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Runningmom80

"Where's Harvard?"

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Ds 10 asks me out of the blue.

 

"Massachusetts, why?" I respond.

 

"Because that's where I want to go to college."

 

 

Apparently that's where you go if you're "wicked smart."

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It's a great school for many fields but not a good choice for future engineers. My DH didn't apply for that reason. Technically they do offer engineering concentrations but a kid who's smart enough to get into Harvard would presumably be competitive at schools that offer a much stronger engineering program like Stanford, MIT, CalTech, Carnegie Mellon, UC Berkeley, Princeton, etc.

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It's a great school for many fields but not a good choice for future engineers. My DH didn't apply for that reason. Technically they do offer engineering concentrations but a kid who's smart enough to get into Harvard would presumably be competitive at schools that offer a much stronger engineering program like Stanford, MIT, CalTech, Carnegie Mellon, UC Berkeley, Princeton, etc.

Dd's class valedictorian picked Harvard over MIT (yes, he got into both) for CompSci. I'm still completely confused why anyone would do that. The salutatorian went to MIT...

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Has he been watching Good Will Hunting?

Haha! I don't know where he got it from, he wouldn't elaborate. I just thought it was funny. :)

 

He's a music guy so if anything he should be fantasizing about Juliard. ;)

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I found my 9 years old the other day searching for a list of top universities in Europe and then he read all about the first 20 and created a wish-list of ones to to choose from :)

He reads lots of biographic books though, so he figured out long time ago which are the best :)

 

 

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For many years, DD's dream school was University of Florida-because she figured that any school with an alligator for a mascot HAD to be a good place to study Herpetology. Once she started going to conferences, she realized that, yes, they're an awesome herp school-but a lot of their work is on invasive species control, which is one part of Herpetology she doesn't like.

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It's a great school for many fields but not a good choice for future engineers. My DH didn't apply for that reason. Technically they do offer engineering concentrations but a kid who's smart enough to get into Harvard would presumably be competitive at schools that offer a much stronger engineering program like Stanford, MIT, CalTech, Carnegie Mellon, UC Berkeley, Princeton, etc.

He has no idea what he's talking about other than it's an elite school. Lol

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After studying a lot about Newton this year, my then-10yr old decided she plans to study at Trinity, Cambridge, just like Isaac Newton.   :001_smile:

 

DS10 has wanted to attend Cambridge since he learned that Professor Hawking was there, almost 4 years ago.  He's now starting to widen his field of possibilities, though. :)

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After checking the vinyl/lp section of the thrift store, I head to boys clothing. I look for Nike, Under Armour, and college theme shirts. We have something from all the elite U.S. colleges, and a lot of the European schools.  Last week, I found a Edinburgh sweatshirt in size small.  He rotates his school fashion-- a week of athletic gear, then prep, college theme, and eccentric.  The college themes give us something to talk about-- why they are famous, where they are located, etc. 

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Totally agree with Harvard not being the best choice for engineering. Much better top ranked schools as mentioned by Crimson Wife. Also, if you want to get recruited to work in the Silicon Valley, then you are far better off with Berkeley or Stanford. It's proximity, but also many tech companies will recruit specifically from only from certain target schools. Often these players are actively involved with the engineering programs at these schools and often influence the evolution of these programs. An easy way to tell is to look at which schools the people in that company tend to hail from. My husband's company Intuit doesn't recruit from MIT at all. Not to say that you don't have a chance, you just have to drive it more than the company actively recruiting you.

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Found this. You can see there is a decidedly West Coast bias...

 

http://www.businessinsider.com/silicon-valley-hiring-most-popular-universities-2015-7

 

You will notice that there are several schools listed on there that are not top tier schools. I can tell you that people recruited from those schools are generally going to hit a ceiling and likely going to not make it past first line management. Think individual contributors primarily. Those headed for the C-suite/upper level management are going to be predominantly drawn from the top tier schools. Not impossible to get there from a non top tier school...just a harder/more challenging path.

Edited by calbear

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DS10 has wanted to attend Cambridge since he learned that Professor Hawking was there, almost 4 years ago.  He's now starting to widen his field of possibilities, though. :)

Prof Hawking gives frequent talks at various UCs, just so your DS knows :)

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DS10 has wanted to attend Cambridge since he learned that Professor Hawking was there, almost 4 years ago.  He's now starting to widen his field of possibilities, though. :)

 

Maybe my daughter and your son will cross paths there at some point.  :001_smile:

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My ds doesn't have any plans to go into engineering, FTR. I'm not sure if that's a general conversation or if I'm being confused with another poster.

