Engineering Students Club for GRE and Advanced GRE, 2009

  • If you want to know something about the GRE subject test in physics then chances are you will find it in here.
  • If something about the physics GRE it isn't already discussed in here then please put it in here.

darkmav
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Joined: Tue Jun 03, 2008 7:52 am

Engineering Students Club for GRE and Advanced GRE, 2009

Postby darkmav » Wed Jul 16, 2008 11:34 pm

Hi

If you're an engineering major graduating in 2010 and interested in a graduate programme in Physics, please reply to this thread with your academic background (exposure to physics, projects, preparation, interests, etc). This will help all of us in the run to GRE. There are other threads about engineering students here, but some of them pertain to very general queries or issues. Lets use this one for discussing Physics GRE preparation and requirements especially from the point of view of engineering (non-physics) majors.

So I should introduce myself too :-P...I'm majoring in Electrical Engineering and am interested in a wide range of "pure" Physics areas in both theoretical and experimental physics, especially high energy physics, quantum computation and device physics.

Waiting to hear from you folks.

Cheers!

blackcat007
Posts: 378
Joined: Wed Mar 26, 2008 9:14 am

Re: Engineering Students for GRE and Advanced GRE, 2009

Postby blackcat007 » Thu Jul 17, 2008 9:02 am

hi i am nilanjan banik presently doing B.Tech in mechanical engg in ISMU dhanbad. will be passing out in 2010.. my primary interest is in the theory of gravitation, quantum theory, field theory .. as of now i want to pursue my research in quantum gravity.. my institute doesn't have any interdisciplinary subjects so its all upto me to study physics.. some profs from applied phy and applied math dept have helped me lot in recos and guidance for getting admission in summer schools and study progs..

i have attended a short summer school in HRI,allahabad in SSGC (summer school in gravitation and cosmology), i have presented technical papers in my dept annual day (my own idea on fusion propulsion) and have won 1st prize.. i have also some exposure to amateur robotics.. i made a pick and place robot. i have done well in math and phys in my b.tech course so far.. i got 9/10, 10/10, 9/10 in math for 1st,2nd and 3rd sem respectively.. till now i have no projects in physics.. but i am planning to do one in the coming summer..

darkmav
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Joined: Tue Jun 03, 2008 7:52 am

Re: Engineering Students for GRE and Advanced GRE, 2009

Postby darkmav » Wed Jul 23, 2008 9:25 pm

Hi Nilanjan, good to hear that you have had some luck with the summer programs at HRI. I didn't :P. So how was the summer school at HRI like? Have you started preparing for GRE already??

blackcat007
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Joined: Wed Mar 26, 2008 9:14 am

Re: Engineering Students for GRE and Advanced GRE, 2009

Postby blackcat007 » Thu Jul 24, 2008 12:22 pm

darkmav wrote:Hi Nilanjan, good to hear that you have had some luck with the summer programs at HRI. I didn't :P. So how was the summer school at HRI like? Have you started preparing for GRE already??


it was nice .. it was an abridged class room program.. we had lectures of good physicists.. from DU,HRI,SINP,IITKGP,RRI IUCAA,IIA..

we were taught GR,Observational cosmology, smooth and perturbed universe, inflationary scenario, high energy astrophysics, blackholes.. etc..

i got an exposure to GR from the book s.weinberg's principles of GR and cosmology.. , and something from IR.kenyon..

yes presently i am preparing for general GRE.. i think i will give it this winter.. and i will give pgre in next yr's november.

what about you?

darkmav
Posts: 28
Joined: Tue Jun 03, 2008 7:52 am

Re: Engineering Students for GRE and Advanced GRE, 2009

Postby darkmav » Tue Jul 29, 2008 11:44 am

I'm taking a course on quantum mechanics this semester. My project was centered around analysis of CMB temperature anisotropy. Haven't decided much about GRE yet...still trying to find out stuff.

darkmav
Posts: 28
Joined: Tue Jun 03, 2008 7:52 am

Re: Engineering Students for GRE and Advanced GRE, 2009

Postby darkmav » Wed May 27, 2009 11:00 pm

Hi again

I didn't want to start a new thread so I decided to continue this one. To review, please reply to this thread if you are an engineering student interested in taking the Physics GRE this year (in 2009). It would be nice if we could get together and discuss some of this stuff. Do introduce yourself, your background in physics, and when you intend to take Physics GRE, the GRE general test and TOEFL.

Cheers

gnaderi
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Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 4:56 am

Re: Engineering Students for GRE and Advanced GRE, 2009

Postby gnaderi » Sat May 30, 2009 5:10 am

Hi
Im a master gradute of material science, I am admitted in PhD of physics, but the research will be in material field ,after admission my future supervisor want me to pass Physics GRE! I am a bit worried abou this exam, do you think that I can learn all these material in 4 months?

mahar
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Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 12:37 pm

Re: Engineering Students for GRE and Advanced GRE, 2009

Postby mahar » Tue Jun 16, 2009 6:38 pm

oh...but I think you could get an acceptable score just by studying basic mechanics, EM and quantum mechanics. I suppose that you had many courses on these topics, didn't you?.


