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8FillTheHeart

Top international awards are not limited to elite schools' students (aerospace engineering student in this article)

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An Alabama aerospace engineering student was named 1 of the top 20 aerospace engineering students not only nationally but internationally. This award is given annually in collaboration between the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA)  and Avaiation Week.  Here are articles from the past couple of yrs:

https://aviationweek.com/aviation-week-space-technology/twenty-outstanding-students-emerging-aerospace-leaders

https://aviationweek.com/future-aerospace/aviation-week-network-announces-20-twenties-winners-2018

https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2019/01/07/1681313/0/en/Aviation-Week-Network-Announces-20-Twenties-Winners-for-2019-Top-Technology-Students-to-be-Honored-March-14-at-Laureates-Awards-Gala.html

if you look at award winners over the past few yrs, you see students from top schools like MIT, Columbia, Cornell, USAFA, Stanford, etc, but you also see students from UCF, Tuskegee, AZ, Boise State, USC, Bama, etc

The student from Bama in an interview stated,

Quote

“I think this award is as much for the faculty and staff as it is for me. One can not become a ‘good’ student without great teachers who make it possible to become a successful student through great lessons and teachings. I have been blessed to work with some of the best professors and staff in the country, and this award is a testament to their hard and successful work.” — Peyton Strickland

His observations about his professors at Bama are the same sentiments our ds expressed about his there and our Dd sees in her professors at USC. 

Another example of where you go does not define who you'll be. Students who pursue the opportunities that have at their school can excel and rise to the top regardless of school ranking and excellent profs, mentorship, and opportunities exist at lower ranked schools, even very large publics.

Just encouragement who think that bc they can't afford to pay for dream schools have shortchanged their students' futures. That is a false assumption.

Edited by 8FillTheHeart
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I think this is a slightly subtle issue. I don't know the ranking of the various programs on here, but it's definitely the case that some colleges have stellar undergraduate programs without being highly ranked research institutions. I went to Waterloo in Canada, and they were known for their undergraduate math program, but less for their graduate math. I didn't want to go to the US because Canada was MUCH cheaper (I pretty much got a full ride, which is a much smaller scholarship in Canada than in the US!), and I don't regret the decision. And it didn't prevent me from getting into lots of top graduate programs. 

On the other hand, I had a TA who was going to an undergraduate institution whose mathematics sequence pretty much ended with what I thought of as a 2nd year undergraduate class. He wanted to go to graduate school, and it was going to be hard given the range of classes offered. 

So... you do want be mindful of how strong the program is and what your goals are. But that doesn't necessarily mean shelling out big bucks for an out of state school or an Ivy, just figuring out where the opportunities are :-). 

 

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10 minutes ago, square_25 said:

I think this is a slightly subtle issue. I don't know the ranking of the various programs on here, but it's definitely the case that some colleges have stellar undergraduate programs without being highly ranked research institutions. I went to Waterloo in Canada, and they were known for their undergraduate math program, but less for their graduate math. I didn't want to go to the US because Canada was MUCH cheaper (I pretty much got a full ride, which is a much smaller scholarship in Canada than in the US!), and I don't regret the decision. And it didn't prevent me from getting into lots of top graduate programs. 

On the other hand, I had a TA who was going to an undergraduate institution whose mathematics sequence pretty much ended with what I thought of as a 2nd year undergraduate class. He wanted to go to graduate school, and it was going to be hard given the range of classes offered. 

So... you do want be mindful of how strong the program is and what your goals are. But that doesn't necessarily mean shelling out big bucks for an out of state school or an Ivy, just figuring out where the opportunities are :-). 

 

Course sequence, frequency of course offerings, UG research opportunities, and involvement of faculty with their UGs......those are all factors that need to be considered. Ranking is the factor I would not consider. Top schools can offer few UG research opportunities or have faculty not concerned with their UGs. My kids interview depts to make sure they understand how the dept functions.

I'm going to see if I can find a link to a post I made about a nightmare dept visit ds made. He thought this school was going to be one of his top options until he met with the dept. His Bama dept meeting, otoh, was awesome. The UG advisor spent an hr with him touring the labs, introducing him to profs, arranged for him to sit in on a 300 level class, etc.

Here is the link: 

 

 

Edited by 8FillTheHeart
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Just now, 8FillTheHeart said:

Course sequence, frequency of course offerings, UG research opportunities, and involvement of faculty with their UGs......those are all factors that need to be considered. Ranking is the factor I would not consider. Top schools can offer few UG research opportunities or have faculty not concerned with their UGs. My kids interview depts to make sure they understand how the dept functions.

I'm going to see if I can find a link to a post I made about a nightmare dept visit ds made. He thought this school was going to be one of his top options until he met with the dept. His Bama dept meeting, otoh, was awesome. The UG advisor spent an hr with him touring the labs, introducing him to profs, arranged for him to sit in on a 300 level class, etc.

 

Sounds extremely sensible. My husband is an academic, and for a long time, I thought I'd be one, too... anyway, I'm very well aware that some departments that look GREAT on paper are really a hot mess in terms how well they function internally. 

I'd love to see the link :-).

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One question that I have for you, is at a large Public U (like PennState), how does a freshman go about meeting people and profs so he can get involved with undergrad research? My ds is so excited about the UG research going on there in artificial intelligence and has all the names of the projects and profs and is even spending half his summer re-writing his little homegrown AI app so that he can show he's doing something....but once you actually step foot on campus, and get your bearings, how does it go from a number in a crowd to being able/allowed to work on UG research?

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Once on campus my kids have just made appts with professors to talk to them about their research and what it would take to get involved. 

But, they have also had the conversation with the dept dean and UG advisor during their sr yr. It would not be inappropriate for your ds to email the dept stating that it was currently his top choice but he has questions about the ability for UGs to participate in research. Hopefully he will get an honest response. When ds talked to the dean at GT, that dean was frank and told ds that he had more direct research than most of their UGs bc their focus was on their grad students and most UG assisted grad students (my kids have always done research directly under profs, not grad students.)

Dept culture matters. I know that some delta don't value their UGs. (Read my link about our disaster visit.)

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On 4/8/2019 at 3:21 PM, Calming Tea said:

One question that I have for you, is at a large Public U (like PennState), how does a freshman go about meeting people and profs so he can get involved with undergrad research? My ds is so excited about the UG research going on there in artificial intelligence and has all the names of the projects and profs and is even spending half his summer re-writing his little homegrown AI app so that he can show he's doing something....but once you actually step foot on campus, and get your bearings, how does it go from a number in a crowd to being able/allowed to work on UG research?

Join the student organization of the department he wants to work in.

Talk to professors after class + go to office hours.

Email prof to make an appointment to talk about undergraduate research. 

Attend presentations profs give that are suitable level for undergrads.

Basically, make yourself visible.

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