 

No, I was replying to the "wicked smart" comment by your DS by pointing out that Harvard isn't necessarily a smart choice for everyone. I was thinking more of my DS, the aspiring biomedical engineer more than anyone else.

 

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No, I was replying to the "wicked smart" comment by your DS by pointing out that Harvard isn't necessarily a smart choice for everyone. 

 

 

Harvard is not the smartest choice for every one. My friend's daughter who is a talented musician of high caliber and who aspires to be an engineer found the right fit at Yale because that was the smartest choice for her goals - very high levels of instruction in both music and the engineering field of her choice.

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Dd's class valedictorian picked Harvard over MIT (yes, he got into both) for CompSci. I'm still completely confused why anyone would do that. The salutatorian went to MIT...

 

My daughter chose Harvard over MIT (and Stanford and Princeton), and was a computer science major.  You can get a excellent computer science education at Harvard now; it's come a long way in that specific field.  I may be a bit biased because several of my friends are computer science professors at Harvard...

 

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One thing I've learned from our application experience is you just never know what's going to happen and what shape things will take 6-7 years from now. When A started talking about "applying to college" (while vehemently asking to be homeschooled through college and grad school too) it was always Harvard this and Cambridge that. Then we toured Harvard one time and MIT the next day and A dropped Harvard from the list like a hot potato and was all swoony-eyed about MIT. Then A took classes at Cal and got all swoony about Cal. Funny thing was when we moved to the US many years ago, I happened upon a news article about Cal's "traditional" running in the nude and tree hugging in the nude activities and was convinced my (then very OCD) kid would probably never ever want to go to UC Berkeley. Ha!! :lol:

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No, I was replying to the "wicked smart" comment by your DS by pointing out that Harvard isn't necessarily a smart choice for everyone. I was thinking more of my DS, the aspiring biomedical engineer more than anyone else.

 

I was just sharing it as a funny comment, I realize now that I should have put it in the "they said what?" thread. It wasn't mean to to be a judgment on where kids here go to school. :)

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Haha! I don't know where he got it from, he wouldn't elaborate. I just thought it was funny. :)

 

He's a music guy so if anything he should be fantasizing about Juliard. ;)

 

Actually there is a dual enrollment option for Harvard and New England Conservatory or for Harvard and Berklee...just fyi.  ;)

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My daughter chose Harvard over MIT (and Stanford and Princeton), and was a computer science major.  You can get a excellent computer science education at Harvard now; it's come a long way in that specific field.  I may be a bit biased because several of my friends are computer science professors at Harvard...

 

Fascintating.  The only comp sci major i knew from Harvard spent a lot of time taking classes and hanging out at MIT.

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I was just sharing it as a funny comment, I realize now that I should have put it in the "they said what?" thread. It wasn't mean to to be a judgment on where kids here go to school. :)

 

Well, I thought it was funny.  My kids are eyeing the college two exits down off the highway.  They want to go there, because....wait for it!...that college has a "really good gym".

 

(My oldest two are *ahem* kinda sports-oriented.)

 

 

Edited to add:  Oh, my goodness...I forgot the other reason my kids want to go to college there: "The neighbors go there."   :laugh:   Boy, we are really selective when it comes to colleges.

Edited by Evanthe

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I was also amused, Runningmom80. :) 

 

My kids are pretty sure they'll go to Georgia Tech like DH and I did. Even the 8yo, who wants to be a dancer when she grows up. ;) 

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I was also amused, Runningmom80. :)

 

My kids are pretty sure they'll go to Georgia Tech like DH and I did. Even the 8yo, who wants to be a dancer when she grows up. ;)

Mine, too! Even the one who wants to be a lawyer for elephants and the one who wants to be a soccer player, when GT has no soccer team. (Oldest just finished his BSME in May and is working full time in his field now after spending 1.5 weeks job searching. So I'm here to say, it worked!)

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I took the 11 year olds along when we did college touring with my eldest dd. My (then 16) year old HATED my alma mater, UNC-Ch, for the same reason that my younger daughter loved it. It was so lush and green, and everyone looked happy. :-)

 

My older is escaping to SoCal to get away from all the excessive amounts of tall trees.

