School

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Re: School

Postby Bonobonobo » Wed Sep 07, 2016 9:58 pm

Cool thesis! Do you think that I would need a good understanding of the Cultural Revolution to enjoy/understand the film? Anything you'd recommend?
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Re: School

Postby Copeland » Wed Sep 07, 2016 10:22 pm

Random question, is anyone doing an MFA in creative writing? If so, do you need an English degree to apply or just any related B.A. degree? Thanks.
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Re: School

Postby Bonobonobo » Sat Sep 24, 2016 1:16 am

Not really related to school but related to major and career decision woes that I've been having on my year off from college. Has anyone had any experience with aptitude assessments?

My parents are asking me if I'd like to take this Johnson O'Connor test: http://www.jocrf.org/, where the idea is that you do a variety of tests and exercises to determine your natural "aptitude" for various types of thinking or motor skill. Then you have a meeting with someone to talk about the results and how they might relate to possible careers you might enjoy because of them and such.

The cost makes it seem like a scam, it's $675. But it's apparently a nonprofit, and the cost seems to be justified by the number of hours you spend with the test administrators. My parents kindly offered to pay anyway, so personally I'm not too worried about the cost. From what I've read online, the tests and concepts seem like they make sense, or maybe just rather obvious. A lot of people who've taken it seem to say it was helpful, but not many give specifics of how they actually used the results and advice. A few people said that they really only found out what they already knew about themselves, and either that it was pretty pointless or just gave them a bit of a confidence boost. Hopefully it's more illuminating that the highschool career queries that we had to do at my school.

But I don't know... do I really need a "research foundation" to tell me what I should do with my life? It seems a bit artificial and I'd really prefer to get a grasp on what I'm good and not good at by actually doing things. Would I end up pigeonholing myself by relying too much on what the test says I'm good and not good at? On the other hand, maybe this is a good way to get some actual concrete ideas on the table about what I want to do.
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Re: School

Postby maj » Sat Sep 24, 2016 6:32 am

from my be it basic touchings on them in class when we looked at them and examined the principle they're no different than horoscopes, you'll get some vague results like "you have good motor skills, do something with your hands, but you're also good at math. you're destined to be an engineer!". how you read or interpret these results may uncover some hidden level of passion behind a wall of apathy/worry stuck people have however if it's concrete facts you're looking for on your future career you wont find them there. but for $675 it sounds like a scam, non profit and non exploitative are not mutually exclusive.
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Re: School

Postby fun_yunchables » Sat Sep 24, 2016 7:46 pm

I find that aptitude tests tend to influence what you think you're good at and what you're not, which in turn influence what you "like" and what you don't. Besides, I think there's a difference between doing what you like and doing what you're good at (admittedly, not everyone will have the luxury of choosing). A technically driven, economical perspective might convince you to do what you have natural inclination to doing, but we aren't all rational beings and we are by no means governed by choosing to maximize a GDP.

In my experience anyway, talent plays second (third?) violin to luck and hard work, so I would like to say "aptitude" for a field doesn't really correlate with success (personal view/anecdotal evidence alert)

Don't be afraid that you don't know what you want to do, it's very natural. Explore as many options as you can — keep an open mind!
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Re: School

Postby trichomatic » Sat Sep 24, 2016 8:02 pm

in a similar boat, applied to school again after not having attended a class for 2-3 years.
i wanted some sort of change in life in general but wasnt sure exactly what i wanted in terms of change.
applied to a lot of really different stuff from arts to humanites to social sciences to hard sciences.
got a couple acceptances so far, i have about a month to decide. worst comes to worst just going to roll a die or something because its all stuff i find interesting.

might feel weird to go back to school after having not been for a while, kind of nostalgic at the same time tho. just excited that ill get a change of pace.
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Re: School

Postby ramseames » Sat Sep 24, 2016 8:12 pm

don't do the test

make a list of like 5-10 things you think you might enjoy and then do whatever it takes to get in contact with successful professionals working in those fields. your parents might have a surprisingly wide network of people, but also even just like cold-emailing on linkedin and being like "hi I'm ____, I'm interested in a career in ____ and I was wondering if I could buy you a coffee/lunch one day somewhere near your office and talk to you about what you do" would probably work well for you.

also, what are you doing right now whilst you're off school?

