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Re: [vox] OT: Questions on Application to Graduate programs...
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Re: [vox] OT: Questions on Application to Graduate programs...

Very good stuff! :-)

Yep. Research is where I plan to go, and some day teaching at a college


On Sun, 25 Aug 2002, Peter Jay Salzman wrote:
> advice 1: choosing a program
> ============================
> the best advice i can give you is to forget about "berkeley".   when
> considering grad school, go after a professor, not a name for a school.
> in other words:
>    go to berkeley because dr. snatchit is doing research in a field
>    you're dying to get into and he happens to be at berkeley.
>    don't go to berkeley because it's generally a very good school.  or
>    because it's convenient.
> btw, if you were going to apply for an undergrad or a M.S, i would give
> the exact opposite advice.  go for the name of a school (berkeley,
> stanford, mit, princeton) rather than a professor.
> advice 2: understanding your commitment
> =======================================
> i would say most everyone i know has no idea what the phd really is.
> when it comes down to it, all other advanced degrees are "operational
> degrees".   in other words, you get an MD to work as a doctor.  you get
> a JD(?) to work as a lawyer.  you get an MS to become a highly trained
> worker in some other field.  the point is, you get the degree to DO
> something.
> understand that the phd is *NOT* an operational degree.  it's a research
> degree.  you don't get the phd to become more competant at a topic.  in
> particular, don't expect people with new phd's to "know more" than
> people with new MS degrees.  in fact, it could be quite the opposite.
>    the new PHD knows infinity about delta.  if he hasn't let himself
>    rust, he'll know alot about other stuff too.
>    the new MS will know alot about other stuff.
> understand the most important concept: you get the phd for no other
> reason than to do pure, academic research.  if you want to be an expert
> at something, you're much better off getting an MS.  as a phd, your
> knowledge will become very pointed.  for instance, here is i know:
>    1) everything that a straight A physics MS graduate knows
>    2) the newtonian approximation to the semi classical theory of
>      gravitation
>    3) modelling electron spins using stochastic methods
> see how #1 is general and #2 and #3 are very specific?  #1 took me 2
> years.   #2 and #3 took me 4 years.
> i hope you're beginning to see how this ties into advice #1.
> understand your commitment.  most people who want a PHD don't understand
> what it is.  you get it, not to become an expert at a field but to
> become a researcher.
> ask yourself why you want this degree.  if it's not "to become a
> researcher" than consider an MS.
> advice 3: be prepared for the time
> ==================================
> average PHD for theoretical high energy is 7-9 years.  i imagine that CS
> is shorter than that, but i'd be willing to bet not by much.
> advice 4: start in advance
> ==========================
> i've seen programs that you had to submit an application a full year in
> advance.   make sure you know your deadlines!!
> advice 5: work towards a singular goal
> ======================================
> most programs have 3 hurdles:
>    a comprehensive written test  (the preliminary)
>    a pointed oral exam           (the qualifier)
>    a pointed anal exam           (actually finishing your research and
>                                   writing the dissertation.)
> treat every day of your life as if the only reason why you woke up is to
> pass your prelim.  after that, treat every day as if the only reason why
> you woke up is to pass the oral exam.
> also, check out the pictures at http://www.cs.virginia.edu/~drl7x/.
> it's kinda like that, but he's got the smile all wrong.  the smile
> should be on the left picture.  he should be scowling or gramacing on
> the right hand picture.
> ok, that's all i can think of at 6am.   hope some of this drivel is
> useful.
> pete
> begin ME <dugan@passwall.com> 
> > Since this list is likely to have a few students who have enrolled into
> > graduate programs (MS/PhD) I figure this would be a good place to tap to
> > suggestions.
> > 
> > In about 2 years, I would like to apply for the PhD program at Berkeley
> > for Computer Science. Suggestions on "things to do" and "when to do
> > them" would be greatly enjoyed by me. :-D
> > 
> > If you have found any items that have helped you to gain admission into
> > semi-exclusive programs, I would like to hear them. The ideas do not even
> > have to be specific to CS.
> > 
> > Suggestions for GRE are also welcome. (Aids, things that have helped you,
> > and techniques in taking the test.)
> > 
> > Thanks!
> > 
> > -ME
> > 
> > Version: 3.12
> > GCS/CM$/IT$/LS$/S/O$ !d--(++) !s !a+++(-----) C++$(++++) U++++$(+$) P+$>+++ 
> > L+++$(++) E W+++$(+) N+ o K w+$>++>+++ O-@ M+$ V-$>- !PS !PE Y+ PGP++
> > t@-(++) 5+@ X@ R- tv- b++ DI+++ D+ G--@ e+>++>++++ h(++)>+ r*>? z?
> > ------END GEEK CODE BLOCK------
> > decode: http://www.ebb.org/ungeek/ about: http://www.geekcode.com/geek.html
> > 
> > _______________________________________________
> > vox mailing list
> > vox@lists.lugod.org
> > http://lists.lugod.org/mailman/listinfo/vox
> -- 
> ----------------------------------------------------------------   linux
> To err is human, to forgive is divine.               p@dirac.org     _
> To oink is porcine, to meow is feline.           www.dirac.org/p    ._.
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> _______________________________________________
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