I am a materials science student. I plan to apply to physics, electrical engineering and materials science programs for photonics, metamaterials or quantum optics/information theory.

I am going to take gre general and toefl on August and gre physics on October.

I have taken classes almost in all physics topics, except classical mechanics.

postmodern_physicist
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2009 1:00 pm

Re: Engineering Students for GRE and Advanced GRE, 2009

Postby postmodern_physicist » Fri Jun 19, 2009 8:03 am

gnaderi wrote:Hi
Im a master gradute of material science, I am admitted in PhD of physics, but the research will be in material field ,after admission my future supervisor want me to pass Physics GRE! I am a bit worried abou this exam, do you think that I can learn all these material in 4 months?

It took a month to finish mechanics,electromagnetics,thermodynamics,optics and S.R ;)

Space Eng. dep (3rd year B.S) from Turkey
GPA: 3.66 (top student)
silver medal in National Physics Olympiad
good letters of recommendation
I'm taking Graduation Project about Quantum Field Theory

PGRE - in November
GRE - in October
TOEFL- in September

What chances have I for admission to top universities?Any suggest about applying for PhD or MS,MA?

srjadav
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2009 4:25 am

Re: Engineering Students for GRE and Advanced GRE, 2009

Postby srjadav » Thu Jun 25, 2009 1:05 pm

I am a SYBTech(Mechanical) student from VJTI, Mumbai.
I will graduate in 2013.
I am preparing for Joint Entrance Screeening Test(JEST) - Physics.
I have taken a correspondence course from Trajectory Education, a coaching institute in New Delhi.
The syllabus for JEST is almost similar to GATE(Physics) i.e. B.Sc.(physics) and 1st year M.Sc.(physics).
What extra preparation do I need to do for Physics GRE?
When should I give Physics GRE(which sem?)?
I'm interested in Astrophysics.
How do I maximize my chances of getting summer/winter schools?
Please help.
Suyog

blackcat007
Posts: 378
Joined: Wed Mar 26, 2008 9:14 am

Re: Engineering Students for GRE and Advanced GRE, 2009

Postby blackcat007 » Fri Jun 26, 2009 3:32 pm

srjadav wrote:I am a SYBTech(Mechanical) student from VJTI, Mumbai.
I will graduate in 2013.
I am preparing for Joint Entrance Screeening Test(JEST) - Physics.
I have taken a correspondence course from Trajectory Education, a coaching institute in New Delhi.
The syllabus for JEST is almost similar to GATE(Physics) i.e. B.Sc.(physics) and 1st year M.Sc.(physics).
What extra preparation do I need to do for Physics GRE?
When should I give Physics GRE(which sem?)?
I'm interested in Astrophysics.
How do I maximize my chances of getting summer/winter schools?
Please help.
Suyog


if you are preparing for JEST then you can do almost all the questions of PGRE except for the adv topics like particle physics, cosmology etc. but there are only a few of them.. so you can ace PGRE if you have properly done the JEST preparation course. + your approach to questions must be different, in JEST some questions require one to do a small integral to arrive at the answer, such scenarios do not occur in PGRE. some of the questions are straight forward like you can see latest of the 4 PGRE sample papers. to get an idea. otherwise its all same.
whenever you feel comfortable and are confident you can take the exam, scores are valid for 5 yrs. but make sure you take by november of the previous yr you are applying, ie if you are applying in 2013 then you have to take by nov 2012.
but in india it is conducted only once a yr.
summer schools are conducted by various institutes like HRI, IUCAA, IIA, TIFR. you can maximize your chances by having good grades in your BTech course, and arrange for recos from (preferably physicists) prof who can give a fair judgement. i don't know about other institutes but you can apply to HRI in winter and can do a short study program.

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satyad18
Posts: 229
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2009 9:17 am

Re: Engineering Students for GRE and Advanced GRE, 2009

Postby satyad18 » Fri Jul 10, 2009 12:07 am

This's seems to be an interesting thread..so, let me just add a string to it..
Hi, I'm Satya presently doing EE in kerala. Will be passing out in 2010. My primary research interest is Quantum Gravity.
I've done a research project(only theoretical work) @ ISRO on space physics and a talk @ same place, same topic. Taking seminar @ my alma mater on Quantum Computation.

PGRE - November
GRE - October
TOEFL - October

I know the fundamentals of E&M, Optics, Atomic Phy., S.R & Class.M. Also taken QM from Griffiths. Would the time between now and PGRE date be sufficient to prepare well for the exam.? What should I concentrate more on - basics or problems.? Please give suggestions..

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grae313
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Re: Engineering Students for GRE and Advanced GRE, 2009

Postby grae313 » Sat Jul 11, 2009 11:38 am

There are 4 previously administered tests available online. They have been linked to here numerous times so just do a forum search. Take one of these tests to see where you stand. Then you'll know how much you need to study to get the kind of score you want, and it will show you where you are weak and what sorts of things you need to study up on to do better.

