Students review of Stanford has got me worried

<p>o0CrazyGlue0o I would suggest you decide where to apply EA by looking into more than just research opportuinites. Research opportunities at both Caltech and Stanford are superb. Look into school size, atmosphere, attitude to find which one is a better match for you.</p>

<p>"Please try to stay focused on undergrad stuff."</p>

<p>I don't know of any ranking system that ranks undergraduate departments. Good luck finding one. </p>

<p>"Undergraduates enter Stanford with their majors undeclared. Although Aero/Astro is primarily a graduate department, Stanford undergraduates may declare an Interdisciplinary Major in Aeronautics and Astronautics leading to the Bachelor of Science degree in General Engineering"</p>

<p><a href=""&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>Stanford's aeronautics and astro department is primarily graduate. This was really easy information to find, so I am not going to do anymore of your research for you. If you don't want to go to a school without that major then I suggest you apply to Caltech.</p>

<p><a href=""&gt;;/a>
thats the only ranking I know of. For engineering as a whole, MIT is ranked 1, Stanford 2, and Berkeley 3. On aero/astro, stanford is #6. Yes I already knew that stanford doesnt actually offer a degree in aero/astro and that it is primarily for grad school. Up until now, I just believed the rankings, but how does stanford pull off #6 on it for undergrads if it doesnt actually offer an aero/astro degree and focus less on it than its other programs? For all those awards and scholarships won, I didnt see anyone who was an aero/astro major.</p>

<p>Btw, the situation is pretty similar at Caltech i think, which was #4 on the list. You have to declare a major in engineering and applied science with a concentration on aeronautics. I dont think they have anything with aerospace/astronautics for undergrads.</p>

<p>That is an excellent question.</p>

<p>I don't know. Probably because US News bases it's rankings on the opinions of the peers, and Stanford is so highly ranked in the grad department, therefore increasing the perception of it's program.</p>

<p>Well if the situation is similar at Caltech, then the programs are comparable... and you are going to have to base your decision on another factor. Which environment do you think you would like better?</p>

<p>Just a specific comment on why kids take classes at local colleges that are not Stanford - they're, quite simply, premeds who want good grades. And it's hardly an unusual phenomenon.</p>

<p>Yes, Stanford could be more undergrad centred. Some departments (econ comes to mind) are pretty callous to undergrads. But for what it's worth, stanford does a better job than just about any school that is as serious about doing amazing research at including undergrads. You can be more coddled, but it's at the cost of being in a less vibrant and dynamic environment</p>

<p>I suspect that this guy is a Berkeley student or alum.</p>

(10 char)</p>

<p>I think he is talking about the reviewer.</p>

<p>Oh thanks silly me. Yeah it seems very likely.</p>

<p>Go Bears! :D</p>

<p>Go with the school anyway. If it turns out that it is as he says, you can always transfer. Better to experience it yourself ratehr than to wonder "what if?'.</p>

<p>Stanford is a great school, and its student body voted the happiest at any college campus.</p>

<p>Come visit and see for yourself.</p>

<p>Very earth-shattering POV of Stanford. Kind of like when I went there for summer school for their high school program and found the students to be no different than ordinary people. The staff that put together the program were very friendly and welcoming to the students. The Dean of the program even took me in his own car with two other students to dinner before going to the SF Symphony (which was excellent, the dinner and Symphony).</p>

<p>Basicly I have the same thoughts as marlgirl does, except elaborated. Bluephish has a good point, take each piece of data with a grain of salt. I can see people's point about this essay being possibly a Berkley student review. To me, that's a fine line to draw. I'm not making it in my comments. It seems like you guys have taken it with the grain of salt so skip to the bottom if you don't want to re-live the first page that I only had printed out infront of me.</p>

<p>The review really makes you question what is factual and what is not. Begin questioning where his own data comes from. He has broad sweaping statements of students. It's not just one student that goes to a J(unor)C(ollege) (whatever you want to call them) and also doesn't talk to the profs. </p>

<p>It's different students with different needs. </p>

<p>The people going to JCs, someone mentioned, could be pre-meds that need the easier grade. Maybe these students had a reason for doing these "bad behaviors". It boils down to (sorry cliche) what what you make of it. Will you help yourself or flounder? Who knows, maybe this guy was the worst student in his classes and didn't know jack about algebra. Who says he was the best student in his class? Like Ferret said, we have no background check on the reviewer. </p>

<p>If the review is true, just keep the ideas in the back of your head. Other than that, trust in the statistics. The people who made the US world report are reputable people that do this stuff for a living. To say their wrong would be to say their lives are wasted on meaningless data. They have spent their whole lives devoted to good statistics, we can't easily throw out their whole lifes works just because of one conflicting review. </p>

<p>My personal take on the review. It's true. You can't write something that scathing without passion. Did he do all he could for himself. No. He expected to be hand-held and started crying the moment, the moment, he realized he needed to fend for himself. It seems like he's unemployed in his mid-20s. This review may be his self-explanation and coping for failure. He may blame his unemployment on Stanford when he could have done more for himself. </p>

<p>I have gone though some of the webpages of successful people who "have been used in deceptive tactics" albit not every example listed, only Dr. Knuth, Sun founders that got MBAs at Stanford, and Yahoo! founders. And don't see evidence of foul marketing play. On the websites I visted, they clearly showed where the people got their credentals from. Like Yahoo! founders creating Yahoo! during their graduate studies. It seems like our reivewer has taken sterotype gossip (possibly media hype) of these people and turned it into twisted data to help his cause. Who says the founders of Sun got their undergraduate at Stanford. He twists facts in his favor. He cites most these people/professors as not being undergrads or grads of Stanford and yada yada. So what's his point? His point is you don't need to go to Stanford to be successful. However, I don't see what that has to do with these people's educational credentals. These people were the best fit for their position. His credibility is deteriorating beneath my gaze. He proves his point of undergraduate and then then tries to go over by stating "Stanford's marketing department has used deceptive tactics".</p>

