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Statement of Goals for PhD in Geophysics, why C University would be the best place to achieve them

Liu_zzzz 1 / 1  
Sep 16, 2018   #1

Statement of Goals for Ph.D. Admission in Geophysics

Official guidance:
In the statement, you should address professional and personal goals, as well as why C University would be the best place to achieve those goals. In addition, any skills or experience you have that you think are applicable to a Teaching Assistantship or Research Assistantship award should be addressed in the statement. It is typically one to two pages in length.

Main body:
Influenced by my father and grandfather, to be a scientist and devote myself in searching for the boundary of the human knowledge is my longtime dream. I started to build my career as a geophysicist by attending S University when I was a freshman. Shortly after I obtained a bachelor's degree, I came to C University for the Master study and had a wonderful time working with the anisotropic magnetic susceptibility. After a two-and-a-half-year study, just before I finish my Master program, I decide to move one step further: continue my journey for a high-level Ph.D. study.

The recognition of underground structural has long been valued both by industry and hazard control division in the government. However, the work on differentiation has long been monopolized by the geologist, and geophysical methods only work as the supplementary tools. As a next-generation geophysicist, my objective is to develop a technique that can bypass the geological processing procedure in the geophysical survey and deliver a robust conclusion directly out from the geophysical data. For my professional development throughout the Ph.D. period, I plan to aim at the research of combining various geophysical data sets with machine learning for geological and structural differentiation. The current goal is to further exploit my Master research in anisotropic magnetic susceptibility and make it useful to identify igneous rock and magma flow for the large-scale survey. After achieving that goal, I will step out of magnetics and commit my energy to gravity or electrical method blend with pattern recognition based on the inversed model to delineate the distribution of primary structure including fault, intrusion or alteration zone, and holes. When this stage reached, I would like to shift my focus to computer science and use neural network or GIS to extract and highlight the area of interest. For instance, in the mining industry, we may search for the vein alone certain types of fault, and in hazard prevention, we may wish to locate unstable aquifer or caves under construction sites or on the slopes. Comparing to existing methods, I hope my contribution can eliminate the barrier between professionals and the general public and provide more intuitive result that even untrained field worker can understand.

To achieve this goal, I need to supplement more knowledge in geology and computer science. I really enjoy learning in Mines since what I had been taught can be applied in my research immediately. I have taken several lectures during my graduate study involving gravity, magnetic, and electrical and electromagnetic method that provide me the fundamental theory of each method and basic survey skills that built the connection between textbook and industry practice. Outside of geophysics, I obtained the skill of understanding sketch of structural information from Structural Geology, while to broaden the horizon and qualify myself as a project manager in both academia and industry, I registered in Natural Resource Economics offered by Division of Economics and Business and learned the cause of cyclicity in the commodity market. To consolidate my background, I will spend two more semesters focus on coursework and reach out to students in other major for fresh ideas.

To build up my career as a geophysicist, I will devote myself in helping mining industry distinguish metallogenic belt and collaborating with the public in geological hazard reconnaissance with higher resolution, lower cost, and faster processing speed. To seek for the future of the geophysics, I would take the Ph.D. study as the first step to fulfill my dream, and a position in academia would be preferred after graduation. C University has the best Ph.D. program in my list since the school allows students to do research as their wish and offers the opportunities for students to build connections with scientists both in the industry and other research institution. To my concept, the freedom in thoughts and guidance in the growth of the thoughts is the essential factor for pushing the frontier of science and technology. Thus, I would like to seek a chance to promote my research life at the C University.

Auther's comments:
The third paragraph, intend to focus on coursework and potential TA opportunity, need more editing. I can't find an apt modification for now. please help me! Appreciate!
Holt  Educational Consultant - / 15048 4830  
Sep 16, 2018   #2
Liu, the first thing that I noticed with your essay is that it is heavy on the professional goals but without a personal goal representation as indicated in the prompt for this essay? The influence of your father and grandfather does not represent a personal goal for yourself within the profession. Perhaps a personal goal for yourself will be to use this PhD course as a networking tool in order to gain more friends whom you will have a strong commonality with? Or this could be your way of continuing the legacy of your father and grandfather? I think the latter would be a very good personal reason for doing your research. Explain what kind of work they did, how it merges with yours and why you believe it is important to continue their work.

As for paragraph 3, you should be speaking of these qualities in a manner that explains how you would inspire or assist students as a TA or RA. Refer directly to the task that either of the 2 titles actually requires you to perform in assisting students and then relate those to your current background, experiences, and theoretical strengths. You have some pretty interesting information presented there. You just need to reformat it to more properly refer to the instructions you were given.

Finally, I don't see any actual reference to how C university can help you become a better PhD holder in this field. You are only referring to publicly known information which does not convince the reviewer that you actually know more about the university other than the obvious. You need to be more specific about the information in this area in relation to your chosen PhD course and how you plan to fully utilize the university tools in the pursuit of your academic goals. Your study plan presentation could be used to beef up this statement in reference to how you plan to do the research with the support of the university.

I believe you have a very strong draft at this point. A little adjustment to the content and presentation and I believe this essay will be good to go. I mean, you can use it for your application already.
OP Liu_zzzz 1 / 1  
Sep 18, 2018   #3
Thank you for the reply, and they are very helpful!

I didn't change those sentences regarding influences from my family since they only work as a lead-in.

I added my TA experience, and how I like to work with those outstanding undergrad students in paragraph 3. There is no info about specific skill in being a TA since I assume TA is basically for grading and answering questions or short-term teaching at most. Hope this will help to explain my potential for TA for RA funding from a different angle.

For the last paragraph, since I won't change institution and advisor, I added my current advisor and mentioned his past and current research interests which I know match mine to some extent.

Those changes should make my statement stronger! Thank you again for the comments!

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