When I was an undergrad, a physics problem is difficult mainly because of the phenomenon. Now I am a grad student majored in Theoretical Physics, most of the problems I have to solve are difficult because of the mathematics. I start realizing I have many holes in my mathematical background. For example, I don’t know how to use the trick to calculate the derivative of the integral like this one:
https://math.stackexchange.com/questions/37656/how-to-calculate-the-derivative-of-this-integral
I don’t know Leibniz integral rule, etc …
What are the good mathematical books for theoretical physicists?
Thanks

Warning: The following are stupid questions. (Read in Kiefer Sutherland’s voice)

Question 1 Is it weird or stupid to apply for a research assistant post at some university or research institute, and not a company in industry, with the purpose to gain research experience to boost profile for graduate studies, and why/why not?

  • I think it could be weird or stupid for the same reason why you shouldn’t mention potential graduate study plans during job interviews.

  • Then again, my understanding of research assistant posts is that they wouldn’t be for long term employment as is the case in industry, say, “research” analyst jobs in industry. Rather research assistant posts are usually on temporary contract. So, yeah, I am just doing this with the intention to apply for a PhD because I’m apparently not yet good enough to get into a PhD program.

  • Based on what I’ve read online, this is the baby version of a postdoc, so postdoc is to faculty applications as research assistant is to PhD applications.

Question 2 Who are the usual applicants of research assistant posts?

  • I can’t think of any applicants for research assistant posts besides people exactly in my situation: wants to go to grad school, is waiting in some process of grad school applications (for the application period to start, for the results of application to come out or, for those already accepted, for the semester to start) or wants to boost profile for grad school. Please enlighten for other cases.

Question 3 What’s the difference between a research assistant post and an internship in industry?

  • I think I recall seeing some research assistant posts that pay as much as a full time job in industry, so I’m guessing research assistant posts are not necessarily simply academic versions of internships in industry. I think things like this are academic versions of internships in industry. But my understanding is that they are both short-term. I guess a research assistant post would be analogous to a temporary contract job in industry.

Question 4 To confirm, if research assistant posts are indeed on temporary contract or short-term, is there indeed a risk for someone to quit their regular full time industry job hoping that a research assistant post will boost their grad school application profile?

Background:

  • Since I graduated master’s in 2015-6, I started work as a maths teacher at a branch of a company that is something like Kumon. I guess I haven’t done research there.

  • I’m waiting for results for PhD/MPhil applications for 2018-9. I already got rejected for one (well technically I’m not on the list of applicants who got initially offered admission, so I guess I could still be accepted if others on the list back out), and I think I’ll be rejected for others.

  • For 2019-20 applications, I am thinking to boost my profile by, among others, working as a research assistant, either full time or part time. In the former case, I’ll have to quit my job. In the latter case, I think I can downgrade to part time.

The following are related questions:

How can I improve my research experience for PhD application?

How to boost academic profile for Master's application

How to gain research experience after master program?

If I cannot get sufficient recommendation letters, what can I do?

I am preparing for a timed post-graduate test (for example, GRE, GMAT etc.). I get hung-up on questions where I don’t immediately find a path, and then beat myself over not doing it fast enough while I am still on the question. This further increases my time on the question by taking focus away from the problem at hand.

Additionally, the above gets compounded with thoughts of inadequacy- “I am dumb” etc. etc. This adds to the time guilt and takes away from thinking clearly about problem solving.

If you’ve had a similar experience, what did you do during test taking to overcome it?

Currently, I am doing Masters by research on Recommendation system in Malaysia. But I also want to do my Ph.D. in recommender system in the USA. So please suggest some good universities who are doing state of the art research in this field. I know University of Minnesota Twin Cities is currently leading in this field but is there any other universities?

Though NSF results aren’t out yet for this year, this question’s been wracking my brain since I’m heavily considering taking a gap year before grad school. I also haven’t been able to find this particular question asked/answered anywhere online and I feel like there are surely others that might find themselves in this same situation, so I’m asking here.

