Question on Stanford App

Imperate
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Question on Stanford App

Postby Imperate » Fri Nov 21, 2008 11:27 am

How would you go about answering this "How would factors such as your background, work and life experiences, special interests, culture, socioeconomic status, race, or ethnicity contribute to the diversity of the entering class, and hence to the experience of your Stanford classmates? Please describe these factors and their relevance. (700 characters maximum)"

This seems to be completley seperate to the SOP in which I've already mentioned all the academic stuff, and as an average white british male, I've hardly overcome any hardships or had any amazing experiences, hmmmm

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twistor
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Re: Question on Stanford App

Postby twistor » Fri Nov 21, 2008 11:39 am

I would refuse to answer as admission should be granted irrespective of all of those factors; if it is not based on academic credentials then what kind of game are we playing?

Or put, "I would not enhance the diversity of Stanford. Rather, I would detract from it by blending in and going along with the crowd." Ironically, you would be denied admission for not going along with the crowd and saying how much you would contribute.

In summary, *** Stanford and *** the movie "Orange County."

robertson
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Re: Question on Stanford App

Postby robertson » Fri Nov 21, 2008 1:32 pm

I 90% agree with the last post. However, I am also applying to stanford and I wrote a few lines to answer that question. In my case, I wrote about my Erasmus year and about a summer program in Germany, to point out how easy will be for me to adapt to my new life. I also wrote about some economical problems that my family faced 6 years ago and how that has affected my personality.
Why that 10% of disagreement? We are not talking only about academic credentials. In my opinion scientific performance highly depends on personal situation, and that in turn will depend on your grad classmates, even more if you come from outside USA and you don't have any friends there. To be honest, I just use this rankings to select my universities because of the possibilities of doing some nice research with a good supervisor, but If a knew by hand the kind of guys that I am going to find in the different universities that would be a very important point to select my preferences.
This is probably a very personal question, and probably less important than the SOP. Tell them something like:
"I am English, you know what that means? I am gonna teach your grad students some History lessons about their fathers to let them know who really rules the world"
My apologies, it was just an example ;)

tmc
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Re: Question on Stanford App

Postby tmc » Fri Nov 21, 2008 8:55 pm

That question is geared towards minorities; as a British white male, unless you've had some very different life experiences, you're not expected to answer it.

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quizivex
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Re: Question on Stanford App

Postby quizivex » Fri Nov 21, 2008 9:29 pm

Yeah, you can leave that stupid question blank if it doesn't apply to you (I did). While its primary purpose is probably for affirmative action based on race/ethnicity, they clearly welcome other things as well, otherwise they'd just go by what you wrote for race/ethnicity.

For ex., they might like to hear if you speak 4 languages, or if you studied abroad a semester, or if you grew up on a dude ranch, or if you went to a high school so poor that the only lab they could afford for their physics class is a pendulum constructed from a package of dental floss.

Being a non-handicapped middle class white American guy, I was tempted to answer the question like this:
"Throughout my entire undergraduate career, I've only had two white American physics professors. If anything, I think more boring people like me are needed in this field, and thus I regret to see this question imply that my lack of affiliation with any minority groups may reduce my chance of admission here."

stardust
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Re: Question on Stanford App

Postby stardust » Fri Nov 21, 2008 9:48 pm

I disagree that you can leave that question blank. I disagree that its meant for
minorities. I think they want individuals who aren't just there for themselves. Until
you know for sure whether it should be kept blank, it would be risky to do so. If it were me,
I would reject right away all the blank ones thinking they don't care about the world.

You have lots you can say.
***
Last edited by stardust on Sat Nov 22, 2008 4:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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quizivex
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Re: Question on Stanford App

Postby quizivex » Fri Nov 21, 2008 10:16 pm

stardust wrote:I disagree that you can leave that question blank... Until
you know for sure whether it should be kept blank, it would be risky to do so.
You can argue that it's always advantageous to write something rather than nothing, but it's absolutely not mandatory. I applied last year and was still accepted despite leaving it blank.

stardust wrote:If it were me, I would reject right away all the blank ones thinking they don't care about the world.
Ouch, that's a harsh way to look at it:
Applicant does not believe he adds substantial ethnic/cultural diversity to the class --> Applicant doesn't care about the world.

