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Programs Applying for PhD - papers needed?

  1. Sep 13, 2010 #1
    I have a bachelor's in math and I'm doing a graduate diploma in engineering science (just a year of advanced coursework, similar to the first year of a master's degree) at the university of Auckland. My grades are pretty good (I got straight A's last semester, and I hope to get just a well this semester), so I'm thinking of applying for a PhD in engineering - preferably software engineering - but I heard that you need to have had some research papers under your belt. So I'm a bit intimidated. I have done plenty of research, but none of it has resulting in papers. I could have submitted a conference paper perhaps, but at the time I didn't think it was worth it.
    So guys, based on your personal experience, would a professor be willing to work with someone with exactly 0 research papers so far?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 13, 2010 #2

    Vanadium 50

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    This "you must be published" is a myth.
  4. Sep 13, 2010 #3
    I've uploaded a file, it is a talk given by Mor Harchol-Balter, School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University. You will find the whole stuff very useful. Regarding your question, you will find it's answer in section 3.4 of this document!

    Attached Files:

  5. Sep 13, 2010 #4
    Wow. If any of the information carries over to grad school in math, it's the most informative document I've seen on the subject, especially the part on personal statements.
  6. Sep 13, 2010 #5
    It really is, and I have no idea why it seems to be such a widely held belief between undergraduates. Even if you do publish something at undergraduate, it will be guided almost entirely by professors so I don't think it's worth as much as people like to think. At best, it shows that you're doing some work outside of normal lecture duties - but the fact that you've 'done some research' already shows that.
  7. Sep 13, 2010 #6
    Thanks for the responses guys.
    doodle_sack: That answers a lot of my questions. Thanks.
  8. Sep 13, 2010 #7

    Andy Resnick

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    That's an impressive document, and it does indeed apply to graduate school in general.
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