FALL 2008 acceptances

  • This has become our largest and most active forum because the physics GRE is just one aspect of getting accepted into a graduate physics program.
  • There are applications, personal statements, letters of recommendation, visiting schools, anxiety of waiting for acceptances, deciding between schools, finding out where others are going, etc.

nvanmeter
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Post by nvanmeter » Fri Feb 08, 2008 2:03 am

what's the deal with stanford? they're app was due dec 11, before anyone else's, and they are pretty much the only school i applied to (including berkeley which was due about a month later) that hasn't even sent me an email! they need to hurry the hell up...

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grae313
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Post by grae313 » Fri Feb 08, 2008 2:13 am

I haven't seen any word from harvard on this forum either and theirs was due the 14th

doom
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Post by doom » Fri Feb 08, 2008 2:14 am

Well, damn. If everyone got an email from Washington, I guess I'm not in the first round of acceptances. Although it looks like they usually admit like twice that many applicants, so I can still hold out hope. :?

edit: According to their website, they normally admit about 100 students.
Last edited by doom on Fri Feb 08, 2008 3:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

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will
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Post by will » Fri Feb 08, 2008 2:17 am

At least you're already in somewhere.

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grae313
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Post by grae313 » Fri Feb 08, 2008 4:39 pm

I got an email today from a prof at UCSC who wants me to join their research group and wants to know what they can do to make UCSC more attractive to me :shock:

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fermiboy
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Post by fermiboy » Fri Feb 08, 2008 4:41 pm

How about knocking a few hundred bucks off the rents down there?

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grae313
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Post by grae313 » Fri Feb 08, 2008 6:55 pm

whoops--I just posted that up there this morning and went off to work so I didn't see what caused all this hubbub. I'm sorry if I caused anyone to be upset or if I came off as bragging. I was just excited and wanted to share. Also, people did notice that it is UCSC and not UCSB I heard from, right? UCSC is ranked #46 in the US News and World Report. The prof who contacted me said four of their seven students were graduating this May so they were actively recruiting new students, and I expressed an interest in the type of research they are doing in my SOP. Also, my background is similar to the prof's who was a physics, chemistry, and math triple major (I'm a physics and chemistry double major, math minor).
Last edited by grae313 on Fri Feb 08, 2008 6:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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grae313
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Post by grae313 » Fri Feb 08, 2008 6:57 pm

fermiboy wrote:How about knocking a few hundred bucks off the rents down there?
yeah, seriously! I was thinking of asking for a beach-front studio and a new car though...

hpharty
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Post by hpharty » Fri Feb 08, 2008 6:57 pm

grae it was totally cool. I was just joking around. Honestly, I am jealous for real, but your stats tell me you earned it. Again, well done.

peder
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Post by peder » Fri Feb 08, 2008 6:58 pm

Just got accepted to NYU Physics and Michigan Materials!!!!

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grae313
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Post by grae313 » Fri Feb 08, 2008 6:59 pm

I believe you, and no worries!

congrats peder!

cancelled20080417
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Post by cancelled20080417 » Fri Feb 08, 2008 7:07 pm

hpharty, I deleted my post above. All in fun!

admissionprof
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Post by admissionprof » Fri Feb 08, 2008 8:06 pm

A note from "the other side":

Some of you have been accepted now by several places. Some of these are definitely lower on your list than the others. For example, suppose someone has gotten into UCSD and Cornell, and knows, absolutely, that they prefer Cornell. Then why do they not immediately decline UCSD? Certainly they shouldn't do so if there is any chance they might prefer UCSD, but if they are certain, why not? If someone declines, then another offer (perhaps to someone on this forum) can be made.

Yes, I know it isn't as simple as "when we get a rejection, we select the next on the list" (at least not until much later). But if dozens of people hold onto hundreds of offers until early April, then a lot of students who aren't as strong as people on this forum will be waiting and waiting and waiting, and might not have a chance to visit.

Again, don't decline any place if there is any reasonable chance that you might want to go there, but I would hope people wouldn't just hold onto offers that they know they will be declining. This forum tends to be the "cream of the crop", and there are many, many people desperately hoping to get in somewhere.

Cheers, (and I like RG--whoops, wrong thread).

shouravv
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Post by shouravv » Fri Feb 08, 2008 8:13 pm

<>
Last edited by shouravv on Tue Feb 12, 2008 7:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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fermiboy
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Post by fermiboy » Fri Feb 08, 2008 9:12 pm

I would love to turn someone down (especially Stanford haha) but unfortunately all I have is one offer so I better hang on to it.

phys007
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Post by phys007 » Fri Feb 08, 2008 9:18 pm

I was accepted to Rutgers physics today, by email.