I made it very clear in my SOP that my decisition to pursue a career in physics was driven in large part by my desire to do something useful for society. Further, your personal qualities (sense of humor, as you suggested) can be a valuable asset to the school even if your background isn't extraordinary by itself. Not answering that essay is no justification for rejecting an applicant.

If you'd like to view this question as a short essay like a mini SOP, giving you a chance to write something thoughtful, then by all means go for it. But keep in mind that this application is just Stanford's generic application. The physics department will be reporting back to Stanford trying to show how they did their part in promoting diversity. They'll care much more about categorical things like race and gender than "European wit." They're going to want to report, "We enrolled 25% females this year, and 4 underrepresented minorities," as opposed to, "We enrolled 9 students with extraordinary life experiences and 4 with philanthropic intentions."

cato88
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Re: Question on Stanford App

Postby cato88 » Fri Nov 21, 2008 10:56 pm

twistor wrote:In summary, *** Stanford and *** the movie "Orange County."

I agree with the latter half.

tmc
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Re: Question on Stanford App

Postby tmc » Fri Nov 21, 2008 11:22 pm

If they refused me on the basis that I didn't answer a question based on affirmative action, then I certainly wouldn't want to have gone there in the first place...

You should note that this is a physics department looking to recruit graduate students to do research in physics. Period.

stardust
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Re: Question on Stanford App

Postby stardust » Sat Nov 22, 2008 1:00 am

I would think it pretty bleak, sad, and unfair if white males don't have to answer the
question and everyone else does. In fact, the idea of that makes me sick to my stomach,
as disgusting as any other kind of elitism. That's really saying to the non-white males that
they have to justify their existence whereas the white males don't have to justify anything.
If it were true that race and gender only count, then you can just check a box for that
and don't need an essay. (I care about British wit since outside of physics, I live for
comedy :) )

If the physics department doesn't require it they should say so. Is there really some
life experience that would garner an acceptance over physics talent? I thought they
got rid of affirmative action.

I dont' think you can really say you got in without it so its okay for everyone. Maybe you
had compensating things they wanted more, or the admissions committee that day didn't care. In other words, if it were me, I would need a bigger sample size than one person.

I agree with the idea though that no one should have to answer it across the board. If
affirmative action is not 'in law' right now, then they shouldn't be doing it underhandedly.

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twistor
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Re: Question on Stanford App

Postby twistor » Sat Nov 22, 2008 1:55 am

Funny, I can't recall reading a single physics paper or review article where the scientists' background or life experiences were relevant to the results or topics discussed.

"I overcame all challenges and adversity to become a virtuoso sousaphone player in an all Asian, all sousaphone band. This makes me a better physicist because ... "

kaosgrace
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Re: Question on Stanford App

Postby kaosgrace » Sat Nov 22, 2008 4:13 am

It's not intended to imply that diversity points make you a better physicist. That sort of question would probably be used either:

- as a tiebreaker ("Both of these candidates are supremely qualified, show potential to be amazing physicists, and will likely be accepted by 90% of the top departments they apply to, but this one managed to do it while living in a dirt hut scratching equations in the floor with a stick after working in the rice paddies for 12 hours every day, so he/she will make a wonderfully exploitable graduate student")

- or perhaps in some instances an explanation for a weakness in the application ("This candidate grew up in a country where girls aren't allowed to be educated past the eighth grade, so she self-studied under the blankets at night with a flashlight before running away to college in a different country, which explains why her GPA in the first two years of college was a 2.1 and she had to take remedial math" or "This student lived in an active war zone in Africa and was conscripted by a rebel army halfway through his undergraduate education, which explains the interruption in his education, the lack of research experience, and the fact that it took him seven years to complete the degree.")

I seriously doubt any department worth applying to would reject a candidate they really want based on a lack of diversity points. No unqualified applicant is going to get in based on diversity points alone (unless, as above, truly exceptional circumstances can explain a potential disqualification and make it evident that the candidate's aptitude and love for physics is much greater than it may appear from the record). But questions like this can make it easier to choose from the pool of qualified applicants without having to rely strictly on the numbers alone by letting them know something about the applicants' backgrounds and talents; we all know that top students' "numbers" are difficult to evaluate in isolation and don't always paint a perfect picture of their potential. If they did, Indian and Chinese physics students would vastly outperform American ones at the same institution, and they don't.

