Discussion of 2009 Profiles

  • This has become our largest and most active forum because the physics GRE is just one aspect of getting accepted into a graduate physics program.
  • There are applications, personal statements, letters of recommendation, visiting schools, anxiety of waiting for acceptances, deciding between schools, finding out where others are going, etc.

dsperka
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Re: Discussion of 2009 Profiles

Postby dsperka » Mon Feb 02, 2009 5:44 pm

This is my point, Id like to know from someone who is familiar with the area, like "as long as you stay away from this area..."

nonick
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Re: Discussion of 2009 Profiles

Postby nonick » Mon Feb 02, 2009 5:56 pm

I think we all know that Baltimore as a whole is not the best place to live. However, the question is whether JHU is in a much nicer area, and do you really have frequent contact with the people from the less nicer areas.

hpharty, any info on that?

hpharty
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Re: Discussion of 2009 Profiles

Postby hpharty » Mon Feb 02, 2009 6:48 pm

I definitely should have seen that one coming....

Let me start by giving you a little background. I moved to Baltimore after spending a little more than four years in Pittsburgh and about a year in Philadelphia. In all three of these cities I have lived in similar areas; namely places that were once neighborhoods full of industrial workers that have, in recent years, become popular spots for students/young professionals to live. (In particular: Oakland/Shadyside in Pittsburgh, East Falls in Philadelphia, and Hampden in Baltimore)

Based on my experiences in these neighborhoods and cities as a whole, I haven't found Baltimore to be any better/worse than Philadelphia or Pittsburgh. Of course there are dangerous areas, but I can hardly tell you a thing about them because I never need to be there, not even when traveling from campus to a bar or restaurant out in the city do I need to travel through the tough spots in Baltimore. Johns Hopkins basically exists in the north end of a sort of corridor of relatively safe, pleasant neighborhoods running from the Harbor into the suburbs. That being said, I wouldn't recommend that anyone spend much time in East/West Baltimore, but I would say the same things about North/West Philadelphia or Uptown Pittsburgh.

I would say that anyone who has a good sense of what it means to live safely in a city would find nothing unusual about Baltimore, especially not the area surrounding the Homewood campus. As a matter of fact, I rather like it here. There's plenty of things to do and Baltimore is a city full of generally friendly people. Unlike Pittsbugh, for example, you don't see every college graduate packing up and leaving town the moment the get a degree, people are staying here, because it is an exciting place full of opportunity for enterprising people to do well.

dsperka
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Re: Discussion of 2009 Profiles

Postby dsperka » Mon Feb 02, 2009 7:36 pm

How often do you make it downtown for a night out? Is it accessible by bus or anything? Is there anything to do in Hampden itself?

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Helio
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Re: Discussion of 2009 Profiles

Postby Helio » Thu Feb 05, 2009 10:51 pm

@nathan12343... I am surprised you did not apply to Stanford or Yale fro Solar Physics, since Stanford is the largest/best-funded group and yale very connected to it.

nathan12343
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Re: Discussion of 2009 Profiles

Postby nathan12343 » Thu Feb 05, 2009 10:57 pm

I considered Stanford but I decided I didn't want to go there. I don't really want to do more solar physics, the solar physics schools I applied to were for safety more than anything.

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Helio
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Re: Discussion of 2009 Profiles

Postby Helio » Thu Feb 05, 2009 11:03 pm

nathan12343 wrote:I considered Stanford but I decided I didn't want to go there. I don't really want to do more solar physics, the solar physics schools I applied to were for safety more than anything.


Cause when you mentioned the REU I figured it was the UArizona one at NSO... I guess you took that solar physics spot from me at UColorado, not that I particularly care :P

nathan12343
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Re: Discussion of 2009 Profiles

Postby nathan12343 » Thu Feb 05, 2009 11:19 pm

It was actually on Maui at the Haleakala observatories - much better spot to observe than a mountain in the New Mexico desert.

I'm sure there's more than one spot at CU for solar physics people as there's a decent number of faculty doing solar work at LASP, SwRI, and HAO. Considering I'm probably going to decline Boulder's offer, you might just get my spot.

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Helio
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Re: Discussion of 2009 Profiles

Postby Helio » Thu Feb 05, 2009 11:23 pm

nathan12343 wrote:It was actually on Maui at the Haleakala observatories - much better spot to observe than a mountain in the New Mexico desert.

