I was conditional accepted to an MSCS program. My conditions are: Must maintain a 3.2 GPA and Complete 2 specific classes with a B or higher. I have till the spring semester to complete those conditions. I’m very likely to make a C in one of those conditional courses I’m required to make a B or higher in. I was wondering how those are conditions are general evaluated, and if I’m likely going to have to take that course again?

Edit– And it rounded to a B, but thank you for the responses!

I am an international student who is thinking of applying to a Ph.D program in economics at some top 30 economics departments in the U.S. I have a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in economics. My GRE, both verbal and quant, puts me well above the 90th percentile. My TOEFL is very high. I have three outstanding recommendations, probably placing me at the top of my master’s class and comparing me favorably with former coleagues that were accepted to top universities. My master’s disertation will make for a very good writing sample (the paper that grew out of it is serious research, publishable in the best theory journals) and I have two years’ work experience at a prestigious job at the public sector. My master’s transcripts are almost impeccable, even though I completed a LOT more coursework than what was required to graduate. I have plenty of maths coursework under my belt.

The only “small” wrinkle is: I was the archetype of a wayward student as an undergrad. My undergraduate transcripts are a disaster, as in I flunked 12 of the 70 courses that I enrolled in, simply because I had the terrible habit of abandoning classes when there was something more interesting going on. What I want to know is if this problem destroys my chances of acceptance.

I am interested in the basics of how a conference organizer would go about finding potential sponsors for a conference. I am referring to limited sponsorship for things like travel fellowships.

This includes a few questions:

  1. What kind of sponsors are there?
  2. Do they generally expect something in return (in addition to advertising their contribution)? What kinds of things?
  3. How does the process work? Do you just write various potential sponsors and ask if they are interested? Do you promise anything in advance? Is there some kind of negotiation?

Any thoughts on this are welcome.

I plan to study a topic which is at the intersection of several fields. I am not aware of a graduate degree in this topic, so I will self-study it after graduating. I will receive my undergraduate degree in the Spring for math and computer sciences.

My goals for the self-study are to either publish, or to make enough progress that if I joined a team my work could solve problems.

I would like to enter into an advising/consulting relationship with one or more professors in the related fields. In exchange, I would offer programming consulting or work. Is this type of relationship common, and is there a better way to frame it? What else can I offer professors in exchange for research guidance?

I have an extensive experience in scholarly publishing as author and reviewer.

Most of my manuscripts have been rejected several times before eventually getting accepted and published.

I now favor not changing substantially my manuscripts after a rejection, even if accompanied by peer reviewers comments, as I feel that in most cases this has to do with a priority judgement rather than on the work strengths and weaknesses.

I this acceptable and efficient, or actually unethical and disrespectful of the peer review process?

On my web page, I ask students who want a letter of recommendation to talk with me about it. I also ask for specific information, such as what classes they took, how they distinguished themselves, etc. The purpose, of course, is to write strong letters for the good students and to encourage others to ask someone else.

Today I received an automated Letter of Recommendation request (from the institution to which he applied) for a student who graduated years ago from a different institution. I know from my own records how he did in my classes, but I have no other information available. I have no contact information for the student.

I can write a semi-strong letter based on grades alone, I can ask the institution to which he applied for contact information, or I can continue to try to track him down some other way. (I’ve already tried the usual methods of Google, Facebook, etc.)

Should I write the semi-strong letter, contact the institution to which he applied, or do some third thing.

I had submitted a paper to a reputed Computer Science Journal. The reviewer has a lot of constructive changes, in addition to that he also suggested citing a few more papers, all by the same author. Since this is a double blind process, we don’t know each other’s identity. So, is it common for reviewers to suggest references in this field or any other field ?

I would like to do a PhD in pharmaceutical sciences. I love doing research but I’m not sure that I want to become a professor and stay in academia. I would, however, like to commercialize the research I would do and start a company. I think that a PhD would provide crucial research experience, networking opportunities with smart and talented people and a platform to develop a good product. Although many universities encourage entrepreneurship these days, I’m unsure whether they expect this from graduate students as well. I was wondering whether writing this in my Statement of Purpose would hurt my chances to get into a good PhD program.

OK – here’s the situation (vagueness included to preserve anonymity) – main question at end.


1) I am going to be finishing my PhD at a top-10 ranked US institution in the next 6 months in a biosciences related discipline

2) In the 3.5 years since I started in my current lab I have published 10-15 papers (no soft journals, all high impact), with an additional 10-15 either as manuscripts in preparation or as projects where I have made primary or significant contributions.

3) I have been invited to present at 5-10 different conferences around the world am extremely active and well known in the broader research community

4) My advisor (and the lab in general) is extremely well known and well respected

Upon graduation I may be geographically limited to stay in the same city. If I were not geographically limited I would, largely, be able to postdoc anywhere I wanted. This is not intended to sound arrogant, but I want to paint a picture (I have investigated the possibility with a few best case choices and all have responded favorably).

Here is the question: If I stay in the city should I remain with my current advisor or switch labs?

Reasons to stay:

  • I have a lot yet to learn from my advisor and the lab
  • If my lab were in a different city and I were unconstrained there is no lab in this city that I would even consider coming to for a postdoc (useful to gauge local options)
  • I can maintain the same level of productivity and published 20-30 more papers over the next few years (this is not a hope, but I would argue guaranteed)
  • My advisor has the political power to help me move into a semi or entirely independent position within the same institution. It is likely that after a year I would transition into an independent fellow type position with the ability to work on projects outside the lab, and I could get this in writing if need be.
  • I have already done extensive research at three other institutions (2/3 are top academic institutions 10 in the world) so have some experience of other environments. I would also have the opportunity to take a few ‘mini sabbaticals’ to other labs around the world to gain insight.
  • I am well trusted and have an awesome level of autonomy and responsibility
    already (I effectively run day-to-day operations in the lab)
  • I have an exceptionally good working relationship with my advisor (and the lab in general). This facilitates substantial working flexibility which may be even more important than it is now going forward
  • The questions the lab is addressing are the big-picture questions I would want to address given any possible option. We are at the forefront of our field and pushing on genuinely groundbreaking work.
  • I work with many outstanding collaborators around the world, and basically get to play with the most exciting data imaginable
  • There is no one else in this city with whom I’m as excited about (though I have an obvious bias so this is maybe less fair)

Why would I not stay in the same lab

  • I would largely be perceived as a mini-version of my PI. This would hurt funding options in the short and long term (e.g. F32 awards, K-99 awards). Unclear how badly it would hurt them.
  • My work might all be perceived as my advisors work (though to be fair he is extremely good at explicitly crediting people)
  • I would not experience a new lab environment
  • It could be looked on as lazy/unimaginative
  • It might (would) hurt my ability to get a faculty position later
  • I like to think I would be relatively successful somewhere else

There are also lifestyle things to consider. It remains to be seen whether a tenure track academic route is one I want to peruse, and there is the possibility of this decision being take out of my hands entirely for family and/or medical reasons.

In short, can the future career damage associated with staying in the same lab between PhD. and postdoc be offset by massive high-impact productivity?

Last semester I’ve retaken a course and went through the exam. It was a sit-down exam and all students were present. For the difficulty I assume it was mid-high difficult.

The students were not allowed to take the question sheets home.

As I was retaking the course, I feel the need to take a documentation to review my answers and to understand the problems better. So AFTER the exam was finished I asked the supervisor whether I was allowed to take a photograph or not. It was denied and I complied without complaining.

Then I told my friend about that incident. He was quite surprised that I complied with that. He told me that he would take the photograph anyway for his advancement in learning, which he said it would be for the greater good.

The usual practice in my campus is that if the question sheets are allowed to be taken home, some students would scan and put them into a compilation and share them to the younger students to study and ponder upon as they will get different sets of questions.

Other than that, students that absent at the exam can take it at a different appointed time with a different set of questions.

So I’m stumped whether I should have took the photograph or not. I thought it was unethical to take it if taking the sheet home is prohibited, but then my friends thought made me reconsider. If I took the photograph I would not create an unfair advantage for those who took the exam at a different date (if there are any) anyway.