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secander2!
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Re: Question on Stanford App

Postby secander2! » Sat Nov 22, 2008 6:03 am

stardust wrote:I would think it pretty bleak, sad, and unfair if white males don't have to answer the
question and everyone else does. In fact, the idea of that makes me sick to my stomach,
as disgusting as any other kind of elitism. That's really saying to the non-white males that
they have to justify their existence whereas the white males don't have to justify anything.

@stardust, nobody has to answer this question, but if you can do so in a meaningful way, it will only help you! It's like saying that people who haven't published refereed journal articles are elitist bastards because it's sad and unfair that they don't answer the "List Your Published Works" section. Still, I agree with you, it would be nice for the physics department to mention that it's optional or something.

@twistor, hahah!

@kaosgrace, Good way to put it!

stardust
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Re: Question on Stanford App

Postby stardust » Sat Nov 22, 2008 12:31 pm

@secander2!
That's not a good analogy. It is well known that publications help everybody. It is
not well known that a hardship or a disadvantage of some kind is an application advantage.
And unique perspectives due to upbringing or being a minority shouldn't have to be
judged or justified on how it can help someone. But, people are implying that if they are white male then they don't have to contribute to their classmates or to diversity. Everybody else is the diversity and they are not. In
other words, the white male perpective is implying that everyone is there to give them
perspective and give them a well-rounded environment and they don't have to give back in anyway. I can't totally agree that its optional. I once met a guy from Ethiopia in a top school (I was there on a summer program). He was mad he didn't get into a different top school and how could they not take a guy from Ethiopia who also had research experience. The problem with those kinds of diversity explanations is that there is a temptation for a school to say, we have two of those, we don't need anymore. I think everyone should have to answer how they can bring something to their classmates or community or no one should. I think those things also can be put in the SOP if it was that relevant to shape the person's physics. But, it also seems that those things shouldn't count somehow. If you are as good a physicist as someone else and came from under a rock I don't see why a more advantaged person should be penalized because they had an easier pathway because they are just as good. This is why I can't do sociology and I'm sticking with physics :). I also heard that the NSF funding application has a similar question about impact. The white males who can't think of anything really will be thrown out there as I heard this guy was. He had no idea what to write. Now I'm wondering how Einstein would have answered that question being a white male. It's kind of like in the election. Did McCain being a POW make him more qualified? Well, not really. Actually, a better question for us might be what
intangible research/scientific skills do you have that could help your classmates and
other scientists. I'm good at re-writing grant proposals or I'm good at putting together
some electronic equipment, etc.. But, even then, how can one person be valued more
than another. I dont' think anyone should participate in these popularity contests. We
should all boycott them. (It reminds of picking teams for gym class. As the nerds,
we all know what that was like :) )

tmc
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Re: Question on Stanford App

Postby tmc » Sat Nov 22, 2008 1:32 pm

Look stardust,

The question is on the same page as 'explain times where you have been on academic probation' and 'list any publications you might have' and 'list additional academic information'
Those are all optional questions. The idea is that if you have something interesting to point out about your background, then you may add it here. If you don't, then don't write anything. That's it. Stop reading too much into a question on the app. If they wanted a meaningful answer, they wouldn't put a 700-character limit.

If you wish to mention additional academic accomplishments, you put it there. If you want to mention honours or publications, you put it there. And if you want to mention how your background makes you a better candidate, then you also put it here. If you don't have any of these, don't write anything.

cato88
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Re: Question on Stanford App

Postby cato88 » Sat Nov 22, 2008 3:51 pm

tmc wrote:Look stardust,

The question is on the same page as 'explain times where you have been on academic probation' and 'list any publications you might have' and 'list additional academic information'
Those are all optional questions. The idea is that if you have something interesting to point out about your background, then you may add it here. If you don't, then don't write anything. That's it. Stop reading too much into a question on the app. If they wanted a meaningful answer, they wouldn't put a 700-character limit.

If you wish to mention additional academic accomplishments, you put it there. If you want to mention honours or publications, you put it there. And if you want to mention how your background makes you a better candidate, then you also put it here. If you don't have any of these, don't write anything.


Wow that is the best answer I have seen to sum up that section and similar ones.

stardust
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Re: Question on Stanford App

Postby stardust » Sat Nov 22, 2008 4:23 pm

@tmc
not necessarily

One question is asking 'how do you contribute', another is asking 'if you have any'. Just
based on the wording alone the first one isn't inviting you not to answer.