I'm sure there's more than one spot at CU for solar physics people as there's a decent number of faculty doing solar work at LASP, SwRI, and HAO. Considering I'm probably going to decline Boulder's offer, you might just get my spot.



Well Austin and Wisconsin are two of my top choices and I got into both, so I don't particularly care about CU-Boulder. It was a back-up/reach school for me. I have just been working with their software so i was slightly surprised when i didn't hear from them and everybody else did.

babazula
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Re: Discussion of 2009 Profiles

Postby babazula » Sun Feb 08, 2009 6:47 pm

@ Michel

I've seen many profiles as good as yours, but i've never heard Princeton notifying an applicant in January. Even the webpage of Princeton says "Admissions decisions are made during February by a special committee of physics faculty members". So I guess your papers published in PRL? You should be a really exceptional candidate.

cato88
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Re: Discussion of 2009 Profiles

Postby cato88 » Sun Feb 08, 2009 7:08 pm

He has a killer profile. If he published in the right places there isnt really anything he could improve.

YF17A
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Re: Discussion of 2009 Profiles

Postby YF17A » Sun Feb 08, 2009 10:32 pm

That still doesn't explain why, as an international student, he heard from Berkeley and Princeton weeks before they're expected to make decisions...

cato88
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Re: Discussion of 2009 Profiles

Postby cato88 » Sun Feb 08, 2009 10:59 pm

The Princeton one I have heard of people hearing that early but not Berkeley. UCLA and UCB dont make any decisions before mid-Febuary. I have a feeling they dont even look at applications till late January.

dsperka
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Re: Discussion of 2009 Profiles

Postby dsperka » Tue Feb 10, 2009 3:32 pm

So I've been accepted everywhere I applied to so far. I should be really happy, but I'm only sort of happy. I wish I would have applied to some reach schools. Did I totally underestimate myself???

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Helio
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Re: Discussion of 2009 Profiles

Postby Helio » Tue Feb 10, 2009 4:46 pm

dsperka wrote:So I've been accepted everywhere I applied to so far. I should be really happy, but I'm only sort of happy. I wish I would have applied to some reach schools. Did I totally underestimate myself???


i have only been accepted by my reach schools so far... it is a bit odd really that all my back ups look like they will reject me.

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coreycwgriffin
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Re: Discussion of 2009 Profiles

Postby coreycwgriffin » Tue Feb 10, 2009 7:11 pm

Those of you who have been accepted ANYWHERE: Don't complain too much...

evilclaw2321
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Re: Discussion of 2009 Profiles

Postby evilclaw2321 » Tue Feb 10, 2009 7:27 pm

coreycwgriffin wrote:Those of you who have been accepted ANYWHERE: Don't complain too much...


I agree at least you know you've got options.

So if you don't here from somewhere by the time their open house weekend happens should you assume its a rejection?

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grae313
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Re: Discussion of 2009 Profiles

Postby grae313 » Wed Feb 11, 2009 3:17 am

You guys it is still way too early to think you will be rejected if you haven't heard from a school yet. The *majority* of admissions will be out by late February.

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coreycwgriffin
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Re: Discussion of 2009 Profiles

Postby coreycwgriffin » Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:24 am

grae313 wrote:You guys it is still way too early to think you will be rejected if you haven't heard from a school yet. The *majority* of admissions will be out by late February.


That's not the message I was trying to send. It still makes people who are waiting feel like crap when others actually have the nerve to complain about getting into top 30 schools.

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dlenmn
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Re: Discussion of 2009 Profiles

Postby dlenmn » Wed Feb 11, 2009 1:10 pm

evilclaw2321 wrote:So if you don't here from somewhere by the time their open house weekend happens should you assume its a rejection?


Your odds certainly are low by that point, but it doesn't always mean rejection. The same can probably be said a couple of weeks before the weekend.

dsperka
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Re: Discussion of 2009 Profiles

Postby dsperka » Wed Feb 11, 2009 1:10 pm

I wasn't complaining! Just discussing my profile.