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satyad18
Posts: 229
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Re: Engineering Students for GRE and Advanced GRE, 2009

Postby satyad18 » Sat Jul 11, 2009 12:49 pm

Thanks grae313.. I got them.. :D

kedar
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Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2008 1:48 am

Re: Engineering Students for GRE and Advanced GRE, 2009

Postby kedar » Tue Jul 14, 2009 2:29 am

hi all you engg guys .. very nice to have company .. I am a engg grad in telecommunications
passed out in 2008 aug. I am at Bangalore and preparing for pgre this november. Absolutely zero research experience :cry: .. interests being high energy astrophysics or highenergy physics th/ expt .. univs i m planning to apply : i dono .. :(
wud probly need some help on this later on , once i m done with the pgre ..
ll be taking gre in september.. just hope to do well and get in .. :) .. anyone frm bangalore around???

blackcat007
Posts: 378
Joined: Wed Mar 26, 2008 9:14 am

Re: Engineering Students for GRE and Advanced GRE, 2009

Postby blackcat007 » Tue Jul 14, 2009 9:30 am

kedar wrote:hi all you engg guys .. very nice to have company .. I am a engg grad in telecommunications
passed out in 2008 aug. I am at Bangalore and preparing for pgre this november. Absolutely zero research experience :cry: .. interests being high energy astrophysics or highenergy physics th/ expt .. univs i m planning to apply : i dono .. :(
wud probly need some help on this later on , once i m done with the pgre ..
ll be taking gre in september.. just hope to do well and get in .. :) .. anyone frm bangalore around???

you may have to decide about the universities before registering for the PGRE..if you want to send your scores for free to 4 of them.

kedar
Posts: 17
Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2008 1:48 am

Re: Engineering Students for GRE and Advanced GRE, 2009

Postby kedar » Fri Jul 17, 2009 1:26 am

blackcat007 wrote:
kedar wrote:hi all you engg guys .. very nice to have company .. I am a engg grad in telecommunications
passed out in 2008 aug. I am at Bangalore and preparing for pgre this november. Absolutely zero research experience :cry: .. interests being high energy astrophysics or highenergy physics th/ expt .. univs i m planning to apply : i dono .. :(
wud probly need some help on this later on , once i m done with the pgre ..
ll be taking gre in september.. just hope to do well and get in .. :) .. anyone frm bangalore around???

you may have to decide about the universities before registering for the PGRE..if you want to send your scores for free to 4 of them.



Well yeah .. I selected a few and registered for it right now .. but one can always change it one or two weeks before exam .. just gotta login and change it .. I have enough time to decide ..probably till october end

ali8
Posts: 103
Joined: Sat Aug 29, 2009 8:20 am

Re: Engineering Students for GRE and Advanced GRE, 2009

Postby ali8 » Sat Aug 29, 2009 8:29 am

my profile :

* graduated as a Communication Engineer from Palestine (aka Israel)
* GPA 3.44
* TOEFL PBT 610
* Physics Background : Physics A & B , Analog & Digital Electronics , EM I & II
* Math Backgound : Calculus A, B & C , Ordinary DE with Linear Algebra , Probabilities

* Interest : Quantum Computing

I really wonder if an engineer can self-study optics , modern physics , quantum mechanics , statistical physics and other required fields ...

And the important question :

Will the american universities accept me with - say 900 score in PGRE - alone ?
Remember , I am not a physics major. And I have no physics research experience.

thanks

schwiss
Posts: 108
Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2009 3:49 am

Re: Engineering Students for GRE and Advanced GRE, 2009

Postby schwiss » Sat Aug 29, 2009 8:58 am

ali8 wrote:my profile :

* graduated as a Communication Engineer from Palestine (aka Israel)
* GPA 3.44
* TOEFL PBT 610
* Physics Background : Physics A & B , Analog & Digital Electronics , EM I & II
* Math Backgound : Calculus A, B & C , Ordinary DE with Linear Algebra , Probabilities

* Interest : Quantum Computing

I really wonder if an engineer can self-study optics , modern physics , quantum mechanics , statistical physics and other required fields ...

And the important question :

Will the american universities accept me with - say 900 score in PGRE - alone ?
Remember , I am not a physics major. And I have no physics research experience.

thanks


First the question:
1) No PGRE score will make any university automatically accept you.
2) 900 is not that high. Graduate students of a new, theoretical and trendy field like quantum computing will probably have mean score of at least 900, probably more.

Undergraduate curriculum of physics is quite simple and can in theory be completely self-studied by a smart student. Most of the standard textbooks are easy to read and contain relatively good amount of exercises. However, self-studying has the problem that the admission board has no guarantees of your ability, as is the case with real courses.

I don't think you have a real chance of getting to a QI PhD program with that background. You might be able to get a Master's program, and with a Master's degree in physics getting to a PhD program is much easier.

You might also want to read viewtopic.php?f=3&t=2561, which contains essentially the same information I've posted above.

ali8
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Re: Engineering Students for GRE and Advanced GRE, 2009

Postby ali8 » Sat Aug 29, 2009 9:34 am

@ Schwiss
However, self-studying has the problem that the admission board has no guarantees of your ability, as is the case with real courses.


And here is where the PGRE score starts to act. It's almost impossible to get 900 unless you really understand the broad areas of physics. Of course this is not as a strong evidence as formal education , but who said that I am planing on Harvard ? a intermediate university is sufficient , at least for the master.

You might be able to get a Master's program, and with a Master's degree in physics getting to a PhD program is much easier.

