Re: [asa] Focus

From: Terry M. Gray <>
Date: Wed May 09 2007 - 18:15:19 EDT


Not to necessarily defend this particular action, but I do have to
say that in some highly competitive graduate programs where there are
many many more applicants than available slots, it's not uncommon for
these kinds of discussions to take place. If all other things are
equal (GRE scores, grades, quality of undergraduate institution,
letters of recommendation, research experience) and there are still
limited slots, "focus" may indeed be a factor.


On May 9, 2007, at 11:21 AM, Rich Blinne wrote:

> Focus Sean at 12:09 pm, May 9th, 2007
> A true story.
> I'm sitting on the graduate admissions committee for the physics
> department at a major research university. Across the table, fellow
> committee member Prof. A is perusing the file of an applicant who
> is on the bubble. Prof. A turns to Prof. B next to him and says,
> "Did you see this one? The student has a Masters degree in Divinity."
> Now, you know me. Not really the Divinity-School type. But still,
> I'm thinking, that's interesting. Shows a certain intellectual
> curiosity to study religion and then move on to physics. There's
> some successful tradition there.
> But Prof. A shakes his head slowly. "I would really worry about
> someone like this, that they weren't devoted enough to doing physics."
> Prof. B nods sagely in assent. "Yes, you have to be concerned that
> they just don't have the focus to succeed."
> The student didn't get in.

Terry M. Gray, Ph.D.
Computer Support Scientist
Chemistry Department
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO 80523
(o) 970-491-7003 (f) 970-491-1801

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Received on Wed May 9 18:15:44 2007

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