But that's just the point when you have committees. Some people interpret it as you
and some as me and hopefully you won't be affected by that.

If you have nothing to contribute as you say, I think it looks worse. And it is offensive
to think minorities have to contribute and you don't. It also says work and life experience so its not just about affirmative action.

Do you honestly think every white male is leaving it blank? I don't because I don't believe
anybody has nothing to contribute. Your showing by not answering that you are not
WILLING to contribute.

Imperate
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Re: Question on Stanford App

Postby Imperate » Sat Nov 22, 2008 7:36 pm

I dont see how you can find this question offensive to minorities, if anything it is bias against white domestic males. The presence of this questions suggests that minorities or ethnic groups may have an increased chance of acceptance simply to meet their diversity quota as oppose to academic merit only.

I dont think theyre saying minorities must contribute and white males dont have to, what this question suggests is if you have exactly the same academic background as a white american male, same GPA/GRE scores etc and it is a tie between the two, they may choose the minority over the domestic just for affirmative action and to increase their graduate diversity. So if anyone is being put at a disadvantage by this kind of question it's the boring domestic white male.

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zxcv
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Re: Question on Stanford App

Postby zxcv » Sat Nov 22, 2008 8:23 pm

You certainly don't have to leave answer any question, but I think leaving any section of your application completely blank is a mistake (you'll find similar sections in applications for other schools). Everything has something they can talk about, even if they have to struggle a little bit.

Most likely for grad school admissions this won't make much of a difference for most students, but schools do care about having a diverse student body, some more than others. And it's really not just about whether you have a minority background, but those with unique experiences and backgrounds, too. Everyone has something unique they can talk about.

Note: If any of you guys applied for the NSF fellowship (or will do so next year in grad school), the "bullshit" criteria on "broader impacts" (e.g. promoting diversity, sharing discoveries broadly, teaching and benefiting society) is taken very seriously. From my experience and the successful applications I've seen, I can pretty much guarantee that no matter how brilliant you are, if you don't devote a large amount of effort to demonstrating those criteria, you will not win the fellowship. It's given equal weight with "intellectual merit" in their evaluation criteria.

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Helio
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Re: Question on Stanford App

Postby Helio » Sun Nov 23, 2008 4:46 am

Could I ask where this on the stanford app cause i can't find it for the life of me...

And on another note... I have spoken with a prof there who has been on the admissions committee before and he says they take about 10 to 20 minutes to review your app. So do you really think they will care about this when they have a stack of 400 in front of them, unless you are a minority or have some other special status?

stardust
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Re: Question on Stanford App

Postby stardust » Sat Nov 29, 2008 1:06 pm

quizivex wrote:
stardust wrote:It's also elitist.
Oh here we go again, is this your new favorite word?


How about I refer to you as "elitist swine" and drop the elitist part? :)


quizivex wrote: An “elitist” school? Schools can’t be intrinsically elitist, only individual people can be. And who gets to decide what schools are elitist? You perhaps?


Semantics. Go be a lawyer! Yes, I decide :).

quizivex wrote: I was shocked when you wrote this on the other thread:
stardust wrote:I would think it pretty bleak, sad, and unfair if white males don't have to answer the question and everyone else does. In fact, the idea of that makes me sick to my stomach, as disgusting as any other kind of elitism. That's really saying to the non-white males that they have to justify their existence whereas the white males don't have to justify anything.

Imperate said it best:
Imperate wrote:I dont see how you can find this question offensive to minorities, if anything it is bias against white domestic males. The presence of this questions suggests that minorities or ethnic groups may have an increased chance of acceptance simply to meet their diversity quota as oppose to academic merit only.


quizivex wrote: Seriously, you know as well as we do that white males have the least to gain from that part of the application, and yet you call us elitist snobs for not writing some BS answer? The committee's intent with this question wasn't to make students justify their existance, but to show what makes them special... If anything, leaving it blank is humble/modest, not elitist!


