# Education Path

1. May 3, 2008

### Jordan Joab

So, here's what I have written down so far:

1) Attend City College of New York. Obtain a CS/EE degree (or as much EE knowledge I can possibly get), maintain a 3.8 GPA, build solid math base.

2) Join MIT's EECS department, begin research into AI/robotics, software development, photonics, quantum electronics/computing, and nanotechnology.

3) Add MBA at some point.

Estimated timeframe: 10 years.

All this while working part-time with roughly 1-3hrs of commuting time. The major obstacles I see are maintaining a healthy relationship with the wife, managing limited finances, and utilizing time as efficiently as possible (studying on the bus and at work, sleeping at least 6hrs, and finding some fun time to not go insane).

Any tips on how to polish this?

Jordan Joab.

2. May 3, 2008

### ytoruno

why not just do computer engineering? at ccny its 3/4 EE and CS portion is all the most intense classes they offer. Then during summers, they offer AI and computability theory courses.

3. May 3, 2008

### kaisxuans

well jordan, your aims are high and these things on top are gonna be quite a problem. i suggest u go on a holiday and have fun with 'the wife' and then, AFTER HAVING HER UNDERSTAND your thrist for knowledge, go for it!
oh, and about the studying on the bus and stuff, these are not gonna help much and so, try to avoid these things, they may make your day worser by cramping everything down.....

kai xuan

4. May 3, 2008

### Jordan Joab

I'm considering it. I feel CE puts me into a narrow spot. I prefer to have broad knowledge from both areas. Think of it as two big plates instead of a smaller one with portions from the two.

Jordan Joab.

5. May 3, 2008

Staff Emeritus
This sounds unfocused. Remember, your advisor will be working in one of these areas, and he'll want you working for him, not for him and four other faculty.

6. May 3, 2008

### Jordan Joab

Great point. Hmmm, that's a serious limitation.

Jordan Joab.

7. May 3, 2008

### Staff: Mentor

Graduate school is about learning about how to do serious research, get published, and other aspects of being a scientist. After you get your Ph.D and get a bit of a track record you can branch out all you want, and feel capable of doing.

It's not at all unusual for Ph.D's to change fields or take on new ones. My dissertation advisor switched from experimental particle physics to biophysics after I got my degree.

8. May 3, 2008

### Moonbear

Staff Emeritus
Have you discussed your goals and the time and financial commitment it will require with your wife? If your marriage is important to you, you will do so and make sure she is completely supportive of your decision before moving forward with it. If she is not supportive of your decision or the time and other sacrifices required to achieve it, you will face deciding between your education/career goals and marriage. Don't expect her to just accept it...it is not a lifestyle everyone can handle. I've seen those cases go either direction...either the student drops out of school to save his/her marriage and settles for a different career, or the student gets divorced when their spouse doesn't tolerate the sacrifices needed for such a career path. The ideal situation is a spouse fully informed of what to expect, and fully supportive of it (those who have supportive spouses really thrive in grad school even...it's nice when they have someone to go home to who can take care of a lot of other things for them when they are busy with a long day in the lab or classes or trying to prepare for exams).

9. May 3, 2008

### Jordan Joab

She'll be going to Med school around the same time. Thoughts?

Jordan Joab.

10. May 3, 2008

### Moonbear

Staff Emeritus
Find a good divorce lawyer? Only kidding. Actually, that could work out well, since you'll both be in demanding academic paths, so should both understand the desires of the other and neither will have time for much else. Nonetheless, you'll need to talk about some of this openly going in, because there will be times when you'll both be stressed and at wit's end and getting on each other's nerves. I would recommend dedicating one weekend a month for each other. I know it would be nice to do that more often, and of course you should never miss an opportunity to spend time together going on "dates", but promise one another you'll at least make time for one weekend a month (it doesn't have to be the same weekend...in other words, you don't have to say it's always going to be the third weekend of the month and then have one of you stressed out because you have an exam the following Monday...but each month you can look at your schedules and pick a weekend). You may work this out some other ways similar to this, but with both of you on horrendous schedules, you'll need to put some planning into things to keep the relationship going.

The other thing you should do is leave time to be spontaneous as well. For example, grad students in my experience often like to get together for an hour or two on Fridays to wind down after a long week (or before a long weekend). If your wife expects you home every Friday night, it'll hinder you from bonding with your fellow grad students. But, if you plan ahead that Friday nights you both do whatever you want...you can hang out with the other grad students, she can hang out with the other med students, then on the weeks when that opportunity presents itself, you don't have to worry about calling and asking "permission" or missing socialization with your fellow students (and if the other doesn't have plans, you can join each other).

Basically, the overall theme is communication. The other part that will be rough is that med school is a fixed 4 years. Grad school is not as fixed...you could wind up on the 6 or 8 year plan. Plan now...can you handle living apart while she does residencies or you do post-docs before you find places to move together later? I've known people who have done this and been successful with it...though it cost a lot in airfare for the visits every other month. The more you both know going in, the more likely you are to be prepared for what your educational paths throw at you, and the more likely you are to survive it with a strong marriage intact.

11. May 3, 2008

### robertm

Wow, you've got a lot on your plate, I'm impressed!
As far as the wifey goes, I am in a simular situation. As others have said, the key is definately to know exactly what to expect. Neither of you can have any misconceptions about what to expect. And after knowing all the details and still being o.k. with the situation, GO for it! And don't forget to be romantic every now and then, a little here and there can go a long way!

12. May 5, 2008

### Jordan Joab

Would a grad school offer me a RA as a CS major or would that be an out-of-my-own-pocket experience?

Jordan Joab.

13. May 6, 2008

### TMFKAN64

CS departments tend to have \$. Things are always iffy if you pursue an M.S., but if you are shooting for a Ph.D., most good schools should give you a free ride.

14. May 6, 2008

Staff Emeritus
With all due respect, I don't think you really understand what graduate school is about. There are no "majors". You enter a program in a particular department for a particular degree. To get out, you need to produce a thesis based on research. Essentially, everybody needs to get an RA to graduate.

Does your college or university have a graduate program? If so, you might want to spend some time talking to the grad students to get their perspective on what grad school is all about.

15. May 6, 2008

### Jordan Joab

You are correct! This is why I'm asking all kinds of questions, to get a better view of what to expect and plan accordingly. Matter of fact, as a friend explained to me, only the "hard sciences" receive funding.

Jordan Joab.