pqortic wrote:if he was a big name you should have put up with him during you research. professors are busy and they usually don't have time to teach a freshman research.
I strongly disagree. Yes, big name professors usually aren't around and don't really interact with the students much--especially new students. Yet somehow, people can still have good and productive times in these labs. That's because usually there will be a support structure in place, where older grad students or post docs are assigned to the new student. If he was abandoned by his mentor and forced to work overtime, he was in an environment that would not facilitate learning and good research. He was right to quit and find an environment where he could be more productive. That's what really matters, and he got two years of good research and a solid letter out of it. Being a well-known professor doesn't give you the right to run your lab like *** and treat your students like ***. Even if he had put up with it, what kind of a letter would he have gotten? Either a letter from a post-doc co-signed by this guy, or a vague and impersonal letter from the PI. Both are worth a lot less than a strong letter from a lesser-known PI who clearly knows the student well and worked with him. Maybe
it's more worthwhile to put up with adviser abuse as a grad student. If you suck it up and get through, after five or six years the PI would actually be able to write an informed letter about your work and graduate work with him would carry more meaning. But for undergrad research... no way. Learning and getting good research experience is more important, and the big name carries less weight for exactly the reasons I mentioned above.