if you're just working some throwaway job and you have a while left until you go back, I'd encourage you to try and get some kind of physical labour-esque work. construction, landscaping, roofing, doesn't matter. there's value at a mental level in having to really fucking work hard for a living, for a while (your resto/coffee/retail job is tiring, sure, but its not actually hard), and you might find it satisfying. gives you good perspective on life, I think a lot of people would benefit from it.
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Re: School

Postby Bonobonobo » Sat Sep 24, 2016 11:07 pm

Basically just working two jobs - resto and a off-and-on data entry/assistant type thing. I actually find the restaurant job quite helpful (not hard nor interesting though) because it gets me interacting with strangers and raising my voice. I try not to go on autopilot server mode. I'm currently living with parents but they're moving in a month and my modest goal is to simply be self-sufficient and then begin exploring possibilities from a position of more freedom.

I've told my parents that I don't think the test is a great idea, but if they really really think that I should I'll accept and just be open-minded but skeptical. But I think the talking to professionals thing is good, I've been toying with similar ideas but been reserved about actually just straight up finding some people to chat with.
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Re: School

Postby Lorcan » Sun Sep 25, 2016 7:52 am

I remember doing one of those aptitude tests, quite a long time ago(10+ years ago?) but yes. Parents love them because every parent believes their child is a special snowflake with hitherto undiscovered special talents. I'm sure Bonobonobo is a dude of many talents, but an aptitude test isn't likely to reveal anything super surprising that regular school testing, hobbies, etc. haven't revealed. Its a waste of money really. Essentially its like one of those dumb Facebook personality quizzes ('Which Hogwarts House should YOU be in??' etc) + some math questions

IIRC I got librarian as a top career recommendation (I'm an introvert who likes books!) lol

Ramseames gives good advice. You'll learn far more from experiencing different workplace environments / talking to people who work in fields you're interested in.
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Re: School

Postby JewTurk » Thu Nov 10, 2016 3:18 pm

I found out I got a research position in a wireless communications lab today! Payed! I'm unbelievable excited about it. We're working on developing an embedded system that tracks wildlife remotely with the use of UAVs.

The only downside is that I can only work 5hr/wk doing research during the school year because of my RA contract, which is a bummer. But during the summer I can go full-time 40hr/wk.

I also declared an additional major. I figure I should take advantage of my opportunities and scholarships to the fullest extent. I'm pursuing a BSE in Electrical Engineering, a BS in Mathematics, and a BA in Spanish. I'll be doing 21 or 19 credits a semester until I graduate, though, excluding the year I go abroad as a part of my language program.

I'm really enjoying all of the people I am meeting in my program which has been very affirming, to say the least. Math majors and language majors always seem so non-abrasive in contrast to the engineering folks I meet.

Right now my big "bucket list" things are to start an Audio Engineering Society (AES) chapter before I graduate.
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Re: School

Postby julius » Fri Nov 11, 2016 3:22 am

.
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Re: School

Postby Copeland » Mon Nov 21, 2016 11:19 pm

Is anyone here a grad student in philosophy?
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Re: School

Postby freddy » Fri Nov 25, 2016 1:44 pm

I'm trying to make my return back to community college as short as possible next year. Has anyone taken CLEP examinations?
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Re: School

Postby ASTROCHIMP » Sun Dec 04, 2016 5:43 pm

3 semesters after I first asked I finally get to TA for one of my favorite professors! I'm super excited even though I don't really know everything I'll be doing. I'll be helping with a World History Pre 1500, which isn't my favorite time period but oh well.
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Re: School

Postby vice » Tue Dec 06, 2016 3:04 pm

Graduating with a bachelors in physics next semester, but I have about as much of an idea of what I want to do after as I did as a freshman. Graduate school for physics is a hard no. I'm not against grad school in general, but don't exactly know what I'd like to go for. Really thought I would have figured this stuff out by now.

