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University/College Questions Part V

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Old
11-28-2014, 02:56 PM
  #76
LaurentHabs
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I have absolutely no problem with calculus, it's really just QM that I dread. I have no problem with the "easy" QM stuff such as variances and whatnot. Its all these P/T/Z statistics with Chi-squared tables and whatnot that are making me want to run my head in the ground. Got 88 in both Cal 1 and 2, so really no issue there.

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11-28-2014, 02:56 PM
  #77
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Originally Posted by DAChampion View Post
There are science funding issues all over the world.

Though Harper comes off as wanting to send climatologists to prison.
I wouldn't say funding is the issue, honestly. There's plenty of money poured into scientific research.

The problem is more about the structures, IMO. We're basically letting professors decide how things should be managed. The result is predictable. Hire a bunch of students for cheap in order to get results rapidly. This is you best chance at having this grant renewed in 2 or 3 years.

Heck, it's not even about the professors anymore at this point. They're just a cog in the system. Nowadays, the objective for a university is to get as much research funding as possible. It's completely crazy. I can't even remember the last time I spoke about resarch with a professor. Especially those 45-50yo or older. It's funding, funding and then some more funding.

If you ever wondered why your university prof seems disinterested in class, that was your answer. The guy is thinking about his grant proposals even while he teaches.

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11-28-2014, 03:05 PM
  #78
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Which is why grants should be more secure.

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11-28-2014, 03:07 PM
  #79
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Originally Posted by Mathradio View Post
I will list them from the least expensive to the most expensive. Keep in mind that I want to do theoretical particle cosmology...

Carnegie Mellon: $0
WUSTL: $45
Dartmouth: $50
UChicago (astro): $55
Tufts: $75
Notre Dame: $75
UPenn: $80
Michigan: $90
Princeton: $90
Minnesota: $95
Columbia: $105
Chicago is a really good place. It would be my personal preference from those, along with Princeton.

Goodluck with particle cosmology, that's a high risk choice.


Last edited by DAChampion: 11-28-2014 at 03:16 PM.
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11-28-2014, 03:10 PM
  #80
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Originally Posted by DAChampion View Post
Which is why grants should be more secure.
It would make things worse, actually. Big guys with a very conservative research program would get all the money.

Try again.

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11-28-2014, 03:14 PM
  #81
DAChampion
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Originally Posted by Brainiac View Post
It would make things worse, actually. Big guys with a very conservative research program would get all the money.

Try again.
You just made up that response out of the blue, so not very interesting.

Reality: more time is spent applying on grants when the success rate is low. The NSF in the USA is receiving far more applications since the approval rate dipped below 25%, I think it's at 9% now.

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11-28-2014, 03:24 PM
  #82
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Originally Posted by DAChampion View Post
You just made up that response out of the blue, so not very interesting.

Reality: more time is spent applying on grants when the success rate is low. The NSF in the USA is receiving far more applications since the approval rate dipped below 25%, I think it's at 9% now.
One of the guy on my thesis comitee told me my research was impossible. Like, literally impossible. Yet, we managed to get results and publish a bunch of papers.

I once had a grant rejected on the basis that the research I proposed had never been done before. It was the only criticism on the whole thing: it hasn't been done before.

True story. Think about it.

University research is conservative. Extremely conservative. They want to be able to make projections, get a steady increase in funding etc. There's not much room for innovation in there. You do what the guys before you did, try to improve a little bit, don't ask questions and work hard.

I think you should be good to go.

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11-28-2014, 03:27 PM
  #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DAChampion View Post
You just made up that response out of the blue, so not very interesting.

Reality: more time is spent applying on grants when the success rate is low. The NSF in the USA is receiving far more applications since the approval rate dipped below 25%, I think it's at 9% now.
The success rate varies according to the type of grant. I am becoming keenly aware of this, as in keeping with Brainiac's statement, my tenure process depends on my ability to attract funding. For example, I'm writing a NIH STTR proposal now, and the success rate for STTRs for this particular institute (not saying which ) is around 50% (!!), while R21s or R15s for most NIH institutes are in the teens, and R01s languish around 8%. There is no point in my writing a R01 right now, especially since I am not a place like Stanford or Hopkins. Success requires a little lateral thinking and agility, combined with an understanding of the various success rates.

