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king_143
12-07-2003, 10:24 PM
How not to get a PhD ..

Discover how to avoid failure in this extract from Estelle M. Phillips' and Derek S. Pugh's How to get a Phd

Friday November 8, 2002

We want now to examine some very well established ways of not getting a PhD. While most examples in this chapter are drawn from business studies, in our experience, these tried and tested ways of failing apply to all fields and have to be pondered continually by research students. You have to be clear what your position is on each of the seven ways of failing that we shall discuss if you are not to fall foul of the traps they offer. And as we shall see, just to have them pointed out to you is not enough to avoid them. Most offer real blandishments that have to be determinedly resisted.

Not wanting a PhD


The first method of not getting a PhD is not to want a PhD. This may seem very strange, considering that a student is likely to be 'starving in a garret', living on a studentship pittance, perhaps having given up a job in order to study, or relying on the earnings of a spouse to put them through the course. At the very least, you will be devoting a great deal of time and effort and energy to research. Surely, you might say, considering what I am giving up to the project, can there be any doubt that I really want a PhD?


Well, strangely enough, there can be. We think an analogy would help here. It is the case, isn't it, that none of us, research students and research supervisors, want to become millionaires? We should quite like it if someone gave us a million pounds and we didn't have to do anything for it, not even buy a lottery ticket - that would sound like a good idea. But we don't want to set out to become millionaires. Obviously we don't; otherwise we wouldn't be considering how to do research and get PhDs -we would be considering how to build a better mousetrap, how to play the property market, how to write a bestselling book. There are many ways of making a million pounds, but doing a PhD is not likely to be one of them.


Exactly the same phenomenon occurs in regard to PhDs. People think it would be a nice idea to do a PhD, they come with views of what they want to do and then they turn round and say: 'Please can I have a PhD for it?' And the answer is often 'No'. PhDs are given for a particular form of research activity and if you do not wish to carry out this form of work then you effectively do not want to do a PhD. It is precisely the same distinction as that between hoping to become a millionaire and setting out to make a million pounds.


Clearly the purpose of this book is to help you to set out to obtain a PhD; and for this you need a degree of single-mindedness, a willingness to discover what is realistically required, and a determination to carry it out. This is the sense in which you must want a PhD. And this 'wanting' is important in that it has to work very hard for you. For example, it has to carry you through occasions when what you are doing may seem very pointless or fruitless, or when you ask yourself the question 'Why have I got myself into this?' or 'Why am I inflicting this on my family?' You cannot expect with an activity as demanding as doing a PhD that the intrinsic satisfaction (such as the interest of doing the research, the enjoyment of discussing your subject with other like-minded researchers) will be sufficient on its own to carry you through. You must always have a clear eye on the extrinsic satisfactions (your commitment to the whole exercise of doing a PhD, its necessary place in your career progression, and so on); you must want to do it.


There are, unfortunately, many who turn up as beginning PhD students who do not want to do a PhD in this sense. Particularly vulnerable are those who are using the PhD process as a vehicle for a career change:


· Iris, a teacher for many years, developed an interest in a particular specialism (multi-ethnic curriculum development) and thought she would like to do research in order to establish herself in this new subject. She found that doing research was taking her farther and farther away from dealing with what she saw as the real issues of pupils in the classroom in favour of a measurement- orientated form of 'science' to which she was unsympathetic. She left.


· Jim was a journalist specializing in industrial issues. He wanted an academic career and started a PhD on a politically topical issue. He continued to write occasional newspaper articles to earn money as a student. After producing a series of articles as his inadequate research proposal, his supervisor told him he had to design a questionnaire. He did so and got a group of managers to complete it, but he never analysed it- he said that he didn't see the point. And, of course, there was no point -for him. He withdrew.


Not understanding the nature of a PhD by overestimating what is required


The words used to describe the outcome of a PhD project -'an original contribution to knowledge' -may sound rather grand, but we must remember that, the work for the degree is essentially a research training process and the term 'original contribution' has perforce to be interpreted quite narrowly. It does not mean an enormous breakthrough which has the subject rocking on its foundations, and research students who think that it does (even if only subconsciously or in a half-formed way) will find the process pretty debilitating.


Of course, if you are capable of a major contribution then go ahead and make it (there are still, for example, a few scientists who have an FRS but not a PhD) -but this is a strategy for getting an honorary degree, not for getting a PhD! For those not in that position- i.e. most of us -an original contribution can be rather limited in its scope and indeed should be: apply this theory in a different setting, evaluate the effects of raising the temperature, solve this puzzling oddity or review this little-known historical event.


We find that when we make this point, some social science students who have read Kuhn's (1970) work on 'paradigm shifts' in the history of natural science (science students have normally not heard of him) say rather indignantly: 'Oh, do you mean a PhD has to be just doing normal science?' And indeed we do mean that. Paradigm shifts are major changes in the explanatory schemes of the science, which happen only rarely when the inadequacies of the previous framework have become more and more limiting. Normal science is the ordinary research that goes on between major theoretical changes. It serves to elaborate the general explanatory paradigm used and to tease out difficulties and puzzles that are not yet sufficiently well explained. It is the basic useful activity of scientists and scholars, and PhD students should be pleased to make a contribution to it.


