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By slim
Administrator
Aug 13, 2014
tomato, tomotto, kill mike amato.
brenta wrote:
... Turning down an admission to Berkeley because one plans to seek employment in the Front Range would be a very questionable decision.


not necessarily, you would probably have significantly better networking options if your education and prospective employment are in the same general location.

FLAG
By Ryan Marsters
Aug 13, 2014
Unless you plan on staying in academia, rankings and prestige and whatnot are all kind of BS in grad school. I agree that it's more important to find a good, well-connected, and interested advisor and a program with a good relationship with the working world. What might look good for the university certainly might not be valued in the industry.

Mines is sort of in a dilemma at the moment - the current Provost and a couple of the Deans are placing less emphasis on the legacy, industry-valued programs/applications and are trying to transition to a more academic prestige and research-y sort of reputation while expanding enrollment (along with their football facilities). I'm not sure if they can accomplish that while still producing capable engineers that don't need their hands held to make it in the working world. Note this doesn't particularly apply to the bread-winning petroleum aspects.

Either way, the grad school choice should be made only after meeting with the professors in the department and your potential advisor. Make sure there's a project and potential funding/TA positions lined up.

But the climbing access is fantastic. The skiing and mountain access is traffic-y but still not bad to work around.

FLAG
By brenta
From Boulder, CO
Aug 14, 2014
Cima Margherita and Cima Tosa in the Dolomiti di B...
slim wrote:
you would probably have significantly better networking options if your education and prospective employment are in the same general location.

Point taken, but, especially in the high-tech sector, companies connect and recruit globally. To trade something of local value for something of global value is not what I'd recommend to someone seeking an advanced degree in engineering.

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By brenta
From Boulder, CO
Aug 14, 2014
Cima Margherita and Cima Tosa in the Dolomiti di B...
Ryan Marsters wrote:
Unless you plan on staying in academia, rankings and prestige and whatnot are all kind of BS in grad school. [...] What might look good for the university certainly might not be valued in the industry.

Let's get US News rankings out of the way. I don't care about them. Do you really want to suggest that companies from all over the world give money to Berkeley's engineering programs because they are duped by the bells and whistles of academic prestige BS?

Industry may not be directly interested in the research of the Stanford professor who just got a Fields Medal. Does that imply that Stanford engineering professors are oblivious to industry needs and know little about entrepreneurship?

As far as relevance to industry goes, there are companies who hire MS graduates to "bang on a keyboard" and there are companies with two Turing Award winners in their employ.

I don't object to this part:

Ryan Marsters wrote:
it's more important to find a good, well-connected, and interested advisor and a program with a good relationship with the working world.

I just don't think that on average it confers an advantage to schools with "less prestige and whatnot."

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By slim
Administrator
Aug 14, 2014
tomato, tomotto, kill mike amato.
i would think that it would be hard to go wrong with either berkeley or mines. both have excellent reputations. i still think it is more of an advantage to attend school where you are hoping to work afterwards. if a company is evaluating 2 candidates who are pretty evenly qualified, from a financial and time perspective the local person would have a slight advantage (company wouldn't have to pay for relocation, person could probably start a bit earlier, etc).

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By Ryan Marsters
Aug 14, 2014
"BS" was perhaps a bit of a strong descriptor as you're right: prestige and ranking does have an effect on the hiring process. However, I'm trying to emphasize the value of the education to the individual so I'll direct my argument more towards that.

As an example - there's a civil engineering (not my major, by the way) professor at Mines who has published numerous papers, a few books, and teaches quite a few rigorous courses. He is well-funded by government sectors and has a number of minions under him. There is some value. He is prestigious - the school likes his research output. From a rankings and prestige output, he's alpha dog.

At the same time, the professor is so self-absorbed and proud of his accomplishments that his students receive little mentoring or opportunity to do their own research or thinking. Everything they do is directed by the professor (with little explanation and/or room for discussion) and in support of the professor's research (contributes to his prestige). One of his ugrad semester exams had problems drawn straight from a book example and it was open book. The dude did not particularly care about the students or teaching. Other, non-government sectors of the industry think the professor's work is nearly useless and has little field proof to support it. Sure, the mathematics and models work out nice and cherry, but it isn't what is observed in the field nor does it have a practical application.

^Now, not all professors are like that, of course. Yes, there are plenty who get wrapped up in their own research at the expense of their students. However, I can think of several professors/programs both prestigious and great for teaching real world skills. I'm just saying that a prestigious professor or program does not always equate to a good education or mentorship, nor is a research-y thesis always valued by the industry.

Which all ties in with the original: choose a program based on meeting/speaking with the professors in-person rather than on the school reputation.