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twistor
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Post by twistor » Fri Feb 08, 2008 9:29 pm

admissionsprof:
This forum tends to be the "cream of the crop"
What makes you say that?

If this is true then I wonder why only the best students would take an interest in posting here while others are taciturn.

gekkehenkie
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Post by gekkehenkie » Fri Feb 08, 2008 9:30 pm

congrats Peder!

how did nyu tell you? snail or email?

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grae313
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Post by grae313 » Fri Feb 08, 2008 9:34 pm

twistor, this forum does have a lot of high-powered applicants concentrated in one place. Not many domestic students get 990 on the PGRE, and yet there are four or five of them on this forum. Also, I think a lot of the students who don't do as well are either embarrassed to post, or don't even know about this site because they didn't look online when they were preparing. 50% of the students who take the test get below 50th percentile, but do you ever see one posting here?

Everyone here has strong scores, strong grades, and strong research. Most undergrad applicants don't even do research.

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twistor
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Post by twistor » Fri Feb 08, 2008 10:03 pm

I guess it just boggles my mind. I knew I was going to graduate school, I knew I needed a semi-decent GRE scrore, and I knew I needed to do research. We do have a lot a great applicants, but the question is "why?"

peder
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Post by peder » Fri Feb 08, 2008 10:05 pm

gekkehenkie: email to the address I provided. I haven't been able to go home for the past two weeks (research at a National Synchrotron facility) so I haven't been able to check the mail either.

admissionprof
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Post by admissionprof » Fri Feb 08, 2008 10:29 pm

twistor--

you ask an interesting question. Why are the people on this thread so strong compared with the average domestic applicant? I'm at a school which is top 50 but not top 20. Our AVERAGE accepted domestic applicant has a subject GRE in the 600s. We occasionally accept students from fairly small colleges whose subject GREs are in the 500s (and on rare occasions, in the 400s, although that's very rare). If their grades are really strong, and they have research experience, they generally do pretty well. The quantitative general GRE is (in our view) more strongly correlated with success.

Maybe they just are ashamed to post their scores (or maybe they aren't being honest). I really don't know.

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twistor
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Post by twistor » Fri Feb 08, 2008 10:46 pm

admissionprof:

It's interesting that you think the quantitative section of the general GRE is more correlated with success than other factors. With so many physics students getting 800s I would think there would be little information you could gather from this.

It doesn't follow that people would be ashamed to post their scores. No one here knows anything about any other person on this forum. Any post of statistics would be in complete anonymity. I was slightly embarassed that I got a 660 on the quantitative section of the general GRE, but it didn't stop me from posting that information.

I guess the most interesting thing is that you put any faith in the GRE at all. From the standpoint of a student I don't think it measures anything that could be used to deduce my sucess in graduate school. Furthermore, I think:

Having a degree in physics ==> Student has the ability to perform basic math, regardless of the score received on the general GRE

Let's face it, you can't make it through physics if you can't do fractions and decimals and there are too many other factors that can affect the score on the GRE (such as ETS's weighted scoring system which biases the scores).

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jdhooghe
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Post by jdhooghe » Fri Feb 08, 2008 11:44 pm

I am also ashamed that I got such a low quantitative score(680). Do I believe that I am great at math? Hell yes. After the generals, I was so depressed I drank a lot and don't remember too much of that night. I am an incredibly hard worker and I felt that all of my hard work was for naught. After I got a hold of myself, I reasoned that the departments I was applying to would sense a discrepancy between my excellent math and physics grades and what was mailed to them by ETS. I am surprised that there is such a large amount of correlation between success in grad school and if you can do a set of math questions within 45 min WITHOUT thinking. Obviously I am a bit bitter and I apologize but I just hoped that physics departments would see past this. For those of you who got 800, more power to you and I am sure you are brilliant so don't take this as an insult.

VT
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Post by VT » Sat Feb 09, 2008 1:35 am

I'm at a school which is top 50 but not top 20

Hello admissionprof:

I heard you saying that you are from top 50 school. Could you please give me a list of top 50 Universities in Physics in the US or is there any where I can look at online to get the feel of top 50 schools?I have tried so many times to find the lsit of schools, but no success yet. I really want to know which schools are top 50.
Also, I keep wondering why you keep adding " not top 20" at the end of your sentence. For me, if a school is ranked 27 then I would just say top 30. If ranked 17, I would just call it top 20 and so on for the sake of anonymity. I would not say "top 50 but not top 20" for a school ranked 22. I would simply call it top 25.