This is what I plan to do.
You might also want to read viewtopic.php?f=3&t=2561, which contains essentially the same information I've posted above.

Thanks , and another thanks for your kind reply.

BTW , are you from Duetschland ?

blackcat007
Posts: 378
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Re: Engineering Students for GRE and Advanced GRE, 2009

Postby blackcat007 » Sun Aug 30, 2009 7:24 am

I don't think you have a real chance of getting to a QI PhD program with that background. You might be able to get a Master's program, and with a Master's degree in physics getting to a PhD program is much easier.



i don't think thats true.. i have seen so many students going from engg or other fields to physics. moreover you don't specialize in your UG curricula, so how does it matter what you want to do in your grad school? many people even change their stated field of interest after 2 yrs of grad course work.
i think the important thing for the thread author would be to try to do some research work in Quantum computing.

schwiss
Posts: 108
Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2009 3:49 am

Re: Engineering Students for GRE and Advanced GRE, 2009

Postby schwiss » Sun Aug 30, 2009 8:00 am

ali8 wrote:Thanks , and another thanks for your kind reply.

BTW , are you from Duetschland ?

No problem.
I am not from Germany, but I am curious why did you think so.

To blackcat007:
My point was that QI is a highly competitive field because for the reasons I stated earlier, and because of that I think it's unlikely that an engineer will get accepted as a student.

I did not claim that ali8 couldn't do QI research. The entrance requirements and the real requirements of the field do not correlate strongly. It's mainly about how many people want to do what and also what is funded well. QI is getting much money, but from my observations even more prospective students.

I also did not claim that ali8 couldn't change to physics. Aside from mathematics engineering is probably the best field from which to change to physics. Only thing I was saying is that I don't think he can become a QI PhD student with only that kind of background - I didn't realize he meant to become a Master first.

And finally back to ali8:
The "problem" with PGRE is that is does not require you to understand physics. Of course usually understanding of physics and good PGRE score go hand in hand, but they are not equivalent. It is a standardized test and as such it can be trained for. It mostly measures your ability to solve physics problems, not your deep understanding behind the concepts. Good PGRE score is not enough, but it will definitely help.

I have to correct my initial judgement. I admit that I am not an expert on Master's student requirements, but with my very shallow knowledge I'd say that getting a good (say, over 900) score of PGRE will make it very possible for you to get admitted to a decent Master's program, provided that you also do fairly well in the other stuff, mainly letters of recommedation. After you get the results, please let us know if you did or did not get in.

mahar
Posts: 28
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 12:37 pm

Re: Engineering Students Club for GRE and Advanced GRE, 2009

Postby mahar » Sun Aug 30, 2009 2:14 pm

But what about those coming from a field other than physics who have taken many physics courses (almost in all areas, except classical mechanics but I'll take it next semester), like me (I am a materials science student from Greece) having research experience in photonics theory and projects similar to those of research groups in physics departments?

I want to do my phD on photonics, quantum optics or both of them (a combination!).

Let me now introduce my self since this is the "nature" of this thread.

Materials Science dept. (4th final year of my BSc) from Greece
GPA : 8.43/10.0 (highest GPA since the foundation of the department)

Letter of recomendation from a faculty member of a physics department in the US (my thesis advisor) plus two others very good recomendation letters

Research experience: photonics and plasmonics theory (1.5 years since now, having 1 year more),
2 poster presentations

Tests:
GRE: Q : 750/800...had problem with time in the exam (going to retake it in few days aiming 800)
V : I don't wan't to say....didn't study for that :oops: . Let's hope that's going to be better in my second attempt.
W : expected score between 4 and 5
PGRE: in November
TOEFL : results in few days (expecting > 100)

I'm aiming for schools in a diversity of areas (electrical engineering (top10), physics (top50) and materials science(top10)) for phD. So, what are my chances of getting admitted in a physics program in top20?

physics_auth
Posts: 160
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2009 7:24 pm

Re: Engineering Students Club for GRE and Advanced GRE, 2009

Postby physics_auth » Sun Aug 30, 2009 5:29 pm

mahar wrote:But what about those coming from a field other than physics who have taken many physics courses (almost in all areas, except classical mechanics but I'll take it next semester), like me (I am a materials science student from Greece) having research experience in photonics theory and projects similar to those of research groups in physics departments?

I want to do my phD on photonics, quantum optics or both of them (a combination!).

Let me now introduce my self since this is the "nature" of this thread.

Materials Science dept. (4th final year of my BSc) from Greece
GPA : 8.43/10.0 (highest GPA since the foundation of the department)

Letter of recomendation from a faculty member of a physics department in the US (my thesis advisor) plus two others very good recomendation letters

Research experience: photonics and plasmonics theory (1.5 years since now, having 1 year more),
2 poster presentations

Tests:
GRE: Q : 750/800...had problem with time in the exam (going to retake it in few days aiming 800)
V : I don't wan't to say....didn't study for that :oops: . Let's hope that's going to be better in my second attempt.
W : expected score between 4 and 5
PGRE: in November
TOEFL : results in few days (expecting > 100)

I'm aiming for schools in a diversity of areas (electrical engineering (top10), physics (top50) and materials science(top10)) for phD. So, what are my chances of getting admitted in a physics program in top20?


