accepted you as a student because they were willing to take a risk that you would be able to do well in the program. So you already have some people that think you're able to do it, so that's positive. Graduate school, for most people, is not a walk in the park, and comparing ...


12

I think now is a good time to do some serious soul-searching. You write that you scored straight A's at a university in the Middle East, before moving to one of the best universities in Germany where you did much worse, relatively speaking. By itself this isn't surprising: when you moved from high school to undergraduate, your competition got stiffer, ...


10

There are two parties involved in this, you and your professor. Let us think from both your perspectives. You wish to help your professor and also want to ensure that the notes are of the best possible quality ( you think they are not currently). Your professor depending on his objective and personality may like this idea or frown upon it. If the lecture ...


9

Maybe it's the result of a difference in quality between the universities. It's possible that you did well in your Middle-Eastern university because it wasn't a very good university. This might be because it was funded by oil magnates that just want their children to have university degrees as a mark of social status, because of shariah religious rules that ...


7

Show the value of your proposal Drop a mail on these lines (omitted salutations and format that is likely to be region specific). Your notes were helpful for me but I did notice that they could be enriched by additional material and minor formatting improvements, for example as in the attachment. I felt these changes would benefit future students. I would ...


5

Most professors that I know in the US (in computer science) do not want to receive such emails and will ignore them. Many have a note on their website saying so. The expectation is that students should submit an application and only after they are admitted should they talk to faculty. If you are interested in a particular faculty member, you should note this ...


5

Being the worst in your grad student peer group is an ideal situation. What is the point of attending any school? Of course, the purpose is to learn. When you are leaning, it is far better to be surrounded by peers who are more talented than you. This way, you can learn from them. Get with everyone who is better than you at something, and learn what you can. ...


4

Grading is hard, and it is the structure of reality which we have to accept that we get to hurt others. If you don't hurt anyone you're doing nothing. Sure it's best to go to an approach which minimises suffering but don't mess yourself up because of it. Go with a "minimum neccesary force" aproach in punishing yourself. Just enough to not do stupid ...


4

I work at a German university with lots of international students, and I can only tell you that the problem you describe is very, very common. We have lots of foreign students who apply with excellent grades, but when they are here they fail. So, you are not the only one. The reason is that students all over the world get good grades, but they do not learn ...


4

In my field --- history (so I would think applicable to other humanities disciplines) --- these sorts of e-mails are actively encouraged, and I would recommend e-mailing potential supervisors to see if there's a good fit. Once in a while an application for a PhD applies out of the blue without pre-contacting a supervisor, that's usually rare and it isn't ...


4

Since you have done several internships, worked within a couple of research groups for some time, attended many seminars & workshops, taken several graduate-level courses You have probably done a fair amount of networking already. And I'd say likely more than other Master students. You're maybe not as "connected" as someone who introduced ...


3

I think you will have to be transparent about the relationship in the lab when potential employers ask for that reference. However, assuming you warned whatever graduate degree you had, it can also be taken as a sign that despite a toxic work environment you were able to still carve out success. Everyone has experienced a toxic work environment, so if your ...


3

I'll write from my experience as an American professor in mathematics. Generally I am happy to receive such emails, and I respond by thanking the writer for their interest, briefly describing our graduate program, and encouraging them to apply. If they ask about my research interests, or other aspects of the program, then I'm happy to answer questions. (Or, ...


3

As people have said, this varies greatly by field. In my field (psychology), such emails are strongly recommended. In fact, to the point that it was suggested to me to not apply if I did not receive a response. At the very least, check that professors do not have a notice regarding emails or not taking students for 2021-22. In my case, of the three ...


3

Admissions committee in strong CS PhD programs are primarily looking for concrete evidence of research potential. Neither GRE scores nor the ability to take lots of undergraduate classes provide that compelling evidence. Fortunately for you, a first-author CVPR paper and strong recommendation letters would! Given your research record and the likely ...


2

I understand your predicament. Things do not go as expected, more often than not. And when things are on the decline it is disappointing. If I were in your shoes and were feeling really down, I would take a very short break and contemplate. You say you worked hard. But you did not get results. It means what you consider as studying is probably not the right ...


2

You can ask for employment, but the title and work would probably be different from that of an RA. And the opportunity for authorship of papers might not be available. In some fields, labs are very large, usually grant funded. There may be more need for lab assistants than can be fulfilled by graduate students. Someone has to watch that the kettle doesn't ...


2

It's hard to identify the root cause for what you're experiencing based on the information you provided, but having been there, I believe you'll find the answer in a few years when you objectively look back at your situation. This has happened to me twice and I believe there were different root causes. I wonder whether one or both may apply to you too: I ...


2

I will answer the exact question you asked: Is it okay to become a student with low grades? Yes it is. You attend a school to learn - some learn better, some worse. You attend a school in Germany where tuition is either free or (for non-EU citizens) cheap compared to countries such as the US. There is no miracle, money has to come from somewhere and it ...


2

The first step is to work to convince them to seek professional help, both for their emotional state and for any perceived improper actions of others. Tell them that the "fear of dying" suggests that they should visit a counselor, perhaps at the university, and work through the issue. Don't start, however, with notifying other authorities yourself (...


2

Been there, done that. First years are a mess for the most coming from middle east, I had seen people with highest distinction scholarships crush and burn fairly regularly. Some of them quit due to financial instability, personal life problems, severe depression etc. I was never 'top grades', 'highest distinction' student, I was mostly passing and above ...


2

Go ahead and ask. It is extremely uncommon. In many years of teaching I have never had a student ask this. But I wish they would! If by chance I see that a student has very nice notes, I sometimes ask if they have any interest in helping to produce improved class notes for the class. But so far, they have never been interested. Often, they simply refuse ...


2

No, it's not common The professor may think this notes as a finished product, as in it's not intended to be edited in an integratedĀ process. How not to beĀ over-flattering Show, not tell. Write a email thanking for the lectures and volunteer to help with the notes; Attach a small sample of your suggestions as notes placed over the PDF, or in the body of ...


1

My first question is that what have I (possibly) lost by not networking? Secondly, what is meant by "networking" exactly in an academic setting? Just knowing each other exists, or being some kind of friends, or just knowing who is interested in what? These two questions are related, since what you've lost obviously depends on how you define ...


1

If this person might be a danger to themselves or others, call emergency services. If you are concerned about someone, ask them directly if they are planning suicide. Otherwise encourage them to seek help from a mental health professional. Be supportive. Sign up for mental health first aid training. Many universities provide it for free. It might be ...


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