Confessions of a researchaholic

August 11, 2012

About taking courses

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 2:50 pm
Tags: ,

For undergrad/MS students

[Disclaimer: I skipped most of my classes since high school, because I found learning by myself much more fun and efficient.]

Focus on courses that can improve your math and coding, the foundation which can help you learn everything else.
Other than that, just choose courses you find interesting, subject to the school requirements.

For PhD students

As a PhD student, people care only about your publications, not the courses you have taken, including your GPA.
Thus, I would suggest taking courses in the following prioritized order to maximize fun and minimize pain:

. Necessity that is mandatory to fulfill your course requirements. Just spend the minimally possible efforts to pass the grades.

. Utility that you think can help your research. I recommend spending more time on these, as you will have to learn them one way or another.

. Fun – those topics that you find interesting and may provide inspirations for your longer term research.

In any case, focus on learning, not earning grades.

For those of you who need my approval for course selection: please come up with a list and we can start discussion from there. I believe it is better for your education if these decisions are made by yourself.

1 Comment »

  1. […] If you are a PhD student, the only thing that really matters is your research. So focus on getting good publications, and do not let anything else get precedence. There are other things that matter to some degree but are much less important, such as teaching experience (e.g. TA) for those who want to become professors in the long run, as well as those that are not important at all but made appear to be so by others for their own peculiar reasons, such as taking courses (see my previous post). […]

    Pingback by » What really matters Confessions of a researchaholic — August 12, 2012 @ 10:44 am | Reply


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