Thank you very much for spending some of your time on this forum. Your comments have been very helpful. We appreciate it.

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will
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Post by will » Sat Feb 09, 2008 1:59 am

Actually, it kind of makes sense. When people tier schools, it usually goes top 5, then 10, 20, 50... But of course the exclusion is then implied.

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grae313
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Post by grae313 » Sat Feb 09, 2008 2:22 am

here are some rankings I compiled and posted in my nanotechnology thread:

Various Rankings


The US News and World Report rankings were from data gathered in 2006, and they are pretty much based 100% on other school's opinions of each other's prestige. As in, if all the schools say "we think MIT is #1 in physics," then MIT is listed as #1 in physics.

aanaa
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Post by aanaa » Sat Feb 09, 2008 4:42 am

wieeee... MIT!!!! :D

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fermiboy
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Post by fermiboy » Sat Feb 09, 2008 5:02 am

Post your damn profile.

admissionprof
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Post by admissionprof » Sat Feb 09, 2008 10:18 am

Twistor, jdhooghe--

I may not have been clear. As far as the general quantitative GRE is concerned, it isn't important to get 800. But if a student scores below the 70th percentile, then it is definitely a concern (especially given that most who take it aren't even scientists). So it doesn't hurt someone who is above the 70th percentile.

I've always thought of the physics GRE as being a very stupid test. When we evaluate admissions, we don't hold a low score against someone (unless it's really low), but we do consider a high score positively.

VT--I've never liked ratings systems. Grae is right that they tend to be reputation-based. Once, the top Fortune 500 CEOs were given a list of a bunch of business schools and asked to rate them. Princeton came in fourth.

Princeton doesn't have a business school. General reputation dominates these rankings.

Whether my institution is top 30, 40, 50, 60 depends on the precise rating system. It's also field dependent. Looking at the US News rankings, I see U of Washington ranked below UCLA, UIUC, U Colorado, and yet in nuclear/particle physics, they are much, much stronger. So I wouldn't get too hung up on ratings.

landau007
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Post by landau007 » Sat Feb 09, 2008 11:45 am

Today admitted to MIT, CTP by email.

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twistor
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Post by twistor » Sat Feb 09, 2008 11:49 am

If you haven't already you should post your stats in the stats thread.

400nm
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Post by 400nm » Sat Feb 09, 2008 12:05 pm

.
Last edited by 400nm on Sat Jul 12, 2008 11:07 am, edited 3 times in total.

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dlenmn
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Post by dlenmn » Sat Feb 09, 2008 12:36 pm

U Wisconsin, FTW!

(I knew it was good when I saw the big manila envelope in my small mailbox... about time all this mail checking paid off...)

doom
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Post by doom » Sat Feb 09, 2008 1:04 pm

@400nm:

I'd have to say that, yes there is a better chance that professors will be available on their visit weekend. However, it doesn't hurt to call and see about setting up a separate visit date. Mention the professor(s) you're interested in working with, and see if they can make time to meet with you.

However, a top 10 school might be a little less flexible with this sort of thing than lower ranked schools who may feel like they have to try harder to impress their visiting students.

Just my thoughts.

VT
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Post by VT » Sat Feb 09, 2008 1:09 pm

hey dlenmn, when are you visiting UW- Madison ? btw, congrats for the acceptance.

doom
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Post by doom » Sat Feb 09, 2008 1:12 pm

I can see why people would be hesitant to post their stats here, especially if they're not in the top quartile or so. There's been a whole bunch of posts of people with very respectable scores (high 700s GRE subject) saying "woe is me, I'll never get in anywhere, I can't believe I bombed this test!" Do you really think someone who got a 600 is going to feel comfortable posting their scores in that kind of environment?

In that spirit, I think it would be nice if people would remove the editorial comments they posted on the profile page by their scores. That way, maybe we can get a wider range of applicants who feel comfortable posting. Maybe then, next year's applicants can see someone who got a less-than-stellar score who got into a good school and feel better about their chances. What do you say?

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dlenmn
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Post by dlenmn » Sat Feb 09, 2008 1:16 pm

@VT Thanks.

I'm not sure when I'll visit. The earlier date is during reading period -- I think I might have a final that Monday. So I'm guessing it'll be the later date.