Anybody else in a similar boat?
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Re: School

Postby eli7 » Fri Dec 09, 2016 3:47 pm

I just found out that the graduate workers at my university won the right to unionize with the NLRB! This is really exciting given the bureaucratic long haul it's been getting to this point and the amount of anti-union propaganda the university has been churning out recently.
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Re: School

Postby sunblam » Thu Dec 15, 2016 5:12 am

Lookin into PhD's woo woo woo

Also I just figured I'd offer--I tutor most core high school subjects and SAT/ACT testing (+and can help with college art history if yer niche like me). If anyone wants free test prep books or some help with schoolwork, let me know!
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Re: School

Postby Copeland » Sat Dec 17, 2016 12:48 am

so I stayed up last night to study for an 8am final, been up since then so a little delirious. The test turned out to be one big problem with different parts. On one of the first questions I got confused over units since it was supposed to be something like m^3/s/cm which I should've known but it just looked weird at the moment either due to lack of preparation or lack of rest. I got so hung up on the units that I asked the professor near the end whether or not she wants me to convert, she said something like, do what you want but that doesn't look right. Either she was referring to something else or screwing with me since I'm now pretty sure that I did it right originally. I ended up changing all of my answers to match the units I converted the first answer to. It shouldn't affect the numbers themselves but I have no idea. The final is worth 50% of my grade, I either failed it or aced it. I hadn't really gone to class all semester cuz it's really early and far. The professor is from the same country as I am and has been giving me shit for not showing up to class in like a tough love way. I've I think she might have gone a step too far this time and flunked me.

I also feel like I have some fundamental misunderstanding of dimensional analysis that I somehow never realized. What does it even mean for a number to have the units of m^3/s/cm? I think I know what it means in that specific case which is unit hydrographs but now I don't even remember how I converted my answers at all. What would the number become if I multiplied it by 100?
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Last edited by Copeland on Sat Dec 17, 2016 3:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: School

Postby fun_yunchables » Sat Dec 17, 2016 1:52 am

m^3/s/cm - do you mean like m^3/(s/cm)? or obeying the order of operations, m^3/(cm * s). If the former, i have no idea what kind of physical sense it means, some kind of hypervolume rate. the latter if you multiply by 100 you get exactly an SI diffusion rate, m^2/s
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Re: School

Postby Copeland » Sat Dec 17, 2016 3:03 pm

it's supposed to be surface flow rate per cm of precipitation, or the y axis on a unit hydrograph, which basically records how precipitation affects waterflow on land. I'm not even sure if it has any physical meaning. Right, and I fucked up by multiplying instead of dividing the cm, fuck.
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Re: School

Postby sunblam » Sat Dec 17, 2016 8:39 pm

@eli7@fun_yunchables I really enjoyed getting my master's in the same field, so I'm not too worried! Hard is good.
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Re: School

Postby vgtbls » Sun Dec 18, 2016 12:39 pm

Copeland wrote:it's supposed to be surface flow rate per cm of precipitation, or the y axis on a unit hydrograph, which basically records how precipitation affects waterflow on land. I'm not even sure if it has any physical meaning. Right, and I fucked up by multiplying instead of dividing the cm, fuck.

i just wrapped up a Hydrology class too. The physical importance is that in a watershed, there's a non-linear relationship between precipitation and resultant flow. One of the reasons is that at low precipitation depths, the soil has capacity to absorb most or all of the water. At higher depths, the infiltration capacity is overwhelmed and the bulk of precipitation becomes overland flow. Each watershed will have a unique curve for this m^3/s/cm property.
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Re: School

Postby alby » Sun Dec 18, 2016 2:46 pm

half of my graph theory exam was take home, which is nice. what is not nice is leaving at the coffee shop and your prof not checking her emails and not knowing anyone in the class lol. it's totally on me but i am internally freaking out
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Re: School

Postby Copeland » Mon Dec 19, 2016 1:58 am

vgtbls wrote:
Copeland wrote:it's supposed to be surface flow rate per cm of precipitation, or the y axis on a unit hydrograph, which basically records how precipitation affects waterflow on land. I'm not even sure if it has any physical meaning. Right, and I fucked up by multiplying instead of dividing the cm, fuck.

i just wrapped up a Hydrology class too. The physical importance is that in a watershed, there's a non-linear relationship between precipitation and resultant flow. One of the reasons is that at low precipitation depths, the soil has capacity to absorb most or all of the water. At higher depths, the infiltration capacity is overwhelmed and the bulk of precipitation becomes overland flow. Each watershed will have a unique curve for this m^3/s/cm property.


I might be remembering wrong but I thought unit hydrographs were pulse response functions that modeled linear reservoirs only. A non-linear/distributed model can't be modeled with unit hydrographs. Infiltration models like Green-Ampt and Horton are indeed non-linear for infiltration rate after time of ponding.
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Re: School

Postby vgtbls » Mon Dec 19, 2016 9:03 am

When you're making a Unit Hydrograph (which is what I assume you were doing) the last step is to divide by the effective precipitation depth (often noted as Ro). This leaves you with a model that you can then multiply by the precipitation pulse hyetographs and generate a downstream hydrograph unique to that specific drainage basin.

