怎么问教授要推荐信?

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怎么问教授要推荐信?

作者:阿杨
链接:https://www.zhihu.com/question/20780166/answer/790476699
来源:知乎
著作权归作者所有。商业转载请联系作者获得授权,非商业转载请注明出处。


其实这个问题

看网上各种学生写的总结帮助不大。

最好的方法是找大学的教员的博客,看看那些“给学生写推荐信的人”的真实想法。

如果你精力比较旺盛,可以自行google:

How to Ask for a Recommendation Letter site:*.edu

这样搜索出来的结果被限定在大学网站之中。

如果你想省事,我翻译一篇之前找到的Jason Eisner写的博客吧,写得相当有干货,说实话,看这一篇就够了。

原文链接:https://www.cs.jhu.edu/~jason/advice/how-to-ask-for-a-recommendation.html


作者:阿杨
链接:https://www.zhihu.com/question/20780166/answer/790476699
来源:知乎
著作权归作者所有。商业转载请联系作者获得授权,非商业转载请注明出处。

I’m happy to write recommendation letters for graduate study (or post-Ph.D. opportunities). It’s quite nice to see my students continue on in the field.

我很乐意为研究/博士生学习(或博士后)写推荐信。 很高兴看到我的学生继续在这个领域工作。

What will I write?

我要写什么?

I’ll try to find substantive things to say. The more closely we’ve worked together, the more informative my letter can be.

我会尽量找到实质性的东西来说。 我们合作得越密切,我的信就能提供越多的信息。

  • If you have done research with me, then writing a letter for you is the least I can do in return! I’ll say as much as I can, describing the technical scope of our project and your specific contributions to it. I will also try to sketch what it’s like to work with you—what you bring to the table technically, how fast you get results, what you’re like in person, and perhaps some thoughts about what kind of advising situation might work best for you in future. It’s really helpful if we’ve had at least one publication, because then I will have seen you do all the parts of putting a research paper together, and can testify to those skills and brag about your success.
    如果你和我一起做过研究,那么为你写一封信是我至少能做的回报! 我将尽可能多地描述我们项目的技术范围以及您对它的具体贡献。 我还会尝试描述和你一起工作是什么样子的ーー严格按照事实地讲你能带来什么,你能多快得到成果,你是个什么样的人,也许还有一些关于未来什么样的指导方式对你最有效的想法。 如果我们至少发表过一篇出版物(指论文、教程、书籍、代码之类的),那真的很有帮助,因为那样我就会看到你如何把各个部分装配成一篇论文。这些事情可以证明你的技能,也方便我“吹嘘”你的成功。
  • If you have been a student in my classes, then I can describe what you did in class. I’ll provide some standard text describing the class and noting that it’s a difficult class with with mixed grad and undergrad students. I can say something about your homework and exam grades and where you ranked in the class, but that’s pretty boring. If you did a class project or went overboard with extra credit on some assignment, I can describe what you did and how mature it was. If you had great comments and questions during lecture, at office hours, or on Piazza, that will be the most interesting thing for me to mention!
    如果你曾经是我班上的学生,那么我可以描述你在班上做了什么。 我将提供一些标准的文本来描述这门课程,并指出这是一门混合了研究生和本科生的较难的课程(这句话应该是教授写给某节课上学生的)。 我可以说一些关于你的家庭作业和考试成绩,以及你在班上的排名的信息,但其实这些东西相当无聊(注:原文中没加粗,我加粗的,这是一个跟中国思维不太一样的点。美国教授的普遍想法是,好学生不仅成绩要好,更重要的是在课堂要求之外做出了什么东西,一些能体现兴趣和创造性的东西)。 如果你做了一个课程设计,或者在某个作业上获得了额外的学分,我可以描述你做了什么,以及它做到了多么成熟的程度。 如果你们在课堂上,办公时间,或者在Piazza(注:一个在国外大学被广泛应用的学生教员间问答网站)上有很棒的评论和问题,这将是我提到的最有趣的事情!
  • If you have been a CA for one of my classes, I’ll discuss that as well. If students benefited from your teaching, your office hours, or your help on Piazza, I’d want to write about that.
    如果你曾经是我的一个班级的助理(CA: course assistant),我也会讨论这个问题。 如果学生们能从你的教学,你的办公时间,或者你在 Piazza 的帮助中受益,我会写下来。

In some cases, I may be able to customize the letter to specific schools, if I think that there’s a Ph.D. advisor who would be a really good match for you. Usually this doesn’t seem necessary, though.

在某些情况下,如果我认为有一个博士生导师非常适合你,我可以根据特定的学校来定制这封信。 不过,通常情况下,这似乎没有必要。

Warning: If you have only been involved with me through my classes, then my letter probably won’t be enough to get you into grad school. It will just be some supporting evidence. Your main letter should be from someone who knows what you’re capable of outside the classroom.

警告: 如果你只是通过我的某个课程跟我取得了联系,那么我的信可能不足以让你进入研究生院。 这只是一些支持性的证据。 你的主要推荐信应该来自那些知道你能在课外做什么的人。

What should you send me?

你应该发送给我什么?

As a matter of policy, I will only send a letter if it is confidential. So you should waive your right to read the letter. This assures the recipient that my recommendation will be honest.

根据政策,我只会在保密的情况下寄出一封信。 所以你应该放弃阅读这封信的权利。这向收件人保证我的建议是诚实的。

Please give me a month’s notice if possible, so that I can find a block of time to fit this in. It would be useful for you to send me the following materials as soon as convenient. We could also meet to discuss your application, but ideally you’d send me at least some of these items first.