As per choosing a school where you want to work - the students and professors meet with many local industry reps on a monthly basis at professional society meetings. This is a great chance to network and really helps with getting one's foot in the door, which gives an edge to the local guy and keeps the professors well plugged in with job opportunities. Good professors will be plugged in nationally and will have companies calling them every semester for candidates. I think half of my grad class stayed local, a quarter moved out of state/country, and another quarter found other life pursuits.

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By Nick Votto
Aug 14, 2014
Bolton, VT
My buddy Dave just finished graduate school at School of Mines and loved it, he's a ripping climber and gets out often....plenty of stuff to keep you busy around there.

Saw some people mentioned Tahoe skiing being better or something but Tahoe has barely had snow the last couple years, very unreliable......I spent February in Jackson last year and nothing compares to there anyway.

FLAG
By slim
Administrator
Aug 14, 2014
tomato, tomotto, kill mike amato.
which civil professor?

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By brenta
From Boulder, CO
Aug 14, 2014
Cima Margherita and Cima Tosa in the Dolomiti di B...
slim wrote:
if a company is evaluating 2 candidates who are pretty evenly qualified, from a financial and time perspective the local person would have a slight advantage.

Agreed, but I'd suggest that the same person, having gone through the better program, would usually hold an advantage.

Besides, suppose that you graduate during a slump in the economy. All of a sudden, Indiana and Nebraska look more inviting than they did when you started grad school, even though access to climbing is still substandard.

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By Mike McKinnon
From Golden, CO
Aug 14, 2014
Bunny pancake
Turner Anderson wrote:
I'm currently in my third year of an engineering program at UC Berkeley, and I'm just starting to think about graduate school. I've heard good things about the Colorado School of Mines as an engineering school, but I was wondering what its proximity is to climbing (preferably trad) and skiing, as these are two things I love to do but just haven't been able to get around to as much as I would like to here in the bay area (partly because of far drives and partly because of a really busy schedule). So I'm hoping you guys can help me out: I know the School of Mines is a good choice for my academic interests, but would it also be an ideal place for getting into the mountains as much as possible? Thanks in advance, any input is appreciated.


I live in downtown Golden which means I can walk to the CSM in about 5 minutes. Here is the lowdown.

Table 25 minute hike- crappy summer rock great winter spot
Clear Creak Canyon - 10 minute drive. Awesome after work sport place
Boulder - Eldo, Boulder Canyon, Flatirons - 25 minute drive
RMNP, Lumpy - 90 minute drive

While I-70 sucks, you are the closest large town to any of that unless you want to live in a ski area which you cant because of school. So Golden is the best access for that too since it is the furthest town west.

FLAG
By slim
Administrator
Aug 14, 2014
tomato, tomotto, kill mike amato.
brenta wrote:
Agreed, but I'd suggest that the same person, having gone through the better program, would usually hold an advantage. Besides, suppose that you graduate during a slump in the economy. All of a sudden, Indiana and Nebraska look more inviting than they did when you started grad school, even though access to climbing is still substandard.


by saying evenly qualified i was also meaning in terms of programs. ironically, i think indiana and nebraska had a tougher time than colorado during the last downturn.

FLAG
By brenta
From Boulder, CO
Aug 14, 2014
Cima Margherita and Cima Tosa in the Dolomiti di B...
slim wrote:
by saying evenly qualified i was also meaning in terms of programs.

It looks like we have different criteria to assess the quality of a program.

slim wrote:
ironically, i think indiana and nebraska had a tougher time than colorado during the last downturn.

Of course: they couldn't even go climbing. :-)

FLAG
By slim
Administrator
Aug 18, 2014
tomato, tomotto, kill mike amato.
brenta wrote:
It looks like we have different criteria to assess the quality of a program.


i said that i think ROI is the most important aspect of choosing where/why/how to go. that doesn't necessarily mean that is how i assess the quality of the program.

how do you assess the quality of a program? maybe our criteria aren't that different. did you go to berkeley?

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By brenta
From Boulder, CO
Aug 20, 2014
Cima Margherita and Cima Tosa in the Dolomiti di B...
I'm not a Berkeley alumnus, and I'm not a former Berkeley faculty, but I know that program well having visited, had joint projects, and what not.

ROI can be measured in several ways. Usually in dollars or some other currency. In a broader sense, though, education (the investment) should help one achieve what one wants to be in life (the return). In this sense, I agree that ROI is a good metric.

Different students will thrive in different environments, and different departments have different strengths. One cannot make blanket statements, but especially in graduate school, there's a clear advantage in being where high-impact--sometimes groundbreaking--research takes place; where one can benefit from the exchange of ideas with many very bright people who have related interests; where relevant problems are more likely to come one's way than in other places; where a student doesn't often need to worry about resources.

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By notsoepic
Aug 20, 2014
In terms of climbing and skiing investment, be prepared for significant investment in waiting. Waiting in lineups at clear creek and eldo to get on just about any line after work/weekend. Waiting 30-40 minutes in lift lineups at any of the front range resorts (non powder day). Waiting 3 hours in traffic to get there.