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... It was so lush and green, and everyone looked happy. :-)

...

My older is escaping to SoCal to get away from all the excessive amounts of tall trees.

 

Lol! Your daughters win the gold medal for the best reasoning for choosing their universities :)

Edited by mathnerd

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Dd's class valedictorian picked Harvard over MIT (yes, he got into both) for CompSci. I'm still completely confused why anyone would do that. 

 

 

If you're interested in some very specific kind of research, it might make sense to attend a university that has professors doing that specific kind of research. So, I have no idea what kind of research the comp sci profs at Harvard do, but if you're really into the stuff they do, and the MIT profs focus on different parts of comp sci, I could see picking Harvard over MIT. 

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If you're interested in some very specific kind of research, it might make sense to attend a university that has professors doing that specific kind of research. So, I have no idea what kind of research the comp sci profs at Harvard do, but if you're really into the stuff they do, and the MIT profs focus on different parts of comp sci, I could see picking Harvard over MIT. 

 

True, but EECS comprises about 1/4-1/3 of MIT's undergrads, so that's a pretty wide selection of professors and their research available at MIT.

 

It's also possible that the kid wanted a more liberal arts focussed education, though.  MIT only require one humanities course per semester.

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Another factor that affects the quality of your college experience is the quality of your student colleagues.  Being on a first name basis with smart successful students who go on to start companies, invest in companies, and do other interesting things is priceless.  If a bunch of smart students interested in CS decide for whatever reason (Zuckerberg?) they want to attend Harvard, then that may be one good reason to go to Harvard.  

 

Who needs good professors if you're going to drop out anyway?  (jk)

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DD's added Villanova to her list-based on "nice people who will talk to me and are doing interesting things". I think we average adding at least one school to the list per conference attended.

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DD's added Villanova to her list-based on "nice people who will talk to me and are doing interesting things". I think we average adding at least one school to the list per conference attended.

  Great school. A relative recently graduated with a very liberal arts degree ( a foreign language).   Went to Google and then became a Fulbright Scholar.

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I thought of this thread yesterday when Sacha (age 8) mused about attending Cal Tech over MIT because the weather is better in So Cal. I have no idea how he even knows about either of these schools, TBH.

Edited by SeaConquest

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reminds me of my college application process in the pleistocene era.  i lived in nashville and my mom wanted me to stay nearby so i applied only to vanderbilt, literally across the street from my high school.  in spring of senior year my math teacher asked where i was going and i told her my plan.  she asked if i had applied anywhere else and i said no, so she asked if she could inquire on my behalf.  a few weeks later i got a summons from the softball field to the principal's office where a phone call was waiting that accepted me to Harvard, (without my having applied).  My question was literally "where is harvard?"  I think i had not even heard of cal tech.

Edited by mathwonk

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reminds me of my college application process in the pleistocene era. i lived in nashville and my mom wanted me to stay nearby so i applied only to vanderbilt, literally across the street from my high school. in spring of senior year my math teacher asked where i was going and i told her my plan. she asked if i had applied anywhere else and i said no, so she asked if she could inquire on my behalf. a few weeks later i got a summons from the softball field to the principal's office where a phone call was waiting that accepted me to Harvard, (without my having applied). My question was literally "where is harvard?" I think i had not even heard of cal tech.

That's crazy!

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reminds me of my college application process in the pleistocene era.  i lived in nashville and my mom wanted me to stay nearby so i applied only to vanderbilt, literally across the street from my high school.  in spring of senior year my math teacher asked where i was going and i told her my plan.  she asked if i had applied anywhere else and i said no, so she asked if she could inquire on my behalf.  a few weeks later i got a summons from the softball field to the principal's office where a phone call was waiting that accepted me to Harvard, (without my having applied).  My question was literally "where is harvard?"  I think i had not even heard of cal tech.

 

So did you go?  :)

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Another factor that affects the quality of your college experience is the quality of your student colleagues.  Being on a first name basis with smart successful students who go on to start companies, invest in companies, and do other interesting things is priceless.  If a bunch of smart students interested in CS decide for whatever reason (Zuckerberg?) they want to attend Harvard, then that may be one good reason to go to Harvard.  

 

Who needs good professors if you're going to drop out anyway?  (jk)

 

Do you guys ever wonder how much Zuckerberg hates the "Harvard drop-out" title he's gotten?  I'm surprised Harvard hasn't just awarded him a business degree so that they can both get past this idea that dropping out of Harvard is good for your career.

