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graduate school

post #1 of 75
Thread Starter 
Hey, has anyone else applied to start graduate school in the fall?

I applied to the physics PhD program of a bunch of places.

I have only heard back from Columbia, Indiana University and Caltech. They have all accepted me.

I am really excited about it, anyone else share the joy?
post #2 of 75
That's great that you've already got some acceptances. Congrats! Now you can soak 'em for the best financial arrangements you can get. Tuition, stipend, new car, prostitutes on Wednesdays, the usual.
post #3 of 75
your name is fitting for your next few years in grad school...

enjoy the hell you have embarked upon, I know I have.
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post #4 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

That's great that you've already got some acceptances. Congrats! Now you can soak 'em for the best financial arrangements you can get. Tuition, stipend, new car, prostitutes on Wednesdays, the usual.

That's what I was gonna say.
Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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post #5 of 75
I'm going to law school in September 2008
post #6 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by agent_orange View Post

I'm going to law school in September 2008

I'm sorry.
post #7 of 75
Hey Shawn, what's your emphasis? Or do you even have one?
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post #8 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShawnJ View Post

I'm sorry.

Hahaha

I live in Scotland... the law is a bit different here than in the US. Why is it that most people think lawyers are evil?
post #9 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by agent_orange View Post

Hahaha

I live in Scotland... the law is a bit different here than in the US. Why is it that most people think lawyers are evil?

Because they are.

More seriously, there are a fair amount of lawyers who are adept at generating more work for themselves by relatively synthetic (read: dishonest) means. Lawyers and judges, in all reality, probably have a bit too much pull on the application of US civil policy. The proliferation of frivolous lawsuits and the general ineptitude of the contemporary jury system are two examples. But with that said, there are plenty of lawyers who are far from evil.
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post #10 of 75
Then there's Scott Boras. My idol.
"If I had played my career hitting singles like Pete (Rose), I'd wear a dress." - Mickey Mantle
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"If I had played my career hitting singles like Pete (Rose), I'd wear a dress." - Mickey Mantle
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post #11 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by agent_orange View Post

Why is it that most people think lawyers are evil?

On account of that scoundrel lawyer Mr. Wakem!

Quote:
"Well," said Mr. Tulliver, speaking all the more cheerfully, that Mrs.
Glegg might see he didn't mind her, "if Wakem thinks o' sending his
son to a clergyman, depend on it I shall make no mistake i' sending
Tom to one. Wakem's as big a scoundrel as Old Harry ever made, but he
knows the length of every man's foot he's got to deal with. Ay, ay,
tell me who's Wakem's butcher, and I'll tell you where to get your
meat."

"But lawyer Wakem's son's got a hump-back," said Mrs. Pullet, who felt
as if the whole business had a funereal aspect; "it's more nat'ral to
send him to a clergyman."

"Yes," said Mr. Glegg, interpreting Mrs. Pullet's observation with
erroneous plausibility, "you must consider that, neighbor Tulliver;
Wakem's son isn't likely to follow any business. Wakem 'ull make a
gentleman of him, poor fellow."

"Mr. Glegg," said Mrs. G., in a tone which implied that her
indignation would fizz and ooze a little, though she was determined to
keep it corked up, "you'd far better hold your tongue. Mr. Tulliver
doesn't want to know your opinion nor mine either. There's folks in
the world as know better than everybody else."

"Why, I should think that's you, if we're to trust your own tale,"
said Mr. Tulliver, beginning to boil up again.

"Oh, _I_ say nothing," said Mrs. Glegg, sarcastically. "My advice has
never been asked, and I don't give it."

"It'll be the first time, then," said Mr. Tulliver. "It's the only
thing you're over-ready at giving."
Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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post #12 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guybrush Threepwood View Post

Hey Shawn, what's your emphasis? Or do you even have one?

I don't get to pick courses until next year. So for right now my specialty is 12 hour days in the library reading, outlining, and case-briefing the standard first year law curriculum. But I think I like human rights, civil rights, and international law. My kinda subject matter, but you'd be surprised how much just that standard first year curriculum broadens your concept of justice. I never even *thought* about fair dealings in contracts, fair exercises of court jurisdiction in civil procedure, and the tons of specific public policy concerns that pop up in the hundreds and hundreds (and i mean hundreds and hundreds) of cases you'll read. The whole experience is slightly overwhelming (but still manageable)-- so if you don't have the fear of God in your eyes when you're there, look out. Oh boy will you be busy next year at McGeorge.
post #13 of 75
Everyone has said the first year is the hardest.