You can leave the paradigm shifts for after your PhD. And, empirically, that is indeed what happens. The theory of relativity (a classic example of a paradigm shift in relation to post-Newtonian physics) was not Einstein's PhD thesis (that was a sensible contribution to Brownian motion theory). Das Kapital was not Marx's PhD (that was on the theories of two little-known Greek philosophers). Of course, while doing their PhDs Einstein and Marx were undoubtedly preparing themselves for the great questionings that led to the big shifts, but they were also demonstrating their fully professional mastery of the established paradigms.


It is this professionalism that the PhD is about. To think it is more than that can be very debilitating. You can wait for a long time for a new paradigm to strike. Overestimating is a powerful way of not getting a PhD. Here are two classic cases:


· Bob insisted that it would not be 'real' research if he read up in books and journals what others had done on the problem that he wished to tackle; his thinking would be entirely shaped by what they had done and he would only be able to add something minor. He felt that his only chance of being really innovative was not to read anything further in the field (he had a bachelor's and a relevant master's degree in the subject) but to sit down and design an investigation into the problem he was proposing to research (concerned with adult learning of skills), which he knew well from a practical point of view as an industrial trainer. This took quite a long time, as his knowledge of research methods was not that strong.


When he did present his proposal to Dr Bishop, his supervisor, she was not impressed. As this field was not her own particular speciality, Dr Bishop went to the library and looked up all the current year's issues of the relevant journals. In one of them she found a paper reporting a study on Bob's topic that (not surprisingly, since it was completed and published) was considerably better than Bob's attempt. She used this paper to support her argument that he would have to make a comprehensive search of relevant published material if he were to have a chance of designing an adequate study which would make a contribution. But Bob saw this as a negation of what he wanted to do and withdrew.


· While Phil was carrying out the fieldwork stage of his research into the motivation of managers, he became very involved with his subjects. He felt that it would be a betrayal if they were to get no benefit from his research because it was written up in a dull academic book that no one would read. Most research was like that, Phil maintained, and was therefore neglected by everyone except the next lot of researchers. What was needed was a research report that could really communicate. Why couldn't we have a PhD thesis that would read like a novel so that it would become accessible?


Phil took this idea very seriously. He wrote to a novelist whose works he admired for some suggestions on how to write his thesis. He took an extra year to write up the material, letting no one see anything on the way, on the grounds that you don't show a novel to anyone until it is completed. When he did finally present his complete thesis, his supervisor thought it was inadequate, unrigorous and indulgently subjective. Phil was asked to rewrite it, but he refused and thus did not get a PhD.


We hasten to emphasize that this example is not intended to deprecate writing research results for lay people, a very necessary activity that all researchers should take seriously. It is about overestimating what can be done with a PhD and therefore falling flat on your face. Nor does it mean that in writing for your academic peers you should neglect clear expression and interesting presentation.


Not understanding the nature of a PhD by underestimating what is required


Underestimating what is required is, we find, particularly a problem for those researching part-time and continuing in their jobs, and for those coming back to academic life after a long period in the 'real world', as they see it. It is basically the difficulty of understanding what is meant by 'research', since the word is used much more strictly in the academic than in the non-academic sphere. We shall discuss the nature of research activity in later in this book, but here we can just note that the lay person's view that 'research is finding out something you don't know' is not adequate: that most of the activities described as 'market research' or 'research for a TV programme' do not fulfil the criteria of research required for a PhD.


PhD research requires a contribution to the analysis and explanation of the topic, not just description. It requires an understanding that it is as important a part of the research process to fashion the questions properly as it is to develop interesting answers. It is an underestimation of what is required to accept a 'lay' formulation of either questions or answers -even if they somehow appear more 'relevant' -and it is a clear way of not getting a PhD. Here are two examples:


· Tom was a management consultant who decided to take a three-year sabbatical in order to do a PhD and thus enhance his marketability .He had noted in his job that the time horizons that managers used when making decisions affected the decisions made, and he decided to do his research on this topic, to explore ways of helping managers make better decisions. He took a typical consultant's approach, going round to a number of managers and talking to them about their decision-making problems. He wrote up some particular cases, some particular problems, and some suggestions for getting better decisions made.


After some months, a few of his clients with whom he had kept in touch and who knew of his new interest began to ask him for help and advice in improving decision-making in their firms. Tom felt that he helped them and therefore that his work was on the right lines. What he wanted to do was write up his knowledge and experience on managers' time horizons, present this as his PhD thesis, publish it as a book, and henceforth be an authority on this subject, thus obtaining more consulting opportunities.


It took until the end of his first year to convince Tom that, while his approach was a sensible career strategy in itself and his consulting opportunities would certainly improve if he published a book that was interesting and useful to managers, it was not a strategy for obtaining a PhD. His approach seriously underestimated what was required, and he was not doing research in the terms which are necessary for a PhD. When Tom accepted this, he decided that in that case a PhD was not worth doing anyway, and withdrew.


· Chris was a financial manager who thought that a research degree would be a good insurance should he wish in the future to become a management lecturer. He wanted to do his research on the financial control systems of his firm, about which he naturally knew a very great deal. He thought that it would be easy to do some research into a topic on which he was one of the experts, but he seriously underestimated the fact that research means finding good questions as well as good answers.


