Free Republic 1st Quarter Fundraising Target: $88,000 Receipts & Pledges to-date: $18,601
21%  
Woo hoo!! And the first 21% is in!! Thank you all very much!!

Posts by billakay

Brevity: Headers | « Text »
  • Trump promises changes to H-1B visas, including potential citizenship

    01/13/2019 7:25:01 PM PST · 96 of 96
    billakay to Freedom56v2
    I see from your post, it seems very likely you are in academia

    Technically yes I am in academia, but maybe not in the way you assume...I am finishing my Ph.D. soon and hopefully getting pretty far away from academia as soon as I can. I've been working in industry along the way whenever I've had the chance. Its been a long haul, and I've gained a wife and three little ones along the way :)

    The Chinese students pay full ride undergrad...

    We are in full agreement on Chinese students...the universities go after them because they pay more, and they are notorious for cheating and acting like a mafia to do it (distributing answers, helping each other, etc.).

    From what you say, because foreign students need longer to finish dissertation and publishing, they should be entitled to stay longer through VISA extensions?

    I think maybe you misunderstood me. Student visas (F1) grant status for the duration of your program, so as long as you are enrolled full time in an accredited program, you may remain on F1...of course you can't work outside the university etc. So, as long as a Ph.D. student manages to secure funding, they can stay.

    My other comment was in the context of H1B...another poster asked why highly qualified people with Ph.Ds cannot use another immigration vector if they are so qualified. I said that such a thing exists in the form of "alien with extraordinary ability" status, but that practically it requires a ton of publications and a level of academic standing that is very hard to attain JUST during your Ph.D. study tenure...this is where H1B comes in for these people.

    He sucked it up and graduated in 4 years because that is what he needed to do...I think foreign students should have to do the same...

    Fully agree. I also had a limited term scholarship for undergrad and busted my ass to complete my BS on time...see my previous point, I think you may have misunderstood what I was saying about time to attain certain academic standing.

    Thanks for taking the time to reply, and best wishes.

  • Mueller Draft Report Says Trump 'Helped Putin Destabilize the US', Watergate Journalist Says

    01/13/2019 3:46:20 PM PST · 79 of 136
    billakay to joethedrummer

    Putin is not even close to a leftist. The fact that he worked in Soviet government doesn’t mean anything of the sort. The policies he pursues in modern Russia are taking it further and further away from socialism, not closer.

  • Trump promises changes to H-1B visas, including potential citizenship

    01/12/2019 6:52:28 PM PST · 93 of 96
    billakay to central_va

    I can agree with that.

  • Trump promises changes to H-1B visas, including potential citizenship

    01/12/2019 6:52:14 PM PST · 92 of 96
    billakay to Tired of Taxes
    This might be true in a lot of fields, but like most "hard" sciences, a Ph.D. in CS is typically fully funded by your department, and the student will receive a salary/stipend in return for work in the department (research or teaching assistant). All student loans from undergrad can also be deferred until your final graduation.

    My package was at the higher end of normal, with $25-27k per year stipend, tuition waiver, and state employees health/dental, but similar arrangements are ubiquitous at good universities.

    Sure, lots of students just want to go to work after the BS, and that is completely respectable, but the cost (other than lost wages) is not typically a reason to not pursue a CS Ph.D. in the US.

  • Trump promises changes to H-1B visas, including potential citizenship

    01/12/2019 9:21:05 AM PST · 85 of 96
    billakay to Freedom56v2
    Sorry though you may know and be friends with many hard working PhDs who want to stay here, don’t you feel the least bit conflicted that they are taking jobs at $125,000+ that US workers could fill?

    Competent USC PhDs are snapped up lightning fast in this field. I believe this is one of the few levels of industry where there truly is a shortage of qualified USC applicants for the needs of industry.

    As for why people cannot use other visa types, it is more complicated than it sounds. It is very very difficult practically and logistically (because of how academic publishing works in our field) to publish enough during a typical Ph.D. study interval to meet the required proof level for an (alien of extraordinary ability) green card. Many of these people will eventually meet this requirement handily, but without H1B or some other visa to hold them over, they will likely have to leave the USA before they can complete enough publications to prove their excellence.

    BTW, the Indian low-level coders are not making nearly those salaries, and neither should they, as very few of them provide that much value.

  • Trump promises changes to H-1B visas, including potential citizenship

    01/12/2019 9:12:01 AM PST · 84 of 96
    billakay to central_va
    Probably so, but supply is a big issue.

    If you are a natural US citizen, and your GREs are anywhere close to good, you will waltz into any good Ph.D. program in CS, because there are very few USC applicants who are willing to do the (incredibly intense, shitty, thankless) work required to attain that level of education. This isn't your typical IT administrator stuff...think more along the lines of the nexus of advanced mathematics, systems design, and operations research.

    The nationality of admitted students at this level has very little to do with any profit motive either, as almost everything admitted to these types of Ph.D. programs are fully funded (by assistantships that require a ton of hard work, almost slave labor, but still funded). An international student will actually *cost* the university more than a USC, on average.

    I am very close to people who sit on the admissions committee at my university...they certainly don't pass over USCs for their health.

  • Trump promises changes to H-1B visas, including potential citizenship

    01/12/2019 9:03:47 AM PST · 83 of 96
    billakay to DoodleDawg
    This is indeed the root of the problem, and it sounds like, what DJT is trying to correct with the new rules. Wayyyy too many H1Bs go to Indian consulting firms, and most of the employees are not stellar in any way.

    Maybe we should just have a separate visa for the high-level graduates and disallow these low-skilled workers period.