My regards ... I am also from Greece, but I am a physicist. Become more specific in your choice, all these schools may have different prerequisites. For example, material science may not have PGRE as a necessary prerequisite. Besides, were you taught Optics and Quantum mechanics I, II and III, statistical mechanics? QM III is most essential for photonics.
Physics_auth

mahar
Posts: 28
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 12:37 pm

Re: Engineering Students Club for GRE and Advanced GRE, 2009

Postby mahar » Sun Aug 30, 2009 6:32 pm

I took QM I from the physics department and optics, statistical mechanics from the materials science department (I'll take QM II in the second semester of this year (...strikes...you know......).
I also have taken two solid state physics courses (and few grad courses on specific subjects of solid state physics).

Here, QM III is a grad course and has nothing to do with photonics. QM II has the content I need.

About the requirements now. Materials science and electrical engineering departments do not need the PGRE.

ali8
Posts: 103
Joined: Sat Aug 29, 2009 8:20 am

Re: Engineering Students for GRE and Advanced GRE, 2009

Postby ali8 » Tue Sep 01, 2009 9:36 am

blackcat007 wrote:
I don't think you have a real chance of getting to a QI PhD program with that background. You might be able to get a Master's program, and with a Master's degree in physics getting to a PhD program is much easier.



i don't think thats true.. i have seen so many students going from engg or other fields to physics. moreover you don't specialize in your UG curricula, so how does it matter what you want to do in your grad school? many people even change their stated field of interest after 2 yrs of grad course work.
i think the important thing for the thread author would be to try to do some research work in Quantum computing.


i'll try to do some research , although this is not easily available as iam in middle east (third world)

ali8
Posts: 103
Joined: Sat Aug 29, 2009 8:20 am

Re: Engineering Students for GRE and Advanced GRE, 2009

Postby ali8 » Tue Sep 01, 2009 9:43 am

@schwiss
No problem.
I am not from Germany, but I am curious why did you think so.


in my leisure time i learn german , i noticed that the three letters sch (like those in your name) are very common in this unique order , also the double ss in the end of your name , i thought them a german letter ( a letter that connot be written using english keyboard so people instead write "ss" )

And finally back to ali8:
The "problem" with PGRE is that is does not require you to understand physics. Of course usually understanding of physics and good PGRE score go hand in hand, but they are not equivalent. It is a standardized test and as such it can be trained for. It mostly measures your ability to solve physics problems, not your deep understanding behind the concepts. Good PGRE score is not enough, but it will definitely help.


now i understood your - really important - point of view .
In fact , the same point of view was said about TOEFL , it doesn't measure your english fluency , rather it's merely a standarized test.

sravanskarri
Posts: 58
Joined: Sat Jun 14, 2008 10:19 pm

Re: Engineering Students Club for GRE and Advanced GRE, 2009

Postby sravanskarri » Tue Sep 01, 2009 10:30 am

Hi:
I am in a similar situation as Mahar except that I have an M.S (UT,Arlington) as well as B.S in EE. I plan to apply for a " Phd in EE" in the area of Quantum Communciation Systems/Devices ( QCD). Though this may sound irrelevant to the subject to the thread wanted to post here so that I can get some good suggestions to improve my chances.

I am taking PGRE in Nov 08 to make amends for a bad score in Applied Physics course, I took during my under graduate degree in India. I work in San Diego and planning on applying to local schools (USC, UCSD,UCB, Caltech,Stanford). Looking at the details of these programs online, not sure if my background/skills will be sufficient for the programs and the fact that I am transitioning from pure communication systems( which is based on modelling, algebra, simulations) to QCDs which is more physics (thy & experiment) oriented is not helping. I haven't taken any graduate courses in PHY dept but took a few courses like Info-theory,Non Linear Optics etc. Had a brief look at the research being done at each group, I could only get a general idea of what they are doing, thinking if that is enough to start writing to the faculty. Does it sound good if I mention that I plan to do M.S on my way to Ph.d in my SOP /correspondence with the faculty ?

Besides,my General GRE scores are ok ( 1430/ 3.5 AWA ) and did some good research work under a Prof from MIT, though I did not get a chance to publish.

Any suggestions are highly appreciated.

physics_auth
Posts: 160
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2009 7:24 pm

Re: Engineering Students for GRE and Advanced GRE, 2009

Postby physics_auth » Sun Sep 06, 2009 10:06 am

schwiss wrote:
ali8 wrote:my profile :

* graduated as a Communication Engineer from Palestine (aka Israel)
* GPA 3.44
* TOEFL PBT 610
* Physics Background : Physics A & B , Analog & Digital Electronics , EM I & II
* Math Backgound : Calculus A, B & C , Ordinary DE with Linear Algebra , Probabilities

* Interest : Quantum Computing

I really wonder if an engineer can self-study optics , modern physics , quantum mechanics , statistical physics and other required fields ...

And the important question :

Will the american universities accept me with - say 900 score in PGRE - alone ?
Remember , I am not a physics major. And I have no physics research experience.

thanks


First the question:
1) No PGRE score will make any university automatically accept you.
2) 900 is not that high. Graduate students of a new, theoretical and trendy field like quantum computing will probably have mean score of at least 900, probably more.