Chris was not able to formulate research questions very well himself; when his supervisor began suggesting a number of questions that he might investigate, he would take them up enthusiastically in discussion and give 'the answer' as he knew it to be. After treating a series of possible topics in this way, it became clear that he really did not have any need to do research since he knew all the answers anyway -at least at a level that satisfied him. After it was borne in on him that research requires actively challenging old explanations and finding new ones if necessary, his enthusiasm waned and he dropped out.

Not having a supervisor who knows what a PhD requires


If it is important for a student not to over- or underestimate the nature of a PhD, it is equally important to have a supervisor who does not do so. We shall be discussing issues of supervision in detail later, and so here we will just point out that: first, inadequate supervision is a major cause of not getting a PhD; and second, since the penalties to students of not succeeding are much greater than to their supervisors, in the end it is up to determined students to get the supervision they need and are entitled to.


· Sophia came to Britain on a government scholarship from a country that has little tradition of empirical research in her field. She was allocated to a supervisor who had good practical experience but who had not in fact done any research himself. She worked away by herself, with occasional comments from him that he thought a particular section very interesting. But he had badly underestimated the nature of a PhD. When she submitted her thesis the external examiner said that, in his opinion, it was so completely inadequate that there was no point in having the oral examination or in allowing a resubmission. She returned to her country sadder, if not wiser.


· Professor Shepherd is a supervisor very few of whose students finish their PhDs. This is surprising, because he is a well known academic in his field, has a lively intelligence and an outgoing personality -which is why he continues to attract students to supervise. But Professor Shepherd believes in treating research students as adults, as he puts it -forgetting that students are babes, in research terms! He believes that it is the supervisor's job to challenge his students, to shake them up mentally, to bombard them with new ideas. He goes on doing this throughout the duration of the research, even when more convergence, more limitations are required to complete the study. Because of this overestimation, many students find they have taken on too large a project, which they do not see becoming more focused. They get disheartened and drop out.


Losing contact with your supervisor


As we said above, the penalties of failure are greater for the student than for the supervisor. The relationship is not one of equality, so the student has to work harder to keep in touch with the supervisor than the other way around. The nature of the PhD process requires continual input from the supervisor if the student is to learn the craft of research and how to apply it to the particular topic under study .The details of managing this interaction fruitfully on both sides are covered later in this book. Here we will just illustrate the inevitably catastrophic effect which results if contact is lost.


· Tony got bogged down 18 months into his project. After a long session with his supervisor he decided that he wanted to change direction. His supervisor said that it was impossible to do so at this stage and he should carry on -even though it was now clear that more work would be required than originally envisaged, with a weaker outcome anyway. Tony did not agree and tried to persuade his supervisor to allow greater modifications. His supervisor explained that this was not sensible within the available timescale, and pressed him to carry on with the original design. They saw each other less and less because Tony felt that they were talking at cross-purposes. After four months they ceased to have any meetings; after six months Tony was observed rushing into a lecture room to avoid his supervisor whom he saw coming towards him along the corridor. He never submitted his thesis.


· David's supervisor, Professor Dickinson, was one of the leading academics in Britain in her field. She died tragically when David was at the end of his second year. His supervision was taken over by an experienced researcher whose range of concerns was different and who had only a general interest in David's topic.


David did not think it necessary to tell his new supervisor in any detail what he was doing, having it clear in his mind that Professor Dickinson would have given her approval. He thus worked without supervision for a further 18 months. When he came to submit his thesis the examiners felt that he had suffered from lack of supervision, which in the circumstances should be taken into account, but that they could award him only an MPhil, not a PhD. He appealed, but in due course the university confirmed the decision.


David's enforced change of supervisor was due to a particularly tragic event. Supervisors leave for happier reasons too, and often it is necessary to be handed on to another supervisor. In these circumstances it is particularly incumbent on the student to make good contact with the new supervisor, whose knowledge and skills are a crucial input to getting a PhD.


Not having a thesis


Words develop in meaning, and the word 'thesis' is nowadays commonly used to refer to the project report of the research undertaken for the PhD. Thus the regulations of your university may say that your thesis may be not more than a certain number of words in length, that it must be presented in black/blue/red binding, and so on. (Incidentally, these regulations differ for different institutions and they also change over time, so it is important for you to check those which apply to you.)


But there is an earlier use of the word 'thesis' that is very important to the task of obtaining a PhD. A thesis in this sense is something that you wish to argue, a position that you wish to maintain (the word 'thesis' derives from the Greek for 'place'). For example, the Reformation began when Martin Luther nailed a list of 95 theses to the door of Wittenberg church -statements of his beliefs, which he wished to maintain against the Roman Church of that time. C. P. Snow propounded the thesis that British intellectuals inhabit two separate cultures-literary and scientific - which hardly overlap. It is our thesis that it is crucial for students wanting to obtain a PhD that they understand fully the objectives of the exercise and the nature of the processes involved, which is why we have written this book.


Your PhD must have a thesis in this sense. It must argue a position. At the minimum this means that the study must have a 'story line' , a coherent thrust which pushes along an argument, an explanation, a systematic set of inferences derived from new data or new ways of viewing current data. Often, when trying to come to grips with the tough-minded pruning of material that this involves, you will feel that you are losing useful data, or important points. But relevance to the argument is the stern criterion. Your thesis has to organize data to increase the richness of your work, and focus argument to increase its cogency. It is not enough for your thesis report to be 'a short trot with a cultured mind'.


