New answers tagged

5

Simply saying that you are more interested in the earlier research direction ('topic A') than the current one, should be fine. Thank him for getting back to you, but you don't need to say more. No need, of course, to say you think that the new topic (B) is boring. But "Thanks" is all you need to express. One thing that might happen is that you get ...


2

Don't worry too much, can happen, has happened to me and I am sure to others as well. Just be polite and emphasize your own preferences. You could write for instance that you really appreciate their offer as you admire their work, but that you plan to specialize on topic XY.


4

There's an easy way out of this dilemma: talk to your professors now, tell them that you intend to apply to graduate programs in another year, and that you hope they will be willing to write recommendations. The professors can then draft a letter right away, or at least notes for a letter, while their memories of you are still fresh. When the time comes ...


2

I believe that the mindset to pursue a PhD should not be this. Landing a good paying/mentally satisfactory job in tech is always a challenge and won’t be easy for anyone, and it does not require a PhD in particular. So if getting a tech job is priority to you in your life, I suggest not pursuing a math PhD. However, PhD studies are not just some very ...


2

I won't be overly worried. Just think about all the people who didn't go on to do a PhD. They got a job and probably living out their lives right now. You can definitely explore whatever you want, and all the best if your advisor is supportive or doesn't care that you are doing some work on the side (mine wasn't so flexible), although full fledged courses ...


0

It is certainly worthwhile to get to know your potential advisor, and get noticed back. Taking the course might help you explore common interests, even hint at potential thesis thema. Taking a more advanced course can get you faster to the bleeding edge where your thesis will presumably move, if it is primarily in the area. Then again, you'll soon have to ...


5

Your first meeting(s) with your advisor should be...directed at answering this very question. How should your meetings going forward be structured? What topics should you plan to discuss? What's your schedule for making progress toward degree requirements/prelim requirements? When can you start considering research directions? etc. You might be used to ...


1

A math PhD will teach you a large number of completely marketable, industry-ready skills: how to think logically and analytically how to research challenging technical topics on your own, solve problems, and pursue difficult goals over an extended period of time, overcoming frustration and maintaining a good level of motivation how to communicate your ...


1

This is a challenge that I know we face from our end as a graduate program: the supervisor will be extremely important for the student, but not until they actually start their dissertation process. So yes, regular meetings are key. You should talk about: your courses: progress making, anything interesting that you're working on as part of the coursework; ...


-1

I don't feel there's a tension between the two at all. Your PhD will give you lots of time to work on topics that you are hopefully interested in. It will also teach you the importance of communication, collaboration, and how to teach yourself new topics. When you say you will leave your learning behind, well, that's probably the same as if you went to do a ...


2

i take a two-phase approach. First, I defer the initial judgement to our admissions committee (unless I have identified a specific prospective student I am trying to recruit). I then look through the admitted students for potential candidates, and focus on research record, statement, and LORs. I'm looking for evidence of (potential for) critical thought and ...


2

Its hard to make generalizations due to the varying selectivity of programs. That said, there are a finite number of first-round offers any graduate program can make. In our department, if we ‘spent’ one on a candidate who then decided not to take it, we would probably hesitate to accept them the next time. That said, a few years later the people reviewing ...


1

Some universities are not requiring GRE test this year due to the pandemic, see for example UChicago's website - https://mathematics.uchicago.edu/academics/graduate-programs/mathematics-phd-program/how-to-apply/ On the other hand, I know 10-14 days quarantining alone in a motel, after taking the test, might be depressing, but it seems that's one possible ...


2

Certainly if universities want students in a time of chaos, they need to be somewhat flexible in their admissions. Some will have dropped the GRE requirement, and some haven't had it for a while. Unfortunately that is an individual decision by an individual university (or perhaps a statewide system) in the US, so you have to inquire for each university to ...


2

From a UK perscpective: Yes. External examiners can come from non-university affiliated institutions. It is normal in such situations for the supervisor/examiner to be asked to provide evidence not just that the examiner is knowledgeable in their field, but also that they understand the requirements for being awarded a PhD. The most common way to do this is ...