Undergraduate curriculum of physics is quite simple and can in theory be completely self-studied by a smart student. Most of the standard textbooks are easy to read and contain relatively good amount of exercises. However, self-studying has the problem that the admission board has no guarantees of your ability, as is the case with real courses.

I don't think you have a real chance of getting to a QI PhD program with that background. You might be able to get a Master's program, and with a Master's degree in physics getting to a PhD program is much easier.

You might also want to read viewtopic.php?f=3&t=2561, which contains essentially the same information I've posted above.


(1) A 900 in PGRE is an acceptable score from many US universities (at least for those with a physics background, i don't now if for non-physicists it is the same).
(2) And Mr Schwiss I do not know if you are an Einstein-like student, but undergraduate physics curriculum is not as easy as you implied ... (it depends on the institution one attends and other factors too). Or else, all smart students would stay at home self-studying instead of attending classes. And finally, how can one check their own progress without going to real exams? Though PGRE? -> this would be a funny joke, since PGRE is only a SUPERFICIAL exam!

schwiss
Posts: 108
Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2009 3:49 am

Re: Engineering Students for GRE and Advanced GRE, 2009

Postby schwiss » Sun Sep 06, 2009 2:38 pm

physics_auth wrote:(2) And Mr Schwiss I do not know if you are an Einstein-like student, but undergraduate physics curriculum is not as easy as you implied ... (it depends on the institution one attends and other factors too). Or else, all smart students would stay at home self-studying instead of attending classes. And finally, how can one check their own progress without going to real exams? Though PGRE? -> this would be a funny joke, since PGRE is only a SUPERFICIAL exam!


My choice of words might have been bad. I was implying that it is very possible to learn the stuff without an aid of a professor, though having a teacher will obviously be very helpful. It requires much effort, but on the other hand if the effort is provided, most of the people are able to learn the curriculum. In fact I do know many people who skip most of their classes and use that time to study on their own, and still do well. For the record I am not one of those, but for various reasons I have studied a few courses independently, skipping everything but the exam.

Progress checking is a problem, I admit, but I believe that doing the exercises will give one a fairly good assessment. Not all books have answers included for checking, though, so it's not a perfect way.

physics_auth
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Re: Engineering Students for GRE and Advanced GRE, 2009

Postby physics_auth » Sun Sep 06, 2009 3:26 pm

schwiss wrote:
physics_auth wrote:(2) And Mr Schwiss I do not know if you are an Einstein-like student, but undergraduate physics curriculum is not as easy as you implied ... (it depends on the institution one attends and other factors too). Or else, all smart students would stay at home self-studying instead of attending classes. And finally, how can one check their own progress without going to real exams? Though PGRE? -> this would be a funny joke, since PGRE is only a SUPERFICIAL exam!


My choice of words might have been bad. I was implying that it is very possible to learn the stuff without an aid of a professor, though having a teacher will obviously be very helpful. It requires much effort, but on the other hand if the effort is provided, most of the people are able to learn the curriculum. In fact I do know many people who skip most of their classes and use that time to study on their own, and still do well. For the record I am not one of those, but for various reasons I have studied a few courses independently, skipping everything but the exam.

Progress checking is a problem, I admit, but I believe that doing the exercises will give one a fairly good assessment. Not all books have answers included for checking, though, so it's not a perfect way.


I see what you mean. I also followed this method of self-teaching for a long time, but I warn that it is a time-consuming method ... the reason is that you have to search everything on your own, whereas a teacher can offer the answers to your questions in a few seconds! One advantage of this method is that you can learn the stuff at any depth you prefer and maybe more efficiently (you examine details that are never presented in class and so on). Now, I think that your position is clearer towards "audience that doesn't have the undergraduate background of physicists".

Physics_auth

Superconductor
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Re: Engineering Students Club for GRE and Advanced GRE, 2009

Postby Superconductor » Fri Dec 18, 2009 1:09 pm

darkmav wrote:Hi

If you're an engineering major graduating in 2010 and interested in a graduate programme in Physics, please reply to this thread with your academic background (exposure to physics, projects, preparation, interests, etc). This will help all of us in the run to GRE. There are other threads about engineering students here, but some of them pertain to very general queries or issues. Lets use this one for discussing Physics GRE preparation and requirements especially from the point of view of engineering (non-physics) majors.

So I should introduce myself too :-P...I'm majoring in Electrical Engineering and am interested in a wide range of "pure" Physics areas in both theoretical and experimental physics, especially high energy physics, quantum computation and device physics.

Waiting to hear from you folks.

Cheers!


OK,
I am an electronics engineering student from Egypt. My University does not offer a physics major (and my country does not have a good physics program anyway) but I had several extracurricular courses at my university on topics like advanced Quantum mechanics, abstract algebra, complex analysis and Calculus of Variation. In addition, I had two research experiences in theoretical physics in Germany. Once in a computational nuclear physics project at Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies that resulted in a poster and presentation in an international conference in Cairo and the other was my bachelor thesis work for 6 months at the university of Stuttgart dealing with a theoretical condensed matter physics problem (pseudogap phase of high-Tc superconductors). I also attended advanced statistical physics and lattice gauge theory courses at Stuttgart. I had 990 in the PGRE and have a straight record of A+'s in all my major courses at the university having a GPA of 0.71 overall and 0.7 major(our GPA system is a little bit different from the US with 0.7 the A+ and 4.0 the D). I am also the top ranked student over about 500 students. I won regional contests (middle east region) in chemistry, math and programming (since no physics contest was available). However, I still feel that the fact that my undergraduate major is not physics will prevent me from getting into a top-10 physics program in the US.

