mbrig
  • Member for 4 years, 10 months
  • Last seen this week
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@Mehta I'm not an academic, but I've found reasonable value in mentors who are decidedly not people who I'd go to for "technical" problems. The separation helps them focus on advising you in career/interpersonal/long-term questions that I think become muddy for people who are "too close" to your situation.

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@DanielR.Collins I suspect the percentage might be lower than expected. As a student, my observation was that passive-aggression/bullying from other students (and sadly, sometimes teachers), meant that weaker students learned very quickly not to be too vocal in class, for fear of "wasting the time" of a large first year class. The motivating factors might drop off in later years, but the behaviours tended to stick. Stronger students were never worried about it, but the weaker ones are the ones that are going to need further explanation more often anyways...

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in general, the purpose of non-refundable deposits isn't to make money, but to discourage people from accepting, but then backing out. Maybe they charge so much because they're an ivy, and expect their applicants to be rich, and only fazed by a large deposit. (I don't know if that's a very true expectation though?)

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@GrotesqueSI your student's union needs to be doing a better job then, IMO. Trying to punish a student on the basis on secret evidence would have caused a fit, where I went to school.

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@TobiaTesan I think the technology is just now (well, the 3 years ago as I was leaving school) coming into its own. I had a professor who wrote pages under a very sharp document cam, but then pressed a button to save the picture and keep it on one display while moving on to the next page. Multiply by 4 displays and you are on par with the big sliding blackboards of old, with the benefit of saving the notes for later upload (and not having to wipe old chalk off everything).

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@MichaelSchmidt a step short (though still serious) of quitting a PhD is finding a new supervisor. I fear from the stories I hear from friends who stayed in academia, that the students who would most benefit from a new supervisor are the ones that never hear of the idea, because the supervisor themselves would never suggest it (perhaps for the same reasons that they are not the best supervisor...). The motto of industry is that "people don't quit jobs, they quit managers" and there is definitely a lot of truth to it.

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@problemofficer A number of programs where I live (Canada) are known for being willing to somewhat condense/bundle a master's degree into a PhD, generally adding 8 months/a year to the PhD instead of the potential 2 years a lot of "fully fledged" masters programs seem to take.

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@GiuseppeNegro I think its very context dependent. As a student, I would never take out my phone in say, a class/seminar of 10 people (which would definitely be pretty rude). But when somebody's at the back of a 300 person lecture hall? I doubt anyone could tell if they're on the phone even if they wanted too...

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@JeffE who exactly are you to decide what is an extreme enough illness that lets someone retake exams? If a student has a real/valid note/university-appropriate forms, from a real doctor, that's the end of the discussion.

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@damian Thank you for finally making me realise why I had to write my name/ID on every page of (some of) my exams.

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@GreySage the people that go to great lengths, perhaps. But in my experience most academic cheating is of the low level (peek at neighbor's quiz, copy some parts of code, etc) kind, and its rampant precisely because everyone (even the non-cheaters) knows the risk is extremely low.

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+1 for reasonable suggestions that aren't just "leave them alone". A (voluntary) mentoring system especially seems good in a field where the expectation tends toward self-sufficiency.

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@MaxBarraclough I read recently that that EU is considering mandating that all government subsidised work is published in exclusively open-access journals. Perhaps that'll be the kick it in the pants that pushes it to take over.

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@LorenPechtel academia.SE is full of professors and ends up with a rather understandable bias in favour of the teachers. Truly malicious teachers are a lot less common than (undergraduate) students often seem to claim, but they definitely do exist (sadly...)

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(this is a comment because it doesn't answer how to deal with such a teacher, but instead mitigating the fallout) If there really is a 25% pass rate and totally unreasonable/unclear expectations, you can probably appeal your course grade to the department. A notoriously difficult professor at my school would regularly have ~5-10 Fs (out of ~80 students) changed to C/B-s by the dean.

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While I've always done it properly, in the age of mostly-digital journals, I've always wondered if anyone really cares about the page numbers...

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This is oversimplified, at least for the US patent system, which allows for a patent to be filed up to 12 months after initial disclosure of the invention.