Overview of pm133

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pm133
Friday, 8 January 2016 at 12:02am
Friday, 14 August 2020 at 12:12am
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page 1 of 82 recent posts

Thread: Do I have a chance for PhD?

posted
14-Aug-20, 00:13
edited about 9 minutes later
by pm133
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posted about 41 minutes ago
When you say a Bachelors degree do you mean an ordinary degree or an honours degree?
Are you considering applying to the US?

In terms of what skills you will need, presumably you will using AI or some form of Machine Learning.
You'll therefore need to have a good grasp of Linear Algebra (see the 2 sets of 35-ish Gilbert Strang MIT lectures free on Youtube), Statistics and Probability, Calculus to Advanced Stroud level or equivalent and Optimisation. I would suggest a good grasp of discrete maths with algorithms as well. Python is a good choice and there are books on AI and ML using Python I think, so these may be helpful.

8 years is a long time away from your degree so you might need a refresher period to go back over the basics.

Thread: My PhD advisor is also a provost

posted
11-Aug-20, 18:36
by pm133
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posted about 2 days ago
I would ask for a second supervisor who could provide you with extra support if needed.
That way you get the best of both worlds.

I only saw my supervisor once every 6-8 weeks and towards the end I didn't really need that either. That lack f supervisor contact time is reasonably normal. Meeting once a week would be a little suffocating for me and if they were expecting once a day I'd be working from home :-D

Thread: Reviewing a paper - no line numbers

posted
11-Aug-20, 18:31
edited about 10 seconds later
by pm133
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posted about 2 days ago
Your text editor might be able to add those line numbers for you.
Otherwise I'd send it back to the editor to get them added.

Thread: Inadequate research ecosystem

posted
11-Aug-20, 18:29
edited about 7 seconds later
by pm133
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posted about 2 days ago
You seem to have become bogged down in issues which don't concern you in the slightest, such as the professionalism of your supervisor and fellow PhD students. What business is it of yours if your supervisor is writing a paper for another student?

My strong advice is that you knuckle down and focus on your own work and stop worrying about what other people are or are not doing. Getting your PhD and then getting a permanent academic post is going to be hard enough without all this unnecessary baggage.

Once you get your own career sorted out, you can run your group in whatever way you want.

Thread: to continue phd in my current institution or not

posted
09-Aug-20, 20:05
edited about 19 seconds later
by pm133
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posted about 4 days ago
Yeah, I know it's difficult but you need to get over your demotivation and learn to give them what they are asking from you.
Once you do that, you might find the abuse goes away.

I am more concerned about your reponse to rewt.

You now appear to be expanding your circle of blame to including your fellow students for not helping you. I have to tell you that if I was a fellow PhD student struggling with my own work and heard that you were complaining that you were failing because I wasn't helping you, we would be having a very intense conversation right now about your personal responsibility obligations.

I know this is hard to hear but I am convinced that the answer to all your problems lies in your own hands. This is a positive thing because you don't need to be looking to others for your own success.

Thread: How to proceed with major revisions?

posted
09-Aug-20, 19:57
by pm133
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posted about 4 days ago
Beware of merely submitting elsewhere without making the changes requested.
You might end up with the same reviewer again.
It happened with a paper I worked on in a collaboration.
The paper got rejected because of unsupportable claims the main author made about my part of the work
He ignored my suggested changes and submitted anyway.
Got it rejected from journal A after months of waiting because of my work as expected.
Rather than talk to me he submitted it unchanged to a second journal amd it landed of the desk of the same reviewer.
I wish I had kept the email response from that reviewer.
At this point, the first author dropped this crap on my desk and asked me to fix it.

I made the changes I had first suggested before we even submitted, apologised profusely to the reviewer and we got it accepted straight away.
This is a prime example of why I LOATHE working in teams where I am not in charge. Reviewers need to be handled with kid gloves and I seem to have developed a knack of cutting through their abuse and ticking their checklist off. That first author was just an arrogant idiot.

Thread: to continue phd in my current institution or not

posted
08-Aug-20, 17:54
edited about 6 seconds later
by pm133
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posted about 5 days ago
OK so I have seen this before and I think I can see the problem. I had a colleague who had to wait more than 2 years for her papers to be reviewed by our supervisor whilst I never had to wait more than a week. Her problem is very similar to what you have described and here are my thoughts.

You are aware that you are expected to take implicit advice but you are digging your heels in that it's up to them to provide explicit advice. Worse still, you've persuaded yourself that the main supervisor is influencing the second supervisor.

When they highlight a problem in the manuscript they expect you to check the rest of the paper. That is perfectly reasonable and the fact that you are not doing this over such a long period of time and over what sounds like 3 full papers is probably frustrating the hell out of them although I am making no excuses for them verbally abusing you.

This is the root cause of the problem I think and if I am right, there's simply no point moving to another PhD program because you'll have exactly the same problem. I might be wrong, but it sounds like you are expecting others to teach you the right way to do things. If you are, this is going to be fatal for your chances of success until you change.