如果可能的话,请在一个月前通知我,以便我能找到一个给你写推荐信的时间段。 如果你方便的话,请尽快寄给我以下材料。 我们也可以见面讨论你的申请,但是理想的情况下,你应该先寄给我至少其中的一些项目。

  • Your statement of purpose, so I know what degree you’re seeking and why, and what you want to work on. If you send a good version early enough, then I may be able to provide feedback in person or electronically. Here’s some advice that I endorse for CS applicants (there’s plenty more online).
    你的目标声明,我能知道你在寻求什么学位,为什么,你想要什么工作。 如果你及早发送了一个好的版本,那么我可能会亲自或以电子方式提供反馈。 这里有一些我支持 CS 申请者的建议(在网上还有很多)。
  • Your transcript, so I can comment on your overall preparation.
    你的成绩单,所以我可以评论你的整体情况。
  • If you’re applying for a fellowship, please send me your application materials and a couple of pointers about what the fellowship is looking for.
    如果你正在申请奖学金,请把你的申请材料和一些关于奖学金寻求什么的注意事项寄给我。
  • A list of things that I shouldn’t forget about you. This isn’t required. But it’s wise: if you’ve done 5 great things with me, there’s a risk that only 3 of them will come to mind when I go to write the letter. Especially if you are such a wizard that you made something look easy and I never even knew how hard it was. Or if you helped other students make progress. So please do jog my memory—just send me an email or doc with some ideas for what I might talk about. Of course, I will write my own letter in my own words! So don’t worry about the phrasing!
    一张我在推荐信中不该忘记的点的清单。 这不是必须的,但是这是明智的:如果你和我一起做了5件伟大的事情,那么当我去写这封信的时候,可能只有3件事会浮现在我的脑海中。 特别是这些情况:你是一个让困难的事情看起来很简单的魔法师,但是我(只看到了简单的表象)却不知道它原本有多难;或者你帮助其他学生取得了进步(,而我不知道)。因此,请一定要唤起我的记忆ーー只要给我发一封电子邮件或文档,告诉我一些我可能在推荐信里谈论的内容。 当然,我会用我自己的话写我自己的信! 所以不用担心你的措辞!
  • A list of places you’re applying, with deadlines. If you let me know about this early enough, I can suggest other places. (E.g., check out the full Answer Wiki here.) Most great advisors don’t get enough strong applications: applicants only think of a few schools they’ve heard of, but there are great advisors scattered all over the country and beyond the country, just waiting to hear from you.
    一张你申请的项目的清单,上面写着截止日期。 如果你能及早让我知道这件事,我可以推荐其他的一些大学项目。 (例如,查看完整的答案列表:Which are the best schools for studying natural language processing?学习自然语言处理的最好学校是哪所) 大多数优秀的导师都没有得到足够强有力的申请:申请者只想到他们听说过的几所学校,但是有很多优秀的导师分布在全国各地甚至全国各地,就等着你的消息。
  • Reminders as needed. Once I’ve written your letter, it is pretty easy for me to find and deal with the past and future auto-emails from various schools that ask me to upload it. However, profs have a lot to deal with every day. I could miss a request somehow, or fail to see it because of Gmail’s spam filter! So please pay attention to whether I’ve fulfilled all requests, and feel free to drop me a brief reminder if needed. I won’t be insulted, and you shouldn’t panic.
    需要时提醒我。 一旦我写好了你的信,我很容易就能找到并处理来自各个学校要求我上传的过去和未来的自动电子邮件。 然而,教授们每天都有很多事情要处理。 我可能会错过某个大学要求我提交推荐信的请求,或者因为 Gmail 的垃圾邮件过滤器而看不到它! 所以请注意我是否满足了所有的要求,如果需要,请随时给我发送一个简短的提醒。 我不会感到被羞辱,做这件事你也不必紧张。

这篇文章好就好在:

基本涵盖了学生所有情况(TA/CA,上课的学生,一起做研究的学生),并且写出了各种学生要推荐信时,老师分别怎么想。

给了一个明确的提交材料的清单,并且说明了各种材料能怎么帮助老师写推荐信。

给了一个明确的“你该做什么”的事情列表。涵盖了准备推荐信之前和推荐信之后。


名词解释:

advising situation:国外的导师被称为advisor,直译就是“提建议的人”,advising situation可以理解为“导师指导你的环境、状态、方式”等等

CA:CA/TA是国外大学课堂中的职位,一般由学生担任。我贴一段大学对这些职位的描述吧:

A CA (course assistant) is an undergraduate or MS student who helps the instructor and students with tasks such as grading, office hours, proctoring, webpage maintenance, etc (this may differ depending on class needs). However, CAs do not perform any teaching duties. We also have a small number of CA fellowship positions for MS students who have proven themselves to be exceptional and needed to help for classes. More details on that below. Students can hold a CA position for at most two semesters, in order to allow more students the opportunity to CA.
CA (课程助理)是指本科生或硕士生,他们帮助指导老师和学生完成评分、办公时间、监督、网页维护等任务(这些任务可能根据课堂需要而有所不同)。 不过,核证机关并不执行任何教学职务。 我们也为那些已经证明自己是杰出的并且需要在课堂上提供帮助的微软学生提供少量的 CA 奖学金。 以下是更多的细节。 学生最多可以持有两个学期的 CA 职位,以便让更多的学生有机会进入 CA。
A TA (teaching assistant) is typically a PhD student TA, although we also have a limited number of TAIII positions for undergrads who have proven themselves to be exceptional assistants (as CAs or TAIII in previous semesters) and are required for large classes. TAs can be assigned some teaching responsibilities in addition to other tasks.
TA(助教)通常是博士生,尽管我们也为那些已经证明自己是优秀助教(在前一学期为 CAs 或 taii)并且需要大班授课的本科生提供数量有限的 taii 职位。 助教可以被分配一些教学职责以外的其他任务。

来源:https://ia.cs.columbia.edu/

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