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grad student advising

4700gbera at UMBSKY.CC.UMB.EDU 4700gbera at UMBSKY.CC.UMB.EDU
Thu Sep 16 09:16:45 EST 1993

Recently Carol Auer of UConn wrote asking for any advise on advising
graduate students. I thought I might reply from a graduate student's
point of view. It's a subject I've been thinking about myself since
I hope somewhere down the line I will be advising my own students. Also,
it's been a topic of conversation among fellow graduate students in
the past months. 
One of the most important duties, I think, of a graduate advisor is
to steer students away from inapropriate research projects. I've seen
many students struggle for years on a project that was just too big.
(and usually involving the development of new techniques that are a
project themselves). 

It also seems, from my conversations with other students, that the 
amount of guidance a student needs is very individual. Some students
prefer to go their own way, others want more contact with their professors.
I guess it depends on how much research experience the student already has.

One last thing - my advisor has an excellent way for students to develope
their research projects. He has us write up a one-page summary of the
work we want to do. (Starting off the the question(s) we are interested
in) This summary goes back and forth and eventually a full proposal comes
out of it. (Well, it's not exactly that easy:)!

Well, I hope this has helped a bit! 

Gina Berardesco
4700gbera at umbsky.cc.umb.edu
Univ. Massachusetts, Boston
Env. Sci. Program
Boston, MA 02125

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