phun says: "Yes, I believe in that case it was hard for them to find another 15 domestic students better qualified than those 15 international students. Just the fact that only 200 ppl applied to Yale tells me that their applicant pool is a very self-selected one, and not one where all physics-superstars of every american univerisity apply, such as Berkeley. "
I completely disagree with that. I think they can still find a smaller number of additional domestic students just as qualified. I don't believe a 200 person applicant pool is more self-selected. I don't think Yale is as popular for many reasons. New Haven is one of those reasons and its also smaller with less opportunities than at other institutions. I don't even agree that only superstars are the only ones applying to Berkeley.
phun says: "Those [lower ranked] schools would have less qualified international applicants, but in each school's own applicant pool, the same situation would be true (that admitted internationals are better qualified than non-admitted domestics). "
That's malarky!! I don't believe that at all. Then you are saying they are running out of Americans at each level. I completely disagree because the class sizes are so small compared to the applicant pool. You can already see people on this list getting into some schools but not others of the same caliber.
phun says: "The only thing I assume is that there would be more qualified students from the pool of entire student population in the world (except US) than from the pool of US student population."
Some, yes, but because of the 11 person class at yale, I don't believe they could not find another 15 in the American pool just as qualified. Many top Americans are rejected.
phun says: "I don't know what kind of qualifications average international students over average domestic students , but I assume that admissions committee members are not complete idiots who only care about numbers and advanced courses."
Then why do you assume they are better? You are saying they are better because the admissions committees said so. That's not really an answer.
Many of the posts on this list are talking about numbers making the first cut and being the highest priority along with name recognition of recommenders. The advance courses come into play in giving the candidate more experience. So, maybe it is knowledge moreso than potential in which case should Americans do 5 years BS/MS degrees and apply at that time? It was also said on this list and cutoffs might be used and committees don't read all the applications. That is strictly a numbers game. I do not think the admissions committees are idiots either, but admissions committee members have their biases and subjectivity like any other people.
Me: "I'm not against having foreign students, but when schools with large numbers of applicants and small numbers of seats go over 50% international it becomes a question of what is going on."
Phun: "I really don't think it's your job to question that. Perhaps when you do become a member of an admissions committee at a university, then you can start asking questions like that."
To this I would say: are you nuts? I should NOT question something? I can question anything I want to question. This is the essence and roots of what it means to be American for me- the individual that doesn't blindly follow everything. Why are you a blind follower? I didn't say I always have to be right, but I sure do have a right question things. I completely and totally believe in accountability. Since these decisions are behind closed doors we don't know what kind of formulas are used - there in effect is no accountability. As an American citizen I do have a right to be concerned with the state of science in my country and the world. If more of the training is going to foreigners than to Americans, I most certainly have a right to question. If its done legitamately without bias (yes, can you really find an impartial jury?), then I still view it as a wake-up call about educational reform in my own country. America is not a holding company for all the other countries where people just come here to see what they can get out of us. And what's wrong with saying if the foreign students are better they are pushing us like in any market economy to strive for better so let's improve.
I do agree with soluyanov, that the foreign scientists did help to make us great. But, I do see lots of foreign scientists who stay here and only staff their labs with their own countrymen. That not only biases against the US, but any other candidate from the rest of the world. Equal opportunity in any form is shot. If that is the same as on an admissions committee we are all in trouble. I also find that foreign scientists may have norms that are different than here and they shouldn't be inflicting those on us, age restrictions for example. I see that Europe is changing with respect to age - saying its now the time since PhD that makes the limits not how old you are. The US is freer and we would have to go backwards on freedoms that were earned and fought for - like people saying 'don't question anything'. This woman scientist I heard at a conference said when she called up for a job with an Iranian scientist here in the US, he told here he couldn't hire her because they already had a woman on staff. We all laughed, but things like that. There were articles recently about people from China wanting Harvard to drop information about race and only make undergraduate admissions merit based. Doing so they claim would make things more like Berkeley which is exclusively merit based and ended up with 70% asians for the undergraduates. Harvard of course is not going to be told what to do. But the trick to this argument is that the Chinese people complaining want admissions done the same way as in China, where there is a single admissions exam for college. We don't do that here. I can totally see foreign scientists who think that way making GRE scores more important than they should be applying there own societies ways of doing things here. I'm sure Americans bias also, but I am concerned about what is going on with a greater than 50% international admissions enough to say 'hey' and ask. Maybe its just that you can't split a class size of 11 in half so 6 for international and 5 for US is rougly half. I said nothing when it was 50%. I guess that was the line for me in combination with miniscule class sizes. I didn't expect the class sizes to be so small. But, if we combine the info from gradschoolshopper.com with the info from the list about, we'll see how many they had to accept to get the 11 for all the schools. The number of turn-downs the school gets would be interesting data.
I do not have data that admissions are kept to the percentages in the applicant pool. Many admissions people said this about the women candidates. If that is not the case, I wonder how they arrive at the 50% value for international students.
I'll have to look up the Perelman story - its sounds interesting. But, yes, I think that we do have to work in isolation to get any work done.
Not only that, it seems difficult to find collaborators you can trust. I didn't know that was so difficult until I heard stories. The other problem related to paper pushing is there is an underlying implication of incremental work is more valued than the risk taking breakthrough. If you wanted to design a way to make a real breakthrough it would be hard in this short-term system. I heard young profs. saying they have to go for tenure and the risks they take are much smaller.