Importance of having an active adviser

  • As many already know, studying for the physics GRE and getting accepted into a graduate program is not the final hurdle in your physics career.
  • There are many issues current physics graduate students face such as studying for their qualifier, deciding upon a field of research, choosing an advisor, being an effective teaching assistant, trying to have a social life, navigating department politics, dealing with stress, utilizing financial aid, etc.

rims
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Importance of having an active adviser

Postby rims » Sat Mar 05, 2011 5:36 pm

It's been said that it's important to try to work with an adviser who is a very active researcher. But what if you have the chance to work with someone who is a big name in your field of interest, but that person hasn't been doing much research lately and/or is close to getting retired (but would continue to advise students)? Would you still prefer the first kind of adviser? (Probably this question applies better to theoretical fields of research, but anyone feel free to comment.)

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grae313
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Re: Importance of having an active adviser

Postby grae313 » Sat Mar 05, 2011 8:07 pm

Hm, I think it would pretty much suck in experiment but in theory, if the name is famous enough it might just be worth it.

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WhoaNonstop
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Re: Importance of having an active adviser

Postby WhoaNonstop » Sat Mar 05, 2011 9:28 pm

I think the scariest scenario is having an adviser die in the middle of writing your dissertation.

-Riley

bfollinprm
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Re: Importance of having an active adviser

Postby bfollinprm » Sun Mar 06, 2011 9:15 am

rims wrote:It's been said that it's important to try to work with an adviser who is a very active researcher. But what if you have the chance to work with someone who is a big name in your field of interest, but that person hasn't been doing much research lately and/or is close to getting retired (but would continue to advise students)? Would you still prefer the first kind of adviser? (Probably this question applies better to theoretical fields of research, but anyone feel free to comment.)


I'm pretty sure the answer to this would depend on how actively the professor is willing to advise you. In theory research, it's more about your ideas than his/hers, but if he isn't around to bounce ideas off of, there's no point in working with the retiring advisor. I imagine this will depend mostly on how excited this professor is by the prospect of you being his student.

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kubikat
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Re: Importance of having an active adviser

Postby kubikat » Sun Mar 06, 2011 7:40 pm

WhoaNonstop wrote:I think the scariest scenario is having an adviser die in the middle of writing your dissertation.

My prof told me of a guy who took 9 years to complete his PhD, because 2 advisers died on him (and for some reason it was very hard to find the third one)...

admissionprof
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Re: Importance of having an active adviser

Postby admissionprof » Sun Mar 06, 2011 9:44 pm

kubikat wrote:
WhoaNonstop wrote:I think the scariest scenario is having an adviser die in the middle of writing your dissertation.

My prof told me of a guy who took 9 years to complete his PhD, because 2 advisers died on him (and for some reason it was very hard to find the third one)...


Remember Theodore Streleski.

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noojens
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Re: Importance of having an active adviser

Postby noojens » Mon Mar 07, 2011 9:46 pm

admissionprof wrote:Remember Theodore Streleski.

Woah. That is fucked up.

How was he only sentenced to seven years, for second degree murder? Doing that time must've been a walk in the park after spending nineteen years as a Stanford PhD student.

Crazy.




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