Friday, August 24, 2012

On PIs Giving Talks

So the abstract I submitted to the MRS Fall Meeting seems to have gotten upgraded to an invited talk, which made me super excited. But in talking to my PI, it seems one of the session chairs had contacted him, and upgraded it under the assumption he would be speaking (which he never mentioned to me before the official acceptance notices came out). However, I wrote the abstract, everything we're proposing to present in the abstract is my work, and frankly, I give a pretty good presentation. We're the only authors on it. Also, if I'm not presenting, I can't get funding to go.

So instead of looking like I get to give a really awesome talk on all the cool shit I do at a meeting I've never gotten to go to, my advisor is going to give it instead, and I'm not even going to get to go. Having sat through his presentations on my data before, this really worries me, because he gets things wrongs, or claims things are definitive that are really not decisive at all. I was really excited about this, so it's a hell of downer to end my week on.

Is it usual for students to be upset when PIs give talks on their behalf, or am I being weirdly possessive about this?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Happy Dance!

After two years of waiting for my advisor two read it and one round of revisions, my manuscript has been accepted!!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Posts Elsewhere

Today, I give advice to incoming graduate students over at Engineer Blogs.  Admitedly, half or more of it is basically "don't do what I did", but shh...

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Outreach & CVs

A question for the professors in the audience: how would you classify/interpret outreach curriculum development on a CV for someone interested in teaching positions?

To clarify, I'm currently working on putting together several panel modules of demonstration experiments to present at next year's local steampunk convention. I'll be working heavily from the materials I got from volunteering at Teacher Camp, but I'm really trying to orient it towards my audience, so there will be a lot of customization. All in all, I'm hoping to do 3-4 panels this year, and add more variety as there is interest in future years. It's not a traditional outreach audience, as the K-12 members of the audience will likely be the minority.

My program offers fairly limited opportunities to teach, and pretty much no opportunities to develop courses. I was able to snag one of the few TA positions where you get any chance to lecture, and have more interaction with students than answering homework questions at recitation. I see this both as a way to get more practice teaching and a way to share my knowledge with an interested audience (I'm developing these panels at the request of some non-sciency friends).

Is there anything I should try and do to document these? Specific feedback I should ask for? Should outreach even be on my CV?

Monday, August 6, 2012

Comparing Paths to Grad School

I got to go to dinner last night with a friend from high school/ undergrad. He's also doing the grad school shtick, but for very different reasons, so it's very interesting to compare our experiences. He couldn't find a job after graduation, so applied to a master's program. He's already TA'ed for more time than I likely will in my entire program, and is on a much smaller stipend in a more expensive city. He's got one eye on the door, and would be willing to leave for a job if it came along.

I knew in middle school that I wanted my PhD, and have planned a lot of things accordingly. Because I'm planning to stick it out, I'm much more concerned about my relationship with my advisor, and much more willing to work long hours. He's currently on a three week road trip, something I couldn't imagine doing at this point in my PhD program (mostly because there's rarely a window long enough). On the other hand, even as much as I struggle with my advisor, I seem to enjoy the day-to-day aspects of my work more than he does. While changing advisors has crossed my mind, leaving altogether almost never has.

Right now, he's getting paid very little for something he's not really enjoying, and probably will be doing for another year until he can get a degree out of it. I've probably got another 3ish years, and even on days where I get frustrated with my work, I'm frustrated because I care a lot about what I'm doing and want it to work.

Maybe grad school was the right choice after all?