Basically, I completed my NSF application in the fall with confidence, and then around a month later found out that my subject GRE scores were abysmal. Coupled with a fairly “low” GPA, I ended up not getting into any grad schools except my least-ranked backup school and a waitlist to another backup. I’ve talked over with my advisor and we agreed that taking a year off to reapply would be good for me. For one, I can retake the exam and possibly get into a wider range of schools, which means more opportunities to choose from. A second consideration is that part of the reason I didn’t do well in school, which I only realized recently, is that I had been ignoring my mental health for years (I didn’t believe “mental health” was a real thing, oops) and taking a gap year would help me put a year’s worth of space between being thrown into grad classes while I heal. I’ve also already got plans for the year in place–I would be doing full-time research work for both my advisor and as part of a program I was accepted to. I feel like this is the healthiest, best route for me and is the one I’m most comfortable with.

However, there’s still a chance I could win the NSF (which is exceedingly rare and a crapshoot for anyone, I know, but anyone who doesn’t withdraw is technically still in the running!), which means I would have to go to grad school next year to accept the award. They removed the option to defer years ago unless you’re active in the military or have a medical issue (I assume this means hospitalization, not going through something like CBT). Because it’s such a competitive fellowship, I always had the notion that it would be just plain “stupid” to turn it down (unless, of course, you got some sort of better award). However, because of the reasons I stated in the paragraph above, I’m definitely less comfortable with this path.

In this scenario, which should take priority? Accepting a competitive fellowship at a backup school I’m unsure about, or taking a year off to reapply and have more options (especially at top choice, selective institutions), albeit without the NSF or possibly any sort of external fellowship? Has anyone gone through either route and regretted it? Also, how does listing a declined award (NOT in the context of winning other awards and having to choose only one) look on a CV? For context, I’m interested in attempting a career as tenured faculty in academia (which is also exceedingly unlikely, I know).

I am a master’s student in International Relations (IR) at a graduate school on the American East Coast. I am in my fourth and final semester, and there are only about six weeks left of the semester. I have been very disillusioned with graduate school life since my first semester. It is to the point that I am not thinking about attending my school graduation. There are two reasons for this: I hate my school and second, the cost of renting a graduation gown is $100. Specifically speaking, I am very dissatisfied with the quality of education at my current graduate school, which I feel as if the education is both overpriced and overrated. It feels more like paying money to teach oneself and getting graded. Besides, I feel as if it is in graduate school that I have met some of the most repulsive people in my life. I absolutely hated high school, but I feel like my master’s program experience is much worse. My master’s program experience makes me think that I have taken my undergraduate experience for granted.

I have specific instances of some negative experiences, but my main question is, Am I expecting too much from my master’s program? And, since I am an IR major, is my experience unique or similar across various fields? My institution is mostly filled with adjuncts and other professors who do not have time to personally help students. From my experience, I feel as if master’s students are the most neglected out of bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D students. My 2-year master’s program experience feels like an accelerated bachelor’s degree.

Here are some very recent negative experiences I can think of:
Just this week, in one of my classes (in a subject I am not too familiar with), I had to give a presentation. The professor attacked my presentation in front of the class and gave it as an example of what not to do. I acknowledge that my presentation was not good. However, I would have preferred that I just receive a bad grade in private, as opposed to having to feel embarrassed in class. It was something that involved me writing a paper and presenting on it. I am a US citizen, but I am originally from a non-western country. My country of origin used to be the top country for sending students to the US and is still a top country even though the number is steadily declining. In my culture, it is considered one of the worst insults to publicly embarrass someone; this is done in cases when the person is mean-spirited or it is likely that the people involved will never see each other again. In the US or other western countries, is this type of experience commonplace?

And another experience is that in a year-long group project that I have been working on, some of my group members are some of the most childish and repulsive people that I have ever met. As we were working together on a paper draft on a shared Google Doc, I found out through email exchanges that two of my group members (out of 5) were badmouthing me, and told me that my section was “poorly written” when one of them did not even have her part written by the time she told me this. I defended myself and asked where her part was. Then, she started to play victim and the other student that she had gossiped with about me twisted my words and said what I should not do in relation to other group members.

I have about three questions in this post, and my story may have sounded winding, but I feel very perplexed and disillusioned.