Edited by TerriM

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Do you guys ever wonder how much Zuckerberg hates the "Harvard drop-out" title he's gotten?  I'm surprised Harvard hasn't just awarded him a business degree so that they can both get past this idea that dropping out of Harvard is good for your career.

 

 

As if that would change the fact that he dropped out. 

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For some weird reason my kids think east coast USA is not their cup of tea but don't mind east coast Canada. They know all the Ivy League schools as well as CalTech courtesy of AoPS forums and college confidential forums. They know Stanford because it is commuter distance for us and where they go for AMC. We'll tour CalTech and Harvey Mudd when we drive down to that region of SoCal for any business trips. We want to tour UBC as well as part of a vacation to west coast Canada.

 

They look at Harvard and MIT on google and decided the architecture wasn't worth a detour from Baltimore, Maryland to Toronto, Canada. My kids comically rank colleges by food courts, bookstore and architecture.

 

So did you go? :)

From his CV :)

"Academic Degrees:

B.A. 1965 Harvard University,

MA. 1967 Brandeis University

Ph.D. 1977 University of Utah; Advisor: C.H. Clemens;

Thesis: On the degree of the Prym mapping from curves of genus 6 to abelian varieties of dimension five." http://alpha.math.uga.edu/%7Eroy/Roy.pdf

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As if that would change the fact that he dropped out. 

 

But then at least the papers would have to say "Zuckerberg, a Harvard graduate" :)

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For some weird reason my kids think east coast USA is not their cup of tea but don't mind east coast Canada. They know all the Ivy League schools as well as CalTech courtesy of AoPS forums and college confidential forums. They know Stanford because it is commuter distance for us and where they go for AMC. We'll tour CalTech and Harvey Mudd when we drive down to that region of SoCal for any business trips. We want to tour UBC as well as part of a vacation to west coast Canada.

 

They look at Harvard and MIT on google and decided the architecture wasn't worth a detour from Baltimore, Maryland to Toronto, Canada. My kids comically rank colleges by food courts, bookstore and architecture.

 

 

From his CV :)

"Academic Degrees:

B.A. 1965 Harvard University,

MA. 1967 Brandeis University

Ph.D. 1977 University of Utah; Advisor: C.H. Clemens;

Thesis: On the degree of the Prym mapping from curves of genus 6 to abelian varieties of dimension five." http://alpha.math.uga.edu/%7Eroy/Roy.pdf

Fellow Owl, 1977.

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to TerriM:  yes I did. They offered me a larger scholarship than vandy which seemed stingy by comparison, so I felt dissed by vandy and went north.  what a shock when i got out of the subway in busy harvard square!  i had never been to the city.

 

Other impressions i had were receiving the paperwork with questions like " have you always wanted to go to harvard?"  my mental response was : "who do you people think you are?"  I.e. in 1960 most students in the south did not wake up every day hoping to get into a school in "the north".

 

and here's to Ollie!

 

of course my affection for Harvard grew when my brother started walking around with t-shirts that said "Harvard, the Vanderbilt of the north."

Edited by mathwonk

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But then at least the papers would have to say "Zuckerberg, a Harvard graduate" :)

 

 

Meh, not really. They could write "Zuckerberg, a Harvard dropout who was awarded an honorary degree xx years later". Or something along those lines. Plus, he'd still be on all the lists of famous college dropouts. 

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Meh, not really. They could write "Zuckerberg, a Harvard dropout who was awarded an honorary degree xx years later". Or something along those lines. Plus, he'd still be on all the lists of famous college dropouts. 

This is true. Many celebrities (movie stars, supermodels, talk show hosts etc) have been awarded honorary degrees by Ivy League colleges. But, they are not considered as graduates of those colleges, just that those colleges honored them with the degree.

 

I am old: in my time, Bill Gates was considered the most successful drop out from Harvard  ;) 

Edited by mathnerd

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this might seem naive, but remembering my college days makes me think of something i seldom hear discussed that relates to college preparation.  namely a child that goes away to college and lives in a dorm has to be able to get himself up early in the morning, get ready for the day, and make it to class on time, without mom or dad helping. Then they have to make sure they do all their assignments with no nagging, and get them in on time.  I.e. they are suddenly treated like an adult in terms of responsibility.  i was totally lacking in this department and I missed so much class, and slacked off on so many projects, i actually failed out.  fortunately after a year off working, i went back and finished successfully.  do people today realize they must let up on the reins a bit in high school to give practice in maturity?  Probably you all do, and kids today seem more mature anyway.  But this one thing can matter more to success than all the AP preparation and advanced curricula in the world.  I remember in my day students missed so many meals from sleeping in, meals that mom and dad had paid for in tuiton, that there was a famous sandwich shop, Elsie's, that practically coined money selling sandwiches at night.  Of course Elsie's food was better than Harvard's, and cheaper.