It may be that the thesis you are arguing has been decomposed into a number of 'hypo-theses' (usually pronounced hypotheses) each of which will be tested for its adequacy. In this case you must relate them to each other to maintain the general thrust of your argument. If you are not working in the hypothesis-testing mode you must still ensure that your discussions add up to a coherent argument. This is how the adequacy of your contribution is judged.


As with all the other ways of not getting a PhD, this is easier to say than to do, particularly if you do not have good guidance in the early stages of your research, when the temptation to spread yourself too widely and too thinly is greatest.


· Harry started out to study factors affecting industrial marketing strategies. This is a large field and he was able to tackle the issues only rather superficially. Some of the chapters in his thesis report made some good points, others were rather poor, but none of the aspects was at all related to the others in a cumulative way. The examiners said that his thesis 'did not add up to anything' and rejected it.


· Graham was the administrator of a voluntary organization. He registered for a PhD because he felt that not enough was known about how to manage such organizations; more research was needed to make administrators in this field more professional. He spent his first year reading a great deal about administration and thinking how the ideas could be applied to help administrators in voluntary organizations. When he was asked how his research could help them, he said that he wanted to write a textbook describing good administrative practices. There then followed a long period of trying to get through to him that without a thesis his work would not earn a PhD, though it might well be a useful thing to do in itself. In the end he reluctantly accepted this.


We must emphasize that it is not the notion of a textbook per se that makes it inadequate for a PhD but the lack of a thesis. A textbook which incorporated a well argued, justified thesis -for example, that accepted views are inadequate when the data are critically re-examined, or that the field can be reinterpreted fruitfully in the light of a new theory -would be very acceptable.


Taking a new job before finishing


Doing a PhD is an intellectually demanding enterprise, and this is true at all stages of the work. It is especially true of the final stage of writing up. Most students radically underestimate the amount of time and effort that this stage will require. They somehow think that having surveyed the field, designed the study, collected and analysed the data, it is downhill from then on to the presentation of the thesis. It is not so. Writing up demands the most concentrated effort of the whole process.


There are a number of reasons for this. The first is emotional: it is difficult to avoid feeling that this is a chore, after the 'real' work has been done. There are always ambivalent feelings about the study itself and a barely suppressed desire to run away from it all, now that the data are actually there for others to see. The second reason is intellectual: unless you are extremely lucky and everything turns out exactly as planned, there will at this stage be quite a lot of adjustment to be done in your argument, in your interpretation, in your presentation, to put the best face on the material you have available. This is an extremely demanding test of professional competence, and it is in fact at this stage that you have really to demonstrate that you are worth a PhD.


There is a third reason concerned with limitations in writing skill and experience. Few students have written anything as long as a PhD thesis before, and to complete it requires a considerable effort.


For all these reasons, writing up is not the time to take a new job. Apart from the physical dislocation, which makes intellectual work difficult and therefore easily postponed, a new job is likely to require you to concentrate your attention on a new range of issues, which, particularly if they are academic ones, will inevitably get in the way of writing up, through intellectual fatigue.


The only job it is possible to do, perhaps one which you are doing already or have done before, is one which allows you to operate in 'intellectual overdrive'. Taking a new job before finishing is a way of not getting a PhD. At the very least it will put off completion for several years (in our experience six to eight years and more), until the intellectual learning curve of the new job allows it -or else you join the ranks of those whom the Americans call the ' ABDs': the 'all-but-dissertation' brigade.


Action summary

Be aware of the seven ways of not getting a PhD:
· not wanting a PhD; · overestimating what is required; · underestimating what is required; · having a supervisor who does not know what is required; · losing contact with your supervisor; · not having a 'thesis' (i.e. position, argument) to maintain; · taking a new job before completing.


Work to understand the implications of these traps fully in your own situation and determine not to succumb to them.


Re-establish your determination regularly when blandishments to stray from your programme of work recur.

king_143
12-07-2003, 10:27 PM
Friends,
I am planning to do a PhD. I am in a second-tier university currently. My prof tracK record is excellent. I would like to know whether it would be good for me a choose a good university for my PhD or continue in the same univ with my prof.

Comenaughty
12-08-2003, 01:02 AM
Friends,
I am planning to do a PhD. I am in a second-tier university currently. My prof tracK record is excellent. I would like to know whether it would be good for me a choose a good university for my PhD or continue in the same univ with my prof.

king,
considering the fact that PhD is more or less a terminal degree and is a tag which is going to stick with u to the rest of ur life, had i been in ur position, i will dfinitely take a shot at the top ones... but.... have in mind, u may b losing up to a year in the case where u happen to shift univs for phd.... also, if ur proff is one of "THE" guys in the field, continuing a phd under him wont be a bad option... however, if u dont mind wasting 1 year, my suggestion wud be go for the top one....

simple fact.... if i say im form MIT or berk or stan or cal tech, wont u raise ur eyebrows? :wink: ...think abt it... and rest assured, u can more or less take it for granted that these univs really do good research...which unlike others..... are more pathbreaking!

naughty

arumugam57
12-11-2003, 09:29 AM
if i say im form MIT or berk or stan or cal tech, wont u raise ur eyebrows?

Never!!
The guys who studied in ordinary private engineering college , got just near first class can get a seat in MIT , Stanford University and etc. But in IITs it will be next to impossible as the peer pressure is so high. I can prove it.

arumugam57
12-11-2003, 09:34 AM
King!!