<p>Powerful essay of pathos and ethos, that feeds into logos but fails at it when he tries to say Stanford is a fraud. </p>

<p>Learn from this guys experience that you must find help and do things on your own. He proves his point Stanford won't carry you though: You carry yourself though.</p>

<p>His Community college comment? I'll say this. It's true at my junor college (commnity college doesn't do it for me). 7/10 of my professors have been PhDs. (Gets bad when I asked my Calc teacher, Berkley under, grad, and PhD, about his PhD research and he says he can't tell me because it's too complex. <em>grin</em>) I think all of the higher level math teachers, around 8, have PhDs except 2 I think. Those two I've taken and they don't need it, their classes are great, Honma and Jeff O'Connell. (proof is ratemyprofessor)</p>


<p>Now to address comments in the discussion. My questions arn't ment to be offensive and I appologize in advance, they're ment to be retorical.</p>

<p>CrazyGlue: We value people who are satisfied with their Stanford experience because they did not see the same problems as the reviwer did. If it's any comfort to you, Jerry Yang was a EE major at Stanford, B.S. and M.S. An adult that has graduated means about 20% of what you think it means. Again going back to our questioning the source: how do we know he's not a drunkard? Show me. Show me. I agree he has time to have Hindsight 20/20. Just because he got into Stanford doesn't mean he is destined to become sucessful. He has to make himself sucessful. Like I've said, take the review with a grain of salt.</p>


<p>Seems like you guys have moved away from asking the validity of the review and onto picking your college. As you guys debate which one has the best program I sit here and view it like this.</p>

<p>Your saying Starbucks coffee is sweeter than a regular cup of coffee. When infact BOTH have 12 Tablespoons of sugar. </p>

<p>You're already picking the best of the best! Pick the one that has the research that you like so you can get to know the professor and hopefully into their lab and be invited to stay there for your graduate. What good is it that you pick one that has the top engineering program but they engineer drugs or the effectiveness of LCD screens when you want to be working on building space shuttles for NASA? ASK yourself what do you want to do afterwards with your degree. If you don't you will be in the same position as the reviewer. Disgruntled and mad at the University for not getting you into the job that you wanted.</p>

<p>Y'know, I bet all the negative reviews about Berkeley on the site were really STANFORD STUDENTS! It all makes sense now!!!</p>


<p>Let me tell you, Stanford deserves that "happiest students" ranking. Of all the people I've met freshman year, only one can't stand the place. And almost all seem to love it. Now I'd like to raise a few objections to things in the review.</p>

<li><p>Diplomas not as marketable as you hoped? Boo hoo. I didn't come here for a marketable diploma, I came here because it just felt right for me to be here. Freshman year proved me right, and that's why I'm glad I came, not because it will help my job later. Oh, and spelling out "UNEMPLOYED"? That's tounge-in-cheek; it's part of a tradition at commencement known as the "wacky walk".</p></li>
<li><p>Professors? I certainly had great ones this year. And they were more than willing to talk to students. On more than one occasion, I went to office hours just to hang out with the prof and whoever else showed up.</p></li>
<li><p>It's perfectly normal to be taught by profs and TA's that didn't go to the institution they're teaching at. TA's are grad students, and most people don't go to the same school for undergrad and grad. And TA's will be grading your papers anywhere. Furthermore, they do a good job. And even if you think they didn't, profs (at least in my techie classes) will look at it and make sure it's graded correctly.</p></li>
<li><p>My largest class was IHUM, which is unavoidable. You have to take it, and you'll have 100-200 people in lecture. But you spend 60% of your time in discussion section with 15 other people. And my second-largest class had at most 40. Granted, I took honors-level classes, so they were a bit smaller.</p></li>
<li><p>Don't assume that someone is a bad teacher because he/she is a grad student. I had a grad student instructor for one course, and I don't think he had ever even taught before, and he might well have been the best teacher I had all year. Also, I've never heard of undergrads teaching classes unless they're those student-initiated courses.</p></li>

<p>I guess that's about all. In all fairness, I haven't had the chance yet to go through what the reviewer calls "sophomore slump", so he would probably consider me biased. But that's my take on what he says.</p>

<p>To clarify a couple of things Sly Si said....</p>

<p>First of all, the one guy who can't stand Stanford probably wouldn't be happy anywhere. There are opportunities for him to find what he wants but he doesn't want to put forth effort. We also both know someone who isn't crazy about Stanford. But that's the entire list of people I've talked to who don't love Stanford. </p>

<p>And I don't think any classes are actually taught by grad students. The prof of that one class was a post-doc if it matters to anyone. IHUM TAs also have PhDs.</p>

<p>What kind of a tradition is spelling out "unemployed" with pillows on a football field?</p>

<p>When I went on a tour/info meeting at Stanford, one of the guides pointed out repeatedly that the University's most gifted and famous profesors were not on a pedestal, that they were there sharing their experience and wisdom with the students directly. That clashes very much with the review, but I don't see any reason why a tour director would need to lie to make a college that is repeatedly ranked in the top 5 most prestigious in the world look better.</p>

<p>The tradition isn't specifically spelling out "unemployed". People just eschew the traditional procession to the stage at Commencement in favor of, well, a wacky walk. This can include anything from dressing as a Chinese dragon to playing foursquare on the field to wearing cards that spell out "happy fathers' day". The "unemployed" thing is just one group of students, one year, making fun of themselves a bit.</p>

<p>Also, everything marlgirl said is true; my last post contained a couple of mistakes that she corrected.</p>