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Classes in Graduate School


They’re a joke. It’s simple. Once you acquire enough background information, classes will not help you. You’re not in graduate school to learn about what someone else has done, you’re there to do something that nobody else has ever done (also the basis for all research).

Modest Advice for Graduate Students – Stephen C. Stearns

The above link has some good quips. Here’s one:

“Right now, you need to learn how to think for yourself. This requires active engagement, not passive listening and regurgitation. To learn to think, you need two things: large blocks of time, and as much one-on-one interaction as you can get with someone who thinks more clearly than you do.

I found this particularly true, especially with the advent of wikipedia and a ton of open access information.

For the same reason, however, I find that when I make tests for my students they find them unusually difficult because I rarely ask for them to regurgitate, but rather to apply the knowledge they have learned. As undergraduates, they are used to answering questions with memorizable answers. Of course there must be a fundamental background to teach them, but this type of learning is flawed. The ability to critically think is far more important than spitting facts.

Here are some more grad student resources, enjoy!

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