mrcrzister wrote:I am also undecided and here are key factors that matter to me at this point.
0. Strong in my research interests. For example, I am interested in topology and algebra.
1. Size of the department (# of tenured or tenure-track faculty) should be at least 30+ in various areas so I can explore when i come there.
2. Supportiveness of the department: Do they want you to succeed or what fractions of entering class graduate after 5 years? I want to go to graduate program to get a PhD and I will work hard for it so I really need a supportive department.
3. Money $_$
Let me know if you have anything to add on to it. Comments and concerns Glad to hear.
I'll also tag in that I think the personal relationship is more important than the exact research area. Someone that you can learn from and work with on a regular basis is a huge boon, and a relationship that you will carry through to the rest of your career.
The exact research field, on the other hand, is something that will most likely change several times through grad school, post-docs and faculty positions. In fact, it can often be great if your real passion is close to but not exactly what you work on in graduate schooll. There's an expectation that you'll change topics to avoid being too derivitive of your advisors work/your graduate school work, so it can be nice to be able to shift slightly into something you're really passionate about.
Working with someone that you get along with but has a slightly different focus can also help limit micromanaging, and really help you develop your own independent research, as they can be there to be supportive and helpful but not overshadowing every detail of what you do.
deckoff8 wrote:Working with someone that you get along with but has a slightly different focus can also help limit micromanaging, and really help you develop your own independent research, as they can be there to be supportive and helpful but not overshadowing every detail of what you do.
That seems to make a lot of sense to me. Obviously you won't know immediately from the visit how well you'll get along with the professor but I think you can get some ideas. Anyone got comments on it?
gromov wrote:What do some of you think has been the most effective way to get these desired responses from professors' students? For one thing, I don't even know of a universal way to look up a professor's students, aside from perhaps the former students via something like the math-geneology site.
deckoff8 wrote:Quick question: Is it a bit too forward to ask professors how many of their recent students graduated/got jobs after? That seems forward. I should probably save that question for the students right?
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