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Helio
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Re: Discussion of 2009 Profiles

Postby Helio » Wed Feb 11, 2009 2:32 pm

And the laziest school prize goes too.... UCLA... Deadline Dec. 15th and they realized now (2/11) that one of recommendations is missing... only took them a whopping two months.

cato88
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Re: Discussion of 2009 Profiles

Postby cato88 » Wed Feb 11, 2009 3:43 pm

I knew it. They must gather applications in a closet until February on purpose.

MrKite
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Re: Discussion of 2009 Profiles

Postby MrKite » Wed Feb 11, 2009 3:45 pm

grae313 wrote:You guys it is still way too early to think you will be rejected if you haven't heard from a school yet. The *majority* of admissions will be out by late February.


orly? How do you figure that? From last years profiles?

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PhysicsPdx
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Re: Discussion of 2009 Profiles

Postby PhysicsPdx » Wed Feb 11, 2009 4:54 pm

MrKite wrote:
grae313 wrote:You guys it is still way too early to think you will be rejected if you haven't heard from a school yet. The *majority* of admissions will be out by late February.


orly? How do you figure that? From last years profiles?


I figured it out for the schools I applied to by writing a program that combed through the dates on http://www.thegradcafe.com/ and this site, created a histogram of dates vs. acceptance/denials, and calculated the probability of getting an acceptance/rejection over whatever interval I'm interested.

For me, the two big weeks should be this week and two weeks from now.

Even if you don't want to write a code to do it, it shouldn't take too long to do it by hand.

cato88
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Re: Discussion of 2009 Profiles

Postby cato88 » Wed Feb 11, 2009 6:29 pm

Didnt happen unless you post links to source code.

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Unnatural Log
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Re: Discussion of 2009 Profiles

Postby Unnatural Log » Fri Feb 13, 2009 5:55 pm

Wow meowful - I just noticed you got into Cornell astro. That's the one big place I'm still waiting to hear from. I wonder if this means they've made all their decisions already? Congrats!

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Helio
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Re: Discussion of 2009 Profiles

Postby Helio » Fri Feb 13, 2009 6:12 pm

Unnatural Log wrote:Wow meowful - I just noticed you got into Cornell astro. That's the one big place I'm still waiting to hear from. I wonder if this means they've made all their decisions already? Congrats!


hey are you attending any of the UT openhouses?

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Unnatural Log
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Re: Discussion of 2009 Profiles

Postby Unnatural Log » Fri Feb 13, 2009 6:21 pm

Helio wrote:
Unnatural Log wrote:Wow meowful - I just noticed you got into Cornell astro. That's the one big place I'm still waiting to hear from. I wonder if this means they've made all their decisions already? Congrats!


hey are you attending any of the UT openhouses?


Yup - the March one. The visit day is actually on my birthday!

I've been terrible about posting, I know.

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Helio
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Re: Discussion of 2009 Profiles

Postby Helio » Fri Feb 13, 2009 6:27 pm

Unnatural Log wrote:
Helio wrote:
Unnatural Log wrote:Wow meowful - I just noticed you got into Cornell astro. That's the one big place I'm still waiting to hear from. I wonder if this means they've made all their decisions already? Congrats!


hey are you attending any of the UT openhouses?


Yup - the March one. The visit day is actually on my birthday!

I've been terrible about posting, I know.



guess i will see you there

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dustdevil
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Re: Discussion of 2009 Profiles

Postby dustdevil » Fri Feb 13, 2009 6:35 pm

March for me too! The February weekend is during my spring break.

I feel bad, I'm flying from Houston to Austin. It's a 3 hour drive, but I don't have wheels.

See you guys there!!

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meowful
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Re: Discussion of 2009 Profiles

Postby meowful » Sun Feb 15, 2009 10:19 am

Unnatural Log wrote:Wow meowful - I just noticed you got into Cornell astro. That's the one big place I'm still waiting to hear from. I wonder if this means they've made all their decisions already? Congrats!


It actually sounded like from the e-mail that they were only notifying a few people who being given a particular fellowship, so I think more decisions from them will be coming soon! Good luck; I hope you're accepted!

cato88
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Re: Discussion of 2009 Profiles

Postby cato88 » Tue Feb 17, 2009 11:14 pm

Noojens. I thought the PGRE mattered a lot but not so much that you would be accepted into Cornell for program where PGRE is not required and rejected everywhere it was. However Cornell applied isnt too bad of a backup net.

