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jlist
02-24-2008, 06:47 AM
Hi Gang: The UC team has now spent a fair amout of time considering the 500+ applications that we received. I understand that many of you have heard from schools so I wanted to let you know where we are in the process.

I can guarantee you that no one has received a letter from U. Chicago Economics Department yet. Those who are posting on other sites must have been confused about letters. We should have something in the very near future though. How soon? Put it this way, my wife and 5 kids have not seen me much these past several weeks!

On this front, I was just telling some friends that I am quite impressed with the group of scholars who have applied to UC. Believe me, potentially great scholars will be left out of the admissions "yeses" at UC, and this is because the pool is just so very strong, much like last year.

I am proud to be in a field that so many smart young people want to work. In this way, I am lucky that I have gotten in early and reserved a spot for some years. It will be hard to keep up with you young hot shots!

This leads me to some thoughts. First, it is not just window dressing if you receive a reject from any given school that says "you are good, but the field is strong so we had to pass this time". You should not be discouraged by this news. Just plug away, and hard work will get you where you belong. In the end, the market will work, I promise. Good research is good research, no matter where you end up. Errors are made all the time and the screening process is quite noisy.

Second, I wish you all good luck and look forward to reading your admissions news. As far as comparisons, I find this year's group strong on economics training. Last year I found more physicists, mathematicians, and the like near the top. This year, there seems to be less of these near the top and more people who have been trained as economists from the beginning.

Best,
John

wcd123
02-24-2008, 06:55 AM
Thanks for the info! We're all highly anticipating UC results, so it will be exciting when the day arrives. I doubt there is anyone in the field who can make the claim "good research is good research" and "the screening process is quite noisy" with more credibility than someone with your background, so we can all take those words to heart.

I have a feeling the next two weeks will be exciting around here for all of us...

polkaparty
02-24-2008, 07:03 AM
Thank you for the update. These weeks are quite a whirlwind of emotions and any bit of new information, no matter how small, goes a long way towards calming our nerves.

Historically it appears that U Chicago notifies applicants via post, will this be the case this year as well?

Second, as a pedigree mathematician, should I be afraid of the impending results? ;) There needs to be at least one person with pockets full of epsilons and boots full of deltas walking around. :luck2:

jlist
02-24-2008, 07:08 AM
Hi Polka: Yes, post again this year. No worries, we have the math jocks in our pool again! I was just noting that it seemed to be deeper in math and physics candidates last year than what I saw this year.

Overall, quality is tremendous again. I would hate to have to compete with you people! I am just happy to be associated with such minds.

Best,
John

trjohnson
02-24-2008, 07:49 AM
good luck making decisions this year, John!

Olm
02-24-2008, 07:54 AM
Dear Professor List,

Thank you so much for posting here and keeping us informed. As someone who did not apply to the University of Chicago because I do not have a PhD in Mathematics from the University of Smartass, it is quite comforting to hear those words.

Also, allow me to say that you truly are an inspiration: you got your PhD from a school that is ranked 137 on the econphd.net rankings, and yet you teach at arguably the best university in the world, a veritable Nobel Prize in Economics assembly line as one of my profs put it! I will probably end up at a similarly-ranked school given my undergraduate record and unheralded alma matter; however, just knowing it is possible to climb all the way to the top like you did gives students hope that if they are good enough, they can do it as well.

Best get some rest. The morning is almost here!

Sincerely,

Olm

the_asker
02-24-2008, 11:04 AM
It says on the website that (irrespective of funding) you accept a fifth of your 500+ applicants. Will it be true this year?

Antonio
02-24-2008, 11:06 AM
Dear Professor List,

you said by ordinary mail...this applies also for rejections ? (since I am waiting for mine...)

eqtisadi
02-24-2008, 11:29 AM
Antonio, he said yes. I think the word post means ordinary 12th-century mail. We internationals will have to wait even longer.

bscout
02-24-2008, 01:47 PM
Template? :)

Jlist almost one year ago. (http://www.urch.com/forums/phd-economics/63982-jlist-real.html#post419521)


Second, as for the files, I can guarantee you that no one has received a letter from U. Chicago Economics Department yet. The poster on that other site must have been confused about a letter. We should have something in the near future though. How soon? Put it this way, my wife, 5 kids, and 2 goldens will not see me much this weekend or next week.

On this front, I was just telling my colleagues over coffee today that I am quite impressed with the group of scholars who have applied to UC. Believe me, potentially great scholars will be left out of the admissions "yeses" at UC, and this is because the pool is just so very strong. I am proud to be in a field that so many smart people want to work.

This leads me to some thoughts. First, it is not just window dressing if you receive a reject from any given school that says "you are good, but the field is strong so we had to pass this time". You should not be discouraged by this news. Just plug away, and hard work will get you where you belong. In the end, the market will work, I promise.

AstralTraveller
02-24-2008, 01:57 PM
Self plagiarism? :eek: Didn't think it was possible :p


Template? :)

Jlist almost one year ago. (http://www.urch.com/forums/phd-economics/63982-jlist-real.html#post419521)

Second, as for the files, I can guarantee you that no one has received a letter from U. Chicago Economics Department yet. The poster on that other site must have been confused about a letter. We should have something in the near future though. How soon? Put it this way, my wife, 5 kids, and 2 goldens will not see me much this weekend or next week.