Immam periya composition elithiyirukiyee ..who will read? Avoid big big posts like this. Give abstracts / your understandings instead.

============================== ==========================
The best way to get Ph.D .. Catch hold of some Ph.D thesis ..Re-Do the work and see the possible extensions , uncertainities and you achieve those things. Not joke but real.. Just read some of the posts of SHY. It will help in so many ways to analyse any problem.
For example.. I was reading her patimanram topic and suddenly got a solution for "how to remove the horizontal and vertical lines from a gray image represented with template matching. ".

Cheers.

Shy
12-11-2003, 02:55 PM
hiyaa.. enaala u found out something???? happy my debate was useful in someway :b: :b: :b: :b: :b: :b:

Ellai on second thought.. kindal adichutu irukeengala :think: :think: :think: :think:

Shy

sweetie
12-11-2003, 03:24 PM
6FACE ... Shy aa kondu poi ungaloda message la irukkira christmas tree la maattunga... atleast antha tree aa vathu innum konjam bright aa irukkum..... :P :P :P

Jus kiddin .... ;) Have fun !!

thirudan
12-11-2003, 04:59 PM
In this I will not agree with you aaru,
"The guys who studied in ordinary private engineering college , got just near first class can get a seat in MIT , Stanford University and etc"

see my friend, to get a seat in MIT, U should posess minimum 1 or 2 publications in renouned journals, and ofcourse u should be a topper among toppers in the creamy layer of the brilliant giants....so..dont just say, a ordinary private college student also ..like that...ok? infact, if that ordinary private college student have a valuable international paper...he is extraordinary ok??? and i do agree with u...joining in an IIT for a Ph.D is bit difficult, but not like foreign universities( means the top creamy universities i am saying here)....upto my knowledge....

madhu_aish1
12-11-2003, 05:14 PM
if i say im form MIT or berk or stan or cal tech, wont u raise ur eyebrows?

Never!!
The guys who studied in ordinary private engineering college , got just near first class can get a seat in MIT , Stanford University and etc. But in IITs it will be next to impossible as the peer pressure is so high. I can prove it.


Duhhhhh..@ aaru.... :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: i dont understand how u can state such silly statements without seeing the fact behind it.. A guy from ordinary private has to prove to substance within him... Do u think a bunch of crazy people sit in top schools in admissions dept... :lol:

madhu

Comenaughty
12-12-2003, 12:13 AM
aaru,
i agree with madhu on this issue.... though stanford mite be an odd man out in giving away lots of admits like tofees, MIT, berk rnt the same....and stanford too doesnt give admits to some tom **** and harry.... only if theres some credible work in the resume can u stand a chance of getting an admit....

naughty

madhu_aish1
12-12-2003, 12:18 AM
just wanted to add a note about naughty's point... stanford is a private institution...unlike berk ... it is more business oriented...but still hell a lot of core research happens..
you still got to show what you have to enter into any kind of institution particulary the TOP-TIER

Madhu :D

vasan
12-12-2003, 12:42 AM
just wanted to add a note about naughty's point... stanford is a private institution...unlike berk and MIT ... it is more business oriented...but still hell a lot of core research happens..
you still got to show what you have to enter into any kind of institution particulary the TOP-TIER

Madhu :D

Hey MA1,

MIT is private also. Only Berk is a State school.. Want proof?

See what I flicked off the http://web.mit.edu/mission.html

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology -- a coeducational, privately endowed research university -- is dedicated to advancing knowledge and educating students in science, technology, and other areas of scholarship that will best serve the nation and the world in the 21st century.

Its the oldest tech school, and at that time there was no initiative from the Feds/States to think about schools..

VSN

Comenaughty
12-12-2003, 12:50 AM
Hey MA1,

MIT is private also. Only Berk is a State school.. Want proof?

See what I flicked off the http://web.mit.edu/mission.html

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology -- a coeducational, privately endowed research university -- is dedicated to advancing knowledge and educating students in science, technology, and other areas of scholarship that will best serve the nation and the world in the 21st century.

Its the oldest tech school, and at that time there was no initiative from the Feds/States to think about schools..

VSN


MIT is indeed a private school.... but usually MIT offers admit with fellowship/RAship/TAship...only in few disciplines, it offers admit alone..... but that isnt the case with stanford.... they make lot of admit offers and very few funded admits...... as very few have the money power to afford stanford and california, finally one in 10-20 who get an admit actually go to stanford.... thats the reason they resort to giving more number of admits....

naughty
naughty

madhu_aish1
12-12-2003, 12:59 AM
yey smelly man ,
thanks for the info...MIT is a Private not-for-profit institution. run solely for research purposess.. but in some schools thats not the case...

I have edited my previous post.. :D

Madhu

arumugam57
12-12-2003, 06:42 AM
Guys..
It is very difficult to see a secong class engineering graduate getting admissions in IITs.
But I have seen so many ordinary engineering college , second class students getting admission in so many USA universities ( Without good GRE , Without Assistantship ,And so all those guys are doing all worst jobs like painting, cleaning etc ).

I agree with madhu , comnaugty , vasan , and thirudan in their points. But I can say getting a seat in MIT for a secondclass guy is not next to impossible thing if he is having good money , good GRE score . I can prove it.

