What will bring you back as a graduate student?

  • As many already know, studying for the physics GRE and getting accepted into a graduate program is not the final hurdle in your physics career.
  • There are many issues current physics graduate students face such as studying for their qualifier, deciding upon a field of research, choosing an advisor, being an effective teaching assistant, trying to have a social life, navigating department politics, dealing with stress, utilizing financial aid, etc.

Grant
site admin
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Joined: Tue May 11, 2004 7:55 pm

What will bring you back as a graduate student?

Postby Grant » Thu Feb 28, 2008 7:36 pm

Historically students come to this site for the physics GRE and then decide to hang around a bit longer to talk about the graduate school admissions process. However, shortly after everybody knows where everybody else is going people tend leave this site and rarely seem to return. I have always accepted this as the standard operating procedure. However, this year may be different as it is by far the most activity I have ever seen on this site.

There is a lot of potential benefit to having graduate students frequent this site. Obviously it will help the prospective graduates if they can interact directly with graduate students or perhaps even just observe graduate students interacting with each other on the forums as they research, prepare for qualifiers, organize teaching assistant responsibilities, gripe about their workload and lack of social life, etc.

The missing piece is to find a way for current graduate students to benefit from this site. This forum for current graduate students is a start but I am open to other ideas to help encourage more graduate student involvement. Please let me know what you would want from a site as a graduate student.

One idea is to allow for the creation special exclusive forums to, for example, help organize a research group or teaching assistant duties. Maybe the group of TAs for a class want to setup a forum for just them to organize who teaches what lab, who grades what week, who has to proctor each midterm and final, etc. This public interaction can benefit other graduate students as well as benefit prospective graduate students to see what it is really like to be a physics graduate student.

In conclusion please don't hesitate to let me know of what would bring you back to PhysicsGRE.com as a graduate student.

excel
Posts: 257
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2008 2:33 am

Re: What will bring you back as a graduate student?

Postby excel » Fri Feb 29, 2008 2:48 pm

how abt threads related to the following topics?

- qualifiers (topics being tested, nature of the exam etc etc)
- advisors (their goodness & badness :lol: ...how to deal with problematic advisors)
- on living near a particular univ...quality of life issues (maybe, as blogs?)

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guguma
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Re: What will bring you back as a graduate student?

Postby guguma » Sat Mar 01, 2008 1:11 pm

@Grant

This forum will need to be stripped off from being GRE specific. If you manage to make "physics" rather than "gre" to be the central topic of the forum. Then certainly people will come back.

As far as I know there does not exist a decent physics forum, but the physicsgre forum has great potential to become one.

You can simply add more physics and graduate work related boards and wait for people to actually show interest, and it will definitely take some time for people to actually talk about those issues. If you ask me you should use this potential.

Of course in the future you will have to get more moderators to protect the board from spammers, if you cannot control the flow of people and their intentions, threads like "Bible Approves String Theory!!!", "Black Wholes are a gateway to Atlantis!!!" etc... will start emerging with an accelerating speed and then the forum will not survive.

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dlenmn
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Re: What will bring you back as a graduate student?

Postby dlenmn » Sat Mar 01, 2008 1:21 pm

guguma wrote:As far as I know there does not exist a decent physics forum, but the physicsgre forum has great potential to become one.


There are lots of physics forums out there -- many are considerably larger than this one (e.g. the aptly named http://www.physicsforums.com). However, this is the only forum (that I'm aware of) that focuses just on getting in to physics grad school (maybe admissions prof knows of more -- many physics and graduate school forums have small subforums dedicated to this, but I haven't found any that are as good as this place). I don't think this narrow focus is a bad thing. Getting some grad students to stick around will be useful for this focus, but I won't pretend to know what might work as graduate student fly paper. I'll probably stick around for a while for the heck of it.

twistor2
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2008 1:48 am

Re: What will bring you back as a graduate student?

Postby twistor2 » Wed Mar 05, 2008 1:19 pm

An e*d to cen*or*hip woul* b**ng *e b*ck.

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grae313
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Joined: Tue May 29, 2007 8:46 pm

Re: What will bring you back as a graduate student?

Postby grae313 » Wed Mar 05, 2008 3:01 pm

twistor2 wrote:An e*d to cen*or*hip woul* b**ng *e b*ck.



The only time I see a star is when you type one :P If the world isn't censored for your eyes, and anyone who does not want censorship can remove it, why do you care?

peder
Posts: 65
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2007 4:01 pm

Re: What will bring you back as a graduate student?

Postby peder » Sun Mar 09, 2008 11:33 pm

dlenmn, physicsforums has always struck me as a not-so-serious place to converse in physics. A think a good example are the forums for academia at phdcomics.com. The crowd there are mostly obtaining PhDs (with even a few professors lurking!).

As to the original question, I think the topics that make us come back as a graduate student shouldn't necessarily be about the meat and potatoes of being a graduate student... quals and such. It would be a good place to share our experience and commiserate.

Bufalay
Posts: 51
Joined: Sun Jul 04, 2004 5:05 am

Re: What will bring you back as a graduate student?

Postby Bufalay » Mon Mar 10, 2008 1:21 pm

I'm a graduate student and I still come here from time to time.

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quizivex
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Re: What will bring you back as a graduate student?

Postby quizivex » Fri Mar 21, 2008 11:28 pm

Wow, Bufalay was the first prolific poster of all time. He goes way back to the primordial birth and inflation of the forum, back when there was nearly nothing, nothing except a few sporadic blips in the cosmos, such as x-ray, janeway, imaginary_friend. Year 2004.

It's cool we got tnoviell, Bufalay, schmit.paul and company coming back to share insight once in a while!! Grant, please send them a t-shirt! :wink:

Grant
site admin
Posts: 189
Joined: Tue May 11, 2004 7:55 pm

Re: What will bring you back as a graduate student?

Postby Grant » Sat Mar 22, 2008 11:40 am

quizivex wrote:Grant, please send them a t-shirt!

Good idea. I just added a simple task to the free t-shirt topic for people to grandfather themselves a t-shirt.
viewtopic.php?f=10&t=1398

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G01
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Re: What will bring you back as a graduate student?

Postby G01 » Fri Jan 23, 2009 12:35 pm

peder wrote:dlenmn, physicsforums has always struck me as a not-so-serious place to converse in physics.


I disagree with this statement completely. Physicsforums.com is one of the only places on the web where you can have a decent conversation about real physics without crackpots interupting you with their "theories" about quantum mechanics and spirituality and the like.

Physics forums has multiple forums focusing completely on specialized subfields of physics and math. It is also the most well moderated web forum I know of.




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