2011 Rejections

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midwestphysics
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Re: 2011 Rejections

Post by midwestphysics » Mon Apr 11, 2011 4:20 pm

swestring wrote:But I will still become a kick-ass epic string theorist of doom.
Cutting through all the narcissistic b.s., and the back lash that is a result of it. Being completely honest, you've shown nothing to suggest this will be true, and that's why you got rejected. In a field that is all about evidence, you've given none to support this claim. You don't have research pubs to prove your worth in string theory which is notoriously difficult to get into, and your PGRE wasn't up to par. While you might not have out right told schools to prepare to be all up on your nuts when they see how great you are, I'm willing to bet that watered down overtures to that were visible in your sop.

You can't call yourself a potential superstar without proof; you come off as having a severe superiority complex. Who knows you might be great but there's no proof of that yet. Personally, I'm pretty good, not the best, but what I have in common with the best is that when I do research I feel humbled far more than I feel like a rock star. Your posts make it sound like you only want people to worship you for being a string theorist, because your just so damn good at it that there's no way you won't be worshiped. Honestly have you done research in any area? Because real research has a tendency to show us not only what we don't collectively know yet but what we individually don't know yet which is usually not nearly as grand as the former. Being confronted by that realization has a way of taking a person down a peg. If you want to show these schools that they need an international like you, well you need pubs in your area and a top notch PGRE. You've got 8 months to correct that for next year’s round.

vesperlynd
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Re: 2011 Rejections

Post by vesperlynd » Mon Apr 11, 2011 5:16 pm

At some point, you all should just let this one go. It's unfortunate that swestrings didn't get in anywhere he applied this year, but we all know people who were rejected everywhere. I, for one, know several people who got rejected everywhere, including someone who has had the happen two years in a row now. And these are domestic students who are now struggling to find decent jobs (i.e. ones that pay more than $10/hour answering telephones).

swestrings, why not just go to grad school in your home country? At least you would be in grad school, unlike a lot of my friends who literally have a month to find something before they go back home to their parents without the ability to collect unemployment checks (they were never employed in the first place). If you can go to grad school in your home country, then do it. Things could be a lot worse.

negru
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Re: 2011 Rejections

Post by negru » Mon Apr 11, 2011 6:08 pm

I find your reasoning regarding top 20 schools perfectly understandable (there are many drawbacks to doing string theory, moving from your country etc), however I do not find your reluctance to study for the PGRE understandable. If you have an otherwise good application, getting 990 on the PGRE can really make the difference. If you want to attend a top school so badly, aren't you willing to compromise a little to get there? Studying like a retard for the PGRE can be very difficult (I still miss all my neurons that were destroyed in the process), but it's quite manageable, and it shouldn't take more than a few months. Sometimes you just have to suck it up and play by the rules. And this will be true pretty much until you get tenure and/or your nobel prize somewhere in your 40's I assume. If you don't like these things, fine, but you're not doing anyone any good by boycotting the PGRE. You'll be free to attempt to make changes once you establish yourself in the field and people start listening to you. I know that if I'll ever serve on an admissions committee and have any say in things I'll push for disregarding the PGRE (or at least making the score bracket about 100-200 points wide)

You probably didn't have advisors "in the know" like many domestic applicants have, and *** happens, but there's no reason to apply like a dumb-ass again next year. You didn't have the app schools were looking for, tough luck, it happens. You might have some valid excuses. But you're not going to have any excuses next year if you don't work on improving what you know failed you. I was lucky enough to have research advisors who all told me to just drop research and tough courses and focus exclusively on the PGRE. Getting a 990 counts more than doing research or actually knowing your field, sorry, that's just the way it goes. You probably didn't know this, but know you do, so get to work and stop complaining.

t2kburl
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Re: 2011 Rejections

Post by t2kburl » Mon Apr 11, 2011 7:46 pm

HappyQuark wrote: I don't know about you but my perspective on the whole application process and, in general, my priorities did a fair bit of movement before, during and after my applications went out.
Same here. Plus getting my ass kicked on the PGRE, and a push from you and some of the other people here helped me to realize that I really am more of an engineer than a physicist, and I'm cool with that (now, LOL). I can still get where I want to go this way. So what if I'll never be the astrophysicist I once thought I'd be. I'm going to be the best damn engineer I can be. Nothing wrong with that. I'll make a lot more money!

Of course, that is exactly why I gave myself options by completing many applications. Failing to prepare for the possibility that I might fail would have been a devastating failure!