Cheers.

vasan
12-12-2003, 07:18 AM
I agree with madhu , comnaugty , vasan , and thirudan in their points. But I can say getting a seat in MIT for a secondclass guy is not next to impossible thing if he is having good money , good GRE score . I can prove it.

Cheers.

Super Aaru..

Kandippada.. there is no question about it.. Not every one in MIT is certified genius.. Not every one who is going to school in Harvard is a 4.0 guy... The thing with admissions in MIT (especially) is that its fully decided based on their own scheme.. If you can impress a prof with some creativity (God knows how that prof decides what is creative) its lot easier to get an admission.... Even if you have a average degree, pathetic acads, GRE (and the whole enchilada actually), if you have money - and if you can convince the prof that you will use whatever you are learning to some good some place you are sure to get an admission.

If one of the Ambani kids wants to do chem engg in MIT (or go to Sloan!) - getting an admission is a pretty straight forward process... The flexible rules permit a lot of lattitude... However what is even more impressive is that the Prof doesn't make any money out of it... (the school probably does!)... With this much of lattitude, if a really smart but poor student could get admission in MIT and do well - it speaks volumes about the sincerity of the people involved... Very rarely do you ever hear the flexibility being misused in admissions...

Makes you think, doesn't it.. :think: :think:

Comenaughty
12-12-2003, 07:55 AM
Super Aaru..

Kandippada.. there is no question about it.. Not every one in MIT is certified genius.. Not every one who is going to school in Harvard is a 4.0 guy... The thing with admissions in MIT (especially) is that its fully decided based on their own scheme.. If you can impress a prof with some creativity (God knows how that prof decides what is creative) its lot easier to get an admission.... Even if you have a average degree, pathetic acads, GRE (and the whole enchilada actually), if you have money - and if you can convince the prof that you will use whatever you are learning to some good some place you are sure to get an admission.

If one of the Ambani kids wants to do chem engg in MIT (or go to Sloan!) - getting an admission is a pretty straight forward process... The flexible rules permit a lot of lattitude... However what is even more impressive is that the Prof doesn't make any money out of it... (the school probably does!)... With this much of lattitude, if a really smart but poor student could get admission in MIT and do well - it speaks volumes about the sincerity of the people involved... Very rarely do you ever hear the flexibility being misused in admissions...

Makes you think, doesn't it..


hey vasan,
i wanna make one small correction.... i DONT think MIT is a kind of institution, which gives admits to some tom **** and harry...and i totally disagree, with jus money power u can expect to get in to a Masters or PhD program in engg..... here, i want to ad one point.... when u talk abt executive education like MBA, theres NO funding for anyone, whosoever thou be.... so u got to pay ur way thru.... and in case of elite business schools, it boosts their brand value to have bigshots as alumni..... for ex. one of the ambani is MBA from harvard and the other from stanford..... this happns with all business schools, which go for non-academic factors in their selection procedure.... one can tell now that narayanmurthy's son/daughter or azim premji's son/daughter can get in to the top business schools very easily......

however, the same doesnt apply to graduate education in engg..... getting an admit in MIT and berkeley or caltech is quite a very good achievement and they dont give admits very easily..... i have personally cn this and making this comment.... the same doesnt apply to stanford or UIUC etc....coz getting an admit is considerably easy in these.....

naughty

vasan
12-12-2003, 08:05 AM
hey vasan,
i wanna make one small correction.... i DONT think MIT is a kind of institution, which gives admits to some tom **** and harry...and i totally disagree, with jus money power u can expect to get in to a Masters or PhD program in engg..... here, i want to ad one point.... when u talk abt executive education like MBA, theres NO funding for anyone, whosoever thou be.... so u got to pay ur way thru.... and in case of elite business schools, it boosts their brand value to have bigshots as alumni..... for ex. one of the ambani is MBA from harvard and the other from stanford..... this happns with all business schools, which go for non-academic factors in their selection procedure.... one can tell now that narayanmurthy's son/daughter or azim premji's son/daughter can get in to the top business schools very easily......

naughty

I see what you are saying Naught.. but I think you misunderstood my statement.. I merely meant that there are non-academic factors that are also considered in Engg Schools.. Even in smaller schools - simply because the Prof who is recommending admission considers its an offer well made, based on non-academic factors. With several million dollars in chemical/petro/textile industry, why would it be difficult to convince a Prof, that an Ambani Kid really wants to do a masters in texctile/petro/or chemical engg?? It should not be too hard - and I think most professors would recommend an admission. Moreover, such admissions don't cost the prof any money as he might not have to support these people..

I never meant to imply that you can 'buy your way' through engg grad school (normal) admissions... (Forget about corporate people getting sponsored stuff.. That is not the issue here any way...).