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grae313
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Re: Engineering Students Club for GRE and Advanced GRE, 2009

Postby grae313 » Thu Jan 07, 2010 2:59 am

Superconductor wrote: However, I still feel that the fact that my undergraduate major is not physics will prevent me from getting into a top-10 physics program in the US.


Why on earth would you think that? You'll probably get offered fellowships at top 10 schools.

cybergeek
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Re: Engineering Students Club for GRE and Advanced GRE, 2009

Postby cybergeek » Mon Jan 25, 2010 5:02 am

Hi,

I have completed B.Tech. in Computer Science & Engineering in 2008.
I had 8.05/10 CGPA overall in the course.

Currently I'm working for last 1 year in one of the top IT services company in India.

However, I want to switch my field to research in theoretical/mathematical physics (like relativity, quantum mechanics & string theory).

Please suggest how i should approach this.

Thanks a lot in advance...

Harshwardhan
Posts: 1
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Re: Engineering Students Club for GRE and Advanced GRE, 2009

Postby Harshwardhan » Thu Jul 22, 2010 8:34 am

Hi cybergeek, as you say that you are a working guy, you should go for M.sc IT as you say that you complete your B.Tech that’s why I sugest you to go for M.Sc .IT through distance learning from any good college. Now a day’s distance learning becomes more popular coz it is easy to get admission and their degree also works in any field. On my own experience Sikkim Manipal University distance program which is much better than other distance learning Institute it’s my personal advice coz I’ve also complete my M.Sc from this University. SMUDE uses the latest edunxt technology to create a virtual classroom where you can interact with the faculty and students and thereby also network with other students, which is a unique and one of its kind feature amongst other colleges offering distance education. For the prospectus and speaking to their counsellor you can register for free http://bit.ly/smude

blackcat007
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Re: Engineering Students Club for GRE and Advanced GRE, 2009

Postby blackcat007 » Thu Jul 22, 2010 8:44 am

Harshwardhan wrote:Hi cybergeek, as you say that you are a working guy, you should go for M.sc IT as you say that you complete your B.Tech that’s why I sugest you to go for M.Sc .IT through distance learning from any good college. Now a day’s distance learning becomes more popular coz it is easy to get admission and their degree also works in any field. On my own experience Sikkim Manipal University distance program which is much better than other distance learning Institute it’s my personal advice coz I’ve also complete my M.Sc from this University. SMUDE uses the latest edunxt technology to create a virtual classroom where you can interact with the faculty and students and thereby also network with other students, which is a unique and one of its kind feature amongst other colleges offering distance education. For the prospectus and speaking to their counsellor you can register for free http://bit.ly/smude


wtf are you writing?? don't you know how to read?? the guy wants to change from IT to Physics, why the hell should he do an MSc in IT?
you spammers are terrible!

francois_saab
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Re: Engineering Students Club for GRE and Advanced GRE, 2009

Postby francois_saab » Fri Aug 20, 2010 9:15 am

hello i am francois,

i have graduated in telecommunication engineering from 3 years.

in telecom the majors are :physics,electronics,math.....

one year ago i am doing at home every day around 5 hours studies on math and physics courses.

i a interested in studying physics . how can gre in physics help me? if got a high grades in gre physics will that be regarded by universities to accept me directly as ms student or at least to not study physics from scratch as undergraduate.

thanks you,

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grae313
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Re: Engineering Students Club for GRE and Advanced GRE, 2009

Postby grae313 » Fri Aug 20, 2010 9:45 am

francois,

The answers to all of these questions are already on the forums so spend some time reading and looking around. Also a simple google search will tell you what you need to apply to a physics graduate program and what they are looking for in prospective students. The short answer is no, a good score on the gre doesn't guarantee you anything. Admissions decisions are made based on your entire application, and your physics GRE score, your grades, your letters of recommendations and perhaps most importantly, you prior research experience will all be taken into account.

If your ultimate goal is a PhD in physics you should be looking to apply directly to a PhD program, not an MS program. If your goal is only a MS then you should be looking for terminal Masters programs which are quite a bit easier to get into but don't always guarantee funding like in a PhD program.


francois_saab wrote:hello i am francois,

i have graduated in telecommunication engineering from 3 years.

in telecom the majors are :physics,electronics,math.....

one year ago i am doing at home every day around 5 hours studies on math and physics courses.

i a interested in studying physics . how can gre in physics help me? if got a high grades in gre physics will that be regarded by universities to accept me directly as ms student or at least to not study physics from scratch as undergraduate.