 

Here is Elsie's obit and a remembrance:

 

https://www.ccgfuneralhome.com/obit/elsie-j.-baumann

Edited by mathwonk

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this might seem naive, but remembering my college days makes me think of something i seldom hear discussed that relates to college preparation.  namely a child that goes away to college and lives in a dorm has to be able to get himself up early in the morning, get ready for the day, and make it to class on time, without mom or dad helping. Then they have to make sure they do all their assignments with no nagging, and get them in on time.  I.e. they are suddenly treated like an adult in terms of responsibility.  i was totally lacking in this department and I missed so much class, and slacked off on so many projects, i actually failed out.  fortunately after a year off working, i went back and finished successfully.  do people today realize they must let up on the reins a bit in high school to give practice in maturity?  Probably you all do, and kids today seem more mature anyway.  But this one thing can matter more to success than all the AP preparation and advanced curricula in the world.  I remember in my day students missed so many meals from sleeping in, meals that mom and dad had paid for in tuiton, that there was a famous sandwich shop, Elsie's, that practically coined money selling sandwiches at night.  Of course Elsie's food was better than Harvard's, and cheaper.

 

Here is Elsie's obit and a remembrance:

 

https://www.ccgfuneralhome.com/obit/elsie-j.-baumann

Thanks for your cautionary tale. I'll give mine.  I transferred from a cc as a junior. Up to this point in my life, I had very limited sexual encounters.  No money, no car, and did not have my own room at home.    My first week at the new  college, I meet a gorgeous girl.  She was all everything academically: joint ba/ma program, honor societies,, key clubs.   She would study everyday from 8 p.m. to approximately 11 pm.  I would go to her dorm to study with her.. This should have been an ideal mentor for me, except for one thing.  When she would finish studying, she would want an extended romp in the hay every night..  My downfall, instead of studying , I did everything humanly possible to help her finish before 11pm.  i got her snacks, opened her soda, turned her pages, lit her one cigarette per day, wiped her brow, whatever it took to get her to finish at 10:59.  Anyway, I failed a class this first semester. Also, ended up in the infirmary for a week with an std ( where I add that I also found out that  infirmary beds squeak).. Fortunately, she decided to be chaste the second semester before marrying her fiance (a graduate student at another school) on her graduation.  I would have  never completed my junior year  otherwise. 

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this might seem naive, but remembering my college days makes me think of something i seldom hear discussed that relates to college preparation.  namely a child that goes away to college and lives in a dorm has to be able to get himself up early in the morning, get ready for the day, and make it to class on time, without mom or dad helping. Then they have to make sure they do all their assignments with no nagging, and get them in on time.  I.e. they are suddenly treated like an adult in terms of responsibility.  i was totally lacking in this department and I missed so much class, and slacked off on so many projects, i actually failed out.  fortunately after a year off working, i went back and finished successfully.  do people today realize they must let up on the reins a bit in high school to give practice in maturity?  

 

 

If it makes you feel better, I went from highly responsible to what you're describing after I went to college.  It was probably partly depression from the sudden change in environment and loss of friends/family, and definitely an abnormal social environment (the most fun stuff happened after 2am on my hall, and I wanted to be awake for it) .

 

But my mom was always pretty hands-off--she made me get up in the morning, make breakfast, pack lunch, and get myself onto a city bus  all by myself--starting in first grade.

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she sounds very wise.  i had trouble even waking up for class. i had a 9am honors calculus class tuesday - thursday - saturday.  oh boyy..and laundry,  ouch,  i still remember the time my roommate added his red socks to my whites.

 

i also identify with the fun of being in the hearts card game every night.  the main problem was that as a nerd, i had never before been in an environment where my peers were my classmates.  In high school it was " what did you get on the test?..,,..,I hate you!"  In college everyone had the props to hold their own on a test.  and my scores did not intimidate anyone.

Edited by mathwonk

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