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This is the letter by my advisor - applying to the physics graduate program

MCMichael 1 / 2  
Nov 29, 2018   #1

my letter of recommendation

I am applying to physics graduate program with a focus on complex systems. This is the letter by my advisor.

To whom it may concern,

I am the undergraduate advisor of Wang Sheng, and I would like to lend my greatest enthusiasm to recommend such an excellent student for admission to physics doctoral program at your esteemed university. As his advisor and friend, I have watched his progress in scientific research and academic performance.

I came to know Sheng when he joined my research group in his second year at Nankai University. Sheng researched on the project ''Collective Behavior in Complex Systems''. Under my general guidance, he taught himself basic complex systems theories and the programming language Python. His progress was amazingly fast. Only after a few weeks, Sheng repeated a classic paper on the collective motion of bird flocks with simulation in Python and related analysis. Based on this work, he started to explore how to lead a group of particles into collective behavior. Sheng designed a periodic nonlinear potential field with all interacting particles. Under specific parameter settings, the particles could behavior either collectively or separately. But in most scientific research, difficulties are never absent. To find a proper index to indicate this transition, Sheng tried a lot of different methods. Finally, he defined the exchange number as a suitable index. His dedication and efforts were most impressive during this process. I was also pretty impressed by his programming skills, which I could see from his dealing with particle collisions, the motion visualization, and his use of parallel computing and version control. While supervising him doing this project, I found Sheng had great potential to become a great scientific researcher with his ability of simulation and analytical capacity.

Sheng also attended two lectures given by me. On the course of Introduction to group theory, he demonstrated his excellent analytical ability and his love for mathematics. And while discussing with him during the course of Introduction to nonlinear physics, I could truly feel his passion for complex systems. Apart from perfectly completing the regular homework, Sheng himself also explored to use cellular automata to simulate the ocean turbulence and the result fitted pretty well with the actual data., Sheng got very good grades on both two courses.

Considering his excellent research ability and academic performance, I would rank Sheng in the top 3% of the students that I have ever taught or advised. Sheng is undoubtedly an exceptional candidate for your graduate program in physics. I would strongly support him in his application. If there is any further assistance or information I could offer, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours sincerely

Associate Professor
School of physics, Nankai University
Holt  Educational Consultant - / 10,654 3484  
Nov 30, 2018   #2
Sheng, the recommendation letter should be written not by your undergraduate adviser, but you masters degree thesis adviser instead. That is because you are applying for a doctoral program, a PhD program, which means you have learning abilities and experiences far beyond your college level skills at this point. This recommendation letter does not tell the PhD application reviewer what he wants to know about your advanced learning skills and accomplishments. Therefore, this recommendation letter will carry very little weight. Your recommendation letter for a doctoral course needs to highlight your ability to combine both a work and academic load. Therefore, your recommendation should come either from your masters academic adviser or your immediate supervisor at work.

Another reason why this letter will not be taken seriously is because it is highly obvious to the trained reviewer that this was not written by a professor but rather the student himself, posing as his professor. The information clearly comes from your resume because of the way that the information is presented more as a personal statement rather than a recommendation letter. This is not a recommendation letter that will be taken seriously. Have a professor from your masters course or your immediate supervisor write the recommendation letter and have it reviewed here. That is the only authoritative recommendation letter that you can submit with your application. You cannot use this letter at all.
OP MCMichael 1 / 2  
Nov 30, 2018   #3
Thanks for your comments and advice. You are right. This letter is written by myself. Then I plan to have it reviewed by my adviser as he told me. Maybe I violate the principle. But I have no other choice... I am a senior year undergraduate now, so my adviser is the best choice in this case. Maybe I should turn to my recommender for some help.
OP MCMichael 1 / 2  
Dec 3, 2018   #4
I am so sorry that I missed your notice. I am not really familiar with this forum. Anyway, I noticed it today. Thanks for your comments, which really gave me a great help. Unfortunately, my adviser are not so good at written English and also very busy, so I still need your help or maybe someone's help even if this is possibly not a proper request. I would appreciate your any advice and consideration.

The followings are three requirements for the recommendation letter:
·Please explain in detail the applicant's accomplishments, abilities, character, and capacity for success as a graduate student in the proposed field of study.
·It would be helpful for us to know how long and in what capacity you have known the applicant.
·If the applicant's native language is not English, please evaluate English proficiency.

Thank you a lot!

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