VT
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Post by VT » Sat Feb 09, 2008 1:23 pm

@ doom : I very much agree with you ,doom, but plz let me say thay my GRE score was indeed low and never really reflected the time I had put into it and the courses i have taken in Physics and I do not want other forum members to take this word of mine as a discouragment, after all I am an international student though I went to College in the States..
Last edited by VT on Sat Feb 09, 2008 1:25 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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dlenmn
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Post by dlenmn » Sat Feb 09, 2008 1:24 pm

@ doom

Agreed. I know a grad student who was retaking the test. We were talking about it after we got our scores. He said he was happy with his -- I said I was unhappy with mine. We then said our numbers, and it turned out my score was slightly higher than his -- I felt like an ass. He's a smart dude and I'm sure that he'll be successful. In short -- there's no reason for 700s alarmism (although I think that I'm rightfully unhappy about my score -- I could have done better). I'll take down the comment next to more score.

doom
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Post by doom » Sat Feb 09, 2008 2:57 pm

@VT, dlenmn,

You have every right to be disappointed with your scores for whatever reason. But I just think that's the kind of thing one should keep to oneself. When I got my first subject GRE score (710), I was pretty happy with it. Then I came on this site and saw people complaining about their scores, which were much higher. I have to admit, it bothered me somewhat.

I just think it's kinda rude to keep complaining about your scores, and I think it'll keep some people away from our profile thread, which would be counter-productive.

Not a personal attack by any means, though, so hopefully I haven't stirred up any hard feelings.

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fermiboy
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Post by fermiboy » Sat Feb 09, 2008 3:01 pm

I agree w/ doom. There's definitely a vibe on here that any score less than ~ 850 is some sort of failure. I got a 730, I was shooting for the 800 range but 730 is a respectable score, I did better than 64% of test takers. Considering the fact that I never took physics until college, and I had to start in remedial math in college (Algebra II, and I never learned trig till I was at college), I think my score is actually pretty good, given my non traditional background.

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twistor
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Post by twistor » Sat Feb 09, 2008 3:07 pm

Most of the people on this forum worried about getting scores < 900 are the international students. I was shooting for high 600s and was joyed when I got a 730. I told myself I would throw a party if I scored over 800.

Fermiboy, we have similar backgrounds. I did two years at community college and started out in trigonometry. I went to a shitty high-school and spent a lot of time... ahem... engaging in non-academic activities.

I think most of my high-school teachers would be suprised, and many would probably have a heart-attack, to find out I'm not in jail.

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twistor
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Post by twistor » Sat Feb 09, 2008 3:13 pm

Also, I think of lot of the complaints stem from the fact that none of us really know what admissions committees are thinking when they see our score. We all want to put our best foot forward but we're afraid that they're only going to see us as less than perfect. It's tough to know that someone with a 990 is applying to the same program you are because we tend to think that that person will be chosen over us. The only way to eliminate these feelings of inferiority is to get a perfect score, so a lot of people are dejected when they don't get one.

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fermiboy
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Post by fermiboy » Sat Feb 09, 2008 3:39 pm

Twistor, a lot of my teachers and classmates from high school probably think the same of me, or that I'm dead. I'm actually going to email a couple of teachers (the ones that got in my face about me wasting my potential) from my high school telling them about my graduation this spring. I think they will be pleasantly surprised!
Last edited by fermiboy on Sat Feb 09, 2008 3:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

VT
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Post by VT » Sat Feb 09, 2008 3:39 pm

Hey dlenmn:
Did you get fellowship from Madison? What type of offer did you get and how much? Do you mind sharing this information? Thanks.

nvanmeter
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Post by nvanmeter » Sat Feb 09, 2008 4:33 pm

those of you who got into MIT and UCSD: do you know the visiting dates?

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dlenmn
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Post by dlenmn » Sat Feb 09, 2008 4:34 pm

@ VT

It looks like I got their standard deal: half time TA + $1K fellowship + summer RA.

Last year a "half-time inexperienced teaching assistant" got $12,894 -- the rate for next year hasn't been negotiated with the Teaching Assistants Association yet. The summer RA is $4,895.

No tuition, but $429.04 in fees per semester.

More than you wanted to know, eh? :)

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grae313
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Post by grae313 » Sat Feb 09, 2008 5:10 pm

I think you guys are right about the editorial comments in the profiles thread regarding scores. I'm going to go through and remove them. We'll let the thread be "just the facts, ma'am."

VT
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Post by VT » Sat Feb 09, 2008 5:19 pm

Thanks dlenmn. Appreciate it. It looks like Wisconsin does not have enough money. Why is their stipend so pathetic compared to other schools of about the same ranking?

Is Madison area really cheap for housing and other things?



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