I don't agree that the question is what is "special" about anybody, but what factors describe you as contributors to
the diversity of your classmates. First of all, if it were about minitories, then that's taken care of elsewhere on the
app. If it were about sob stories, that can also be in the statement of purpose. So, either the question doesn't
really count towards admissions (or shouldn't) or its the classic 'head fake'. A head fake is when you think you are
describing your interest in the SOP for example, and even that can be substituted with box checking, and its really
a test of writing, enthusiam, and passion. So, if it is a head fake, I would think its asking the willingness you
have of contributing to your classmates. It isn't about what you gain, but what you give. If it is taken at as 'special'
value, then it would be horrible to accept people based on special circumstances that aren't really qualifying, like
McCain being president just from being a POW. The American people didn't fall for that. If it is taken at face value
then you have to buy into it that diversity makes for a better scientific outcome. Our research and scientific results
come out better when not everyone is the same.

Regarding the original poster, he has an international perspective and a European one and that is helpful to
scientific discovery when working with colleagues. I view the domestic hairless white male as one of the mix,
one group in a bunch of groups that contributes to the whole. If you don't think you have to contribute and
everyone is there for your benefit, then you are missing the point. You are neither the norm nor the standard, but one
of the mix. You have to contribute also.

quizivex wrote:Your hypersensitivity and reverse racism are getting out of hand. If you continue to act like this, you will detract from the experience your peers get out of the forum this year. Your recent thoughts just haven’t been reasonable.


If this is exemplary of the kind of people who leave things blank, then I would pull them for rejection. Not only
does he not believe he has to contribute to the diversity, but anyone with a different opinion is slandered and
censored. This is exactly the kind of person who would not be a helpful or contributing classmate.

tmc
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Re: Question on Stanford App

Postby tmc » Sat Nov 29, 2008 3:21 pm

I don't study physics in order to contribute to the social diversity of the universities to which I apply.

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Helio
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Re: Question on Stanford App

Postby Helio » Sat Nov 29, 2008 4:21 pm

What I really do not understand is that they are admitting international students too, so the class is technically diverse from a cultural and for the most part from a racial perspective (it says for the most part, as a reminder, and btw citizen of india count as Caucasian). I am not sure what they want to achieve really outside of using a standard form that has been dictated by the school. I honestly believe that unless you are a minority or have some special need they will not considering anything important or rejection worthy. because most applicants will write something like:

"I am John Doe, I have lived in a BLHAH, done BLAH and therefore am diverse"

stardust
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Re: Question on Stanford App

Postby stardust » Wed Dec 03, 2008 3:22 am

I wonder since we don't all agree on this issue whether it really only comes down to money.
Maybe they are trying to fit people to fellowship offerings and that's one way of doing it.

@tmc,
Write that and see if you get in :). Neither does anybody else for that matter.
The real diversity is that the physics group is supplying the whole university with geeks and
freaking out the English majors and other humanities majors who wouldn't be caught dead
conversing with that level of geekdom. Ultimately that is what I will write. :)

tmc
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Re: Question on Stanford App

Postby tmc » Wed Dec 03, 2008 4:20 am

I'm actually not from the US, so I do have something relevant to put there.

I still think it's dumb...

sterculus
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Re: Question on Stanford App

Postby sterculus » Wed Dec 03, 2008 4:39 am

stardust wrote:I wonder since we don't all agree on this issue whether it really only comes down to money.
Maybe they are trying to fit people to fellowship offerings and that's one way of doing it.

That's certainly possible. There may be university-wide fellowships for specific underrepresented groups that the essay is used to judge between applicants.

theprub
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Re: Question on Stanford App

Postby theprub » Sun Oct 31, 2010 9:02 pm

Im a Filipino mathematician at UC Berkeley applying to Stanford's grad school:

Here's my reply:

Im from UC Berkeley therefore I know what it feels like to be the best, and my Stanford classmates can learn from my experience.

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grae313
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Re: Question on Stanford App

Postby grae313 » Sun Oct 31, 2010 9:15 pm

theprub wrote:Im from UC Berkeley therefore I know what it feels like to be the best.


GO BEARS!


Seriously though... cultural/language barrier, sly sense of humor, or overwhelming egotism? Vote now.

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YodaT
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Re: Question on Stanford App

Postby YodaT » Mon Dec 06, 2010 11:07 am

I don't know, I'll be applying to grad schools next year... and for someone like me (a minority unwilling to mark my minority status on applications) it is extremely helpful. Think about it for a moment;

I grew up in a trailer park, with an alcoholic dad, life expectancy of 14 years old (couldn't walk for 10 months on my 15th birthday), went through heart surgery and leg surgery at age 18 (a second heart surgery last year and life threatening complications end of my first-year)... there's still the matter of alcoholism I recovered from, the attempted suicides, and counseling for clinical depression I would not dare put on an application. Hmmm, what else... I've been shot at and my ex-girlfriend was diagnosed with cancer.