4

Yes. For universities that use external PhD examiners, typically the examiner can be from a university, non-university nonprofit/government research institution, or an industrial research laboratory. Typically the examiner has a PhD. University faculty are most commonly selected.


8

In most fields, US PhDs can start right after a bachelor's degree. Some incoming US students will have masters degrees, either because they've been uncertain about their career path and or because they pursue a masters to get more experience to make their applications look better (especially if their undergraduate research experience is lacking). Because US ...


0

If I were in your position I would choose the second option. There is a good chance you might end up doing a lot of grunge work in the second position. But whatever your contribution, it would be more probably useful to society. Also after your PhD, you will have opened a number of possibilities in industry and academia. You would have a lot of connections ...


6

There is a chance, but you may need some preparation first. And you may need to make an appeal for a special situation. In the US, the undergraduate math program consists of approximately 10 - 16 semester-length courses covering the major areas of math and a few less mainstream topics. If you don't have something very close to that, then there are probably ...


0

Yes, they can, but consider whether they're the best choice: A referee needs to be your champion. A lab mate who you've never worked with probably can't do that, because they don't have a working relationship with you. Someone you've worked with can. (It's unclear which case applies here.) Senior referees carry more clout than junior referees, so that's ...


-1

Why “former”? Has their PhD been revoked? As to whether to include them, if they can vouch for your skills, abilities and/or experience then there is no reason why you should not include them.


1

The first thing would be to make sure the professor you would be working with does not expect anything else. That would mean speaking to people who know them, have worked with them, or even email some of their past PhD students to see what they are like as a supervisor. Even better if there is someone in the department you know well that you can ask about ...


1

I don't see any reason to formally do another undergraduate degree. And you may not even need a credential at a higher level if you already have a doctorate and some publications in your new field. My perspective is the US, where an undergraduate degree has a lot of things not related to the "major" subject. That is different elsewhere, of course. ...


1

This is mostly a matter of funding, which you didn't even mention. Many PhD students are funded through (project) grants, and they normally try to keep their PhD topics close to what they have to do for the project anyway. But even those on a "Ladesstelle" (position paid by the state) will normally be expected to work in areas in which results can ...


3

I will answer specifically for the German system, as that is one of the two countries the OP expressed interest in in the comments. To enroll in a German PhD programme, you need the agreement of a professor to supervise you and (typically) an MSc in a related subject with (often) grades exceeding some threshold. Only the overall grade on your MSc certificate ...


0

I could offer a general perspective from my own experience from about 8 years ago in the field of Computer Science. Unless your mind is very strongly set on one very specific topic within your subject (which I doubt it might be at this stage), the key is to show interest in a few fields related to the department (or professor) thus showing interest as well ...


0

This isn't my field (and I'm in the US), but I think it would depend on the program as well as the individual advisor. It's probably best to contact potential advisors beforehand and address the circumstances. If every other aspect of your resume is stellar and you just had one bad semester due to your life problems, then you'll probably get in somewhere. ...


1

If you have a poor academic record, it is bound to have an impact on your chances to admitted to a good PhD program. But, in life, bad the things happen, sometimes due to life and sometimes due to mistakes. If I tell you that it is impossible for you to get admission to a PhD program, would you stop trying? That would be one more mistake in your life. There ...


-1

Start writing now, every day. Put down any ideas you have. Don't try to plan the whole project from the start. Don't wait to write until after the literature review, or after the fieldwork. Your daily writing will move the work along even though only a small part of it may end up in the finished dissertation. Edit in response to comments. Writing "even ...


2

I'll assume you intend to study in the US. It might be a bit different elsewhere. From the sound of it, you are a good and eager student, interested in opportunities. If your record is good, generally, and you get good letters of recommendation from professors, then you are competitive. However, there is a lot of competition, and the higher up you go in ...