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noojens
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Re: Discussion of 2009 Profiles

Postby noojens » Tue Feb 17, 2009 11:29 pm

The big difference between the schools I got rejected from and the program I'm in now (Cornell 1-year master of engineering in applied physics) is that the rejects were from PhD programs. I'm paying tuition at Cornell ($35k for the year), as opposed to getting paid $18-25k through fellowship/TA/RA in a PhD program. I found some outside funding, but you get the point. I guess I should add that to my profile.

I'm actually glad it worked out for me the way it did, though, as a year in grad school helped me realize I'm not interested in a physics PhD; I'm reapplying for energy engineering PhD programs for '10.

The moral? Study hard for your PGRE, all you '10 applicants. :)

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Helio
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Re: Discussion of 2009 Profiles

Postby Helio » Wed Feb 18, 2009 5:27 pm

Has anybody got the letter that Wisconsin had promised us regarding the funding and the official acceptance?


UCLA is getting lazier... They did not tell me that my app was complete now until I asked them :roll:

isobelojalvo
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Re: Discussion of 2009 Profiles

Postby isobelojalvo » Wed Feb 18, 2009 5:29 pm

Helio wrote:Has anybody got the letter that Wisconsin had promised us regarding the funding and the official acceptance?


UCLA is getting lazier... They did not tell me that my app was complete now until I asked them :roll:



Just got the Wisconsin letter yesterday... Still haven't decided which weekend to attend.

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Helio
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Re: Discussion of 2009 Profiles

Postby Helio » Wed Feb 18, 2009 5:30 pm

isobelojalvo wrote:
Helio wrote:Has anybody got the letter that Wisconsin had promised us regarding the funding and the official acceptance?


UCLA is getting lazier... They did not tell me that my app was complete now until I asked them :roll:



Just got the Wisconsin letter yesterday... Still haven't decided which weekend to attend.


i guess i am getting it today then... Problem when you live 2k miles away

isobelojalvo
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Re: Discussion of 2009 Profiles

Postby isobelojalvo » Wed Feb 18, 2009 6:14 pm

Helio wrote:
i guess i am getting it today then... Problem when you live 2k miles away


Yeah, I don't know about that, I'm in LA and that's about as far as you can get from Madison. I've found local mail to be really really slow in some places though...

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Helio
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Re: Discussion of 2009 Profiles

Postby Helio » Wed Feb 18, 2009 7:12 pm

isobelojalvo wrote:
Helio wrote:
i guess i am getting it today then... Problem when you live 2k miles away


Yeah, I don't know about that, I'm in LA and that's about as far as you can get from Madison. I've found local mail to be really really slow in some places though...



I am in LA as well and i didn't get it, then again I am in the ghetto and mail delivery has been very spoty.

abeboparebop
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Re: Discussion of 2009 Profiles

Postby abeboparebop » Wed Feb 18, 2009 9:37 pm

Helio wrote:
isobelojalvo wrote:
Helio wrote:
i guess i am getting it today then... Problem when you live 2k miles away


Yeah, I don't know about that, I'm in LA and that's about as far as you can get from Madison. I've found local mail to be really really slow in some places though...



I am in LA as well and i didn't get it, then again I am in the ghetto and mail delivery has been very spoty.


I'm in NYC and I got mine four days ago (last Saturday, I guess).

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Helio
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Re: Discussion of 2009 Profiles

Postby Helio » Wed Feb 18, 2009 9:46 pm

it could be by last name, so it might take longer and because of the holiday.
Nothing today.... this is turning into another CU-Boulder

aleph
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Re: Discussion of 2009 Profiles

Postby aleph » Thu Feb 19, 2009 9:54 pm

Sorry to interrupt the conversation trend, but I just posted my profile, and am curious if you guys think I have a shot at any of the schools I applied to, or should I start looking for more secure backups... as you guys can understand, no acceptances or rejections is getting the best of me (its actually getting all of me)

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PhysicsPdx
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Re: Discussion of 2009 Profiles

Postby PhysicsPdx » Thu Feb 19, 2009 10:02 pm

aleph wrote:Sorry to interrupt the conversation trend, but I just posted my profile, and am curious if you guys think I have a shot at any of the schools I applied to, or should I start looking for more secure backups... as you guys can understand, no acceptances or rejections is getting the best of me (its actually getting all of me)