  • Trump promises changes to H-1B visas, including potential citizenship

    01/11/2019 8:25:02 PM PST · 69 of 96
    billakay to indthkr; DoodleDawg
    If you read the article, you will see that the proposed new rule will allow USCIS to do some sort of ranking and comparison of the applications and preferably approve applicants who have received advanced degrees from US institutions.

    After spending a lot of time (too much time!) in a Ph.D. program in Computer Science, I know MANY people who came from all over the world (Russia, Brazil, China, and many other places) who want to work in the top of their field, and this means, in most cases, remaining in the US. For most, this means using their brief period of OPT (optional practical training--temporary work permit--they are entitled to this after receiving an advanced degree as an international student) and then applying for H1B.

    These guys are pulling salaries exactly equivalent to what *any* US-based peer would make...starting salary for any good "Systems" Ph.D. in Computer Science is $125,000+.

    No CheapLabor Express here!

  • Five Things have Changed in Russia in Last Year and Five have Not

    01/09/2019 6:41:22 PM PST · 9 of 9
    billakay to dfwgator
    Putin is not going anywhere until 2024. Any chance of a coup or revolution is vanishingly small.

    From the perspective of the average Russian, things are too damn good right now, and most credit Putin with that.

  • Looking for a New Cellphone to Replace Flipphone. Best OS for Privacy, Connectivity?

    01/07/2019 5:54:57 AM PST · 107 of 115
    billakay to Chickensoup
    If you are worried about the government spying on you, forget it, that ship has sailed.

    If you are worried about data privacy, and minimizing the risk anyone will exploit or break into your phone to steal your info, I wouldn't use anything except an iPhone. Apple doesn't base their business model on selling people's data, and they are *very* serious about making their phones as unhackable as possible. Plus they don't let carriers or other entities install *anything* on their phones.

    It is worth noting that there are great custom OSes that can run on Android phones but they typically require a very high level of expertise to install and maintain.

  • Pelosi Introduces Bill to Force Presidents—But Not Members of Congress—to Release Their Tax Returns

    01/06/2019 9:02:38 AM PST · 30 of 81
    billakay to C19fan
    This is what I've been telling people. Any attempt by Congress to apply additional requirements to hold the office of President is prima facie unconstitutional.

    Now, if they want to implement a formal mechanism for verification of the two existing requirements, I'd be all over that.

  • Four countries now have links to American detained in Russia as international spillover widens

    01/05/2019 9:19:20 AM PST · 30 of 32
    billakay to Trumpisourlastchance

    He will be treated with much more respect than this in Russia. You can count on it.

  • Four countries now have links to American detained in Russia as international spillover widens

    01/05/2019 9:07:06 AM PST · 29 of 32
    billakay to Sacajaweau

    Same thing, as long as the passports aren’t counterfeit. It seems that all four countries have requested consular access, which is a pretty good indication of citizenship.

  • Supreme Court to take up gerrymandering cases

    01/04/2019 12:34:34 PM PST · 5 of 61
    billakay to cuban leaf

    I’ve thought about this a bit. Why don’t we just define it as a mathematical formula for distributing N districts with either a) roughly equal population in each district or b) roughly equal district area. Pretty easy solution and the procedure can be tweaked between census years but would be “fair”.

  • Russia detains US citizen Paul Whelan on suspicion of spying

    12/31/2018 10:57:55 AM PST · 6 of 9
    billakay to TheDandyMan

    Probably when DOJ started holding Russian student activists in solitary confinement for failing to file registration forms. One of the perks of Russian citizenship (other than never being extraditable to anywhere, ever) is that the Russian government will go to extreme measures to get their citizens out of trouble abroad.

  • Putin signs bill to ban all forms of cruelty to animals

    12/28/2018 9:16:07 PM PST · 53 of 61
    billakay to Fred Nerks

    Also, at the same time his administration has zero tolerance for any violation of the *equal* rights that all minorities have in Russia. In the 1990s, after the collapse of the USSR, a very nasty Russian nationalist streak started to take root, and minorities like Armenians had to deal with a ton of racism and discrimination. Putin put a very quick stop to this and made it clear that this type of behavior was unacceptable in Russia.

  • Putin signs bill to ban all forms of cruelty to animals

    12/28/2018 5:42:23 PM PST · 48 of 61
    billakay to ETL

    You must have forgotten that none of those accusations were remotely close to being proven, and are no more than loose innuendo. Much like the innuendo that our DJT deals with...and likely originating from the same or similar actors.

  • Putin signs bill to ban all forms of cruelty to animals

    12/28/2018 10:58:42 AM PST · 38 of 61
    billakay to CaliforniaCraftBeer

    How does that make sense? If you are implying that Putin is a socialist, let’s stop. Putin runs Russia like we wish the GOP would run the USA.

  • History of Armenia: Magnificent and brutal

    12/28/2018 9:04:08 AM PST · 11 of 22
    billakay to rktman

    I was in Yerevan last March, and it is a beautiful place filled with very warm people. I planned on three days to process a visa renewal at another country’s embassy, but got “stuck” for almost two weeks because the process ended up being longer. Not a bad case of being stranded, for sure.

  • VLAD’S NUKE ISLAND Russia is setting up a military base on Caribbean island to host NUCLEAR BOMBERS

    12/28/2018 6:57:29 AM PST · 47 of 50
    billakay to Georgia Girl 2

    I just got back from living in Russia for almost a year and a half (and I’m in the process of buying some real estate for when I return). From everything I’ve seen, their military is top notch (pretty much all new equipment across the board) and new infrastructure is going up everywhere (and this was in Krasnodar, far from Moscow). Russia is nowhere close to the bad place so many Freepers think it is.