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11-28-2014, 03:33 PM
  #84
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Originally Posted by waffledave View Post
I graduated back in 2008 and for the last 6 years I've been building a pretty solid and lucrative career in finance.

I have just officially quit my job, effective January 1st, to go back to school!
[...]

So Concordia, here I come (back). Definitely going to be strange to have a bunch of 18-19 year olds around me. I was around the school recently and everyone looks so damn young. And it hit me that, when I was their age, they were 8 years old.
I'm a 3rd year Comp. Sci. student at Concordia and, if you actually enjoy the material, you'll love it. The core courses are actually quite fun as are the programming assignments. You really need to apply yourself though as there are several concepts that may be tough to wrap your head around. Best of luck on your new career path!

PS: try your hardest to get Prof. Aiman Hanna in your courses, especially your early programming courses... Thank me later

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11-28-2014, 03:34 PM
  #85
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Originally Posted by Brainiac View Post
...
University research is conservative. Extremely conservative. ....
I don't know that I would put it quite this way. I am evaluated as a professor based on conservative bean-counting, that much is true.

However, a lot of what gets funded by NIH, that I am aware of, is fairly cutting-edge. Moreover, some types of grants are designed to reward risk-taking, like a R21. If you propose something that pretty much exists already, you will not meet with success in general, but particularly for this type of proposal. Moreover, grantsmanship requires a lot of work to learn the ropes; it helps to take part in the process as a reviewer.

I don't have it in me to throw up my hands and play the victim. I believe in figuring out what the process rewards, and using this knowledge to bootstrap my research program.

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Old
11-28-2014, 03:38 PM
  #86
The Russian General
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You can't go through a diploma in Finance without QM and calculus.
You can't even go through a Poli Sci Bach. without QM. It's everywhere. But it's definitely doable. I suck in math and got decent grades in QM classes.

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11-28-2014, 03:39 PM
  #87
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Originally Posted by Brainiac View Post
One of the guy on my thesis comitee told me my research was impossible. Like, literally impossible. Yet, we managed to get results and publish a bunch of papers.

I once had a grant rejected on the basis that the research I proposed had never been done before. It was the only criticism on the whole thing: it hasn't been done before.

True story. Think about it.

University research is conservative. Extremely conservative. They want to be able to make projections, get a steady increase in funding etc. There's not much room for innovation in there. You do what the guys before you did, try to improve a little bit, don't ask questions and work hard.

I think you should be good to go.
And yet innovation and discovery happen on a regular basis :-)

You need to stop being bitter man. It's ugly. Really ugly. We get it, you flunked out and now you want tge entire system shut down.

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11-28-2014, 04:29 PM
  #88
Brainiac
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Originally Posted by DAChampion View Post
And yet innovation and discovery happen on a regular basis :-)

You need to stop being bitter man. It's ugly. Really ugly. We get it, you flunked out and now you want tge entire system shut down.
Ha ha! No, not really. I'm not bitter. I'm just being a realist. Although you are right about flunking out. A lot of people spend 5 or 6 years doing a Ph.D. with absolutely no job prospect after that.

I would propose something very simple. Cut the funding for Ph.D. in half, just hire the best. Give the rest for permanent staff. Plan for the long term. Not just in terms of funding, but also in terms of personnel. A research group should never be a professor, a research assistant, 10 grad students and 5 postdocs. These guys will never find a job.

It should be more like, a professor, 3 assistants, 5 grad students and 2 postdocs.

And it's not like I'm the first one to say it, this structural issue has been discussed in high end scientific journals for years.

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11-28-2014, 05:56 PM
  #89
DAChampion
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Ok so you don't actually disagree with anything I said, you're just arguing.

I said make funding more secure, and you said no we should plan for the long term instead.

No **** thanks for the repeating my own comments back to me.

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11-28-2014, 06:48 PM
  #90
Brainiac
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Originally Posted by DAChampion View Post
Ok so you don't actually disagree with anything I said, you're just arguing.

I said make funding more secure, and you said no we should plan for the long term instead.