In a gross oversimplification, the m^3/s/cm curve wraps up all of the intangible physical properties of a watershed in a simple model that appropriately weights the resultant flow. I think if you multiplied but got the rest correct, you'll probably get some partial credit?
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Re: School

Postby Copeland » Mon Dec 19, 2016 5:15 pm

If deriving a standard UH with real precipitation data, the excess precipitation is put into a matrix with direct flow and the flow/cm numbers can be obtained from Gaussian elimination. If attempting to convert the standard UH to a synthetic UH with synthetic relationships between variables (peak flow, basin lag, etc) which can then be applied to/transformed back for watersheds with similar characteristics then there's a bunch of synthetic relationship equations with constants that have to be used. I ended up getting a C on the final which probably means I was close to failing (test was out of 25 pts) but she managed to find some kindness in her heart. If the class average was around a C or D, which is likely, then she'd have to curve the final grade which would be fine as I would've been happy with passing. It's just disheartening that I thought I had studied enough but then got caught up on something even freshmen shouldn't have trouble with.
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Re: School

Postby Cowboy » Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:32 am

To set context for below I got accepted to a business college/ a liberal arts structured program for college that I'm still weighing between (@ UT s/out to the Austin crowd).

Anyhow it's my second semester of senior year and I'm barely treading water in this chemistry class that is impossible to understand and only getting harder. I figured since I'm already almost done and I'll never touch chemistry again I'd drop the class and have a much easier finish.

Nah scheduling counselor told me that I have to take this final semester of science or take a minimum credit plan and not pass so. Gonna try and get a 70.

I'm not sure if I should go to the teacher and let her know? Not explicitly "I'm taking your class by force" but "I'm really bad at your class and I need to pass to get out of here."

I don't know. It's too much work with missing ~2 days a week for debate.
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Re: School

Postby JewTurk » Wed Jan 25, 2017 12:29 am

Got offered another research position for a different lab on campus recently! I'm surprised how much opportunity and how many resources are coming to campus recently. This new college I'm in (my degree got moved to this new branch) has a PhD program which has been bringing in so many research opportunities it's insane.

I talked with a lot of my supervisors about having my contract changed and so now I can work 10hr/wk paid under contract, which is nice. And then all of my other hours worked in the lab are being compensated via backpay once I'm off contract and or by credit hours.

I'm surprised how different the research community is compared to my everyday interactions with students in my program. It's just a completely different community of people wrt their demeanor/approach to academics, which has been nice. I've also been able to meet a lot of cool people from other universities, MIT's Haystack laboratory recently came to our wireless lab to see some of what we were working on, never thought I'd have that experience in my undergrad.

For my first research job I'm designing a satellite processor (just a processor that is modular and attaches to our main processing unit) that works with our solar charge controller to function as a really beefy ADC. Pretty straight forward but a super great way to get hands on experience with surface mount stuff and PCB design and layout.

For my new research job I'm doing a lot of digital signal processing design with software, designing DSP functions with C++ then using python as a scripting language to bring together the different C++ functions. Once I get the DSP all fleshed out I'll start designing a PCB to be mounted onto a UAV that can wirelessly connect to a computer/device of some sort so that a user can receive real-time data on what kind of data the UAV is getting.

Definitely feeling much more confident and interested in my studies now that I have so much real-world application in front of me all the time now.
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Re: School

Postby INNIT » Mon Feb 13, 2017 6:09 pm

got accepted to the english MA program at the uofa with top tier funding and a RA position... biggest shit-eating grin on my face all day
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Re: School

Postby freddy » Wed Feb 15, 2017 3:23 pm

With the encouragement of my rehabilitation specialist and poppin' my poker cherry by binking my 1st major poker tournament win, I'm going to this college prep program on Monday to take my ACCUPlacer tests to see where my English and math level skills are (probably still remedial). I'm committing myself 9AM-2PM every weekday to remedial classes upon enrolling back into community college.

The great thing is that it's of no cost to me for these remedial courses as opposed if I took them in at the local CC. Scary as fuck. Ready for the next chapter of life though.
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