I think we are pretty much talking about the same thing.. :D :D Or may be I am sleepy.. :)

You can conclude for me as well, if you are still fresh ... :)

Comenaughty
12-12-2003, 08:24 AM
I merely meant that there are non-academic factors that are also considered in Engg Schools..


that IS definitely there.... in fact, many ppl with good academic dont get to study in the top tier for some reason or the other and ppl with links, money can make thru to top schools even with not-so-good acads.... well.... infact, this was an element in my argument in the pattimandram...kalviya etc and etc :D..... with money, it IS possible to get in to top tier schools!! believe me.... i know some ppl sitting in the top schools with very bad acads, who made it there coz his dad knew a proff or a proff was a relative..... interestingly, IIT is one of the very few institutions in the world, where all these stunts aint possible... :b:

naughty

king_143
12-12-2003, 10:28 PM
Thank you for your suggestions and ideas,

Please just choose one of the following for me.
1. Always the top universities
2. Your advisor
3. Both university and advisor matters
4. Its your thesis/project that matters neither your advisor nor university

KINDLY REPLY TO THIS

king_143
12-12-2003, 10:30 PM
Arumugan,
What you said is correct,I should avoid such large post. I doubt whether I would read it or not. Next time smaller and valuable info or I will break them. (This the second time you have told me I think so, not ready for a thrid)

rajanand
12-13-2003, 08:09 AM
Padipaaligallelam ennavo pesikireenga! Indha ADMK political porukki enna post panna? I can only say one thing. Its a shame to leave India for higher studies. Its like insulting INdia and institutions and teachers here.

balaiitm
12-13-2003, 01:29 PM
Never!!
The guys who studied in ordinary private engineering college , got just near first class can get a seat in MIT , Stanford University and etc. But in IITs it will be next to impossible as the peer pressure is so high. I can prove it.


Sorry Aru..........I think you are comparing "Malai" and "Madu". Y ordinary private college studentsna kevalama? Nalla GRE score eruntha thaan MIT ella Stanford poga mudium.

Do you think getting M.Tech/MS or Ph.D in IIT is difficult? All IITians including 95% of the faculties are in the shadows of B.Tech gems. B.Tech is the only BEST degeree in IIT. This is 100% true. Jus doing a M.S/M.Tech/Ph.D in IIT is not a gr8 thing.

So in the fact you please don't compare IIT with well established and well known MIT or Stanford. According to me for higher studies you can't even compare IIT with moderate ranking univs.

king_143
12-14-2003, 12:45 AM
Padipaaligallelam ennavo pesikireenga! Indha ADMK political porukki enna post panna? I can only say one thing. Its a shame to leave India for higher studies. Its like insulting INdia and institutions and teachers here.


rajanand,
See education as it is supposed to be looked at. You might of heard/studied in history that people from different parts of the world came to India for education (Remains of this university are being looked for - HISTORY). So the idea of going behind quality education has been for a long time.
The truth is quality education is nearly nill ( except for a few ) in our country, unless we get back our old shine shouting at others for leaving the country is practically waste of time. If you would have said aganist "STAYING IN US AFTER EDUCATION" there would be a certain level (why only certain level ???? ) of validity in your statement.

I would say not respecting science would be a disrespect to India, not what you said.

Comenaughty
12-14-2003, 03:35 AM
Padipaaligallelam ennavo pesikireenga! Indha ADMK political porukki enna post panna? I can only say one thing. Its a shame to leave India for higher studies. Its like insulting INdia and institutions and teachers here.


rajanand,
neenga solradhu konjum debatable point dhaan..... but, theres nothing wrong in gaining knowledge from the western world.... in the end, india is going to benefit from it, by one means or the other.... im sure all the ppl here, still have links with motherland and have their thoughts abt it.... so we havent actually forgotten india!!

finally, its an accepted fact that india is still a developing nation and every human has the right to gain knowledge and theres nothing wrong in gaining it from a foreign country!!!

naughty

Comenaughty
12-14-2003, 03:40 AM
Thank you for your suggestions and ideas,

Please just choose one of the following for me.
1. Always the top universities
2. Your advisor
3. Both university and advisor matters
4. Its your thesis/project that matters neither your advisor nor university

KINDLY REPLY TO THIS

u c king,
u will have lots of options and things will get murkier and murkier sometimes, atleast thats wat i have realized...:D....... there r pros and cons in each of the above choices..... in the end, its ur gut feeling which shud make u decide.... all we can do is telling the pros and cons in each.....

guess u shud c wat u exactly expect out of ur PhD degree and shud zero on a particular choice.... u can use elimination of choices, so that this 4 can probably come down to 2 and things wud be a lot easier!!

all the best :b:
naughty

thirudan
12-14-2003, 06:48 AM
thats true naughty, as per my concern, this is purely based on you, in which you wanna do ur research and in that who is expert and ofcourse how he is? means, he is a harasing type or cool and the aid u r gonna get for this and lastly the university in which u r gonna do ur Ph.D . This is the sequence according to me...all the best...think and decide....:b:
thiru....:b:

king_143
12-14-2003, 08:35 AM
u c king,
u will have lots of options and things will get murkier and murkier sometimes, atleast thats wat i have realized.......... there r pros and cons in each of the above choices..... in the end, its ur gut feeling which shud make u decide.... all we can do is telling the pros and cons in each.....

guess u shud c wat u exactly expect out of ur PhD degree and shud zero on a particular choice.... u can use elimination of choices, so that this 4 can probably come down to 2 and things wud be a lot easier!!


I understand what you are saying I wanted to know what points other have considered or would consider before joining for PhD.



For example.. I was reading her patimanram topic and suddenly got a solution for "how to remove the horizontal and vertical lines from a gray image represented with template matching. ".