Good luck swestrings. Learn from this!

axiomofchoice
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Re: 2011 Rejections

Post by axiomofchoice » Mon Apr 11, 2011 8:06 pm

negru wrote:I find your reasoning regarding top 20 schools perfectly understandable (there are many drawbacks to doing string theory, moving from your country etc), however I do not find your reluctance to study for the PGRE understandable. If you have an otherwise good application, getting 990 on the PGRE can really make the difference. If you want to attend a top school so badly, aren't you willing to compromise a little to get there? Studying like a retard for the PGRE can be very difficult (I still miss all my neurons that were destroyed in the process), but it's quite manageable, and it shouldn't take more than a few months. Sometimes you just have to suck it up and play by the rules. And this will be true pretty much until you get tenure and/or your nobel prize somewhere in your 40's I assume. If you don't like these things, fine, but you're not doing anyone any good by boycotting the PGRE. You'll be free to attempt to make changes once you establish yourself in the field and people start listening to you. I know that if I'll ever serve on an admissions committee and have any say in things I'll push for disregarding the PGRE (or at least making the score bracket about 100-200 points wide)

You probably didn't have advisors "in the know" like many domestic applicants have, and *** happens, but there's no reason to apply like a dumb-ass again next year. You didn't have the app schools were looking for, tough luck, it happens. You might have some valid excuses. But you're not going to have any excuses next year if you don't work on improving what you know failed you. I was lucky enough to have research advisors who all told me to just drop research and tough courses and focus exclusively on the PGRE. Getting a 990 counts more than doing research or actually knowing your field, sorry, that's just the way it goes. You probably didn't know this, but know you do, so get to work and stop complaining.
You got to listen when negru speaks :lol: As for me, I can rest easy tonight in the knowledge that there is actually one post by negru which I agree with more than 95%.

To reiterate what I said before, a theory professor takes on average 2-3 students at any time. Yes you can find some who have 4 (but most of the time they are eager to cut down that number by not accepting new students after one or two students graduate), but that's exceptions. Also, you probably will want to avoid any theory professor who has more than 5 advisees at the same time. So go ahead and count the number of string theory professors in the schools you are interested, who are active and taking students (warning: a fair number of them don't take on students on a regular basis), multiply that by 2 or 3 then divide by 5, the typical degree length. The final result is the number of string theory students the school will take every year. Do you homework, and I doubt you will find that the average is significantly higher than 2.

Let's do some examples. If a school have only one string theory professor (not uncommon!), that's 3 students / 5 years = 0.6 students / year. This school likely will only want one perspective string theorist every 2 years. If a school have 5 active string theory professors (that's a HUGE! group and to my knowledge, there isn't a school out there that has that many active string theorists), that's 5 * 3 / 5 = 3 students / year. Even most top places don't have 5 active string theory professors - probably not even close to that.

As I said before, yes, the school may accept more than 2 perspective string theorists per year to account for people declining the offer, but there is also a number of people who got into multiple places, and I suspect these effects cancel more or less. A school may also admit extra perspective string theorists in hope that they change their mind about doing string theory, but it's unlikely that you will be perceived as one of those people since you already have a Master degree on string theory.

Don't be delusional as to your chances to be accepted as a perspective string theorist at a top place. The chance is very low, and you are competing against some best of the brightest people (all of them have higher PGRE than yours, btw), and you got to demonstrate to the adcoms that you are better than everyone except for maybe 22 of those bright people. If you don't have a competitive PGRE score, you are doomed from the beginning. It ain't a lottery - you are not qualified to even buy the lottery ticket yet! I hope you realize soon how silly you are to expect an acceptance or two from the schools in your list with your current profile.

iostream
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Re: 2011 Rejections

Post by iostream » Mon Apr 11, 2011 8:17 pm

i think you all are being trolled by swestrings. stop responding to him.

idontknow
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Re: 2011 Rejections

Post by idontknow » Mon Apr 11, 2011 8:24 pm

iostream wrote:i think you all are being trolled by swestrings. stop responding to him.

+1

negru
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Re: 2011 Rejections

Post by negru » Mon Apr 11, 2011 8:32 pm

0 to 2 string theorists accepted (accepted, not matriculating) per school per year sounds about right from I've seen

admissionprof
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Re: 2011 Rejections

Post by admissionprof » Mon Apr 11, 2011 8:34 pm

idontknow wrote:
iostream wrote:i think you all are being trolled by swestrings. stop responding to him.