Thread: to continue phd in my current institution or not

posted
08-Aug-20, 11:46
by pm133
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posted about 5 days ago
I would like a bit of clarification on something which seems a little odd.
You have written a paper and despite weekly feedback about it having only formatting errors, you still haven't fixed it after 6 months?
Have I understood that correctly?

Thread: Question about acknowledgment section of thesis

posted
08-Aug-20, 11:40
by pm133
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posted about 5 days ago
Quote From Tudor_Queen:
As long as you mentioned your supervisors' names before your dog's... :D


I had to go and check that :-D
Yes. She is listed after my supervisor.
Most importantly, she is also listed after my wife and children :-D

Thread: Question about acknowledgment section of thesis

posted
07-Aug-20, 05:15
edited about 1 minute later
by pm133
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posted about 6 days ago
Given that I used my acknowledgement section to thank my, now deceased, dog for her loving cuddles and big sloppy licks during the "dark times", I am probably not best placed to offer advice.

Yep, I really did write that. She really did do that for me. And yes, my descendents are going to be reading that section and smiling for generations to come.
I wanted to insert a colour photo of us hugging but my supervisor said "best not" and the discussion ended. :-D

Thread: Journal access - pdf copy required

posted
25-Jul-20, 02:58
by pm133
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posted about 2 weeks ago
That should be sci-hub.tw

Thread: Physics PhD with Masters Distinction but 2.2 Bachelors?

posted
22-Jul-20, 15:45
by pm133
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posted about 3 weeks ago
Firstly, I would say that there is no such thing as a "top 5 uni".
You either went to Oxbridge which is worthy of mention, or you went to one of the rest., which isn't worth mentioning.
A 2:2 from your uni is the same as a 2:2 from almost anywhere else so you may as well own that straight away.

Secondly, the good news is that your Masters makes your undergrad degree redundant so forget about anything but getting a distinction here.

Thirdly, if you are excelling at experimental work and your PhD is also experimental then you are in a strong position.
If you need some theory for your PhD you should make sure you plug any gaps from undergrad which the masters didn't cover.

I have to say, it sounds like you're in good shape to recover from the 2:2 so good luck.

Thread: Unemployment

posted
20-Jul-20, 12:03
edited about 26 seconds later
by pm133
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posted about 3 weeks ago
Your age is certainly not the issue and you shouldn't be thinking about "last chances".
Neither is your 1st in Physics.

I think one of your problems might be that you are focussing on graduate training schemes.
Most companies in the UK are small to medium sized, would love to have a graduate in Physics and won't run a graduate training scheme.

It also sounds like you have lost faith in applying for jobs. That would certainly come through in your applications.

My advice would be to focus on small and medium companies. When your CV is going to the same companies as tens of thousands of other equally qualified applicants, you are basically getting lost in the noise.

Thread: Do impact factors matter?

posted
07-Jul-20, 05:37
by pm133
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posted about 1 month ago
Just as an amusing aside, I was trying to think of a way of demonstrating the dangers of obsessing over impact factors and came up with a couple of examples.

If Watson and Crick had published in a low/medium impact factor journal it's likely that Biology would have remained a subject outside mainstream science.

What about Planck's groundbreaking work or Einstein's work in Quantum Mechanics? It's likely we would still be trying to understand the photoelectric effect.

Of course you could say it was the responsibility of those scientists to publish in the highest impact factor journals but what if they didn't? What if they just wanted to get published quickly in a decent journal and move on rather than mess about for potentially a year or more trying to get into Nature?

Mainstream scientists would have ignored or derided these journals as "not containing important science".
This is not a new thing. There are plenty of examples out there of new science being discovered only to turn out that Chinese and Russian scientists had already published that work decades before.

Those of you who are planning to join academia as a career have a responsibility to seriously question things like impact factors and league tables otherwise you risk being part of a problem I think we can all see.

Anyway just some thoughts on the matter.

Thread: urgent help needed: forced gradute with a MPhil but not PhD

posted
07-Jul-20, 01:31
edited about 12 minutes later
by pm133
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posted about 1 month ago
I don't know why they have allowed you to get as far as this without stopping you.
When this happens, I have a hard time believing that it's anyone but the university to blame.

That's not to say that an appeal will help.

I am a little confused about a few things though. Firstly, I don't know why you brought up maternity leave. This shouldn't have mattered and I think you are using that to excuse a lack of progress on your part.
Secondly, unless I have misread your post, you don't appear to have any journal publications after 4 years. That is a concern. Even with disruption you should have something by now. If you don't, I think any appeal is going to be very difficult.
Thirdly, you are talking about your performance being related to "their will". This is a massive red flag. A PhD student should not be talking this way. You seem upset at them downgrading you despite doing what they asked you to do. You are not there to do what they direct you to do. You are supposed to be an independent researcher at this stage, coming up with your own ideas with sufficient quality and quantity to earn your PhD. I think you need to step back and think whether this description fits what has happened to you.

I might be wrong but I have seen this story before and what you have posted is concerning as regards your independence of working. You might need to accept that maybe they have a point about the MPhil.

So my strong advice here is to take a step back. Try and remove the emotion if you can. Then be brutally honest about your own performance. Then ask yourself whether they genuinely have a point about the MPhil.
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