No **** thanks for the repeating my own comments back to me.
There's a difference between secure and optimal.

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Old
11-28-2014, 09:05 PM
  #91
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Chicago is a really good place. It would be my personal preference from those, along with Princeton.

Goodluck with particle cosmology, that's a high risk choice.
Michael Turner and Scott Dodelson. These are the profs I would mostly target in the astro dept there.

As for Princeton, Steinhardt and, to a lesser extent, Zaldarriaga.

But I don't expect much from either Princeton or UChicago; I have higher hopes from UPenn, because of Mark Trodden (Brandenberger's most famous student) being more up front about having a spot for a student in 1-2 years' time than, say, Erick Weinberg (at Columbia)...

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11-29-2014, 02:28 AM
  #92
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You can't even go through a Poli Sci Bach. without QM. It's everywhere. But it's definitely doable. I suck in math and got decent grades in QM classes.
Yeah, and for some reason it seems the poli sci department at UQAM is always filled with students losing their heads over QM.

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11-29-2014, 02:50 AM
  #93
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Originally Posted by Mathradio View Post
Michael Turner and Scott Dodelson. These are the profs I would mostly target in the astro dept there.

As for Princeton, Steinhardt and, to a lesser extent, Zaldarriaga.

But I don't expect much from either Princeton or UChicago; I have higher hopes from UPenn, because of Mark Trodden (Brandenberger's most famous student) being more up front about having a spot for a student in 1-2 years' time than, say, Erick Weinberg (at Columbia)...
Are you going after dark matter?

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11-29-2014, 08:39 AM
  #94
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Are you going after dark matter?
Very early universe; since Turner and Dodelson both deal with dark matter in some way, it might mean, as far as UChicago is concerned, working on how dark matter might have formed in the early universe.

But Mark Trodden is not a dark matter guy, however, unless galileons could have been made of dark matter, and neither is Erick Weinberg.


Last edited by Mathradio: 11-29-2014 at 08:56 AM.
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12-12-2014, 07:02 PM
  #95
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Because of an awkward situation at Vanderbilt, from which I received an email saying that they received my application, which was incomplete and hence didn't submit, I had to actually finish the job and submit it in order to get things straight.

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12-12-2014, 07:57 PM
  #96
DAChampion
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What was missing?

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12-12-2014, 08:05 PM
  #97
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Anyone know anything about Finance/Corporate finance at McGill?

Also, has anyone been part of the JMSB Co-Op program? I'm prepping in case I don't get in McGill and looking at possible alternatives. Doubt I can get in Queens since I don't have much EC's

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12-12-2014, 08:14 PM
  #98
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At least Vanderbilt was a free app. They have now received my app for real.

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What was missing?
As I said, they claim they received my app, while I didn't submit it...

However, it was almost complete back then. I just had recommenders that were excluded from consideration, reinstated them and I submitted.

My professors claim that they never saw any physics student from UdeM submit 10+ PhD apps before... the most they saw before was, like, 6.


Last edited by Mathradio: 12-12-2014 at 08:34 PM.
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12-12-2014, 08:34 PM
  #99
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Anyone know anything about Finance/Corporate finance at McGill?

Also, has anyone been part of the JMSB Co-Op program? I'm prepping in case I don't get in McGill and looking at possible alternatives. Doubt I can get in Queens since I don't have much EC's
I'm not in Finance but it's a very good program. Very competitive and a lot of work, but great career prospects if you can keep your grades up.

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12-12-2014, 09:04 PM
  #100
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At least Vanderbilt was a free app. They have now received my app for real.



As I said, they claim they received my app, while I didn't submit it...

However, it was almost complete back then. I just had recommenders that were excluded from consideration, reinstated them and I submitted.

My professors claim that they never saw any physics student from UdeM submit 10+ PhD apps before... the most they saw before was, like, 6.
I applied in 2007 and I submitted 6. But there's been some application inflation recently and a lot of people submit 10 or 20 applications.

In spring of 2007 I visited two departments and I found that exhausting. You might need to visit 4 or 5 :-) Consider buying some new dress pants and dress shirts and socks, etc to make a good impression.

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