Start looking? I think you're a little late. Although, some schools have a later deadline if you don't need funding.

abeboparebop
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Re: Discussion of 2009 Profiles

Postby abeboparebop » Thu Feb 19, 2009 10:09 pm

aleph wrote:Sorry to interrupt the conversation trend, but I just posted my profile, and am curious if you guys think I have a shot at any of the schools I applied to, or should I start looking for more secure backups... as you guys can understand, no acceptances or rejections is getting the best of me (its actually getting all of me)


I want you to know that with a massive force of effort I overcame my tendency towards snark...

3 published papers, 3 more in the works, 5 major presentations, research in five different areas in undergrad? I think you are very likely to get in everywhere you applied to.

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PhysicsPdx
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Re: Discussion of 2009 Profiles

Postby PhysicsPdx » Thu Feb 19, 2009 10:22 pm

abeboparebop wrote:
aleph wrote:Sorry to interrupt the conversation trend, but I just posted my profile, and am curious if you guys think I have a shot at any of the schools I applied to, or should I start looking for more secure backups... as you guys can understand, no acceptances or rejections is getting the best of me (its actually getting all of me)


I want you to know that with a massive force of effort I overcame my tendency towards snark...

3 published papers, 3 more in the works, 5 major presentations, research in five different areas in undergrad? I think you are very likely to get in everywhere you applied to.


Amen. I posted based on the "looking for backups" then went and checked out his/her profile. Seriously, how is that supposed to make people with profiles like mine (not bad but not excellent) feel? If the poster has insecurity issues like this one, then he/she is in for way more difficulties in life than "can I get into these graduate schools."

isobelojalvo
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Re: Discussion of 2009 Profiles

Postby isobelojalvo » Thu Feb 19, 2009 10:24 pm

abeboparebop wrote:
aleph wrote:Sorry to interrupt the conversation trend, but I just posted my profile, and am curious if you guys think I have a shot at any of the schools I applied to, or should I start looking for more secure backups... as you guys can understand, no acceptances or rejections is getting the best of me (its actually getting all of me)


I want you to know that with a massive force of effort I overcame my tendency towards snark...

3 published papers, 3 more in the works, 5 major presentations, research in five different areas in undergrad? I think you are very likely to get in everywhere you applied to.


I was really hoping someone would be snark. Ah well. When you get into UIUC would you please withdraw your application from UCSB?

aleph
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Re: Discussion of 2009 Profiles

Postby aleph » Fri Feb 20, 2009 12:51 am

Well, I appreciate the vote of confidence from you guys, but I have to tell you a story. There once was a student from my university that made it to Harvard (and most definitely not to any science department) and he is still a protagonist in my school's TV commercials. People from my school do not make it to the University of Chicago, let alone Princeton or MIT. So you could understand my hesitation. Add that to the fact that Honduras has produced one great scientist in its history coupled with no acceptance letters.. sometimes it seems the odds are against me.

nonick
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Re: Discussion of 2009 Profiles

Postby nonick » Fri Feb 20, 2009 2:28 am

aleph wrote:Add that to the fact that Honduras has produced one great scientist in its history coupled with no acceptance letters.. sometimes it seems the odds are against me.

Actually being from an underrepresented country can actually be a plus, you get points for bringing diversity in the department. It's definitely better for the admission committees than coming from India/China.
That coming from another student from a relatively underrepresented nationality as far as physics goes (coming from a small Eastern European country) attending a liberal arts college who is actually getting into schools.

cato88
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Re: Discussion of 2009 Profiles

Postby cato88 » Fri Feb 20, 2009 2:58 am

If he doesnt getin it would be due to his PGRE since that is his only weak point since he is an international but it would be a shame.

aleph
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Re: Discussion of 2009 Profiles

Postby aleph » Fri Feb 20, 2009 10:44 am

cato88 wrote:If he doesnt getin it would be due to his PGRE since that is his only weak point since he is an international but it would be a shame.


That is exactly my concern. I underestimated the importance of the PGRE. I should've quit doing research for a couple of months and studied more for it. I was unaware that the average income PGRE's schools post, does not reflect the average for internationals.




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