Why should I worry about doxxing myself here?

Forum for the GRE subject test in mathematics.
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sotinai
Posts: 20
Joined: Tue May 17, 2022 5:41 pm

Why should I worry about doxxing myself here?

Post by sotinai » Fri Oct 06, 2023 4:18 am

I am currently a 4th year, and right now I am beginning my graduate school applications. Over the years, I have visited this forum from time to time, particularly the application threads, and I have noticed that people are always very careful not to "doxx" themselves. For example, no one actually says what their undergraduate institution is, nor many specifics of classes taken. Furthermore, as far as I can tell, the majority of information people choose to omit about themselves would not reflect poorly on them at all if they were to share. So apologies if this is a dumb question, but why should I care if people know who I am/information about my admissions profile? I highly doubt that admissions committees are combing through this forum for additional details about applicants, but even if they were doing such a thing, I am skeptical on whether or not it would really be something people would have to worry about. In fact, as far as I can tell, the secrecy and hyper-anonymous nature of this forum seems to facilitate a somewhat cutthroat environment, and maybe even encourages dishonesty. Now of course graduate admissions are inherently a very competitive process, but I do not see how anyone gains an advantage by being vague about details of their background. Am I missing something?

mathph
Posts: 31
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2023 12:39 pm

Re: Why should I worry about doxxing myself here?

Post by mathph » Fri Oct 06, 2023 9:04 am

sotinai wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2023 4:18 am
why should I care if people know who I am/information about my admissions profile?
You shouldn't. But on the internet where literally everyone can look you up if wanted to and see what you're posted, it's best practice to avoid revealing information so that anyone who knows how to use Google can find out who you are in real life without committing a non-trivial amount of time and effort.

Like, if someone from my school saw my profile and is in the same year as me, they will likely me able to tell it's me. But someone from another school will most certainly not be able to. That's where I personally would draw the line.
sotinai wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2023 4:18 am
I do not see how anyone gains an advantage by being vague about details of their background. Am I missing something?
One of the reasons people post here is to share their admission profile detailed enough so that applicants in the next 2-3 years can have some information as to what is their reach/match/safety. Also, it's a good place to check if the schools you've applied to has released decision so that you can make your next move accordingly (in a limited way).

I gained some intuition as to what schools I should try applying to, although I'm still not certain and of course graduate admissions has the luck element at play, I try to apply to as many schools I can afford to so I can cast a wide nest. In the end, it's a numbers game unless you're shooting only for the top 20.

The data here is just for informational purposes, of course what to do with this data is up to you.

anticategories
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2023 9:24 am

Re: Why should I worry about doxxing myself here?

Post by anticategories » Fri Oct 06, 2023 11:21 am

mathph wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2023 9:04 am
sotinai wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2023 4:18 am
why should I care if people know who I am/information about my admissions profile?
You shouldn't. But on the internet where literally everyone can look you up if wanted to and see what you're posted, it's best practice to avoid revealing information so that anyone who knows how to use Google can find out who you are in real life without committing a non-trivial amount of time and effort.

Like, if someone from my school saw my profile and is in the same year as me, they will likely me able to tell it's me. But someone from another school will most certainly not be able to. That's where I personally would draw the line.
sotinai wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2023 4:18 am
I do not see how anyone gains an advantage by being vague about details of their background. Am I missing something?
One of the reasons people post here is to share their admission profile detailed enough so that applicants in the next 2-3 years can have some information as to what is their reach/match/safety. Also, it's a good place to check if the schools you've applied to has released decision so that you can make your next move accordingly (in a limited way).

I gained some intuition as to what schools I should try applying to, although I'm still not certain and of course graduate admissions has the luck element at play, I try to apply to as many schools I can afford to so I can cast a wide nest. In the end, it's a numbers game unless you're shooting only for the top 20.

The data here is just for informational purposes, of course what to do with this data is up to you.
This, I've found that most of the faculty members, except those serving on the grad admission committee, have an unrealistic view of the difficulty of grad admissions. My advisor told me no one should have to apply to more than 3 schools, he probably still thinks grad admissions is still as easy as it was when he gone through it like a millennium ago. I think it's probably more helpful to ask the current grad students in your department about their grad admission experience, some of the first year phd students actually gave me some valuable advice on some of the schools they've applied to.

