Should I use this recommendation?

In summary, the person is preparing for grad school applications and is deciding on what recommendation letters to send. They have two strong letters from physics professors and two strong letters from math professors, but are unsure if they should include a letter from a state senator that is not physics related. The conversation suggests sending all four letters or choosing the strongest combination of two physics letters and one math letter. They also mention the importance of considering the schools they are applying to and their preference for research letters.
  • #1
mathlete
151
0
So I'm preparing the final stages for my grad apps and I need to decide what recommendation letters to send. They all require 3, but the problem is I didn't really get to know all the professors in my department that well so only 2 of them are from a professor who knows me, the third would be somewhat weaker I think. The thing is, I also have a recommendation that would be stronger, from another source (a state senator). The only thing is that it is not particularly physics related... would it be OK to use this as my 3rd recommendation, or should I stick to only physics professors?
 
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  • #2
if you've got two letters from physics people, then a third from a state senator would be pretty good I think.
 
  • #3
Critical to this too is: what schools are you applying to? Typically, the most competitive grad programs look for at least three strong research letters (some programs even want FOUR letters), but if you don't have that, being interesting in such a manner would help... and if it is stronger than a lukewarm physics letter, give it a try.
 
  • #4
I have a related question. I will be applying for physics grad school in fall 07. At this point, I think I can two strong letters from physics profs, and two strong letters from math profs. The standard for most schools seems to be three letters. Should I include 2 strong letters from physics profs and 1 from a math prof, or should I have all 3 letters from physics profs, where one of the letters might not be strong?
 
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  • #5
unit_circle said:
I have a related question. I will be applying for physics grad school in fall 07. At this point, I think I can two strong letters from physics profs, and two strong letters from math profs. The standard for most schools seems to be three letters. Should I include 2 strong letters from physics profs and 1 from a math prof, or should I have all 3 letters from physics profs, where one of the letters might not be strong?

Why not send all four?!
 
  • #6
I would choose your strongest letters. 2 physics and 1 math seems a good balance (and esp. good if you want to do theory).
 
  • #7
Send all four!

Is it that hard?
 

Related to Should I use this recommendation?

1. Should I use this recommendation if it goes against my initial hypothesis?

It ultimately depends on the results of your experiments and the strength of your initial hypothesis. If the recommendation is supported by solid evidence and data, it may be worth considering and potentially adjusting your hypothesis. However, if the recommendation is not supported by enough data or contradicts previous research, it may be best to stick with your original hypothesis.

2. How can I determine if the recommendation is valid?

To determine the validity of a recommendation, it is important to critically evaluate the data and evidence supporting it. Look at the methodology used to gather the data, the sample size, and any potential biases that may have influenced the results. Additionally, consider if the recommendation aligns with previous research and if it can be replicated by other scientists.

3. What are the potential risks of using this recommendation?

There are always potential risks associated with implementing any recommendation, as it may not have the desired outcome or could have unforeseen consequences. It's important to weigh these risks against the potential benefits and consider any potential ethical concerns before making a decision.

4. Should I trust a recommendation from a single study?

It is generally advisable to not base decisions solely on the results of a single study. It is important to consider the larger body of research and see if the recommendation is supported by other studies and evidence. If it is a new or emerging recommendation, additional research and data may be needed to fully understand its validity.

5. What if the recommendation goes against my personal beliefs or values?

As a scientist, it is important to approach recommendations objectively and consider the evidence and data rather than personal beliefs or values. However, if a recommendation conflicts with ethical standards or personal values, it may be necessary to reassess and potentially reject the recommendation.

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