thanks you,

cybergeek
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2010 4:55 am

Re: Engineering Students Club for GRE and Advanced GRE, 2009

Postby cybergeek » Fri Sep 03, 2010 9:26 am

Hi,

From my childhood I used to fiddle with computer languages like LOGO and QBASIC, creating time-consuming, complex yet nice programs... like writing a program where a colored ball bounces of all the corners of the screen eternally... at the middle school age. Then in high school, I came in contact with the thoughts and guidance of some of the most amazing teachers who showed me a complete new way to see the world around me. I fell in love with Physics and Mathematics! Like a true literature-lover reads the background and history of a poem and the poet before starting to read the poem itself, I would start reading the history of calculus, Leibnitz's & Newton's lives, the books by Pythagorus, and all related background historic work before I actually started to read a new maths chapter! In those days I researched & published two papers on Mathematics, which became highly appreciated in the mid-level. I was very content. :)

But alas, I was a total failure in time management and never actually completed covering the syllabus itself. Sometimes in specific topics I learnt more than the teachers themselves, but in some others the average boy was more confident than me... this led to an average grade in my school finals and all my plans to worship physics came to a sudden halt.

Now I tried to be a realist, and to be in a better position in the job market, I took up computer engineering, in which I had a natural flair. A fascinating subject no doubt, but never actually matching the appeal of physics where you get to question the fabric of your existence!!

Finally, I am in the IT Industry, writing Java codes for a Fortune 100 BFS company, with no life of my own, and getting frustrated each day seeing my mind going numb. To keep alive I try to give my brain a frequent dose of Roger Penrose, Stephen Hawking, Carl Sagan, Betrand Russell, Resnick Halliday. But these act like smells of a great treat that could have been on my palate.

Please help me live my dream... :(

pqortic
Posts: 398
Joined: Fri Aug 29, 2008 9:24 am

Re: Engineering Students Club for GRE and Advanced GRE, 2009

Postby pqortic » Fri Sep 03, 2010 4:53 pm

cybergeek wrote:Hi, ...


Please help me live my dream... :(



many people in this forum have had similar situation like you. so if you lurk around for a while you will find the methods they used like taking some courses in physics department or joining a MS program. but just to let you know that physics is not always fun. those big names that you mentioned spent their whole life on the subject. its not like as you start the physics they tell you here is the research on the "origin of universe". you need some backgrounds that going through them might be so frustrating.

blackcat007
Posts: 378
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Re: Engineering Students Club for GRE and Advanced GRE, 2009

Postby blackcat007 » Fri Sep 03, 2010 7:35 pm

cybergeek wrote:Hi,

From my childhood I used to fiddle with computer languages like LOGO and QBASIC, creating time-consuming, complex yet nice programs... like writing a program where a colored ball bounces of all the corners of the screen eternally... at the middle school age. Then in high school, I came in contact with the thoughts and guidance of some of the most amazing teachers who showed me a complete new way to see the world around me. I fell in love with Physics and Mathematics! Like a true literature-lover reads the background and history of a poem and the poet before starting to read the poem itself, I would start reading the history of calculus, Leibnitz's & Newton's lives, the books by Pythagorus, and all related background historic work before I actually started to read a new maths chapter! In those days I researched & published two papers on Mathematics, which became highly appreciated in the mid-level. I was very content. :)

But alas, I was a total failure in time management and never actually completed covering the syllabus itself. Sometimes in specific topics I learnt more than the teachers themselves, but in some others the average boy was more confident than me... this led to an average grade in my school finals and all my plans to worship physics came to a sudden halt.

Now I tried to be a realist, and to be in a better position in the job market, I took up computer engineering, in which I had a natural flair. A fascinating subject no doubt, but never actually matching the appeal of physics where you get to question the fabric of your existence!!

Finally, I am in the IT Industry, writing Java codes for a Fortune 100 BFS company, with no life of my own, and getting frustrated each day seeing my mind going numb. To keep alive I try to give my brain a frequent dose of Roger Penrose, Stephen Hawking, Carl Sagan, Betrand Russell, Resnick Halliday. But these act like smells of a great treat that could have been on my palate.

Please help me live my dream... :(


As pqortic correctly pointed out, that just making a dream on the basis of reading popular science books and biography of great minds can often be dangerous, I would like to add that most often these biographers omit the most important part of a scientist's life ..STRUGGLE! . Read a book about Einstein, generally it is written, 1905-- he discovered Special Relativity ..... blah bllah and in 1915-General Relativity.. !! but they never mention the mental torture and struggle that he laid upon himself to formulate this formidable theory, to this end that he became ill and lost several pounds of weight and had to be home nursed by his cousin Elsa. The moral of the story is-- it is not impossible to achieve your aim, but you have to apply your entire self for the cause.
As for changing from Engg to Physics.. yes it is possible .. I have changed from Mechanical Engg to physics, you have to self study the UG courses to have a basic foundation of physics, search the forum for various books required for this. Only you can help yourself!

ezhiskaz
Posts: 3
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Re: Engineering Students Club for GRE and Advanced GRE, 2009

Postby ezhiskaz » Thu Nov 10, 2011 8:29 am

Tomorrow's leaders will have to track a cell phone communicate effectively across international borders and be familiar with other cultures, so develop some proficiency in another language, travel abroad, or meet students from other cultures. Start "globalizing" right at college.




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