+1
+2

axiomofchoice
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Re: 2011 Rejections

Post by axiomofchoice » Mon Apr 11, 2011 9:10 pm

iostream wrote:i think you all are being trolled by swestrings. stop responding to him.
Might well be :evil: although I hope my post about the chance of getting into top places on string theory ticket is informative. Back when I applied, hep-th seems to be a scary field to apply to, and I wish I have some concrete numbers on how competitive it is and how the theory admission process actually works. I might be more scared than I was knowing the numbers, but certainly I would not be so scared by vague forebodings :)

iostream
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Re: 2011 Rejections

Post by iostream » Mon Apr 11, 2011 10:26 pm

Being a hep-theorist who is going to Princeton next year (and got into some other top programs + NSF), I could probably shed some light on these sorts of things, should anyone be interested.

Edit: 0-2 string people admitted actually seems small to me. I know for a fact from visits and conversations with professors that MIT, Princeton, Berkeley, Stanford, and UCSB are all hoping that _at least_ that many people matriculate - it's larger in schools that have a lot of string theorists (e.g. Princeton). Yields being what they are, and since some people who say they are interested in hep-th choose a totally different subfield mid-PhD, it's probably more like 3-5 string people admitted in most top schools. In some of the schools I mentioned, it's even larger.

Edit 2: I guess this also depends on who you call a string theorist.

axiomofchoice
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Re: 2011 Rejections

Post by axiomofchoice » Tue Apr 12, 2011 12:31 am

iostream wrote:Being a hep-theorist who is going to Princeton next year (and got into some other top programs + NSF), I could probably shed some light on these sorts of things, should anyone be interested.

Edit: 0-2 string people admitted actually seems small to me. I know for a fact from visits and conversations with professors that MIT, Princeton, Berkeley, Stanford, and UCSB are all hoping that _at least_ that many people matriculate - it's larger in schools that have a lot of string theorists (e.g. Princeton). Yields being what they are, and since some people who say they are interested in hep-th choose a totally different subfield mid-PhD, it's probably more like 3-5 string people admitted in most top schools. In some of the schools I mentioned, it's even larger.

Edit 2: I guess this also depends on who you call a string theorist.
I agree. I also talked to many people from many top places (though not from string theory power houses like Princeton and UCSB), though from the other end of the theory spectrum (hep-ph). Although my purpose is to count the number of (unique) people, thus 2 per school seem reasonable since people like you get accepted into multiple places :)

negru
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Re: 2011 Rejections

Post by negru » Tue Apr 12, 2011 12:45 am

iostream wrote:Being a hep-theorist who is going to Princeton next year (and got into some other top programs + NSF), I could probably shed some light on these sorts of things, should anyone be interested.

Edit: 0-2 string people admitted actually seems small to me. I know for a fact from visits and conversations with professors that MIT, Princeton, Berkeley, Stanford, and UCSB are all hoping that _at least_ that many people matriculate - it's larger in schools that have a lot of string theorists (e.g. Princeton). Yields being what they are, and since some people who say they are interested in hep-th choose a totally different subfield mid-PhD, it's probably more like 3-5 string people admitted in most top schools. In some of the schools I mentioned, it's even larger.

Edit 2: I guess this also depends on who you call a string theorist.
Right, I was calling string theorists people who make it obvious in the app that their main (and possibly unique) interest is (formal - no ads/cmt stuff) string theory. HET with interest in string theory does not count, because that should go without saying anyway. I mean that's what I was counting. I have high interest in string theory but didn't advertise myself as string theorist (in the app or when visiting).

edit. because advertising yourself as string theory is a bit dangerous. for one, if you say you want to do string theory, you'd better know research level string theory - otherwise people will not be impressed. further, even if you do know your stuff, people different from string theorists in the committee might still not be impressed by your narrow interests - if you say things like string theory is very cool, they might feel insulted. or maybe not insulted, but they would want to know that you've considered other options and that you won't kill yourself if witten goes on leave right when you get there.

strikershootingguard
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Re: 2011 Rejections

Post by strikershootingguard » Tue Apr 12, 2011 12:54 am

There are plenty of good HET groups outside the States, and none of them care much (or at all) for the PGRE. Examples from the top of my head:

UK:
Cambridge
Oxford -- these two are comparable to top-10/20 US schools, and have great name recognition in case you leave physics
UCL
Imperial
Queen Mary, University of London -- this one has a pretty famous strings group

Netherlands:
Utrecht -- has possibly the best HET group in continental Europe
Amsterdam -- probably the second best, or maybe even the best, I dunno
Leiden
These three schools have very strong reputations (Utrecht has t'Hooft, for instance, though he's probably not as active as he used to be), and some of their HET students go on to get postdocs at top US institutions

Germany:
Max Planck Institute of Physics

Italy:
SISSA -- sits right across town from ICTP, and therefore has access to two strong pools of HET researchers

Most if not all of these schools require you to have a masters' degree.

