Minnesota vs. Carnegie Mellon for particle cosmology

Which school would better fit my particle cosmology needs?

Poll ended at Tue Apr 14, 2015 11:35 pm

Minnesota
1
50%
Carnegie Mellon
1
50%
 
Total votes: 2

Catria
Posts: 353
Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2012 4:14 pm

Minnesota vs. Carnegie Mellon for particle cosmology

Postby Catria » Mon Mar 23, 2015 11:35 pm

Now that I have pretty much given up on Columbia, but still will have somewhere to go, I will try to make the best of what I have. Since Carnegie Mellon actually earmarks spots for waitlistees, rather than using it to fill up the class when too many No's have been recorded (like WUSTL, which I would most likely decline if admitted off the waitlist) I feel like pursuing that waitlist is worth it.

In terms of reputations within particle cosmology, Minnesota is better on the particle side, CMU on the cosmology side, but this is not a difference-maker when both sides are put together, and theory on both sides of particle cosmology is equally risky as far as career prospects are concerned. Both seem to care about students' well-being.

Here is a rundown of the data relevant for each school:

Minnesota:
Professors of interest: Olive, Peloso (originally interested in Vainshtein also but realized that he was close to retiring)
Stipend: $24,440/year (Minneapolis)
Greater ability for advanced standing (no need for placement test)
Farther from home
Large department
Cold weather

Carnegie Mellon:
Professors of interest: Holman, Flauger
Stipend: $28,500/year ($2,375/month; Pittsburgh)
More limited ability for advanced standing
Closer to home
Smaller department
Somewhat warmer (but still with all four seasons nonetheless)

Perhaps I was wrong to pursue the waitlist at CMU (I really hope the waitlistees will get their decisions within 2 weeks from now)...

In the interim, I committed to Minnesota so that I would have for sure somewhere to go to. (Should I feel like CMU really was the right choice, I could ask for a written release from Minnesota)

heisenbergh23
Posts: 34
Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2014 10:56 am

Re: Minnesota vs. Carnegie Mellon for particle cosmology

Postby heisenbergh23 » Tue Mar 24, 2015 12:03 am

Could you please explain what "earmarks spots for waitlistees" mean?

Catria
Posts: 353
Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2012 4:14 pm

Re: Minnesota vs. Carnegie Mellon for particle cosmology

Postby Catria » Tue Mar 24, 2015 9:45 am

heisenbergh23 wrote:Could you please explain what "earmarks spots for waitlistees" mean?


CMU is a little unconventional in how they use waitlists: they send out about ~50-60 offers or so to fill ~10 seats. Then comes the waitlist, where they are culling from ~20-25 waitlistees to fill 5-7 seats and who are not quite as good as the others.

They say they have trouble recruiting for God-knows-what-reason (what's the problem with Pittsburgh or CMU anyway, even when the stipend is $2,375/month?)...

TakeruK
Posts: 816
Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:05 pm

Re: Minnesota vs. Carnegie Mellon for particle cosmology

Postby TakeruK » Tue Mar 24, 2015 11:00 am

Catria wrote:
heisenbergh23 wrote:Could you please explain what "earmarks spots for waitlistees" mean?


CMU is a little unconventional in how they use waitlists: they send out about ~50-60 offers or so to fill ~10 seats. Then comes the waitlist, where they are culling from ~20-25 waitlistees to fill 5-7 seats and who are not quite as good as the others.

They say they have trouble recruiting for God-knows-what-reason (what's the problem with Pittsburgh or CMU anyway, even when the stipend is $2,375/month?)...


Why do you make a distinction between the 20-25 waitlistees and the 50-60 original offers? That is, what is the difference between the last person on the 50-60 list and the first person on the waitlist?

Catria
Posts: 353
Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2012 4:14 pm

Re: Minnesota vs. Carnegie Mellon for particle cosmology

Postby Catria » Wed Mar 25, 2015 12:26 am

Given the information I gave to compare the two schools, I wonder whether it really was worth pursuing the waitlist at CMU given what I want out of theoretical particle cosmology (early/very early universe)...

TakeruK wrote:Why do you make a distinction between the 20-25 waitlistees and the 50-60 original offers? That is, what is the difference between the last person on the 50-60 list and the first person on the waitlist?


I knew that schools at CMU's level and above often face difficult decisions when it comes to admitting students vs. waitlisting them, so I suspect it really isn't much in that particular instance.

That said, this information was supplied to me during CMU's open house, so the question becomes "Why does CMU make such a distinction"?

TakeruK
Posts: 816
Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:05 pm

Re: Minnesota vs. Carnegie Mellon for particle cosmology

Postby TakeruK » Wed Mar 25, 2015 11:01 am

Interesting. It might just be a logistical distinction -- i.e. make 50-60 offers first and only add more if enough people decline. I would not expect that being admitted as the 70th offer means you'll be treated that differently than being the 50th offer, for example.

Catria
Posts: 353
Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2012 4:14 pm

Re: Minnesota vs. Carnegie Mellon for particle cosmology

Postby Catria » Wed Apr 15, 2015 1:10 pm

Got rejected at CMU off the waitlist today, then I will go to Minnesota...




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