Indeed, it's a luck and numbers games. Unless you're a Putnam fellow or IMO gold medalists luck plays a pretty huge part so it's better to be safe than sorry and apply to as many as you can reasonably afford.

It depends on a lot of factors that you just don't have much control over, for example:

- who is serving on the committee that year (some faculty members might see something mediocre/bad on your application as a red flag but some might not and willing to forgive)
- what you declared as your research area (if the department is actively seeking students in that area)
- available department funding (they might be low on funding that year, or maybe they admitted more students than expected last year, or maybe they want more students since they had less students than desired prior year)
etc

mathph
Posts: 31
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2023 12:39 pm

Re: Why should I worry about doxxing myself here?

Post by mathph » Fri Oct 06, 2023 2:18 pm

anticategories wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2023 11:21 am
mathph wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2023 9:04 am
sotinai wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2023 4:18 am
why should I care if people know who I am/information about my admissions profile?
You shouldn't. But on the internet where literally everyone can look you up if wanted to and see what you're posted, it's best practice to avoid revealing information so that anyone who knows how to use Google can find out who you are in real life without committing a non-trivial amount of time and effort.

Like, if someone from my school saw my profile and is in the same year as me, they will likely me able to tell it's me. But someone from another school will most certainly not be able to. That's where I personally would draw the line.
sotinai wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2023 4:18 am
I do not see how anyone gains an advantage by being vague about details of their background. Am I missing something?
One of the reasons people post here is to share their admission profile detailed enough so that applicants in the next 2-3 years can have some information as to what is their reach/match/safety. Also, it's a good place to check if the schools you've applied to has released decision so that you can make your next move accordingly (in a limited way).

I gained some intuition as to what schools I should try applying to, although I'm still not certain and of course graduate admissions has the luck element at play, I try to apply to as many schools I can afford to so I can cast a wide nest. In the end, it's a numbers game unless you're shooting only for the top 20.

The data here is just for informational purposes, of course what to do with this data is up to you.
This, I've found that most of the faculty members, except those serving on the grad admission committee, have an unrealistic view of the difficulty of grad admissions. My advisor told me no one should have to apply to more than 3 schools, he probably still thinks grad admissions is still as easy as it was when he gone through it like a millennium ago. I think it's probably more helpful to ask the current grad students in your department about their grad admission experience, some of the first year phd students actually gave me some valuable advice on some of the schools they've applied to.

Indeed, it's a luck and numbers games. Unless you're a Putnam fellow or IMO gold medalists luck plays a pretty huge part so it's better to be safe than sorry and apply to as many as you can reasonably afford.

It depends on a lot of factors that you just don't have much control over, for example:

- who is serving on the committee that year (some faculty members might see something mediocre/bad on your application as a red flag but some might not and willing to forgive)
- what you declared as your research area (if the department is actively seeking students in that area)
- available department funding (they might be low on funding that year, or maybe they admitted more students than expected last year, or maybe they want more students since they had less students than desired prior year)
etc
it's easy to be humble (condescending) when you're the best lol haven't you heard, these professors probably got their phd before the age of 23 at harvard or something and then won a bunch of awards

fiveier.analysis
Posts: 28
Joined: Sun Mar 19, 2023 1:24 pm

Re: Why should I worry about doxxing myself here?

Post by fiveier.analysis » Fri Oct 06, 2023 5:13 pm

anticategories wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2023 11:21 am
mathph wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2023 9:04 am
sotinai wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2023 4:18 am
why should I care if people know who I am/information about my admissions profile?
You shouldn't. But on the internet where literally everyone can look you up if wanted to and see what you're posted, it's best practice to avoid revealing information so that anyone who knows how to use Google can find out who you are in real life without committing a non-trivial amount of time and effort.

Like, if someone from my school saw my profile and is in the same year as me, they will likely me able to tell it's me. But someone from another school will most certainly not be able to. That's where I personally would draw the line.
sotinai wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2023 4:18 am
I do not see how anyone gains an advantage by being vague about details of their background. Am I missing something?
One of the reasons people post here is to share their admission profile detailed enough so that applicants in the next 2-3 years can have some information as to what is their reach/match/safety. Also, it's a good place to check if the schools you've applied to has released decision so that you can make your next move accordingly (in a limited way).