Aru,
Can you tell how SHY pattimandram inspired you to the solution

shivadev
12-14-2003, 08:06 PM
Thats cool, being a Ph.D scholar I can say one thing that.....choose your field then choose your guide and then see whether that univ is ok for you to survive...because your supervisor only goes to aid your Ph.D program...so do this accordingly...all the best..
love always
shiva here with u...:)

shivadev
12-14-2003, 08:08 PM
Hello Admin or Mod or super mod? enna ithu? Warnings 1 athu ithunu? eanpa?? inga oru Ph.D scholar vanthu pesikitu irukkaan??? neenga paatukku warning ellam kodukareenga? konjam tharaa tharam paarungappa????? :)
shiva :)

silican
12-14-2003, 08:41 PM
aamam,
Public forum'la vandhu dog adhu idhunnu pesuna yaarukku dhan koban varaadhu ? Edho 1 warning'oda pogattum.

BTW inga Ph.D Scholar 12th Class student ellam onnu dhan. Yaara irundhalum "Give Respect and take respect."


Silican

shivadev
12-14-2003, 08:44 PM
stop this nonsense plz..Mr.Arumugam...PM me...we will talk there...dont wanna quarel more in forum, it is not decent too i think...plzzz...

silican
12-14-2003, 09:08 PM
jkhjhghg

Ok Sir,
Yaar adakki vaasikkanum, yaar sathama vaasikkanum'nnu paarpom. Anyway this is not the right kind of attitude I would expect from a so called learned Ph.D scholar/resercher or whatever.


Silican

madhu_aish1
12-14-2003, 09:22 PM
rttertrttrrt


yaaru koduthaa enna.. thappa pesinathu neenga... athuku poi silican adanga sonna eppadi.. Not necessarily only the mods had to point out the mistakes..any member of geetham can poit it out ..if it is objectionable...

Did you get shiva SIR :D

Madhu

rajanand
12-14-2003, 09:50 PM
Makkale Please quote what this guy talked wrongly. I cannot see anything. Enna pesinaapla?

Comenaughty
12-14-2003, 11:17 PM
Makkale Please quote what this guy talked wrongly. I cannot see anything. Enna pesinaapla?

rajaa,
the warning was given to him in some other topic..... where i guess he sort of used disrespectful words..... andha topic pidikanumna google search dhaan pannanum geetham'la or the concerned mod who gave the warning has to tell....

:b:
naughty

Comenaughty
12-14-2003, 11:29 PM
king,
as shiva had pointed in his earlier post, those poitns are pretty much valid..... i want to add one more point..... u have to decide, wat u want to do after ur phd.... if ur interest lies in going for a teaching profession, then the university name, ur advisors reputation and number of good publications matter.....

i can cite one example which happnd in front of my eyes.... in my final year in undergraduate,i was pretty close to my guide and there was an opening for assistant prof..... my guide was in the selection comitte for this, and i knew abt the profiles of some of the applicants..... there were applications from fresh graduates (PhD's) from texas austin, minnesota-TC etc..... but the person who finally got the job was a guy from Southern Methodist University.... well, i dont know whether u can find this univ in the ranking itself, but that guys' advisor is an author for a book, which is considered to be bible in my field......

now if ur plan is to go for research labs like GE, Bell, Intel etc and etc, then ur thesis shud be real good and u shud be working on industry oriented projects, more than jus being a paper mill, jus churning out publications..... for this, top univs are a good choice coz they usually get the top notch projects from the top research companies.... but sometimes the middle rung also get.....

In both these cases however, ur advisor's reputation shud b pretty good and in a top ranked univ, u can take it for granted, that it wud be......

hope this helps :b:
naughty

king_143
12-15-2003, 12:41 AM
Thank you every one,
I have got the required answer , if you have any more adivce or suggestions please post it I will go through them, I still have 1 year decide. Any way I am applying to the universities to be on safe side and I will decide onces my admission and funding prospects are known.

Your friend ...

shivadev
12-15-2003, 08:06 AM
yes king,
as naughty mentioned in his post, the publications of the professor and the name of the prof in the concerned field also matters there, also for doing postdoc and all, the reputation of the professor is most important and the job sense too....if u want to work in some places like NASA. BEL laboratories, etc., definitely your prof should be a renouned one....thats it...all the best.
endrum anbudan,
ungal shiva here as always..:)

balaiitm
12-19-2003, 07:42 AM
Arumugam you didn't still answer my qn........you told me to get into IIT as AP, 3 IEEE papers are required. shall i show the webpage of certain Asst. profs in some of the IITs who doesn't even have a single IEEE paper. Am i right shivadev?

One thing i want to tell here..........even Einstein comes alive and apply anyone of the IIT he WOULDN"T get thro'. Lots and Lots of politics in IITs so called premier Insti....

shivadev
12-19-2003, 08:22 AM
hahaha that was a good joke bala ji, in fact, it is not that much difficult to get thru the IIT GATES as a fac, u should know the techniques and tactics and ofcourse some politics to enter in to IIT as a fac, after entering you are the king here man....yea as u told Bala, there is no need of any single IEEE paper to join as fac, even I can also give so many examples of faculties, without a single paper in their Ph.D level itlself in any journals??? its purely on the authorities who are sitting there in the board at the time of interview and your fate....what you say?? and ofcourse I think Mr.AArumugam also will give a good reply to this....
siva...:)

thirudan
12-22-2003, 06:56 PM
Bala its not a big deal to enter as a professor or associate inside the IIT...u can ..thing is you have to try hard, i know u will do it..all the best..
thiru...:b: