Thursday, January 8, 2009


I am filling out my grad school applications while watching Megastructures and Seconds from Disaster on YouTube. I guess this might concern some, until you realize every single application asks for the same information so far as your contact info/ former employers/ whatever, so if you're not on autopilot after a point you probably shouldn't be applying to do astrophysics. (Though to be fair I review these apps before turning them in and pause the shows when working on the essays.) Frankly, it makes me wonder why the astronomy/physics community can't bother to standardize applying to grad school. They all ask for the same information and it's not like there's no system in place already- where would the undergraduate application process be in this country without the Common Application?

Or at least standardize the letters. Some schools still require paper ones only for letters so my writers can check off boxes indicating if I'm in the "top 1% but not top 5%, top 5% but not top 10%, etc" in various categories, and I can't imagine what schools get out of it. I know the letter writers don't like them much either.

(Will get Telluride pictures up soon, just posting this as an explanation of where I've been. That and working on my trip in various capacities, which I leave for in a week!)