Of all that college was a fluke... physics was fluke. Now, I'm preparing two papers (both publishable) as a third-year student, have won multiple art contests, and can now speak three languages. My gpa is good and I picked up minors in math and computer science (I never even owned a computer 'til my second-year in college and my highest math class in high school was pre-calc at a major university... still I tested out of several calc courses in college). There is no way I can portray this anywhere in an application. My SOP is gonna be me bullshitting about how much physics means to me, glorifying my research, and talking about what college has (or was suppose) to teach me.

The problem about physics is that so many people obsess over it like it is all that exists in life. When you're a grad student or a serious research physicist you will have a life on the side. The question is, will you be able to do the physics with your life on the side? Will you still be able to produce results and teach when a loved one is in the hospital or a family member dies? So, answer the question if you'd like... and stop bitching about minorities (I am one and it is people like you that make me not want to mark my status). Some of you talk as if diversity doesn't matter in physics... think about Chadrasekhar or Nambu. Think about Ramanujan. Their cultures influenced their ideas.

All in all (like someone else said) answering this can only help you. If you're a boring suburban white male, talk about your amazing paper routes as a kid. If you're a rich white male, talk about that amazing ski trip you had overseas and how that hot instructor taught you French in a week. If you're a female, talk about an ex-boyfriend, Sally Ride, or Marie Curie. Or if you're a minority and lazy just sell out, mark your status and hope you get in... be the stereotype. So, stop whining and answer the damn question. Its a few hundred words... based on the beliefs of "tmc", for someone as pristine and more qualified then us brown folks I'm sure you can finish it in half the time it'd take me.. which would be 30 minutes.

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grae313
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Re: Question on Stanford App

Postby grae313 » Mon Dec 06, 2010 12:27 pm

YodaT wrote:The problem about physics is that so many people obsess over it like it is all that exists in life. When you're a grad student or a serious research physicist you will have a life on the side. The question is, will you be able to do the physics with your life on the side? Will you still be able to produce results and teach when a loved one is in the hospital or a family member dies? So, answer the question if you'd like... and stop bitching about minorities (I am one and it is people like you that make me not want to mark my status). Some of you talk as if diversity doesn't matter in physics... think about Chadrasekhar or Nambu. Think about Ramanujan. Their cultures influenced their ideas.

Thank you

YodaT wrote:If you're a female, talk about an ex-boyfriend, Sally Ride, or Marie Curie.

Now *** off. :)

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WhoaNonstop
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Re: Question on Stanford App

Postby WhoaNonstop » Mon Dec 06, 2010 2:24 pm

YodaT wrote:I grew up in a trailer park, with an alcoholic dad, life expectancy of 14 years old (couldn't walk for 10 months on my 15th birthday), went through heart surgery and leg surgery at age 18 (a second heart surgery last year and life threatening complications end of my first-year)... there's still the matter of alcoholism I recovered from, the attempted suicides, and counseling for clinical depression I would not dare put on an application. Hmmm, what else... I've been shot at and my ex-girlfriend was diagnosed with cancer.


And I thought my situation was bad... Honestly, I've debated about filling in this question myself (It seems to show up on the California applications). I don't really consider myself a minority in any sense. However, as you have mentioned for yourself, I do have a slight health complication (Hemophilia) that could be worthy for this part of the application, but I have decided I would like to be admitted because of my academics and not due to something else. So I believe there is plenty of reason to leave this section blank.

-Riley

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YodaT
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Re: Question on Stanford App

Postby YodaT » Tue Dec 07, 2010 7:03 am

grae313 wrote:
YodaT wrote:If you're a female, talk about an ex-boyfriend, Sally Ride, or Marie Curie.

Now *** off. :)


Haha, notice all the examples were mentioned with a bit of sarcasm. Yes, I know not all suburban white males, wealthy males, females, and minorities are like this... its a stereotype I exploit and make fun of.