Is the investment worth it? Sure, maybe. But there are a lot better places to get out and actually ski or climb without a couple hundred thousands noobs smoking joints surrounding you at every turn.

FLAG
By Xam
From Boulder, Co
Aug 20, 2014
notsoepic wrote:
But there are a lot better places to get out and actually ski or climb without a couple hundred thousands noobs smoking joints surrounding you at every turn.


If you would like to be helpful, name a few areas with good, uncrowded skiing and climbing near nationally recognized engineering graduate schools.

FLAG
 
By notsoepic
Aug 20, 2014
Xam wrote:
If you would like to be helpful, name a few areas with good, uncrowded skiing and climbing near nationally recognized engineering graduate schools.

I'm not speaking to the quality of the school, but the access (taking into account crowds, ability to actually get on climbs, waiting in lift lines etc. etc.) would be far better at University of Utah, BYU, Nevada at Reno, Montana State, Colorado State (granted you'll have to earn your turns), University of British Columbia, and Simon Fraser University, to name a few.

FLAG
By Abram Herman
From Golden, CO
Aug 20, 2014
Viking helmet cover, yep.
notsoepic wrote:
In terms of climbing and skiing investment, be prepared for significant investment in waiting. Waiting in lineups at clear creek and eldo to get on just about any line after work/weekend. Waiting 30-40 minutes in lift lineups at any of the front range resorts (non powder day). Waiting 3 hours in traffic to get there. Is the investment worth it? Sure, maybe. But there are a lot better places to get out and actually ski or climb without a couple hundred thousands noobs smoking joints surrounding you at every turn.


You're either a troll, or you have no idea what you're talking about, or both.

FLAG
By the schmuck
From Albuquerque, NM
Aug 20, 2014
Three hours to skiing from where? I do not live in Colorado, but my dad lives in Parker, and I occasionally visit him for skiing. I do not think that we ever drove even two hours to ski, and that is on a weekend. I've also climbed a fair bit on the front range, and although I have at times found a party on a route I wanted to do, I was always able to move on to plan B without any issues, and other than some Eldo classics, never had to wait in a cue.

FLAG
By notsoepic
Aug 21, 2014
the schmuck wrote:
Three hours to skiing from where? I do not live in Colorado, but my dad lives in Parker, and I occasionally visit him for skiing. I do not think that we ever drove even two hours to ski, and that is on a weekend. I've also climbed a fair bit on the front range, and although I have at times found a party on a route I wanted to do, I was always able to move on to plan B without any issues, and other than some Eldo classics, never had to wait in a cue.


From Golden. CDOT has signs all winter during the weekends that say "expect 2+ hour delays returning to Denver between 1-7pm". There were multiple weekends where it took drivers over 2 hours just from US40 to the twin tunnels. Multiple days people were in there cars over 8 hours getting back to the front range denver.cbslocal.com/2014/02/10.... Its a mess! Even Friday evenings have 1.5+ hour delays now on the regular.

Climbing has seen a similar overcrowding in recent years, particularly Clear Creek. After work and weekend parking is VERY hard to come by at crags like Little Eiger and High Wire, and Canal Zone is just a complete zoo where there is often never an open route (even a poor one) on weekends.

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By ErikaNW
Aug 22, 2014
Rapping off the Matron October, 2010
Another plug for Mines.... if you trust these types of rankings. What field of engineering are you studying? That makes a huge difference in school selection too obviously.

college.usatoday.com/2014/08/2...

FLAG
By David Appelhans
From Lafayette
Aug 22, 2014
Imaginate
notsoepic wrote:
From Golden. CDOT has signs all winter during the weekends that say "expect 2+ hour delays returning to Denver between 1-7pm". There were multiple weekends where it took drivers over 2 hours just from US40 to the twin tunnels. Multiple days people were in there cars over 8 hours getting back to the front range denver.cbslocal.com/2014/02/10.... Its a mess! Even Friday evenings have 1.5+ hour delays now on the regular. Climbing has seen a similar overcrowding in recent years, particularly Clear Creek. After work and weekend parking is VERY hard to come by at crags like Little Eiger and High Wire, and Canal Zone is just a complete zoo where there is often never an open route (even a poor one) on weekends.


Skiing traffic is bad, but climbing access is great, even in clear creek. You name the three easiest accessed, easy graded, newb magnet locations in clear creek as being crowded. No kidding. You need to branch out. I've never seen another party at Red Slab.

I've gone to CU and Mines, and I'd say Mines has the best climbing access. It takes about the same time to get to Eldo from Golden as it does from the north side of Boulder, plus you have North Table in the winter and the South Platte is closer.

FLAG


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