I gained some intuition as to what schools I should try applying to, although I'm still not certain and of course graduate admissions has the luck element at play, I try to apply to as many schools I can afford to so I can cast a wide nest. In the end, it's a numbers game unless you're shooting only for the top 20.

The data here is just for informational purposes, of course what to do with this data is up to you.
This, I've found that most of the faculty members, except those serving on the grad admission committee, have an unrealistic view of the difficulty of grad admissions. My advisor told me no one should have to apply to more than 3 schools, he probably still thinks grad admissions is still as easy as it was when he gone through it like a millennium ago. I think it's probably more helpful to ask the current grad students in your department about their grad admission experience, some of the first year phd students actually gave me some valuable advice on some of the schools they've applied to.

Indeed, it's a luck and numbers games. Unless you're a Putnam fellow or IMO gold medalists luck plays a pretty huge part so it's better to be safe than sorry and apply to as many as you can reasonably afford.

It depends on a lot of factors that you just don't have much control over, for example:

- who is serving on the committee that year (some faculty members might see something mediocre/bad on your application as a red flag but some might not and willing to forgive)
- what you declared as your research area (if the department is actively seeking students in that area)
- available department funding (they might be low on funding that year, or maybe they admitted more students than expected last year, or maybe they want more students since they had less students than desired prior year)
etc
If the acceptance rate of every school is 10%, then the probability of at least one acceptance applying to N schools is 1-0.9^n, so if I apply to 10 schools there's still a 34% chance I'll get denied by all, 12% for 20 schools and 4% for 30 schools.

anticategories
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2023 9:24 am

Re: Why should I worry about doxxing myself here?

Post by anticategories » Tue Oct 10, 2023 8:11 am

fiveier.analysis wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2023 5:13 pm
anticategories wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2023 11:21 am
mathph wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2023 9:04 am


You shouldn't. But on the internet where literally everyone can look you up if wanted to and see what you're posted, it's best practice to avoid revealing information so that anyone who knows how to use Google can find out who you are in real life without committing a non-trivial amount of time and effort.

Like, if someone from my school saw my profile and is in the same year as me, they will likely me able to tell it's me. But someone from another school will most certainly not be able to. That's where I personally would draw the line.



One of the reasons people post here is to share their admission profile detailed enough so that applicants in the next 2-3 years can have some information as to what is their reach/match/safety. Also, it's a good place to check if the schools you've applied to has released decision so that you can make your next move accordingly (in a limited way).

I gained some intuition as to what schools I should try applying to, although I'm still not certain and of course graduate admissions has the luck element at play, I try to apply to as many schools I can afford to so I can cast a wide nest. In the end, it's a numbers game unless you're shooting only for the top 20.

The data here is just for informational purposes, of course what to do with this data is up to you.
This, I've found that most of the faculty members, except those serving on the grad admission committee, have an unrealistic view of the difficulty of grad admissions. My advisor told me no one should have to apply to more than 3 schools, he probably still thinks grad admissions is still as easy as it was when he gone through it like a millennium ago. I think it's probably more helpful to ask the current grad students in your department about their grad admission experience, some of the first year phd students actually gave me some valuable advice on some of the schools they've applied to.

Indeed, it's a luck and numbers games. Unless you're a Putnam fellow or IMO gold medalists luck plays a pretty huge part so it's better to be safe than sorry and apply to as many as you can reasonably afford.

It depends on a lot of factors that you just don't have much control over, for example:

- who is serving on the committee that year (some faculty members might see something mediocre/bad on your application as a red flag but some might not and willing to forgive)
- what you declared as your research area (if the department is actively seeking students in that area)
- available department funding (they might be low on funding that year, or maybe they admitted more students than expected last year, or maybe they want more students since they had less students than desired prior year)
etc
If the acceptance rate of every school is 10%, then the probability of at least one acceptance applying to N schools is 1-0.9^n, so if I apply to 10 schools there's still a 34% chance I'll get denied by all, 12% for 20 schools and 4% for 30 schools.
hey keep those numbers to yourself lol



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