CarlBrannen
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Re: Question on Stanford App

Postby CarlBrannen » Tue Dec 07, 2010 5:43 pm

Stanfod (sic) Physics just sent me a note to the effect that applications have to be finished by 12 midnight, Eastern Standard Time (9 pm Pacific Standard Time) on Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Not sure what their misspelt name signifies. I was going to delete the message as spam but got curious and opened it.

Carl

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HappyQuark
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Re: Question on Stanford App

Postby HappyQuark » Tue Dec 07, 2010 9:32 pm

CarlBrannen wrote:Stanfod (sic) Physics just sent me a note to the effect that applications have to be finished by 12 midnight, Eastern Standard Time (9 pm Pacific Standard Time) on Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Not sure what their misspelt name signifies. I was going to delete the message as spam but got curious and opened it.

Carl


I think you are confusing two different schools. Stanford is a university in California while Stanfod is a school in New York, where they don't pronounce the letter r.

CarlBrannen
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Re: Question on Stanford App

Postby CarlBrannen » Tue Dec 07, 2010 11:11 pm

Google gives nearly 800 hits for Stanfod + physics, so it must be a real school.

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HappyQuark
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Re: Question on Stanford App

Postby HappyQuark » Tue Dec 07, 2010 11:22 pm

CarlBrannen wrote:Google gives nearly 800 hits for Stanfod + physics, so it must be a real school.


I can't tell if your response was made jokingly or not, but for the sake of clarity I'll explain. If you pronounce the misspelled word "stanfod", i.e. without pronouncing the 'r', then it ends up sounding like you have a classic, stereotypical new york accent. Specifically, places like the Bronx tend to have non-rhotic accents and drop the letter 'r' near the end of words or attached to consonants.

For example, the sentence "I heard my dog bark in the park" would be said, "I heahd my dog bahk in the pahk".

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YodaT
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Re: Question on Stanford App

Postby YodaT » Fri Dec 10, 2010 5:13 pm

WhoaNonstop wrote:
And I thought my situation was bad... Honestly, I've debated about filling in this question myself (It seems to show up on the California applications). I don't really consider myself a minority in any sense. However, as you have mentioned for yourself, I do have a slight health complication (Hemophilia) that could be worthy for this part of the application, but I have decided I would like to be admitted because of my academics and not due to something else. So I believe there is plenty of reason to leave this section blank.

-Riley



I see what you're saying there. Life happens and I think that a better person would be able to handle such disadvantages more effectively and responsibly. To be honest this may the most difficult decision for me when (if) I fill these applications out... not for the length or content of my statement, but deciding whether or not I should. I'm obviously sustaining myself in college, have internet access, and have a means to financially support myself... there comes a time when you jump off that "I was poor" or "my childhood sucked" attitude and get put in with the rest of the crowd. But, then again there's that situation where you find yourself making up three exams in a week, while popping percocet... or lying on the bedroom floor passed out and twitching for 6 hours two days before finals. All of which, if they never occurred, would have had only positive effects. Those recent and immediate scenarios should be given precedence over your life stories.

But overall, I personally believe this is a good question to ask. In reality, you are being accepted by the university, too... and not just the department. If this is a standard of the university, then it is the university that has the right to make such policies. What would the world be like if you just put the book-smart, scholarly over-achievers, who've never experienced the world from another perspective, in the best universities? Academics is only a teaspoon in the ingredient of scientific progress. Creativity, asking the right questions, and showing the world that the sky is more than blue is the heart of research. And research is what we're all headed for in graduate school. You really can't gauge scientific progress or who'll make the next big leap, because science goes hand-in-hand with the evolution of human thought. Yes, it may seem us brown folks are dumb and have everything spoon fed to us. Yet, many of us may appear dumb, because the society we are forced to abide by thinks on a different level. The thing is that we too think on a different level. Bridging that gap is more valuable than admitting students to a institute of higher learning on the basis of pure academics.

pymtab
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Re: Question on Stanford App

Postby pymtab » Sat Dec 11, 2010 1:24 am

HappyQuark wrote:
CarlBrannen wrote:Google gives nearly 800 hits for Stanfod + physics, so it must be a real school.


I can't tell if your response was made jokingly or not, but for the sake of clarity I'll explain. If you pronounce the misspelled word "stanfod", i.e. without pronouncing the 'r', then it ends up sounding like you have a classic, stereotypical new york accent. Specifically, places like the Bronx tend to have non-rhotic accents and drop the letter 'r' near the end of words or attached to consonants.

