questions to ask during campus visit

Forum for the GRE subject test in mathematics.
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sslonce
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Dec 23, 2019 1:06 pm

questions to ask during campus visit

Post by sslonce » Fri Jan 17, 2020 12:21 pm

Hi! How's everybody holding up?

I was admitted into phd program (super happy :D ) and invited for a campus visit. I'm offered to meet some faculty members.

What questions would you ask the professors? I'm not trying to impress anybody, just want to understand the format of such meeting.

Thank you!

davis7e
Posts: 26
Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2018 6:02 pm

Re: questions to ask during campus visit

Post by davis7e » Fri Jan 31, 2020 12:56 pm

I was in a similar situation last year and so I asked around my department for questions to ask. You should ask them for a quick sales pitch of their research even if you know a little about it already. Some departments will have you meet with a prof or two outside of your indicated research field since many graduate students end up switching up on their interests (I've had a friend switch from commutative algebra into machine learning and another from several complex variables into analytic number theory). Other things to ask about is their advising style and whether or not they intend to take any students. If a professor already has 4 or 5 students working under them then perhaps they won't have you work with them but maybe some of those students are finishing up their degrees and so knowing at least that much can be rather helpful. The professors that I spoke with had lengthy discussions about their advising styles/philosophies and I found these discussions to be very helpful. Some believe in "pushing you off the deep end" right away whereas some others believe in giving their students things to do for the first 6 months to a year and some are in between. Another thing that may be good to ask is what coursework backgrounds they may expect of you prior to working with them.

Junaid456
Posts: 188
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:55 pm

Re: questions to ask during campus visit

Post by Junaid456 » Fri Jan 31, 2020 8:14 pm

Got to know I got into UC Davis Applied Math. They've invited me to a Skype visit. Is this an interview? How do these meetings work in principle? Does the advice given above still apply in this case? I may not be able to talk to any grad student, so what kind of questions can one ask a professor who may be slotted to talk to me?

sslonce
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Dec 23, 2019 1:06 pm

Re: questions to ask during campus visit

Post by sslonce » Sat Feb 01, 2020 12:59 pm

davis7e wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 12:56 pm
I was in a similar situation last year and so I asked around my department for questions to ask. You should ask them for a quick sales pitch of their research even if you know a little about it already. Some departments will have you meet with a prof or two outside of your indicated research field since many graduate students end up switching up on their interests (I've had a friend switch from commutative algebra into machine learning and another from several complex variables into analytic number theory). Other things to ask about is their advising style and whether or not they intend to take any students. If a professor already has 4 or 5 students working under them then perhaps they won't have you work with them but maybe some of those students are finishing up their degrees and so knowing at least that much can be rather helpful. The professors that I spoke with had lengthy discussions about their advising styles/philosophies and I found these discussions to be very helpful. Some believe in "pushing you off the deep end" right away whereas some others believe in giving their students things to do for the first 6 months to a year and some are in between. Another thing that may be good to ask is what coursework backgrounds they may expect of you prior to working with them.
Thank you!

davis7e
Posts: 26
Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2018 6:02 pm

Re: questions to ask during campus visit

Post by davis7e » Sun Feb 02, 2020 2:20 pm

Junaid456 wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 8:14 pm
Got to know I got into UC Davis Applied Math. They've invited me to a Skype visit. Is this an interview? How do these meetings work in principle? Does the advice given above still apply in this case? I may not be able to talk to any grad student, so what kind of questions can one ask a professor who may be slotted to talk to me?
A skype visit may be an interview but it may also be your first chance to talk to professors about the things that I mentioned above. So, it may be a two for one kind of thing. I can't say for sure though since I never had to do anything similar. I just had campus visits.



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