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Question for grad students - former or current

  • Thread starter tgt
  • Start date

How often do you do come in (on weekdays) to do research?

  • Minimal, only come in if necessary

    Votes: 5 20.0%
  • Mix, depends what I feel like. Half-Half

    Votes: 3 12.0%
  • Max, come in daily and usually full days at my desk

    Votes: 17 68.0%

  • Total voters
    25
tgt
520
2

Main Question or Discussion Point

Assume you do a MSc or Phd, you are doing full time research so don't need to attend classes. How often do you come into your department and sit in your desk?

Do you prefer to work from home or work at your desk during weekdays? Have a vote. Explain your actions as well and what field you are in.

If you once were a grad studen then describe what you did as well and have a vote.
 
Last edited:

Answers and Replies

203
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Oops. My brain is fried from the end of the semester. I misread the poll to say "on weekends". So, minus one for Minimal, plus one for Max. I'm there all the time (except early morning) when I'm not in class on the weekdays.
 
cristo
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I voted max, but I don't think I spend the maximum amount of time in my office that I could do! I normally work 10-6 most weekdays, which is nothing like some people do!
 
I voted for Max too

I prefer to work at my desk more than home. I normally work for 6-8 hours a day and 5 day per week (in case if I don't have a class).
 
tgt
520
2
max as you max for you. In other words what a full day feels like to you. You don't have to compare with other people's max.

What are your reasons for choosing mzx or min? Surely your own home would be more comfortable? You probably share the room with someone which can be noisey and full of interuptions.
 
MathematicalPhysicist
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Let's assume I do MSC or PHD, just assume (I dont, but let's assume), then I would vote minimal necessary that could be maximal for others, don't know.
 
cristo
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max as you max for you. In other words what a full day feels like to you. You don't have to compare with other people's max
Ok, well my max is most certainly someone else's min!

What are your reasons for choosing mzx or min? Surely your own home would be more comfortable? You probably share the room with someone which can be noisey and full of interuptions.
I don't think my own home would be more comfortable to work in-- I relax in my home, not work. I like going in to the office since I get a lot more work done there; plus then there are the practical things like textbooks, meetings with supervisor, printing, etc.. The fact that there are other people in my office is not a distraction but is rather a good thing; there's someone to talk to if I get bored, and people to offer guidance as well as brainstorm with if I'm stuck on a problem.
 
417
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Well I guess, if I had a cryostat in my living room I could work from home.
 
tgt
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Ok, well my max is most certainly someone else's min!


I don't think my own home would be more comfortable to work in-- I relax in my home, not work. I like going in to the office since I get a lot more work done there; plus then there are the practical things like textbooks, meetings with supervisor, printing, etc.. The fact that there are other people in my office is not a distraction but is rather a good thing; there's someone to talk to if I get bored, and people to offer guidance as well as brainstorm with if I'm stuck on a problem.
So you don't work at home in the evenings?

C'mon, professors all have separate offices which tells me it's better any day to shared ones.
 
82
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I voted max. Most weeks I try and spend 8 hrs a day either in the office or in class.

I don't think I spend as much time in the office as some, but certainly more than most. There are plenty in the lab that hardly ever come to the office and when they do it is for an hour or so.

I prefer to work from the office because all of my resources are here and my experiments are here. Plus, when I am at home I am much more likely to get distracted; I seem to always end up playing with the dog for a couple of hours :)
 
Dr. Courtney
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I was warming the seat in my office 5 days a week for a number of years until I had proved myself to my advisor. Once the research was done and I was writing my thesis, I only went in once or twice a week when I needed to meet with someone.

Michael Courtney
 
cristo
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So you don't work at home in the evenings?
Erm... nope.. I work during the day.

C'mon, professors all have separate offices which tells me it's better any day to shared ones.
Define "better." Anyway, you can choose to study how you like, I'm just telling you what I do. I'm not about to have an argument over which is better, since studying techniques depend upon the person!
 
tgt
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I was warming the seat in my office 5 days a week for a number of years until I had proved myself to my advisor. Once the research was done and I was writing my thesis, I only went in once or twice a week when I needed to meet with someone.

Michael Courtney
So you think staying at home is preferred? If so why? You were in the office because you had to?
 
tgt
520
2
Erm... nope.. I work during the day.


Define "better." Anyway, you can choose to study how you like, I'm just telling you what I do. I'm not about to have an argument over which is better, since studying techniques depend upon the person!
Can't really define it precisely but I'll give an example. It's better to be in a room with an Air conditioner then not to have one. It's better to be in a secure place then not to be in one. So common sense 'better'.
 
Dr. Courtney
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So you think staying at home is preferred? If so why? You were in the office because you had to?
It depends on the research group dynamics and what is going on at the time. When studying for general exams, a lot of interaction with other students is valuable. Likewise, when planning and carrying out experiments, I needed to be in the office most days to optimize the collaborative opportunities and take care of stuff in the lab. Once the data was in hand and I was in the writing phase, I needed the privacy of uninterrupted progress at home most days of the week and I only tended to show up when something needed discussion with other group members.

I remember we went over papers many times before submission. My PhD thesis yielded six papers on which I was the first author, so most of the days I went in the last 8 months or so revolved around discussing drafts of these papers.