It might help to know that Gia Dvali (of large extra dimensions fame with Arkani-Hamed and Dimopoulos, currently at NYU) got his PhD from Tbilisi State University, and some recent Harvard Junior Fellows doing string theory got their PhDs from schools like IAS or CAS in China and TIFR in India--excellent schools all, but not well-known outside the theoretical physics community. I'm not saying that you're sure to end up making as huge a contribution as they did, but they do demonstrate that a PhD from a top-drawer place isn't a hard-and-fast requirement for a career in a good university--the proof is in your ability to do outstanding research. If anything, the most crucial part is the first postdoc, as one of the posters here suggests.

SPat
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Re: 2011 Rejections

Post by SPat » Tue Apr 12, 2011 8:35 am

you forgot Weizmann Institute, Israel

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LoronDotCom
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Re: 2011 Rejections

Post by LoronDotCom » Tue Apr 12, 2011 6:40 pm

Sorry to get back on topic.. rejected from UMich Physics today. I didn't expect to get in but had to try anyway. :|

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sphy
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Re: 2011 Rejections

Post by sphy » Wed Apr 13, 2011 2:43 am

SPat wrote:you forgot Weizmann Institute, Israel
I personally think that's a damn good institute at wrong Co-ordinates.

notlivingonramen
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Re: 2011 Rejections

Post by notlivingonramen » Wed Apr 13, 2011 9:01 am

I got my first rejection last night, from U of Maryland. It wasn't really unexpected since I hadn't heard anything from them before this, not even to tell me I was on a waiting list. Can I infer that I was on the bubble and they were waiting to see how many students they accepted were accepting their offers, or are they the kind of school that waits this long before telling anyone no?

In any case, I'm feeling slightly disappointed, which I know is irrational since I'm really looking forward to going to UIUC and am excited about the NSF.

SSM
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Re: 2011 Rejections

Post by SSM » Wed Apr 13, 2011 9:39 pm

notlivingonramen wrote:In any case, I'm feeling slightly disappointed, which I know is irrational since I'm really looking forward to going to UIUC and am excited about the NSF.
May not be the response you're looking for, but UIUC is a fantastic physics school and getting the NSF makes it even more awesome. At this point there isn't really any reason to be disappointed since its so late anyway and the decision has been made, just focus on your decision to go to a top notch place.

SPat
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Re: 2011 Rejections

Post by SPat » Thu Apr 14, 2011 2:13 am

Maryland. End of admissions season.

(I was secretly hoping they forgot to notify me, in which case I would demand a $75 refund...)

CarlBrannen
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Re: 2011 Rejections

Post by CarlBrannen » Thu Apr 14, 2011 9:57 pm

I finally sent an email to U. Texas, Austin inquiring as to my status. The email I got back said:
You have not been admitted to our graduate program
for the fall of 2011. Though your GRE scores and past academic
performance was excellent, the competition for entry into our particle
theory group was extreme and only a few offers were made.
So be careful when you send out applications! If they think that you might want to do elementary particle theory they may not consider you for anything other than elementary particle theory!

vesperlynd
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Re: 2011 Rejections

Post by vesperlynd » Fri Apr 15, 2011 1:20 pm

I think the moral of the story is to simply NEVER put HET as your field of interest, unless you are a blooming genius. Far too many people are getting rejected putting down HET, when they would have been accepted under another field, or putting HEX.

Carl, I'm really sorry about what happened. I heard you were accepted somewhere though?

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kubikat
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Re: 2011 Rejections

Post by kubikat » Fri Apr 15, 2011 5:20 pm

SPat wrote: (I was secretly hoping they forgot to notify me, in which case I would demand a $75 refund...)
How do you do that?
One of my schools never notified me ( despite emails I sent them ). And their fee was a $100.