On this front, I was just telling my colleagues over coffee today that I am quite impressed with the group of scholars who have applied to UC. Believe me, potentially great scholars will be left out of the admissions "yeses" at UC, and this is because the pool is just so very strong. I am proud to be in a field that so many smart people want to work.

This leads me to some thoughts. First, it is not just window dressing if you receive a reject from any given school that says "you are good, but the field is strong so we had to pass this time". You should not be discouraged by this news. Just plug away, and hard work will get you where you belong. In the end, the market will work, I promise.

the_asker
02-24-2008, 02:05 PM
That's a little embarrassing... Being on an adcom must be dreary business.

jlist
02-24-2008, 03:26 PM
Hi Gang: I actually find the evaluation business quite interesting. The files are so strong that each time I look at them I count my blessings that I am in a field that is so interesting to attract such a wealth of talent.

Indeed, you will find that every now and then that I do use some of my previous posts. Another example is when I have discussed AREC departments last year. Since few go into the archives, and parts of my older message still rang true to me, I wanted to recreate those as well so people who have not looked in my archives can hear those words again.

Note that I did change some of the important content. Such as my two goldens not being around anymore :( and the composition of the files.

Good luck everyone! Don't be too hard on yourselves if your top school is unavailable for you. Work hard and stay innovative.

Best,
John

macbookpro
02-24-2008, 08:17 PM
thank you for taking the time to post. How much do evaluations of applicants depend on the field of adcoms? For instance, I have heard that some more theory based schools/adcoms will throw out an app if they don't have real analysis ( or at least be less likely to favor such applicants). Whereas other schools or readers (mostly applied researchers) put less weight on this and look more at creativity and the ability to produce good applied work. My questions are:

1. How true is this/ how much would you say this occurs
2. Do these tensions manifest themselves within the admissions comittee
3. Does this process lead to some creative applied types to be passed over at tip programs (even though other top programs will gladly accept them, ESP if applied people read their app)

polkaparty
02-24-2008, 08:30 PM
How much do evaluations of applicants depend on the field of adcoms?

I have a similar question. How much does admissions depend on applicant's intended field?

There are conflicting answers to this question I believe. Common knowledge is that it's very possible for your intended field to change after graduate school, but people also believe that schools look for students who are the best fit with them.

So in one aspect, adcoms might discount intended field knowing that they could change, but then inflate the value of intended field by picking students with the best prior fit.

My guess is that the coefficient on the "fit index" is positive and significant, but if the applicant's other variables are strong enough, they can overcome a relatively poorer fit.

Is this true, or is a minimal level of fit a necessary condition?

I find myself worrying about these issues since my research interests seem to be all over the place these post-application days, and schools that were previously a good fit may not be so good now and schools that were previously a bad fit may be much better.

jmancer
02-24-2008, 08:36 PM
Professor,
Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions. from my experience, it seems common for professors to call friends from other departments to talk about prospective hires or new students on the job market.

How much do professors who recommend students talk with people on the admissions committee at chicago or other top schools? Stated somewhat differently, how common is it for professors to call you and say X is one of the best students in the last few years, it would be a mistake not to take him/her? if this does occur, how much does it influence your decision?

finally, is there dialogue among departments about applicants?

polkaparty
02-24-2008, 08:38 PM
Professor,
Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions. from my experience, it seems common for professors to call friends from other departments to talk about prospective hires or new students on the job market.

How much do professors who recommend students talk with people on the admissions committee at chicago or other top schools? Stated somewhat differently, how common is it for professors to call you and say X is one of the best students in the last few years, it would be a mistake not to take him/her? if this does occur, how much does it influence your decision?

finally, is there dialogue among departments about applicants?

Wow, these are the really juicy questions. I'm not sure if I want to know the answers though....

jmancer
02-24-2008, 08:41 PM
changed my mind

Olm
02-24-2008, 08:51 PM
How much do professors who recommend students talk with people on the admissions committee at chicago or other top schools? Stated somewhat differently, how common is it for professors to call you and say X is one of the best students in the last few years, it would be a mistake not to take him/her? if this does occur, how much does it influence your decision? finally, is there dialogue among departments about applicants?

I can answer these, as I have already asked my connections. :)

If there is a personal connection between a prof and someone on the adcom, the adcom member can try to stick his neck out for the student. But there still is no guarantee. If there is no connection at all, it is extremely rare that a prof will make a call on your behalf. While this does happen in other disciplines (and in fact, quite often depending on the field), this is not the case for economics.

Honestly, calls aren't made terribly often. Anything that needs to be said is said in the LOR! That's why recommendations are the most important part of your file. If you have an "average" profile (A- in analysis, 3.5 GPA state school, 770Q GRE) but James Heckman says that you are going to be a star, you can count on some acceptances from top 10s.

Now I can only answer the second question as an opinion, so take it with a grain of salt. It happens in Canada because some schools here recruit potential students (like UWO). But elsewhere I would say definitely not, with possibly some extremely rare exceptions. Schools receive hundreds of applications, and nobody on the adcom knows how a particular student is going to turn out. Remember that attrition is high in economics, between 20% and 50% depending on the school. Profs already have so much on their plate... talking with other departments about potential students seems like something that is already too time consuming; given how stochastic the process is, adcoms would have little to gain (and have much to lose) with such dialogue.