I’m a third-year Ph.D. student. A few months ago, I lost my maternal grandfather and grandmother in quick succession. More recently, I lost my close friend in a bus accident and my paternal grandmother was wheeled into the emergency room. These incidents have affected me personally and I haven’t been able to focus on my work as much. I emailed my advisors everytime an incident happened (to take a 2-3 days off) but both of them didn’t bother to reply. Even after I met them face to face, they did not ask me how I’m doing or if I need any help?

This has led me to feel that my emotions are not valued and I’m being used just as a tool to get experiments done. Am I wrong to expect a word of condolence from my advisors or do they think that they might cross personal boundaries?

I am master of engineering science graduate from Malaysia and here, the M.Sc. doesn’t have any course work so it is pretty much like a 2 years Ph.D. thus I don’t have any transcript or what-so-ever, only my publications, thesis and graduation letter. I want to know if it is acceptable to apply in Canadian universities without having any masters degree transcript or grading. Unfortunately the university graduate office is not willing to answer my question unless I pay the application fee and wait for 12 weeks.

P.S: I also have talked with a supervisor (in Uottawa) and he has already stated that he is willing to supervise me.

This year I applied to several universities in the US, and got into a top program in my field. It was great news; I was given a very nice project to work on, and accepted the offer, along with excessive impostor syndrome.

Then I went to an internship to a nice university. I asked the grads there about their plans after PhD. Most of them did not have thoughts reaching that far, as if PhD was a default. This was interesting, considering the strength of the university, and made me wonder.

My motivation to go to graduate school was something along the lines “I want to work with strong people, I like working in the lab and this field seems nice”. So, the self-doubt creeped in. I don’t think I’m the worst candidate; I guess I am just scared of committing 6 years of my life, because with the job market I am not sure I want to be a professor and would rather work in industry.

My questions are:
1) Is it normal that I have self-doubts before even starting my PhD program?
2) Is it often for students to defer admission and take a year off to think the decision over? It’s late, but it is better than going there half-hearted?

When i was 15, i wanted to major in biology (since in my education system, post 10th grade, you either pick Math or Biology) – but since my father was paying my fees, and i was just another dazed teenager, i didn’t fight it much but whined a lot. He later got me admitted into an engineering degree in electronics.

I then struggled to finish up my engineering while retaking many (up to 8) subjects after failing them, and finishing off with 57% aggregate score. I consider myself a fairly intellectually curious guy. I used to tinker with the computer lab PCs, installing linux, setting up servers, and trying a whole load of stuff, but never seriously doing anything in-depth.

That lack of focus carried on, but i was fairly streets smart and hungry at 21. Got hired at a reputable silicon valley based startup that is a top IT company today. Worked there for 3 years, and went on to join another reputable company. I had a total of 5 years of work-experience, in mostly marketing, advertising, and operations related roles.

I got really jaded at about 27, and decided to quit everything and try and figure out what i really wanted, since i didn’t enjoy my work in the second company. That turned out to be a bad choice. I still enjoyed problem solving with computers, so I thought that i should take up computer programming to learn data analysis in-depth. This was because, in the IT company, i used to use Tableau and excel a lot but didn’t have the skills to become a full-time Business analyst.

Three years passed due to a load of issues (mostly self-inflicted) poor lifestyle choices, bad health, depression, and loss of relationships.

Am i beyond the pale? Over the past 8 months, i’ve finished up 3-4 Coursera courses in Excel, Tableau, data analysis, Python. I am keen on investing in deepening these skills, and coming to the US. I just don’t want to be unfocused, or ruin whatever little value i may have to offer to companies yet.

I am preparing for the GRE, and wish to apply to a decent college in Data science/Machine learning based degrees. I am fairly motivated to try atleast. Should I?

I have a few i like, but i don’t know if i will get thru. I have good well-wishers from past companies who would gladly write an accurate glowing recommendation or a character reference.

Thanks for reading, and any advice would be appreciated.

I’ve worked in higher education on the administrative side. I’ve been able to get a very thorough look at University budgets. From my perspective it’s really a travesty that research Universities, with their multi-billion dollar operating budgets seem more inclined to hire largely purposeless administrators than to increase PhD stipends/wages such that a PhD wouldn’t be so financially painful for students.

From my own perspective working in administration, it seems to me that the blame can be placed squarely at the feet of the near universal tendency for bureaucracies to naturally increase in size over time if left to their own devices. The discussion of why this is the case is beside the point, but this near universal law seems to be at work here. This limits graduate student stipend size because when faced with the choice of expanding the bureaucracy or paying graduate students more, the administrator – as a bureaucrat – will almost invariably decide to expand the bureaucracy.

That said, there are other dynamics at play in Universities that make me wonder why bureaucracies have been so successful at vacuuming up funds. Elite Universities often compete for top PhD candidates, so why haven’t the competitive forces that drive up wages in the face of labor demand also driven up the stipends offered to accepted candidates? Are Universities coordinating to keep stipends artificially low? Or is the bureaucratic tendency to expand overpowering the market dynamics that would otherwise compel Universities to offer higher stipend packages? Or are existing stipend packages already at what we would expect the market level to be?

I’ve tried to open Rbrul several times today, but I keep getting the error message “Failure when receiving data from the peer.” I used it a couple of weeks ago without any problem. I think the problem may have to do with the Rbrul website. It seems that R can’t connect to it to open the package. I also tried copying and pasting the correct Rbrul version into R, but that didn’t work either. Any tips or advice?

Please I need your help!

I am a guy who has almost finished high school IT address.
Many teachers have advised me to continue my studies at university.

I am very much inclined also to the humanities and literature
moreover also as a musician… and I am very fought in making a choice that could change my life.

The problem I do not know how to solve is the following:

  • Which address should I take, and how I know if it is suitable for me?
  • How do I choose a university?
  • What is the most useful address in the world of WORK today?

And if there is someone intensely interested in helping me,
Which university have you chosen, and how have you prepared for it?


But if you do not know how to answer, you are asken (if you like the question or my sincere problem) to put an upvote, which will help me to find more evidence and receive more views thus increasing the likelihood of responses that will give the right path to my life!


PS: I have no problem if the university is not in my country! pleazz

I don’t know how to start, honestly, but I have no drive to take up projects related to my undergrad for various reasons and my projects are all centered around optimization in my field and I don’t have any job experience considering I graduated from civil engineering in 2018.

My interests lie in statistics and machine learning and I am taking courses in programming for certifications. Someday, I want to develop software for my industry. how unconventional is it for a civil engineering graduate to change the field to stats?
I’d like to know some thoughts from more experienced students and researchers out there. Any advice is welcome.