I finished my B.Sc. in physics 3 years ago, did a year of research, worked a year in tech, and have spent the last year off the grid living in the bush and running away from reality for a while. Now I’m going back for my master’s or PhD, but I’m pretty rusty. I’m hoping someone out there might read this and have some good advice on the best way to do this.

My options are basically the following:

  1. to do a master’s in a field/at a school/with an advisor that are all
    not ideal to me, because that’s where I have experience and

  2. to spend a year or so doing a second degree in math and then going
    on to do a PhD after that.

My reasoning for the second option is that this will afford me better opportunities for better grad schools in fields I have more interest in. Simply put, I don’t believe I have a strong enough application right now to get into the programs/schools/advisors that I want to get in with.

My undergraduate grades are fine (A-/A average), but not extraordinary enough to carry me by their weight alone. I have two publications and a dwindling number of connections who could write me strong recommendations. Maybe one or two at most, with two others who would write generically positive letters. I don’t think this is enough to get me where I’d like to be.

Grad school seems like too big of a commitment to go somewhere/work with someone I’m not 100% on board with. Is this “greedy” to think this way? Am I being too picky/asking too much? Should I take what I can get now and not waste my time trying make things “perfect”? Every grad student I speak to has the same advice: “Unless you’re 100% sure this is what you want to do, don’t do it,” so I’m kind of going by that.

Is it worth taking a year or so to pad my application with a second degree in math (new networks, fresh good grades, strong recommendations from professors if I can build relationships with them), so that I can get in where I actually want to go? Or should I just suck it up and do the master’s that I don’t care about, do it well, and then go where I want from there (keeping in mind that I’d be wanting to switch fields at this point)?

Thank you very much in advance to anyone who takes the time to read/respond!

I am an undergraduate in theoretical chemistry, and I am currently having a summer research internship at one of the top institutions in the world. I was dreaming about this experience for a long time, but now I think that I can’t handle it.

I started to feel drained of energy six months ago when my family had serious problems in their relationships, finances and health. Now, it’s two weeks into my 8-week-long internship and I am unable to focus on anything at all. The only hope I have is that intermittently I have bursts of energy, when the idea of leaving seems preposterous, but they only last 1-2 days max. I also have troubles sleeping.

I have always been a diligent student coming in top 1-5 in all examinations I sat. My internship last year also went quite well and my results from it resulted in a publication. I have never felt as I do now, and even though I’m trying really hard to pull myself together, I’m failing.

I wonder how much quitting would affect my reputation, especially if I’m being honest that the issue is about my mental health. On the other hand, if I stay but am utterly unproductive, would it be worse?

But I don’t understand if it is ethical because he was the one who identified the problem. I wouldn’t have thought of the answer if he hadn’t asked the question. I am an undergraduate and this is my first time in research. I do not understand the process, I think. But is this how research works? What is the proper way to proceed now?

But I don’t understand if it is ethical because he was the one who identified the problem. I wouldn’t have thought of the answer if he hadn’t asked the question. I am an undergraduate and this is my first time in research. I do not understand the process, I think. But is this how research works? What is the proper way to proceed now?

I’m from Brazil and the metric system for grades here (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grading_systems_by_country#Brazil) is different from UK.
So, I’m an undergraduate student who wants to apply to a Master Degree in Physics – DAMTP.
But, I don’t know what exactly is the “overall grades” which they are requiring here https://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/international-qualifications
I mean, I must to have 9/10 in each of the subjects or just the “final grade of all the course subjects” (given by some sort of process like weighted average)?

As one reads the psychology literature (e.g. social psychology), it seems to me, and I hope I’m not wrong, that such a discipline is highly dependent on quasi experiments (correct me if I’m wrong please).

Yet, one is most likely to read “we carried out the experiment/study with N participants… etc.), and never “we carried out the quasi-experiment with N participants… etc.).

The idea is, there seems to be systematic avoidance of declaring the name of the design. One has to use a kind of induction from experience to discover the design procedure.

My questions:

1 – Why?… I’m a naive undergraduate and I need to know what is the design in a clear and declarative manner that doesn’t confuse me.

2 – What is the official reporting procedure for reporting quasi experiments in APA (if such a procedure exists)?… Do I need to report the details of the design? and if so, how much details?

I am currently an undergraduate student in my last year at a Canadian university. Today, I gave a presentation about anti-censorship technology being developed at my institution. We were required to ask questions to the audience at the end of the presentation and one of mine was a multiple choice question that asked where the technology would not work, with answers that included “The People’s Republic of China” and “Republic of China” among others.

One of the students in the class who grew up in China asked a leading question about why I had two options, to which I responded: “there are two countries that call themselves China”. He became extremely aggressive at that point and stated that I shouldn’t be pushing my political beliefs on the class (the class was about technology and business), and yelled a standard Chinese political line about a united China in the middle of class. In the moment, I quickly just apologized that he was offended by it and somehow got the presentation back on track.

I spoke with the professor later in the day and he said the student came to him with a list of demands, which included, among other things, a public apology in class, alteration of my slide deck before posting it to the discussion board, and a meeting between him, the professor, and I.

I believe I am in the right when it comes to this topic and during my discussion with my professor, he agreed that students have a right to freedom of speech. He left it to me to decide what actions on the demands list, if any, I would be willing to do.

I feel some remorse, as I didn’t think that the question would be taken so violently by a member of the audience, but the level of intensity in my classmate is extreme. He stared at me consistently for the rest of class and, to be honest, made me somewhat uncomfortable.

I agreed to the meeting to start, but what else should I do? Disciplinary actions, like legal trials, tend to not always work out for the person who is in the right – there are many innocent people in jail. I want to stand up for freedom of speech, but don’t want to be crucified under a formal review because one of the reviewers may have also been indoctrinated by growing up in China and share the same views. I’m sure just like anything, if you dig hard enough, you can find something to get me on if the administration wanted to.

The irony that I see in this whole presentation is that it was about anti-censorship, and my classmate wants me to censor myself and only accept his version of truth – which is actually a lie.

I am a sophomore college student in the US. I have a friend who is currently in medical school, and has successfully used the to-be delineated strategy, and has gained admission into said medical school.

Strategy: Is it a legitimate strategy to simply learn to use EndNote and format citations for researchers (and subsequently get last author on multiple papers) to get publications on one’s CV?