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LoronDotCom
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Re: 2011 Rejections

Post by LoronDotCom » Fri Apr 15, 2011 5:33 pm

Michigan State University

CarlBrannen
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Re: 2011 Rejections

Post by CarlBrannen » Fri Apr 15, 2011 5:37 pm

vesperlynd wrote:I think the moral of the story is to simply NEVER put HET as your field of interest, unless you are a blooming genius. Far too many people are getting rejected putting down HET, when they would have been accepted under another field, or putting HEX.

Carl, I'm really sorry about what happened. I heard you were accepted somewhere though?
I'm in negotiations.

The thing is that I'm interested in both theory and experiment. I think that to stay in theory it's useful to enroll in a top university so that's where I applied. Experiment requires being a part of a top experiment so I've been looking around for the perfect experiment. Things are on hold until after those universities get their April 15th acceptances finished. I suppose I'll know more next week.

iostream
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Re: 2011 Rejections

Post by iostream » Fri Apr 15, 2011 5:42 pm

vesperlynd wrote:I think the moral of the story is to simply NEVER put HET as your field of interest, unless you are a blooming genius. Far too many people are getting rejected putting down HET, when they would have been accepted under another field, or putting HEX.
I don't think misrepresenting your interests is ethical. Besides, if a school matches or exceeds their quota of hep-th people (which is based on how many total new students the department can absorb), then you may very well be stuck without an adviser if you get in by lying.

vesperlynd
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Re: 2011 Rejections

Post by vesperlynd » Fri Apr 15, 2011 6:47 pm

iostream wrote:I don't think misrepresenting your interests is ethical. Besides, if a school matches or exceeds their quota of hep-th people (which is based on how many total new students the department can absorb), then you may very well be stuck without an adviser if you get in by lying.
This is not what I'm saying at all. Please let me clarify. Some of the people in HET (or theory in general) are not going to end up being high energy theorists. To quote what the head of a particular physics department told me: they get plenty of applications from students wanting to be theorists; only 1 in 10 students will actually be theorists in the long run. Wouldn't it make more sense to simply recognize that as an undergraduate and focus on experimental work in grad school to begin with, then pursuing theory and end up 1) without a job, or 2) switching fields, or 3) switching from theory to experiment later on? It requires making on honest assessment of your abilities and interests (and your PGRE score). Some people have it - by all means they should apply as theorists. The rest, please don't say I'm cruel here, probably are more suited for experiment and just haven't recognized it. The application process should represent an effort to think about what one really wants to do, and the likelihood that they will be able to do it, soul-searching if you will.

I'll be the first to admit that theory isn't my thing, and I don't find particle physics to be all that interesting. Sorry to those who love it.

Edit: I'm not saying this about Carl specifically (I think he was more than qualified). Sometimes, there is no room for a particular subfield at a school for a certain year. Stuff happens.

SPat
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Re: 2011 Rejections

Post by SPat » Fri Apr 15, 2011 9:13 pm

kubikat wrote:How do you do that?
One of my schools never notified me ( despite emails I sent them ). And their fee was a $100.
I was half-joking :wink: ... I dunno if it is realistically possible. I just heard someone here say it can be done.
I'm don't think we have enough to go on to take legal action...

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WhoaNonstop
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Re: 2011 Rejections

Post by WhoaNonstop » Fri Apr 15, 2011 9:18 pm

SPat wrote:I'm don't think we have enough to go on to take legal action...
The most reasonable thing to do would be to kill everyone at the said school.

-Riley

kapil_ds
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Re: 2011 Rejections

Post by kapil_ds » Sun Apr 17, 2011 12:32 am

Got my rejection letter from Harvard planetary science today. Could not get off the wait-list.

A very disappointing end to this 'all rejections' season. On the brighter side, despite all the odds against me at the beginning, I think I managed to mount a credible challenge. Nothing to be ashamed of really.

Looks like, I need to leave my 100k+ consulting gig and get some solid research experience in planetary astronomy to be able to make the transition. And, THAT is exactly what I am planning to do now. I am a marathon runner and I don't like to give up on things just because they are hard.

Famous last words - 'I will be back' next year with a much improved application and I will also see, how the adcoms deny me a spot next time round.

Amen.

Kapil

Kaumz
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Re: 2011 Rejections

Post by Kaumz » Sun Apr 17, 2011 3:22 am

kapil_ds wrote:Got my rejection letter from Harvard planetary science today. Could not get off the wait-list.

A very disappointing end to this 'all rejections' season. On the brighter side, despite all the odds against me at the beginning, I think I managed to mount a credible challenge. Nothing to be ashamed of really.