Michael Courtney
 
cristo
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Can't really define it precisely but I'll give an example. It's better to be in a room with an Air conditioner then not to have one. It's better to be in a secure place then not to be in one. So common sense 'better'.
My shared office has air conditioning (in fact the student offices have better air conditioning than the professor's offices!) and it is secure.

I'd guess the reason that students are put in shared offices is mainly because of money, but also to encourage students to interact, collaborate, and talk to each other about problems.
 
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It's hard to maintain two equivalent offices with references. I usually just went in, and when I wasn't taking an active class, that meant I was in every day.
 
MathematicalPhysicist
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My shared office has air conditioning (in fact the student offices have better air conditioning than the professor's offices!) and it is secure.

I'd guess the reason that students are put in shared offices is mainly because of money, but also to encourage students to interact, collaborate, and talk to each other about problems.
your second reason seems really obsecure.
you can't interact without having the same shared office?
I'm pretty much sure they didn't think about it at all, maybe as "by the way you know it's good to have a shared office for you to interact more".
only the money is the reason for that.
 
Dr. Courtney
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your second reason seems really obsecure.
you can't interact without having the same shared office?
I'm pretty much sure they didn't think about it at all, maybe as "by the way you know it's good to have a shared office for you to interact more".
only the money is the reason for that.
I've seen in in practice that office sharing leads to a lot of positive interaction. Does it matter if it is the honest _reason_ or if it is an unintended benefit.

My wife is in the Physics department at USMA-West Point. The faculty there share offices, and my wife reports that it is very much beneficial at the faculty level as well.

I also once had a faculty position where I had to share an office for a short time while waiting for a remodeling project to be completed. Sharing the office was a beneficial situation.

Michael Courtney
 
MathematicalPhysicist
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Well it doesn't mind, obviously, but pretending to think that your superiors might think that it's social benificial is quite naive if you ask me.

An uninteded benefit is a subjective thing, some like their privacy some don't mine to share an office.
 
MathematicalPhysicist
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Anyway, you can interact with others without sharing the same office if you ask me.
 
cristo
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Well it doesn't mind, obviously, but pretending to think that your superiors might think that it's social benificial is quite naive if you ask me.
How is it naive? You're second guessing people as much as I am!
An uninteded benefit is a subjective thing, some like their privacy some don't mine to share an office.
Privacy to do what, exactly?
Anyway, you can interact with others without sharing the same office if you ask me.
Ok, so picture the situation: you are a new grad student in a department, and you have been shown your room, introduced to your supervisor, and are now sat at your desk, in your private office. Now, if you get stuck, who do you go to? Your supervisor: ok, fine. But what happens when he's not around, or if it's a stupid 3 second question, will you go and knock on the grad student down the corridor's office and ask him? Compare that to a situation with a shared office, you come in, get introduced to your supervisor, and are then introduced to your office-mates. You sit down and work, come across a problem, you ask the guy sat opposite you for help, and he gives you the answer you needed.

There are so many occasions like this when it's useful having someone else in your office you can ask advice/questions to. Do/did you have your own office as a grad student, or did you have a shared office and find it hard to work in?
 
JasonRox
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How is it naive? You're second guessing people as much as I am!

Privacy to do what, exactly?

Ok, so picture the situation: you are a new grad student in a department, and you have been shown your room, introduced to your supervisor, and are now sat at your desk, in your private office. Now, if you get stuck, who do you go to? Your supervisor: ok, fine. But what happens when he's not around, or if it's a stupid 3 second question, will you go and knock on the grad student down the corridor's office and ask him? Compare that to a situation with a shared office, you come in, get introduced to your supervisor, and are then introduced to your office-mates. You sit down and work, come across a problem, you ask the guy sat opposite you for help, and he gives you the answer you needed.

There are so many occasions like this when it's useful having someone else in your office you can ask advice/questions to. Do/did you have your own office as a grad student, or did you have a shared office and find it hard to work in?
I couldn't sit there and work in my own private office anyways. I'd leave my office and work elsewhere.
 
tgt
520
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Ok, so picture the situation: you are a new grad student in a department, and you have been shown your room, introduced to your supervisor, and are now sat at your desk, in your private office. Now, if you get stuck, who do you go to? Your supervisor: ok, fine. But what happens when he's not around, or if it's a stupid 3 second question, will you go and knock on the grad student down the corridor's office and ask him? Compare that to a situation with a shared office, you come in, get introduced to your supervisor, and are then introduced to your office-mates. You sit down and work, come across a problem, you ask the guy sat opposite you for help, and he gives you the answer you needed.

There are so many occasions like this when it's useful having someone else in your office you can ask advice/questions to. Do/did you have your own office as a grad student, or did you have a shared office and find it hard to work in?
You seem to point out the benefit of sharing offices well for grad students.

However, everyone is different and for me, I work best when absolutely quiet which is extemely rare as most room have some automatic ventilation system of some sort that hums away. I find it impossible to work in a shared office with so many people either scribbing or typing away. So annoying. Poor me have to go to the library instead.
 
tgt
520
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I couldn't sit there and work in my own private office anyways. I'd leave my office and work elsewhere.
So you wouldn't even work in a room by yourself? Why? Where would you work instead?
 

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