Good afternoon
Please help me I’m disappointed
I have a bac degree in mechanical engineering, with 3.2 GPA, Tofel 105/120, GRE 163/170 and one year experience as a RA in composite materials, 2 published papers
I want to complete my study in materials science at USA or UK, but I have one problem My GPA was under 2 three times in my first and 2nd years due to family issues and I’m afraid that it will effect the acceptance, please help
PS: My GPA on the last 60 hours is 3.75/4

Though NSF results aren’t out yet for this year, this question’s been wracking my brain since I’m heavily considering taking a gap year before grad school. I also haven’t been able to find this particular question asked/answered anywhere online and I feel like there are surely others that might find themselves in this same situation, so I’m asking here.

Basically, I completed my NSF application in the fall with confidence, and then around a month later found out that my subject GRE scores were abysmal. Coupled with a fairly “low” GPA, I ended up not getting into any grad schools except my least-ranked backup school and a waitlist to another backup. I’ve talked over with my advisor and we agreed that taking a year off to reapply would be good for me. For one, I can retake the exam and possibly get into a wider range of schools, which means more opportunities to choose from. A second consideration is that part of the reason I didn’t do well in school, which I only realized recently, is that I had been ignoring my mental health for years (I didn’t believe “mental health” was a real thing, oops) and taking a gap year would help me put a year’s worth of space between being thrown into grad classes while I heal. I’ve also already got plans for the year in place–I would be doing full-time research work for both my advisor and as part of a program I was accepted to. I feel like this is the healthiest, best route for me and is the one I’m most comfortable with.

However, there’s still a chance I could win the NSF (which is exceedingly rare and a crapshoot for anyone, I know, but anyone who doesn’t withdraw is technically still in the running!), which means I would have to go to grad school next year to accept the award. They removed the option to defer years ago unless you’re active in the military or have a medical issue (I assume this means hospitalization, not going through something like CBT). Because it’s such a competitive fellowship, I always had the notion that it would be just plain “stupid” to turn it down (unless, of course, you got some sort of better award). However, because of the reasons I stated in the paragraph above, I’m definitely less comfortable with this path.

In this scenario, which should take priority? Accepting a competitive fellowship at a backup school I’m unsure about, or taking a year off to reapply and have more options (especially at top choice, selective institutions), albeit without the NSF or possibly any sort of external fellowship? Has anyone gone through either route and regretted it? Also, how does listing a declined award (NOT in the context of winning other awards and having to choose only one) look on a CV? For context, I’m interested in attempting a career as tenured faculty in academia (which is also exceedingly unlikely, I know).

Good afternoon
Please help me I’m disappointed
I have a bac degree in mechanical engineering, with 3.2 GPA, Tofel 105/120, GRE 163/170 and one year experience as a RA in composite materials, 2 published papers
I want to complete my study in materials science at USA or UK, but I have one problem I’ve been on probation 3 times in my first and 2nd years due to family issues and I’m afraid that it will effect the acceptance, please help
PS: My GPA on the last 60 hours is 3.75/4

Recently I received contact info for a professor close to me, with similar interests (Professor B), from another professor I have a long-standing working relationship with (Professor A).

I spoke with her at the beginning of the month, and had what I thought to be a great call. She expressed interest in having me work with her on an upcoming grant remotely, in preparation for applying to her graduate program in the upcoming application cycle. We ended the call with the decision to have me touch base with her in a week, when she would know more about her grant.

The next week, I sent her an email to follow-up, and set up a call to talk more about the project and set up time to visit her lab (something we discussed on the call. No response for one week.

I sent another email, and received a one sentence response: “Things are hectic now, please touch base in a few days”. I waited 4 days and sent another short message. It has now been a few days and I still haven’t gotten a response.

What are my best next steps? Should I write this lead off, and not bother sending anymore emails if I don’t hear back?

EDIT: That is to say, how long should I wait for a response before reaching out again? I don’t want to be bothersome, but I also don’t want too much time to elapse and this project to possibly be scrapped or forgotten.

I also have the option of going to Professor A and starting some work on the project while Professor B is otherwise occupied. But at the same time, I don’t want to seem like I’m “going around” or otherwise excluding Professor B.