For example, the sentence "I heard my dog bark in the park" would be said, "I heahd my dog bahk in the pahk".


It sounds more like an old jewish mother. Like Howard's "motha" from the Big Bang.

negru
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Re: Question on Stanford App

Postby negru » Sat Dec 11, 2010 1:38 am

pymtab wrote:It sounds more like an old jewish mother.


wow again with the racism! what has physicsgre become, the new Nazi HQ?

Don't you realize that by making fun of jewish mothers, you're making them feel less confident of their ability to correctly speak english? And that in the long term this may lead to them starting to speak less and less, until they become unable to communicate at all, fearing constant ridicule and mockery? And then they'll be treated akin to retarded monkeys, sold as slaves, tortured, beaten, and starved to death? Yeah, nice going, hitler. Do you want to decapitate them now, or beat them with sticks first?

pymtab
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Re: Question on Stanford App

Postby pymtab » Sat Dec 11, 2010 2:00 am

negru wrote:
pymtab wrote:It sounds more like an old jewish mother.


wow again with the racism! what has physicsgre become, the new Nazi HQ?

Don't you realize that by making fun of jewish mothers, you're making them feel less confident of their ability to correctly speak english? And that in the long term this may lead to them starting to speak less and less, until they become unable to communicate at all, fearing constant ridicule and mockery? And then they'll be treated akin to retarded monkeys, sold as slaves, tortured, beaten, and starved to death? Yeah, nice going, hitler. Do you want to decapitate them now, or beat them with sticks first?


please don't call me a Nazi.
And there is no single "correct" way of pronouncing english words.
Last edited by pymtab on Thu Dec 23, 2010 4:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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HappyQuark
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Re: Question on Stanford App

Postby HappyQuark » Sat Dec 11, 2010 2:01 am

negru wrote:
pymtab wrote:It sounds more like an old jewish mother.


wow again with the racism! what has physicsgre become, the new Nazi HQ?

Don't you realize that by making fun of jewish mothers, you're making them feel less confident of their ability to correctly speak english? And that in the long term this may lead to them starting to speak less and less, until they become unable to communicate at all, fearing constant ridicule and mockery? And then they'll be treated akin to retarded monkeys, sold as slaves, tortured, beaten, and starved to death? Yeah, nice going, hitler. Do you want to decapitate them now, or beat them with sticks first?


This would all be well and good if having any type of accent implied that the person wasn't speaking English correctly. It isn't but don't let things like facts and definitions get in the way, it's not as if it did in previous discussions.

negru
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Re: Question on Stanford App

Postby negru » Sat Dec 11, 2010 2:05 am

HappyQuark wrote:
negru wrote:
pymtab wrote:It sounds more like an old jewish mother.


wow again with the racism! what has physicsgre become, the new Nazi HQ?

Don't you realize that by making fun of jewish mothers, you're making them feel less confident of their ability to correctly speak english? And that in the long term this may lead to them starting to speak less and less, until they become unable to communicate at all, fearing constant ridicule and mockery? And then they'll be treated akin to retarded monkeys, sold as slaves, tortured, beaten, and starved to death? Yeah, nice going, hitler. Do you want to decapitate them now, or beat them with sticks first?


This would all be well and good if having any type of accent implied that the person wasn't speaking English correctly. It isn't but don't let things like facts and definitions get in the way, it's not as if it did in previous discussions.

Well that's irrelevant since the only thing that matters is self-perceived ability right? If people make fun of your accent, it's going to leave deep scars on your brain, obviously.

negru
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Re: Question on Stanford App

Postby negru » Sat Dec 11, 2010 2:11 am

In the previous discussion we were talking about how ridicule from men keeps women away from physics. We never talked about the women doing good or bad physics, just any type of physics. Likewise, here we are talking about these soon to be sold as slaves (you already started it, there's no going back, sorry) moms stopping to communicate because they feel ridiculed for what they're doing: not that they're doing it wrong.

CarlBrannen
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Re: Question on Stanford App

Postby CarlBrannen » Sat Dec 11, 2010 12:53 pm

Stanford has a place where, if you've previously been denied admission, you provide an explanation for why this time should be different. I applied back in 1982. So it was all I could do to not write "I believe that the standards at Stanford have dropped considerably in the past 30 years."




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