Yeah, lookin' forward to being hopped up on Adderall and locking myself in my den for a whole year...

I do hear, however, after that first year it gets quite a bit better.
"If I had played my career hitting singles like Pete (Rose), I'd wear a dress." - Mickey Mantle
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"If I had played my career hitting singles like Pete (Rose), I'd wear a dress." - Mickey Mantle
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post #14 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guybrush Threepwood View Post

Everyone has said the first year is the hardest.

Yeah, lookin' forward to being hopped up on Adderall and locking myself in my den for a whole year...

I do hear, however, after that first year it gets quite a bit better.

It's the hardest because of the adjustments you have to make and the learning curve you have to deal with. Yes, you say "lock yourself in the den all year" but that's literally what you have to do from day 1. Get yourself a schedule and keep to it, and understand that if you're not working 12 hour days (9-9), you're not going to do well unless you're really really smart. It's dreary when I put it like that, but there are definite high moments. Like spending hours doing your work, getting called on in class, and knocking it out of the park! Those moments keep you going.
post #15 of 75
Or the beer you get to drink while on Thanksgiving and Christmas break...

My buddy was drunk for a whole week when he came home from Berkeley for the holidays.
"If I had played my career hitting singles like Pete (Rose), I'd wear a dress." - Mickey Mantle
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"If I had played my career hitting singles like Pete (Rose), I'd wear a dress." - Mickey Mantle
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post #16 of 75
lol...

your tolerance goes way down.
post #17 of 75
Thread Starter 
Dude, I am sure law school is a walk in the park compared to Physics grad school. So, no worries.

By the way, I also heard from Yale and U. Wisconsin today. I got accepted.

Next year is going to be fun.

My top three candidates right now are Yale, Columbia and Caltech.

I have yet to hear from a few others. But right now it's all good. La creme de la creme, as they say.
post #18 of 75
Very impressive. Congratulations. Now go where you can get the best deal.

If you don't mind me asking, if you're shooting for the top physics schools, did you apply to Cambridge and Oxford, too?
Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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post #19 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by soulcrusher View Post

Dude, I am sure law school is a walk in the park compared to Physics grad school.

Congrats on all your acceptances!

But even someone who has the training and the know-how in physics would still find law school a really challenging experience. Professional school isn't by any means a walk in the park-- unless you regularly go for 12 hour walks every day. It's a huge investment of time and energy, and if it doesn't require 100% of your faculties, then you're either falling behind or a genius (most likely a physicist ).
post #20 of 75
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShawnJ View Post

Congrats on all your acceptances!

But even someone who has the training and the know-how in physics would still find law school a really challenging experience. Professional school isn't by any means a walk in the park-- unless you regularly go for 12 hour walks every day. It's a huge investment of time and energy, and if it doesn't require 100% of your faculties, then you're either falling behind or a genius (most likely a physicist ).

Agreed. Sorry, I put it that way.

I just wanted to drag the attention back to myself and away from law school .

Any discipline can become really challenging. It all depends how far you take it.
post #21 of 75
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by midwinter View Post

Very impressive. Congratulations. Now go where you can get the best deal.

If you don't mind me asking, if you're shooting for the top physics schools, did you apply to Cambridge and Oxford, too?

I find it interesting that you ask that. I had half-done my application to Cambridge but never finished it. I asked around the Physics Dept. here at Duke to see if it was worth applying to anywhere outside the US and they said "no".
Being an international student (from Costa Rica), I really had no preference on which country to go to for graduate school but I never found a reason to apply to anywhere but universities in the US.

The best schools I applied to are Caltech (which accepted me), MIT and Princeton (which I have yet to hear from). I personally have never expected to get into Princeton (it has the most selective program in the US) but I still gave it a shot.

There are also some other really good schools that I did not apply to (like Stanford and Harvard). They just did not catch my attention.
post #22 of 75
Interesting. I wonder why they would have told you that? Maybe more grant money in the US?
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post #23 of 75
Thread Starter 
I think that is pretty much it. There is more money for research in the US.

Also, PhD programs are different between the US and Europe. It takes much less to get a doctorate in Europe, I do not know why and if this means that you are less prepared.
post #24 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by soulcrusher View Post

I think that is pretty much it. There is more money for research in the US.

Also, PhD programs are different between the US and Europe. It takes much less to get a doctorate in Europe, I do not know why and if this means that you are less prepared.

It's just a different model of education. When I was looking at doing a D.Phil/PhD abroad, one model was basically that you told them wanted to work on and they said "OK. See you in 3 years."
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post #25 of 75
It's not just a different model, midwinter. European science has a completely different culture than US science -- current changes at funding levels in Europe are attempting to break the culture and move towards what the US has. Essentially, the current model is based upon institutes where there is basically only one lead researcher and everyone works for them. The lengths of PhDs in Europe vary by country to country but they are shorter mostly due to the lack of funding in which they sacrifice graduate course work for laboratory time...
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post #26 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by hardeeharhar View Post

It's not just a different model, midwinter. European science has a completely different culture than US science -- current changes at funding levels in Europe are attempting to break the culture and move towards what the US has. Essentially, the current model is based upon institutes where there is basically only one lead researcher and everyone works for them. The lengths of PhDs in Europe vary by country to country but they are shorter mostly due to the lack of funding in which they sacrifice graduate course work for laboratory time...

Gotcha. That makes sense. So it's go to Cambridge, work under Hawking? Versus go to Princeton, work under any of 10 people. Interesting. That's how the model works for advanced study in literature, too (you work under a specific person who ushers you through your studies, but you get to choose from among a bunch of specialists).
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post #27 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Splinemodel View Post

The proliferation of frivolous lawsuits

You're wrongly politicizing the federal rules of civil procedure when you say there's a "proliferation of frivolous lawsuits." The federal rules provide for sanctions for frivolous lawsuits, so the courts have an effective mechanism for dealing with that issue. A second point is that "frivolous" has a different meaning to lay people such as yourself. People wrongly believe a lawsuit is frivolous when someone sues on a seemingly absurd premise, usually having to do with someone going up against a business. Offending your political sensibilities isn't a good reason for changing the federal rules.
post #28 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by midwinter View Post

Gotcha. That makes sense. So it's go to Cambridge, work under Hawking? Versus go to Princeton, work under any of 10 people. Interesting. That's how the model works for advanced study in literature, too (you work under a specific person who ushers you through your studies, but you get to choose from among a bunch of specialists).

The english system is actually more similar to our own (makes sense right?) but the continent is arranged like I said. The problem is that in the UK there is only funding for 3 years of grad school, M. Thatcher had something to do with that... Most people leaving a UK uni do multiple post-docs if they want to go into academia, which is not essential in the US, say...
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post #29 of 75
I've applied to graduate school in Computer Science for the fall of 2007 -- heard back from one so far (accepted), waiting on the other ones . . . I applied to five total.
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post #30 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by soulcrusher View Post

Dude, I am sure law school is a walk in the park compared to Physics grad school. So, no worries.

By the way, I also heard from Yale and U. Wisconsin today. I got accepted.

Next year is going to be fun.

My top three candidates right now are Yale, Columbia and Caltech.

I have yet to hear from a few others. But right now it's all good. La creme de la creme, as they say.

I'm going to give the nay to Yale. This is because New Haven sucks. I don't know much about the facilities or personnel in any of the schools, but from what I know about you, Columbia (i.e. New York) would be the best bet.
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post #31 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShawnJ View Post

You're wrongly politicizing the federal rules of civil procedure when you say there's a "proliferation of frivolous lawsuits." . . . A second point is that "frivolous" has a different meaning to lay people such as yourself.

Snore...

we lay people are voters and on juries, and, indirectly, are the law. The fact that common perception is that legal procedure is in so many way full of itself is because we lay people have dealt with it, and realize how inefficient and often ridiculous it is.

We all know that these so-called frivolous lawsuits are made by larger players in order to squeeze out small-guys who don't tend to be as appreciative of ponying up cash so that a bunch of overpriced lawyers can quickly dismiss proceedings that should never have been respected in the first place. It's a typical business tactic, and it's a dirty one, but it's not a case where you should be throwing your hands up saying "don't shoot the messenger." The tactic only works because either the legal system itself or the law profession makes it work: there should be a simpler way to dispute ridiculous claims that doesn't cost a shit-ton of money and time. But as far as I know, there isn't, and you can bet the house that no lawyer would ever consider marginalizing his own meal plan by doing the right thing and fixing this problem.

Maybe you'll understand this when you actually graudate, pass the BAR, and are introduced to some real work. Until then, no amount of rote coursework recital is going to impress me.
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post #32 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Splinemodel View Post

Maybe you'll understand this when you actually graudate, pass the BAR, and are introduced to some real work. Until then, no amount of rote coursework recital is going to impress me.




