I had a very rough upbringing and I have been lost for all my 20’s. I just turned 30 a month ago and its really hitting me hard. I dont want to be a nobody all my life.

I’ve finally had enough and I have a fire lit under my ass to change my life, but before I can, I need some questions answered:

I want to go back to community college and transfer to a UC (berkeley or UCLA) to get an EE or CS degree. I know I am capable of it and I know I can do it, there is nothing stopping me, I am so hungry for it.

However, in my early 20’s I was enrolled at 3 different community colleges at different times and flunked out each time. When the time comes that I want to transfer, will this screw me over? I have heard in the past that they will find out all schools you went to, is this true? These events happened about 10 years ago, do community colleges keep transcripts this long for inactive students? Could I simply just enroll into a community college that I have never attended?

I dont know what my best course of action is, if I did academic renewal on all 3 schools, would they not factor in all the GPAs?

I’m just having a hard time thinking lets say I go back to community college and get a 4.0 with 60 credits. But since I have my previous past grades with pretty much less than a 1.0, effectively making my GPA like a 1.5 or something. Is this how it works when I want to transfer? I understand there are personal statements and all that stuff but would this all be for nothing if I decide to go back to school?

Thank you for any help you can offer. Im in a dire situation.

I recently finished my masters degree and I’m currently interning at the same university doing a research project. I’m planning to submit applications for PhD programs at other institutions and I’ve just finished my first application. The application includes a cover letter of 1000-1500 words. I’ve sent the cover letter to family members for feedback before I send it off who have given me great feedback regarding the style and language. Unfortunately, no one in my family is in academia and I would really like the thoughts of an academic since they’re the target audience and they will understand the technical content of my cover letter. I was thinking of asking my current supervisor or perhaps my old supervisor from my masters program to give me feedback on the cover letter however I’m unsure if this is unprofessional or if I’m asking too much.

My question is whether this is an unreasonable request?

In the 1960’s and 1970’s American universities apparently went through a phase where many allowed students to work with professors to create their own majors and curriculum.

As a result you had some students graduate with degrees in majors that would never otherwise exist, such as one individual I know of who earned a PhD in “Tobacco Science” from UNC (probably a bad example).

I can think of a large variety of reasons why schools quit doing this, however now that I already have 3 degrees in boring-but-employable fields, no shortage of professional certificates and an established career that I can always eat off of, I’d like to do a design-your-own major degree from a decent university in an area I find personally interesting. Are there any universities that still offer this? Or are these prevented now by rules from the accrediting bodies?

Of course, I am well aware that you can always just pick a major that’s the closest existing thing to your area of interest, then work with like-minded professors to focus your concentration in your interest. That’s the “best of both worlds” approach that largely replaced the design-your-own major phase. Still, for the purpose of this question I just want to focus on the design-your-own major.

I am a first year phd student in math. I have a course right now that is pretty challenging as expected. I get high grades on all the homework. On our midterm the highest grade was a 35 percent. I was told this is how nearly all of the exams this professor gives turn out. Is this a common thing to happen? I suddenly feel inadequate to be a phd student in math.

I just searched a couple of papers related to the subject that I’m trying to work on. And the thing is that they all presented a tool that helped them do the job.

Here some of them:
any many more.

I am trying to get to know these tools to see what is it that they are good at or bad at, but I searched and I couldn’t find them!

Is it all the tools that I can’t find? Is it about all the papers that the tools that they make are not on the Internet?
If they are how am I suppose to find them?

Today I had a fellow student (who is working on a master’s degree) come to me and inform me that our mutual advisor (call her Professor WW) had just dropped her as a student for “personal reasons.” I am a more advanced doctoral student and have some niche expertise that my advisor does not have, so I do not feel like I am in personal danger of being axed as well, but I want some advice on how to proceed with this situation.

My colleague (call her QQ) is entering her final semester of a master’s degree, so naturally having her advisor drop her is rather troubling. QQ is a high quality student and is an excellent worker. She is the type of person I am privileged to have as a colleague. I was very surprised to hear that WW had curtly told her to find a new advisor.

QQ was funded via an NSF grant that WW had. As such, QQ had turned down other funding offers. With the abrupt dropping, Prof. WW obviously also cut QQ’s funding. This has left QQ scrambling for funding for next semester with about two weeks before school goes on holiday.

To make matters even weirder, Prof. WW told QQ to not mention this to anyone and that she (WW) would arrange a new advisor for QQ privately, a complete circumvention of the department administration. The advisor that WW has chosen to pursue for QQ is on sabbatical until April 2017. (So,…not a great option).

While QQ has done some of her thesis, she is still at a stage where having an advisor is critical. The only professors who have enough expertise in our area of research are either on sabbatical or are the brand new department chair (and hence is “too busy for grad students”).

Professor WW is up for tenure soon, and I think she is fearful that this antic will reflect poorly on her (since, well, it does). As I mentioned, WW has a large NSF grant. She produces a lot of papers (mostly on the backs of her grad students honestly) and brings in lots of money. She probably will get tenure.

