Page 1 of 1

Does size matter?

Posted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 4:03 pm
by wisegops
I have come to learn from a few who have been there, done that,...that some of their Profs right really short letters of recommendation. Surprisingly it works for them, like there was this one guy, his referee wrote 4 to 5 sentences and that was it, next thing u know, he is in Stanford. Of course his referee was a famous name.

But i am just curious, does it matter at all what the referee has to say, or is it only about who he is?
There are some Professors I know who write at great length, like 2 pages or so about how good their student is and all that,
do admission committee members really pay too much attention to what's actually written?

Re: Does size matter?

Posted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 5:13 pm
by grae313
There are lots of physics grad students in Stanford, MIT, etc, and not that many famous letter writers. Do the math.

You've no doubt heard of the one-sentence letter that got Nash into Princeton: "This man is a genius." There are a lot of different ways to endorse someone, and I'm certain that people sitting on admissions committees read what is written carefully for the applicants they are seriously considering, and take into account both who the letter writer is and what the letter content is.

Re: Does size matter?

Posted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 5:13 pm
by Mataka
My opinion is that the more famous the prof is, the shorter the letter can be, and the less famous the prof is, the longer the letter has to be.

Re: Does size matter?

Posted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 5:15 pm
by grae313
Mataka wrote:My opinion is that the more famous the prof is, the shorter the letter can be, and the less famous the prof is, the longer the letter has to be.


I would also tend to agree with this.

Re: Does size matter?

Posted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 4:28 am
by wisegops
Nash's 1 line reference is news to me. So its been going on for decades heh?