Looks like, I need to leave my 100k+ consulting gig and get some solid research experience in planetary astronomy to be able to make the transition. And, THAT is exactly what I am planning to do now. I am a marathon runner and I don't like to give up on things just because they are hard.

Famous last words - 'I will be back' next year with a much improved application and I will also see, how the adcoms deny me a spot next time round.

Amen.

Kapil
Really sorry to hear about it, Kapil. :(

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satyad18
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Re: 2011 Rejections

Post by satyad18 » Sun Apr 17, 2011 3:52 am

Kaumz wrote:
kapil_ds wrote:Got my rejection letter from Harvard planetary science today. Could not get off the wait-list.

A very disappointing end to this 'all rejections' season. On the brighter side, despite all the odds against me at the beginning, I think I managed to mount a credible challenge. Nothing to be ashamed of really.

Looks like, I need to leave my 100k+ consulting gig and get some solid research experience in planetary astronomy to be able to make the transition. And, THAT is exactly what I am planning to do now. I am a marathon runner and I don't like to give up on things just because they are hard.

Famous last words - 'I will be back' next year with a much improved application and I will also see, how the adcoms deny me a spot next time round.

Amen.

Kapil
Really sorry to hear about it, Kapil. :(
Yes, indeed. But I really liked your attitude Kapil. You'll surely be back. Keep up the spirit. :)

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sphy
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Re: 2011 Rejections

Post by sphy » Sun Apr 17, 2011 8:16 am

kapil_ds wrote:Got my rejection letter from Harvard planetary science today. Could not get off the wait-list.

A very disappointing end to this 'all rejections' season. On the brighter side, despite all the odds against me at the beginning, I think I managed to mount a credible challenge. Nothing to be ashamed of really.

Looks like, I need to leave my 100k+ consulting gig and get some solid research experience in planetary astronomy to be able to make the transition. And, THAT is exactly what I am planning to do now. I am a marathon runner and I don't like to give up on things just because they are hard.

Famous last words - 'I will be back' next year with a much improved application and I will also see, how the adcoms deny me a spot next time round.

Amen.

Kapil
+1.

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sphy
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Re: 2011 Rejections

Post by sphy » Sun Apr 17, 2011 8:29 am

CarlBrannen wrote:I finally sent an email to U. Texas, Austin inquiring as to my status. The email I got back said:
You have not been admitted to our graduate program
for the fall of 2011. Though your GRE scores and past academic
performance was excellent, the competition for entry into our particle
theory group was extreme and only a few offers were made.
So be careful when you send out applications! If they think that you might want to do elementary particle theory they may not consider you for anything other than elementary particle theory!
No, I don't agree with this in general. I have heard that admission panel sometimes accepts students who have opted for the HE Theory in the intension of giving them some different choice, may be HE Experimental or assign them in some other fileds because it's basically the school's decision: which accepted student should take what?
And secondly some students feign their application eg. They want HET and in the SOP they write HEE and they think that once they get through the school admission panel and get acceptance they would change it to HET, which is fatally wrong given the fact schools are schools are planning to change your filed of interest. ( may be lack not having enough money to support the theorists and of course other factors.

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grae313
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Re: 2011 Rejections

Post by grae313 » Sun Apr 17, 2011 10:45 am

sphy wrote:
CarlBrannen wrote:I finally sent an email to U. Texas, Austin inquiring as to my status. The email I got back said:
You have not been admitted to our graduate program
for the fall of 2011. Though your GRE scores and past academic
performance was excellent, the competition for entry into our particle
theory group was extreme and only a few offers were made.
So be careful when you send out applications! If they think that you might want to do elementary particle theory they may not consider you for anything other than elementary particle theory!
No, I don't agree with this in general. I have heard that admission panel sometimes accepts students who have opted for the HE Theory in the intension of giving them some different choice, may be HE Experimental or assign them in some other fileds because it's basically the school's decision: which accepted student should take what?
And secondly some students feign their application eg. They want HET and in the SOP they write HEE and they think that once they get through the school admission panel and get acceptance they would change it to HET, which is fatally wrong given the fact schools are schools are planning to change your filed of interest. ( may be lack not having enough money to support the theorists and of course other factors.
I think this is school-specific and Carl's post was in regards to UT Austin. From the email, it sounds like this school admits based on subfield of interest and thus only admit a handful of HET theory applicants each year.