Should I do anything here? Professor WW does somewhat control my destiny, but I already have a strong dissertation topic I feel, and I am not so far along that I could not just switch advisors if it came to it due to politics.

Am I ethically obligated to mention behavior like this to the administration, especially with the tenure considerations? I want to advocate for my colleague QQ, but I also do not want to be blacklisted in my department for stepping out of line.

I am a student in an online undergraduate class at a regionally accredited state-run college. This college caters specifically to adult working students and in particular military students worldwide. It is not a research college. It has a typical plagiarism policy that calls on students and faculty to monitor for these things. The class is a junior-level computer science course.

For anyone not familiar, one of the “features” of an online class is the use of online discussion forums, supposedly to recreate a “classroom discussion” environment.

This week the following sequence of events occurred, and I’m not sure how to handle this situation, or even if I should say anything at all.

  1. Student A posted a thorough response to the professor’s questions. The professor accepted the response and gave praise.

  2. Student B posted a generic-style comment (see side note below) using keyword extracts from Student A’s comment. Clearly Student B had read Student A’s work even though the comment was “fluff” and had no substance.

  3. Student B then posted their own answer to the professor’s questions. I did not see Student B’s original answers, but the professor called out Student B for submitting content that was “100% copied” (in the professor’s terms) from two web sites. The professor gave Student B a chance to repeat the assignment in their own words.

  4. Student B apologized and submitted a new answer. This second answer is almost entirely a verbatim copy of Student A’s answer! Student B merely changed a few words but the content is largely word-for-word identical. It even includes the exact same citation at the end. To make matters worse, Student B added a section “My Opinion:” before copying an entire section of Student A’s work.

  5. Today when I logged in, the professor responded to Student B that the work was much better and was now acceptable. ??

My hope is that the professor wasn’t paying very close attention and did not notice that this post was essentially identical to Student A’s post from two days ago. I also suspect that both students may have copied their work from a third source, but I have no way of proving that and I know that as a student it isn’t my place to research that. Just adding it as I think it may point to the problem being more than just the one student.

My question: Should I take any action here? If so, should I contact the professor who accepted the work? Or should I contact the administration staff?

I work tangentially in the education field so I understand how important these issues are and it really chafes to see this happen. That said, this public school is a “churn” school, getting tuition dollars from the military and businesses and providing non-research-oriented education (i.e. not vocational training but not pure-academia either) en masse.

The professor is actually one of the most engaged online instructors I’ve had. As useless as I think most online class discussions are he is at least very involved in them, answering any and all questions within a few hours even though he lives in Eastern Europe, and asks sometimes pointed follow-up questions to students. While this is certainly not up to “in-residence” standards it is far better than other online classes I’ve taken where “mentors” often all but ignore the students. So I’d hate to do something that hurt him over something that he could correct. But the fact that he accepted the work stunned me.

What is the correct course of action here?

Site note: In my experience after several years of such classes over two different public universities, online discussions are rarely effective. Schools typically mandate that students respond to X number of posts in a week, and the vast majority of student responses involve picking a few buzzwords from the reading or a previous comment and merely adding statements like “I really enjoyed that you said _____” and “I found your post very helpful.” It’s extremely frustrating to see this happen in direct violation of every class syllabus that explicitly bans it.

Ten months ago, we submitted an article to a journal, which is still under review. In the meantime, we have made a few extensions/improvements to the submitted article.
Can we submit the extended version to another journal? How can we cite the work presented in the article under review?
Do we need to inform the editors of both journals regarding the submission of the extended version?

Was it ever possible for anyone to finish writing a master thesis in 10 days? I’ve been struggling for a long time now to focus on my writing due to several personal problems and I’m running close to my deadline so I’m starting to freak out. I welcome any suggestions at this point.

I’m a math student in a Latin American country and I’m 31 years old. Next year I’ll be starting my PhD, here, in my country. I have to say that the complete program, equivalent to a Bachelor plus Master, took me 7/8 years to complete. This was partly because I’ve taught a lot, working as a TA(paid positions won by contest).

My final dissertation included no original work, maybe the exposition of the topics, but no new results nor published work. Nevertheless , I’d call myself a pretty decent student. I usually recieve encouraging feedback from professors and I also have a very high GPA.

Recently, I’ve been considering the possibility of doing my PhD abroad, in a good school if possible, not necessarily top ranked. I wonder what my chances are of being able to do that. Are my expectations real or am I too weak for such things? Also, I think that it might be possible to get some short research/collaboration stays, say a semester or so, within the context of my PhD here. How possible is this for someone with my background?

One last possibility is switching schools in the middle of the PhD. Like, starting here, doing some progress and then moving elsewhere. I know two students who did that but they had great backgrounds. Is this possible for someone like me? I mean keeping it real, assuming decent PhD work but not assuming an extraordinary output.