10

I'm afraid there's no magic bullet here; all you can do is proceed as transparently and reasonably as possible. First, present clearly the proof that the machine was broken. After years of debate about whether the machine was broken, your committee has probably stopped following the interminable discussion. So, you should explain very clearly and ...


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 ...


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 ...


4

I have no domain-specific expertise here, so take this answer with a grain of salt. But broadly speaking, having been fired from one’s job at some point in your life is not an obstacle to getting into a STEM graduate program in the US (and I’m sure most countries). I’m not aware that it’s even required to report such things in your application anywhere. And ...


4

Provided that you don't get pushback from your advisor or committee, I think it should be fine. Those are the main concerns about style for a dissertation. If you send it out for publication, the editor may accept it or not. But write it they way you think it should be and consider any advice you get from folks that have influence over you.


1

I have sat on admission committees, taught in professional and graduate programs, and written recommendations for undergraduates, masters, and PhD students to go to professional programs. That said, my experience is with programs in a business school. Depending on your program of interest, what I say may not be relevant. For masters programs in a business ...


2

I think X, Y and Z with both X and Y strong will be just fine. Few undergraduates have had enough contact with faculty to generate three strong letters. The work you did with A and B will be on your CV and you can discuss it in a cover letter. Good luck.


10

I don't think I have ever seen anybody ever "thank their advisor/supervisor(s)" (in a presentation or press statement) without explicitly name them. One of the purposes of such a statement is to communicate the existence of a particular student-advisor relationship. There is a number of reason someone might want to do so: The relationship will ...


26

I think you're correct that the supervisor role can be equivalent to normal collaboration in that the student will bring their own unique ideas, knowledge, and experience to build on a mutual project collaboratively. However, where I think there is an unavoidable difference (at least, in every student I have met including myself) is the conception of viable ...


-1

You are confusing between being social and interacting with people in developing professional networks. Professional networks could be strictly career-oriented and collaborative with no personal attachment. Your professor, for example, is in your network and you do not need to socialize with them. Coming to answering your questions. Why do you care about ...


-1

My first question is that what have I (possibly) lost by not networking? This is a hypothetical question, and we will never know. But, depending on the setup that you've been, you might have lost couple of interesting discussions that could have generated some ideas. Don't dwell on this... Secondly, what is meant by "networking" exactly in an ...


0

One route to meeting a supervisor which is reasonably common in the UK inSTEM subjects, but which seems not to have been mentioned in other answers yet is the masters research project. Integrated masters courses are fairly common in both the 4 year undergraduate programme and 1 year MRes + Phd patterns, as are 1 year taught masters courses. The majority of ...


2

Ian Sudbery mentioned that a secondary route to applying to an advertised position is to find your own funding and then solicit supervisors. I suspect this varies by field, but I would suggest a third viable route, which is that you can contact potential supervisors without having funding. In some cases there may be university specific funding programmes ...


10

It is not necessary to know a professor before applying for a PhD in the UK. I have so far supervised 8 PhD students, only one of whom I knew before they started their PhD. There are two routes to a PhD in the UK. First is to apply for an advertised position or program. This is how the majority of PhDs are recruited, but it is also usually only open to home ...


4

It is relatively difficult to arrange such internships. The applicants usually look for a 4-6 week period which is usually not enough time to get any meaningful output (except for the very strongest students), but still requires quite some preparation and supervision if done well. Then, often the visa issue is not resolved and the university does not usually ...


1

Most of the answers are sharing their perspective and it is highly likely that it might aptly suit you. I have another perspective and some insight into how supervisors work. Of course, every supervisor is different. Supervisors generally do not prepare before a meeting. Especially if they have high number of students to supervise. Supervisors are usually ...


0

PhD students actively look for posts which are on offer, by contacting departments/professors, but prior contact is not usual or needed. Some students manage to get places in the university because they finished their final year and saw the post which they then applied for - may not be in the same department but the professorial contact comes into play "...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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