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sphy
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Re: 2011 Rejections

Post by sphy » Sun Apr 17, 2011 11:17 am

grae313 wrote:
I think this is school-specific and Carl's post was in regards to UT Austin. From the email, it sounds like this school admits based on subfield of interest and thus only admit a handful of HET theory applicants each year.
Right.
But is it true that if you show HET (or any specific subject) in your SOP and then the ADD Panel didn't choose you for that, so whether they consider you for other physics fields (other than your interest) or simply flag you as being rejected and thus throw you out from whole of the game.

If that's the case then I think it's always better not to mention your preference in you SOP. what do you say?

marcopolo0330
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Re: 2011 Rejections

Post by marcopolo0330 » Sun Apr 17, 2011 12:12 pm

sphy wrote:
grae313 wrote:
I think this is school-specific and Carl's post was in regards to UT Austin. From the email, it sounds like this school admits based on subfield of interest and thus only admit a handful of HET theory applicants each year.
Right.
But is it true that if you show HET (or any specific subject) in your SOP and then the ADD Panel didn't choose you for that, so whether they consider you for other physics fields (other than your interest) or simply flag you as being rejected and thus throw you out from whole of the game.

If that's the case then I think it's always better not to mention your preference in you SOP. what do you say?
I strongly disagree with that. Getting in a good school is not and end in itself, you need to be able to join a research group. If you don't mention you want to do HET, then you'll have to compete with all the other HET students who were admitted even if they mentioned their interest in HET. It's pretty competitive to join a HET group ... so it is in your own best interest to be honest about your research interest.

negru
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Re: 2011 Rejections

Post by negru » Sun Apr 17, 2011 12:56 pm

Once you start school no one will ever remember what you wrote in your essay. Except maybe the profs you wrote about and had contact with. But no one decides for you what group you are going to join, and it's very much expected for people to switch around. At many schools in fact they have this system were you rotate between 2-3 different groups before settling for one.

The best advice is to show strong interest for at least 2-3 different fields so that they're not sure which pile to put you in. Not stating an interest is very bad. Adcoms don't want to see someone who has no idea what they want to work on - they want to see someone who knows a lot about and enjoys many different fields but has trouble deciding between all these equally awesome fields.

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grae313
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Re: 2011 Rejections

Post by grae313 » Sun Apr 17, 2011 1:06 pm

sphy wrote:If that's the case then I think it's always better not to mention your preference in you SOP. what do you say?
Absolutely not. By the time you are applying to graduate school with some research experience under your belt, you should be able to make an intelligent statement about your potential research interests and, more importantly, how the school you are applying to would be a good match for those interests. It's OK if you're not sure, but you should have a few ideas and/or leanings at the least.

axiomofchoice
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Re: 2011 Rejections

Post by axiomofchoice » Sun Apr 17, 2011 1:18 pm

marcopolo0330 wrote:
sphy wrote:
grae313 wrote:
I think this is school-specific and Carl's post was in regards to UT Austin. From the email, it sounds like this school admits based on subfield of interest and thus only admit a handful of HET theory applicants each year.
Right.
But is it true that if you show HET (or any specific subject) in your SOP and then the ADD Panel didn't choose you for that, so whether they consider you for other physics fields (other than your interest) or simply flag you as being rejected and thus throw you out from whole of the game.

If that's the case then I think it's always better not to mention your preference in you SOP. what do you say?
I strongly disagree with that. Getting in a good school is not and end in itself, you need to be able to join a research group. If you don't mention you want to do HET, then you'll have to compete with all the other HET students who were admitted even if they mentioned their interest in HET. It's pretty competitive to join a HET group ... so it is in your own best interest to be honest about your research interest.
+1.

Many schools say that they do not admit by subfields, which may well be very true in most cases, but specifically for hep-th or even theory in general, I doubt that's true in any school. The fact is lots of people want to do hep-th, and the number of students a school can absorb into hep-th is typically very small. No responsible school wants to admit students for whom it has no potential adviser. If you are set on doing hep-th, it is much better to state it out in the front in your applications, than lying to get into a school only to find out that you cannot compete for adviser with other students who were admitted on the hep-th ticket. Competition for an adviser in hep-th even after you are admitted to a program can be very intense in some places, and you definitely would want to go to a school that wants you (as a prospective hep theorist) instead of one that doesn't. There are even a few not-top-10 schools that routinely send students to postdocs in top-10 schools in hep-th theory.

Of course, if you have only vague ideas that hep-th theory is interesting without knowing much of it (have you taken QFT, at the very least?), then it's to your best interest not to mention hep-th as your only interest in your applications. After all, from past statistics, quite a number of people who thought they want to do hep-th end up finding it not what they imagine it to be, and end up switching field anyways.

admissionprof
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Re: 2011 Rejections

Post by admissionprof » Sun Apr 17, 2011 4:07 pm

axiomofchoice wrote:
Many schools say that they do not admit by subfields, which may well be very true in most cases, but specifically for hep-th or even theory in general, I doubt that's true in any school. The fact is lots of people want to do hep-th, and the number of students a school can absorb into hep-th is typically very small. No responsible school wants to admit students for whom it has no potential adviser. If you are set on doing hep-th, it is much better to state it out in the front in your applications, than lying to get into a school only to find out that you cannot compete for adviser with other students who were admitted on the hep-th ticket. Competition for an adviser in hep-th even after you are admitted to a program can be very intense in some places, and you definitely would want to go to a school that wants you (as a prospective hep theorist) instead of one that doesn't.
Actually, many schools really do not admit by subfields, unless the subfield expressed is something that they don't even offer. We don't. But if a student wanted to do CMT, say, and we had only two people doing CMT, and they had both recently taken on students (and didn't want more), then we would still admit them, but tell them upfront about the situation in CMT. Then let them factor that into their decision. If they do still come, they will be completely aware of the situation. Full disclosure, yes, but taking it into account in deciding admissions, generally no.

As axiomofchoice correctly says, most people change fields anyway.

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HappyQuark
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Re: 2011 Rejections

Post by HappyQuark » Sun Apr 24, 2011 12:09 am

Got an "official" rejection letter from UC Irvine today. I feel like they could have sent this to me a bit earlier.

TheBeast
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Re: 2011 Rejections

Post by TheBeast » Mon Apr 25, 2011 1:41 am

HappyQuark wrote:Got an "official" rejection letter from UC Irvine today. I feel like they could have sent this to me a bit earlier.
What was the date on the letter?

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HappyQuark
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Re: 2011 Rejections

Post by HappyQuark » Mon Apr 25, 2011 1:21 pm

TheBeast wrote:
HappyQuark wrote:Got an "official" rejection letter from UC Irvine today. I feel like they could have sent this to me a bit earlier.
What was the date on the letter?
It was an email.

TheBeast
Posts: 114
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Re: 2011 Rejections

Post by TheBeast » Mon Apr 25, 2011 3:36 pm

HappyQuark wrote:
TheBeast wrote:
HappyQuark wrote:Got an "official" rejection letter from UC Irvine today. I feel like they could have sent this to me a bit earlier.
What was the date on the letter?
It was an email.
That's pretty weak on their part.

badphysicist
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Re: 2011 Rejections

Post by badphysicist » Mon Apr 25, 2011 9:20 pm

TheBeast wrote:
HappyQuark wrote:
TheBeast wrote: What was the date on the letter?
It was an email.
That's pretty weak on their part.
I got the same email today (4/25).

idontknow
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Re: 2011 Rejections

Post by idontknow » Mon Apr 25, 2011 11:43 pm

I am still waiting for my rejection letter/email from Berkeley :lol:

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HappyQuark
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Re: 2011 Rejections

Post by HappyQuark » Fri Apr 29, 2011 4:58 pm

Just got my rejection email from Columbia's applied physics program. REALLY! This is absolutely ridiculous. They know that, for all intents and purposes, all universities set their offer deadline to April 15th. Why in the world would you not inform people of the decision until a full 2 weeks after the fact.

Just for the record, I didn't get a response from UC Irvine until a week after the deadline, Columbia waited until 2 weeks and I still haven't heard a god damn thing from Northwestern.

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grae313
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Re: 2011 Rejections

Post by grae313 » Fri Apr 29, 2011 5:40 pm

HappyQuark wrote:Just for the record, I didn't get a response from UC Irvine until a week after the deadline, Columbia waited until 2 weeks and I still haven't heard a god damn thing from Northwestern.
I would kindly ask for my application fee back. That is bullshit.

negru
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Re: 2011 Rejections

Post by negru » Fri Apr 29, 2011 7:34 pm

vesperlynd wrote:NEVER put HET as your field of interest, unless you are a blooming genius.
I thought I should give my valuable perspective on this. You CAN go ahead and put HET as your field of interest, IF indeed you are a blooming genius, OR IF you are negru.

Oh wait that's actually the same thing...yeah nevermind, sorry.



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