Recommender

cato88
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Recommender

Postby cato88 » Sun Jan 11, 2009 8:02 pm

Is it better to have a recommender who gushes about you and anyone he writes about or a recommender who is a tougher and would write good things but not that youre gods gift to science for anyone. Opinions?

nathan12343
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Re: Recommender

Postby nathan12343 » Mon Jan 12, 2009 12:51 am

Whichever one has more experience with you.

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secander2!
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Re: Recommender

Postby secander2! » Tue Jan 20, 2009 3:54 am

Like nathan12343 mentioned, you might want to pick somebody who has more experience with you. If they know you really well and are willing to gush about it, then I think it could really help!

My opinion is that you should also choose based on reputation. If both are unknown, you could possibly go with the "gusher". On the other hand if both are well-known, you'd probably want to go with the non-"gusher" since everybody knows that the "gusher" gushes (for instance, I've heard that a recommendation from Einstein was completely useless since he wrote a great recommendation for everybody!). It's good to keep in mind that due to recommendation inflation, there is little difference between a bad recommendation and a lukewarm recommendation. I believe it was Donald Asher who said that unless you're able to get somebody who is willing to jump up and down for you, then grad schools might be hesitant to accept you.

cato88
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Re: Recommender

Postby cato88 » Tue Jan 20, 2009 4:09 am

Its already past the deadline. Mostly getting nervous about one of my recommender because I know he wont gush about anyone but he is well known in his field. He will be honest about my strengths but I doubt he will write an inflated "he is the next Einstein" recommendation. He is also known for being a bit demanding. I have witnessed him heatedly arguing with other professors from other institutions about their research/interpretations for nearly an hour.

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secander2!
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Re: Recommender

Postby secander2! » Tue Jan 20, 2009 4:22 am

Sorry :oops: I should have known since the majority of deadlines are Jan 15th. Anyways, from what you've said, it sounds like you made a fine choice... it's mostly people like me (who have unknown recommenders) who need the jumping up and down to legitimate them. A good recommendation coming from somebody who is well known is going to be better than a excellent recommendation coming from somebody who you've never heard of!

cato88
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Re: Recommender

Postby cato88 » Tue Jan 20, 2009 4:46 am

I guess imjust nervous since decision time is coming up. Oh well cant do anything about it either way.

pqortic
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Re: Recommender

Postby pqortic » Tue Jan 20, 2009 6:49 am

and I found that one of my recommenders has wrtten just 2 lines as support of my behalf. say, "he is ... and ... and I strongly recommend him " . I don't know what he was thinking when submitting the letter. as I know him he wants to be famous.

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metric
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Re: Recommender

Postby metric » Tue Jan 20, 2009 9:35 am

secander2! wrote:On the other hand if both are well-known, you'd probably want to go with the non-"gusher" since everybody knows that the "gusher" gushes


I'm not completely sure secander, but it could be true. A member of an admission committee told me once that they expect all American recommenders to be gushers (at least a bit), this professor told me that if they see a letter from an American with only very moderate phrases, they think the student may be not good. It's probably true that if the recommender is well known, then it doesn't matter if it gushes or not. Just for the record: moderation is what they expect from European recommenders, an European gusher is apparently an oxymoron.

rohit
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Re: Recommender

Postby rohit » Tue Jan 20, 2009 12:05 pm

i wonder if someone can advise me FAST. 20 jan is Penn SU Astro deadline. I'm shaky about the last of my 3 recommendations. To make a long story short- i need to choose b'ween a hot-shot well known in his field who i took a 1 credit computational methods class(3 is the credit for a standard course) from, and topped it with an A+, but he says frankly that since it wasnt a substantial course , he wouldnt give the recco he'd write me much attention if he was on the admissions committee ( :) ). The other guy is also quite decent i guess, but he gave me a B in a 3 credit class, and i havent spoken to him about what kind of recco he'll give me.(i dont wanna explain how that situation came about), though he had offered a letter to the whole class (before giving the grades) if anyone was applying abroad. (i'm frm India). So i dont know if his recco will be lukewarm (i got a B!) or if he's agreed to give one , he'll make it good. Help ! Gotta fill in the form in a few hours.
btw if i fill in the form after 20th , in the early hours of 21st,(it'll be day here and i can talk to the second prof) will PSU check next day and see my online app complete and disregard the fact that it was done after 20th jan, which is the deadline for fullest consideration. My reccos and scores etc wont arrive till a few days later anyway

That wasnt a very short story was it? :oops:

valkyrie
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Re: Recommender

Postby valkyrie » Tue Jan 20, 2009 1:09 pm

cato88 wrote:Is it better to have a recommender who gushes about you and anyone he writes about or a recommender who is a tougher and would write good things but not that youre gods gift to science for anyone?


... If gushing is taken too far, it could backfire, at least. My thesis advisor told me about the most extreme case he ever saw, in which the recommender in all earnesty compared this student to Leonardo da Vinci. He was not admitted here. :)

But apart from that, I would just choose the recommender who knew you better and could write the more detailed/relevant letter. In some sense, the tougher recommender who writes about your weak as well as your strong sides might be more helpful, as it shows the committee he's honest.

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zxcv
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Re: Recommender

Postby zxcv » Tue Jan 20, 2009 3:46 pm

Rohit -- you do realize that even if they aren't strict, those deadlines are also for your recommenders, too? If you don't know the second guy substantially better, I would get a letter from the first guy, but certainly talk to anyone you're getting a letter from about what you can expect! In any case, your choice is pretty much needs to be dictated by whoever can write those letters fastest.

pqortic
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Re: Recommender

Postby pqortic » Tue Jan 20, 2009 5:18 pm

@ rohit

I think you should talk with the second professor for letter and tell him to make it seems better because he has already opened the discussion in the class. and I tell you s.th about the penn state U: the deadline for physics appl was january 15 and the secretary told me that they will lock the pages a minute after. but till today one can still edit the application. so this may be for Astro appl either. and I think this deadline could be less firm for receiving documents namely rec let. as it's in other schools.

rohit
Posts: 104
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2008 9:12 am

Re: Recommender

Postby rohit » Wed Jan 21, 2009 4:12 am

thnx for the tips guys. I gave the name of the 1st prof in the app. and inquired at PSU about 4 reccos. Will talk to the 2nd prof and hopefully send a 4th one.




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