Ding ding ding!
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post #33 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Splinemodel View Post

I'm going to give the nay to Yale. This is because New Haven sucks. I don't know much about the facilities or personnel in any of the schools, but from what I know about you, Columbia (i.e. New York) would be the best bet.

Isn't Yale in a shitty part of New Haven, too? A friend of mine's (albeit, in the late 80s) roommate at Yale was mugged and killed around the corner from campus.
Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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post #34 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Splinemodel View Post

Snore...

we lay people are voters and on juries, and, indirectly, are the law. The fact that common perception is that legal procedure is in so many way full of itself is because we lay people have dealt with it, and realize how inefficient and often ridiculous it is.

We all know that these so-called frivolous lawsuits are made by larger players in order to squeeze out small-guys who don't tend to be as appreciative of ponying up cash so that a bunch of overpriced lawyers can quickly dismiss proceedings that should never have been respected in the first place. It's a typical business tactic, and it's a dirty one, but it's not a case where you should be throwing your hands up saying "don't shoot the messenger." The tactic only works because either the legal system itself or the law profession makes it work: there should be a simpler way to dispute ridiculous claims that doesn't cost a shit-ton of money and time. But as far as I know, there isn't, and you can bet the house that no lawyer would ever consider marginalizing his own meal plan by doing the right thing and fixing this problem.

Maybe you'll understand this when you actually graudate, pass the BAR, and are introduced to some real work. Until then, no amount of rote coursework recital is going to impress me.

Well I'm not going to get into details when that doesn't seem to interest you, so:

1. Our system has ways of dismissing claims that shouldn't get to court.
2. Most claims don't even get to court in the first place. (decided in summary judgment, dismissed, or settled)
3. There are sanctions for lawyers who advance fraudulent claims.
4. As far as the cost of litigation-- legal services are expensive, what can I say?

We all know "frivolous litigation" is more of a politically-motivated phrase than anything else, so let's not pretend you actually care about procedure.
post #35 of 75
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Splinemodel View Post

I'm going to give the nay to Yale. This is because New Haven sucks. I don't know much about the facilities or personnel in any of the schools, but from what I know about you, Columbia (i.e. New York) would be the best bet.

Funny. I am leaning towards Yale.

There are two very good groups that do particle detector R&D. They use the detectors for neutrino physics and dark matter searches. They have opportunities on both lab work and data analysis. I would like to do both, not only one (I would not like to spend my entire graduate career in front of a computer!).
post #36 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by soulcrusher View Post

(I would not like to spend my entire graduate career in front of a computer!).

probably 75% will be spent in front of a computer.
25% will be spent in front of a pitcher of beer.
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post #37 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by soulcrusher View Post

I would like to do both, not only one (I would not like to spend my entire graduate career in front of a computer!).

Ooh.

A visit to Geneva (CERN) on the horizon?
post #38 of 75
Thread Starter 
Haha. nono. The LHC, and colider physics in general, is not my thing. I like small collaborations. So, I am looking for small groups that do outstanding research. Still in particle physics though.
post #39 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by midwinter View Post

It's just a different model of education. When I was looking at doing a D.Phil/PhD abroad, one model was basically that you told them wanted to work on and they said "OK. See you in 3 years."

That's what mine is like. (I'm on first year PhD). They give you the facilities, equipment, participants and budget and let you choose your own path for how to spend your time. After all, once you're at PhD level, it would be a bit insulting to be told what to study or given assignments. I know I have three (now about 2.5 really) years to produce a 70,000 word thesis. It's up to me what to do when.

As regards the course length, I think part of the difference is the tendency to specialise earlier in the UK. Out of the three years of my undergraduate course, 330 credits (out of 360) were psychology courses. I believe the same does not happen in the States.

Amorya
post #40 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amorya View Post

That's what mine is like. (I'm on first year PhD). They give you the facilities, equipment, participants and budget and let you choose your own path for how to spend your time. After all, once you're at PhD level, it would be a bit insulting to be told what to study or given assignments. I know I have three (now about 2.5 really) years to produce a 70,000 word thesis. It's up to me what to do when.

As regards the course length, I think part of the difference is the tendency to specialise earlier in the UK. Out of the three years of my undergraduate course, 330 credits (out of 360) were psychology courses. I believe the same does not happen in the States.

Amorya

Yeah. That was one of the things that really interested me in studying abroad (alas, personal considerations kept me in the US), since I already knew what I wanted to work on.
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