If you do want to bring up yur curiosity, talk about it indiectly by speaking about research ideas you have. Just make sure they are (a) pertinent to research at the university, an (b) well-thought out (demonstrates connections to existing research (citations), includes a method of hypothesis testing, etx). If you can't to that then your curiosity isn't the kind you should brag about to the admissions committee.
In your posts, you repeatedly come off as quite insecure, constantly needing validation. If you are as insecure of yourself in real life, then you may have a hard time finding an advisor who will tolerate you. Also, it is not as difficult to produce nice research problems as it is to solve them. Solving a nice, open problem requires discipline. If you do not learn to discipline yourself, if all you do in graduate school is come up with new problems, you'll never finish your thesis.
HappyQuark wrote:I don't see where you get this notion that you are an independent worker. You ask more unnecessary and, for lack of a better term, silly questions than almost anyone else on the forum. Yes, you should emphasize that you are capable of being an effective worker that doesn't need his/her hand held for every piece of daily minutiae but, at the same time, you are comfortable and skilled at working in large groups. Did anybody really need to tell you that? Are you even remotely surprised that answer was, in essence, "I am an independent worker when it is beneficial and a collaborative worker when that is beneficial".
As to your extreme curiosity 'issue', it's more or less irrelevant to your application. You could, if you really felt the need, wax poetic about the deep spiritual bonds you feel to the universe every time you see a pendulum swing or a prism refract but at best it will waste valuable space on the page and, at worst, it will hurt you by allowing others to view you as a pop-sci junkie with a naive perception of how professional research is done. For what it's worth, I doubt that anyone on the forum is legitimately less curious about anything than you are, I'd be willing to be that we all just keep it to ourselves because the wide-eyed kid in a candy store routine stopped being cute past the age of 8.
Stick to the basics: what you want from the field, how you've shown you can attain that goal, and how you will benefit the program you are applying to
Even my personal essay?
Well, okay. I wouldn’t sweat the personal essay; in my experience it doesn’t have too much impact. Let’s put it this way: an incredibly good essay could help you, but a bad essay won’t do too much harm (unless it’s really bad). To a good approximation, all these essays sound alike after a while; it’s quite difficult to be original and inspiring in that format.
C'mon dude, stop asking retarded questions like this. This is almost the entire point of an SOP.InquilineKea wrote:And does projecting characteristics of potential success as an future independent researcher help?
grae313 wrote:C'mon dude, stop asking retarded questions like this. This is almost the entire point of an SOP.InquilineKea wrote:And does projecting characteristics of potential success as an future independent researcher help?
bfollinprm wrote:grae313 wrote:C'mon dude, stop asking retarded questions like this. This is almost the entire point of an SOP.InquilineKea wrote:And does projecting characteristics of potential success as an future independent researcher help?
I disagree, unless you remove the word "projecting". You need to show that you already have the characteristics.
What I meant to say (and I agree with you that I didn't really say it), is that the point of an SOP is to show that you will have "success as a future independent researcher" and so projecting any "characteristics of potential success as an future independent researcher" is a good thing.
Is it good to show that I have the traits that will lead to success in research? Duh--that's the point.
So find a department that is heavy in scientific computing, and try to convince the admissions committee that you have the basic knowledge to work as a serf there.
I'm not sure that showing them I'm competent (in terms of working on something they're not interested in) is useful. What they want is people to work on their work. And it's not that they don't have curiosity, it's that they're very busy and don't have any spare time. To advance, they have to work on stuff that will get them tenure, etc.
If you do a research project (e.g. REU) at a non-academic institution (e.g. govt. lab)
make sure the person writing your recommendation letters can make a useful
comparison of your performance with those of other students. General statements such
as “I was amazed how quickly Amanda learned how to analyze the data” are nice but
useless for admission committees. We are looking for “I was impressed that within a
month Amanda taught herself IDL, learned how to extract and calibrate data from the
BLAH database and re-plot them in the new co-ordinate system she developed with my
assistance. I have worked with 10 students over the past 3 summers and the only student
of her caliber is now finishing a PhD at Top Notch U.”
Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests