When entering my MS I had an advisor assigned to me because I didn’t finish undergrad in the university I’m now in. I want to research graph theory but my advisor researches in computational geometry, and every problem I proposed to him he dismissed as being too difficult (without really explaining why) and proposed an optimization problem with metaheuristics instead. As I’m approaching the end of the first semester now, I need to have an advisor confirmed and a topic semi-defined, so I half-heartedly accepted one of the problems he proposed just to get on with it.

Now it is about 3 days later and I’m already regretting the decision I made: I’m 22 years old and really like researching, but the thought of dedicating 2 years of my life on something I’m “meh” about does not make me happy. I think it is clear my advisor isn’t going to open his mind to new ideas but is it too late to switch advisors? Since dropping out is not an option, as I moved from a different city and just settled in here, what should I do about it? Should I give him an ultimatum and try to find a new advisor in a month? Is it “normal” for people to take a research topic they don’t really like for a masters program?

Please bear me to introduce my background first before I state my question. I am a first year master student in Scientific Computing program focused on numerical analysis. Before this, my background is Civil Engineering, so my mathematics background is very weak, and I never had taken an analysis course.

The courses required in my current program of study are some numerical PDE courses, and some computer techniques courses. Since I want to apply for PhD in the future, so I thought I should take more math courses to make up for my weakness and win better chances for my future PhD application with some analysis courses on my transcript. So I selected an additional functional analysis course.

Now with more than one month in this course, I got some feedback about my performance: first homework is merely 83% and midterm is only 75%, which is obviously not good.

I need some suggestions on whether I should keep staying in this course or just drop it. The dilemma I am now facing is: (1) A functional analysis course in my transcript might look good for my PhD application (this is just what I thought, might be wrong), so I want to stay in this course. Putting more efforts, I think I can pass this course. (2) It’s possible that I could fail this course, then I would fail the program. Or I might not be able to pass 75% final score, then I would lose my funding. So I should drop this course. (3) If I drop this course now, there would be a ‘DR’ in my transcript, which I think might not look so good for my future PhD application.

Any suggestions? This is urgent, I need to decide before the drop date, which is very soon. Thank you for your time!

I’m visiting a university in the western US as a PhD student. The members of the professor’s lab are generally less friendly than those in my lab (though I’m not sure whether it’s culture, or I’m just a visiting student).

Some members are friendly and willing to chat and have coffee, but they are the minority. Most lab members tend to be relatively curt in conversations. Still others are not helpful at all. In particular, the PhD student that the professor relies on to manage his schedule is extremely unhelpful. He’s postponed or cancelled my appointments with the professor six times (I’m told this is extremely unusual), and thus far I’ve only got to meet the professor once. So I’ve not made much progress on my project with the professor.

Perhaps it could be because as a visiting student, I’m lower in priority than other students. But other interactions indicate that there is more to it. at the start of the semester, I asked him if there was any course in field X that I could take. He answered no. Five minutes later, someone else asked him if there was any course in field X. He replied that there was, and he was taking such a course. I have no idea why he behaves that way to me.

What can I do to get other students to treat me better?

There are a lot of questions about admissions on this forum, including many which discuss the importance of the GRE. However, my question is a little more specific than most of them.

In short, what does it take to not get “filtered out” of graduate schools admissions, particularly in competitive engineering/STEM programs?

I have read some answers on this forum that mention that candidate profiles are divided into MAYBE/PROBABLY NOT/NOT groups, where applicants who belong on PROBABLY NOT/NOT groups may not have their applications read by faculty–which makes sense, given the hundreds of qualified candidates they can choose from. (See this and this). This practice is consistent with what I’ve heard from other professors. However, what does it take to not automatically fall into those categories?

JeffE, for instance, mentions that, in his school, candidates are/were filtered by GRE and GPA. How does this process work? Are GRE/GPA scores the only filters or are other qualifications taken into consideration during the initial triage (i.e., publications)?

For instance, I received unimpressive GRE scores (~90% Q / ~70% V / ~10% AWA, ran off-topic). Moreover, while I ranked first in my graduating class, I am an international applicant from a (top) Latin American school and the committee may not be able to interpret my GPA. While I could take the GRE again and score better, that would consume time, energy and money (getting to the nearest test center requires 10+ hours of travel as well as sleeping over), all of which could be better spent in other parts of my application. Nonetheless, I believe I have an otherwise very strong application, having various first author publications in top journals and conferences, very strong LORs, 5+ years of research experience, and regularly serving as a reviewer for a top journal in my field.

However, my concern is to be rejected in the initial triage, given that I have no idea about what would get me past it.

Please bear me to introduce my background first before I state my question. I am a first year master student in Scientific Computing program focused on numerical analysis. Before this, my background is Civil Engineering, so my mathematics background is very weak, and I never had taken an analysis course.

The courses required in my current program of study are some numerical PDE courses, and some computer techniques courses. Since I want to apply for PhD in the future, so I thought I should take more math courses to make up for my weakness and win better chances for my future PhD application with some analysis courses on my transcript. So I selected an additional functional analysis course.

Now with more than one month in this course, I got some feedback about my performance: first homework is merely 83% and midterm is only 75%, which is obviously not good.

I need some suggestions on whether I should keep staying in this course or just drop it. The dilemma I am now facing is: (1) A functional analysis course in my transcript might look good for my PhD application (this is just what I thought, might be wrong), so I want to stay in this course. Putting more efforts, I think I can pass this course. (2) It’s possible that I could fail this course, then I would fail the program. Or I might not be able to pass 75% final score, then I would lose my funding. So I should drop this course. (3) If I drop this course now, there would be a ‘DR’ in my transcript, which I think might not look so good for my future PhD application.

Any suggestions? This is urgent, I need to decide before the drop date, which is very soon. Thank you for your time!

For the purpose of applying for a lecturer position in Australia in computer science (CS), what are “research activities” and “scholarly activies”, and how do they differ? The applicant is asked to provide “scholarly and research activities” according to the selection criteria stated in a particular job description on the website of the CS department to which I am applying to. However, both terms seem to me way too vague or broad from a purely linguistic viewpoint. The discussion in What does "research activities" mean? touches only the “research activity” term, but even this discussion is incomplete and contradictory.

As I know, some lamp uses noble gas for secure the wolfram from the heat -please correct me if i’m wrong. And from Wikipedia, i know that Argon is “colorless gas exhibiting a lilac/violet glow when placed in an electric field”.
Then, why almost of lamp that i know is white. Like Incandescent and Fluoroscent lamp.

Pardon my bad english.

I’m attending the second year of Systems Analysis and Development at a great public university.
I come from a poor basic education, where there were occasions before high school where I did not have math teachers and that affected me in the following years, but I never failed in school.
I studied in some community courses in my senior year that helped me to study for university exams, after I graduated I got a job and was able to pay for a course to continue preparing for these exams.
In this job, I developed anxiety crisis, panic and consequently depression which affected me in an important test but did not make me miss the chance to enter a good university through another test.
I’ve always dreamed of studying computing and I can not imagine myself doing anything else. At high school I had the opportunity to take a technical course in Computer Networks, which made me sure of my choice of profession.

It turns out that during the first semester of graduation, I continued in the same job that made me sick. Working 9 hours a day and attending college part time (5 or 6 hours). This routine stressed me a lot, I failed in 2 course subjects (Discrete Mathematics and Computer Architecture) but at the end of the semester I got a 6 hour internship that helped me to keep and have more time.

Even though I have more time to study, I still have many difficulties. I failed in other course subjects such as Calculus, Programming Language, Operating Systems, Data Structure and Economics.

I like logic programming but still have many difficulties, I hate the fact of doing tests because I always get very nervous and in weeks of tests I have bouts of anxiety.

I know that I will stay another semester in college because I failed in some things but I do not want to give up my dream. I have had a lot of trouble organizing myself to study because I know that I am studying at a high level but my basic knowledge in mathematics for example was lousy and I can never fix it! Some things I know I need to decorate but also encounter problems in decorating subjects :/

I can not do any more presentations because I spend days nervous and end up giving up the presentation or asking the teacher to postpone it.

I need advice because I have no idea what my life would be like if I gave up on college.

PS: My boyfriend attends the same course as me but does not have the same difficulty, he is a genius. I can not ask for help because I see that he does not have the patience to teach and whenever I asked for help I was annoyed.

I graduated with a 3.61 overall GPA and a 3.68 CS Major GPA. I completed minors in Mathematics and Game Design and Development. I have not done any official research, but I did do a semester independent study with a professor conducting unofficial research on pattern recognition. I have spent the last three years creating a PC-based virtual assistant in which I had to teach myself C++, Python and the Win32 API. The project required a lot of personal research into machine learning, natural language processing, voice recognition, operating systems and more. The project placed 10th at a Consortium for Computing Sciences conference out of over 60 other projects. Currently, I am directing and teaching a major Computer Science program out of a library in a big city. I have designed a peer-reviewed curriculum individuals need to go through to obtain a job with local businesses in a related position. This past summer, I taught a lengthy college level course to high school aged youth. Through a controlled study, the youth improved an average of 60% from start to finish. I am a member of the Computer Science Teachers Association and attend their meetings in my state. I interned at a small startup company which develops a social media oriented app. I developed screens for them and worked with Neo4j to develop clustering models. Right now I am paying a machine learning professional to tutor me so I can get ahead and really grasp the material. Also, I was very active in my undergraduate program and took on Project Lead roles for long term projects as well as convinced the department by obtaining signatures to offer a machine learning elective.

I love what I do very much and want to challenge myself. I would like to get into the best graduate program I possibly can to study machine learning and conduct research in the topic. I do not have research papers under my belt though and I am having trouble with the GRE. My number one is Columbia, but I believe it would be very hard for me to get into their PhD program, but Masters may be possible. I would like to enter directly into a PhD program, but I have been thinking it may be wiser to do a thesis focused Master’s program then apply to a PhD program. Anyway, what programs should I be looking at? Can any link any noteworthy sites that would help me see where I fit in?

Thank you for the help!