I have to write a letter about a graduate course abroad.

I began it like this:

“I am writing this letter to apply for XXX Master in XXXX.”

And the ending phrase:

“I am absolutely sure that I will complete Master’s program in XXX”.

So here is my question: Is it okay to use both “Master in” and “Master’s in” in one letter? What is the difference between these two?

I am applying for a PhD in computer science. I have some research experience (from my Masters degree) as well as significant industry experience. I am targeting Software Engineering, so I believe my work experience will be relevant.
Now, universities require applicants to submit a CV. My current CV lists all work experience in reverse chronological order followed by education in reverse chronological.
Note : I have been in industry for close to 4 years since my masters degree.
Should I change this format for e.g. put the education before the work ? Any thoughts are appreciated. Thanks.

I’m an senior math major in undergraduate planning on applying to around a dozen school’s ph.d. programs in math. I think the rest of my application (grades, advanced classes, research experience, letters of recommendation, general GRE scores) is fine, but I am concerned somewhat with my subject test scores. Due to financial and time constraints, I was only able to take the test once, and I got a score in the 31st percentile.

Is this something that’s worth mentioning in my letters of intent? Specifically, I was thinking of mentioning that when I took the MFT (major field test) in mathematics as part of the capstone course at my university, I scored in the 96th percentile, so it’s not that I’m bad at university mathematics, I just had test anxiety concerning the subject test.

Also, for what it’s worth, I thought the MFT was similar in content to the math subject test, but not as difficult.

Another option might be just to mention the high MFT scores on my CV that I send in with my applications, leaving out any mention of that in my letters of intent, and just hoping that helps my case with the admissions committees.

I’m in a bit of a conundrum at the moment, since my real research interests (constructive type theory, proof theory, categorical logic) are only actively studied at a handful of places in the U.S, and for the most part those tend to be top schools.

Thus, I’m wondering if I don’t get into one of said schools, would it still be possible for me to write my thesis in one of my areas of interest even if it is not directly related to any of the faculty’s research interests? How much leeway do you have there?

For example, if I get into a school that has a good logic group, even if the research interests of the professors there is, say, more in set theory, would I still likely be able to do my thesis on type theory? What about at a school that doesn’t even have a solid logic program?

A colleage of mine who also writes a master thesis in lattice QCD (theoretical/computational physics) asked me to make him a few simple figures with TikZ. They show a fundamental concept and are not particularly hard. The plaquette (see page 3) is just a square with arrows on the lines and then some labels on the edges. The clover term (see page 4) is just four plaquettes. The concepts are funamental, I could create a plaquette drawing in my sleep, for the clover I need a quick glance at a sketch to get everything right.

It took me like 20 minutes to make the sketches. He has send me images taken from other papers and books to give me the idea. Those figures are used everywhere in books and introductory papers. There they do not seem to refer to anything else but just give the figures. He will submit his thesis with the images next week.

My own master thesis will be due next fall, and I can certainly also use those figures in my thesis. I doubt that somebody will pull up his thesis and my thesis, find the exact same looking images (except the font of the text), look at the dates of publication, and call me out for plagiarizing. However, I’d to handle this situation properly because this situation might arise again with a less trivial figure.

What would I into the caption in my thesis?

  • “insprired by Author [1]”
  • “taken from Author [1], typeset in TikZ”
  • Nothing at all, the other authors did not do that and the figure is not that hard to do anyway

Should I somehow refer to the colleague’s thesis although it only has prompted me to create those figures now instead of in six months? I am not sure whether he will say anything about me making those figures, should I ask him to do that such that I can safely use those figures myself?

I am bachelor in technology student from India. I would like to pursue higher education subject to my selection based on merit, i.e scholarship. I know there are many criteria, among which getting good grades in proficiency exams like TOEFL and GRE are most sought after. I came across a article on optional requirement of such exam in some of the US universities. So my questions are

  1. Are these exams universal, i.e. followed in every country?
  2. Does this depend on what Higher education you want to take?
  3. If it is mandatory, when is the peak time to start for this type proficiency exams(P.S. I am currently in 5th sem)?

By chance, I am reviewing now the paper which I recognised as a paper of my colleague. We are from the same institution and I am surprised that I got this paper to review, but, on the other hand, I am lucky to see it before it’s published. My colleague mentions in this paper the methodology like it was his idea but actually, I am the one that developed it, made it work and applied it, together with the help of my supervisor. In short, he wants to be the author of the idea and the methodology. This is, in fact, what comes out from the paper.

I am now preparing my own paper about this methodology and my work, and I don’t have any publication on it, so far, just a poster from when I participated at a conference six months ago.

I talked to him about it but he doesn’t feel that it is wrong or ethically incorrect.

On top of that, we have the same supervisor. I talked with him as well, and he was threatening me, in a political correct way. He claims that it is okay, and in my paper, I will have just to cite their work in the introduction. He also stated that my work has a different approach in a small detail, so I will criticise their method and put mine as the better one. However, it isn’t true, because my approach is based on the methodology mentioned in the paper which I am reviewing now.

I really don’t know what to do. I was thinking to not review the paper, but it doesn’t solve the problem. If I reject it, I will have to write the reason why I am doing that, and it may turn my supervisor against me.

I would like to act in the most appropriate and ethically correct way. Just don’t know how. I would be grateful for all insights.

I am a graduate student guiding a team of three undergraduate engineering students in an optimization related projects. The engineering students are from couple different backgrounds: civil, mechanical and chemical engineers of from their 3rd and 4th year (in a 4 year program). My background is in electrical engineering. My role is to give suggestions and provide direction only, I will not test their algorithm nor provide any hands-on assistance.

The project has been defined, with an attractive application. The approach is clear and involves modern optimization algorithms that is mostly at the graduate level. The good thing is that all students seem to be really interested in the work. Unfortunately, an engineering degree rarely provides the level of math maturity for most students.

I believe that the level of mathematical maturity required for this project is very demanding for 3rd and 4th year students. A sample of the material needed can be found here: http://alex.smola.org/teaching/cmu2013-10-701/slides/2_Recitation_Optimization.pdf
The project will need to start in January, I am having trouble finding a good way to upgrade the knowledge-base of the entire team without having to fill in the gap myself.

The main difficulties for them to understand the material from my perspective are:

  1. The math pre-requisite typically requires a semester of graduate course for very strong students
  2. There is a lack of intermediate literature for an undergrad student to quickly get up to speed
  3. The mathematical knowledge base requires solid background of earlier courses, I have a suspicion that this team of students have not touched certain topics pertinent to this project in a long time but I am not sure

At the end of the project (in 4 months), they will need to be able to clearly present their problem, describe the mathematical basis of their approach, and elaborate on the results.

For some times now, the students have been relying on me to understand bit and pieces of the mathematical algorithm. However, I have not had a good way to test their actual knowledge base. I had them talk to me about their understanding of the algorithm, it seemed that they are treating it as a “black-box”, clearly the team will have trouble when it comes to creating, debugging, testing and tuning their algorithm. Further, we wish to have some novelty in the project, but clearly it would be difficult without having a good grasp of conventional approaches.

What should be a good way of handing this situation? One I am dealing with a relative diverse group of students, none of the student had any optimization experience. Two, it is not certain for me how throwing research papers at them will work out. Third, the standard textbooks are hundreds of pages long. I think the best way is some how make the material “personally” relevant, so to inspire some natural curiosity. I am not sure how this can be achieved.