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Bachelors Or Masters Abroad ?

Discussion in 'Education & Personal Growth' started by hrastro, Jan 21, 2021.

  1. nuss

    nuss Platinum IL'ite

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    I can’t tell until he starts school and find out. Most of my students work 15-20 h and biochemistry is one of the hardest major because most students are premed.
    So it can be done. But someone who has never held a job it might not work.
    My students mentioned that bookstore job is very flexible (it is student run) and most students get their homework done at job since it’s not very busy place.

    Plan is for him to try during the first semester. If he can do it fine, otherwise reduce to 10 h. If he can’t manage it with studies, he doesn’t have to work. There are many research opportunities that pay hourly wage and with $15/h now it is a sweet deal. Getting in a lab in the first semester is difficult especially now when most labs are working on reduced capacity.
     
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  2. nuss

    nuss Platinum IL'ite

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    Agree with @MalStrom! In my humble opinion, work/study balance is the important part of the US education. With opportunities to take extra classes during summer/wintermester, a 15-18 credit load is doable with work.
    My premed students, work in lab, take extra credits, work, and volunteer- I don’t know when they sleep .
     
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  3. nuss

    nuss Platinum IL'ite

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    I always advise international students/ family to take it easy in the first semester. First semester is to understand the US education system. Once students are comfortable in the new place, they are usually all in for adding minors and finding out relevant clubs etc.
    Yes, some students come from college ready program from HS but that’s a moot point. Each student’s journey is different. Plenty of students find out half way through the program that they don’t like it and switch majors and some absolutely love it from day 1.
     
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  4. nuss

    nuss Platinum IL'ite

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    @hrasto- he worked during summer break and one full semester project which was a part of his biotech degree.
     
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  5. nuss

    nuss Platinum IL'ite

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    [QUOTE="hrastro, post: 4206444, member:

    Please point me to some more resources on this topic - what are the scholarships available?[/QUOTE]

    When I get a chance I would make a list of the universities that offer scholarships to international UG students. In my experience most universities do. It just something they don’t advertise because international students are the cash cows.

    Universities that do advertise, like Brendeis and Arkansas, only offer 5-6 scholarships so these are very competitive.
     
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  6. hrastro

    hrastro Platinum IL'ite

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    Hey sokanasanah! The threads you shared are real gems! Yours and others contributions are great!

    I immensely enjoyed the discussions! Especially about the advanced math program as I have taught AP Trigonometry, AP Pre-Calculus and AP Calculus to 11th-12th students in the US.

    Especially your posts in page 9 and 10 of the 2nd thread is what I was looking for, but with respect to computer science (or AI/ML/Data Science/Robotics - the current cutting edge technologies)

    I found some good insights about writing letters to professors for research, internships and finding a mentor!

    Now with the prevalence of MOOCs, online courses/degrees, AWS and cloud for experimenting and programming etc - there is so much more a student could be doing!

    What is the action plan for a student in B Tech (Computer science) for the 4 years he is in undergrad - so that he has equal capabilities as compared to any student of an Ivy league college with the same degree? So that he does not struggle when he reaches the other shores for the Masters degree!
     
  7. sokanasanah

    sokanasanah Finest Post Winner

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    I am ignoring, for now, the question of whether paying for an undergrad education abroad is worth it for students from families who cannot readily afford it. Some aspects of this have been usefully discussed above. Maybe we can come back to it later.
    One could write a book on this. Let me attempt an outline in Brownian fashion. I am writing loosely. So, fill in the blanks and try not to argue too much.:lol: Treat what I (am trying to?) say as a pointer to the gestalt.

    Some things are fundamental. For a CS grad, the first is this: at some point, decide whether you want to be a producer or consumer of CS expertise. Either can form the basis of a productive career, and one does not have to decide too early, but it's good to have the thought at the back of your mind. In simple terms, producers generate the algorithms, say, that consumers use. Producers need deep CS knowledge; consumers need moderate CS knowledge, plus some expertise in a different problem domain, with an ability to reframe problems from the problem domain into computer science analysis, implementation, what have you. For example, Djikstra is a producer, while a computational biologist who uses graph algorithms to analyse biological networks in cancer is a consumer - from the CS point of view. Of course, this person may be a producer of biological knowledge. Still, Djikstra's pioneering theoretical notions of structured programming, software engineering, and grasp of graph theory are what make the rest of it possible.

    The distinctions are not mutually exclusive, but the point is this: to be a computational producer requires a deep knowledge of the underlying mathematics. To apply novel ideas from CS in another domain, say biomedical science, requires an ability to recognize useful transferable ideas, translate from one domain to another, and implement.

    This is almost, but not exactly, the distinction between theoretical and applied computer science. It may be useful for students with an applied bent to look around early for a different domain that excites you and one that needs computational expertise. This could be as different as text analysis in literary sleuthing or semantic search, to astronomy or biomedical science, as mentioned above.
     
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  8. sokanasanah

    sokanasanah Finest Post Winner

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    Now for some concrete suggestions.

    The Indian pedagogic style, cutthroat competition, and testing culture produce students who are very good at solving well defined, clearly stated problems. They are weaker when it comes to framing problems or turning vaguely defined problems into concrete, tractable problem-statements and approaching a solution, maybe iteratively. An ability to do that is essential in the 'real world', so-called, and in research. Again, I am speaking loosely - Oi! Stop arguing!! o_O - the bright ones are bright no matter what.

    One relatively simple way of exploring and getting better at concretizing vague problems is by learning to use tools such as Mathematica, MATLAB (मतलब?), etc., with which you can eliminate calculation tedium and ask useful questions. A good place to get started is Wolfram Alpha | Notebook Edition (expensive in India? I don't know! Ugh). This package allows you to ask near-natural language questions, turn them into equations, plot graphs, and find the background data necessary for the analysis, all without leaving the program (lots of, not all - I couldn't find CoVID death data when I was fooling around with notions of how I might rescue the world if only they'd let me. Heh.). There is also a growing library of practice problems and a useful book accessible even from middle school (with some supervision)/high school.

    An advisor/teacher may want to check out: The Maths Fix for an alternative/computational approach to maths education.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2021
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  9. hrastro

    hrastro Platinum IL'ite

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    This is pretty clear - India also has some good institutes - try for scholarships, try for abroad.
    If the child and parents are psychologically able to take the load, well and good.
    Else Indian institutes are great is what I would suggest depending on the student and the parent!

    But in Bachelors, start early and try to get scholarship or fully funded Masters.

    Makes sense to me! Would have to simplify to explain to students the difference - so that they dont think that they have to get into the CS branch only! I think, even if they get some other branches, they can use that domain as the primary knowledge and "computerize" their processes! Maybe go for an interdisciplinary masters!

    Although the curriculum calls them the "HOTS" - Higher Order thinking skills - very few students actually do it well ...

    Wolfram Alpha I have used their website several times when I want to instantaneously share a graph of a complex equation in an online class - they are very accurate, get all the steps and give multiple methods to solve a single problem!

    I have been hearing about MATLAB.. I will definitely get into this more!

    Hahaha... This past year, due to Covid, I studied the Sanskrit Texts - Lilavati & Boudhayana, the Maths textbooks of the 11th century India! I am now coming up with a course I can teach students !

    Am just imagining my advt - on one side I talk about 1000 year old Textbooks, on the other side - it is going to be MATLAB - the maths with AI... Am laughing at myself!

    Thanx sokanasanah!

    Keep smiling
    HR
     

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