Not sure how to estimate my chances (Quantum Info/Comp/Foundations)

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Joined: Wed Aug 30, 2017 7:15 am

Not sure how to estimate my chances (Quantum Info/Comp/Foundations)

Postby Schroedingers2c » Wed Aug 30, 2017 8:16 am

Hello guys,

I am really grateful for this forum. It is a huge source of information and tips. Thanks everyone for that.

So, I am an undergraduate student heading towards the completion of my degrees and want to pursue my interests in Quantum Information Theory/Quantum Computing/Quantum Foundations further. I am not quite sure how to estimate my chances for admission for a PhD. I would highly appreciate it, if you guys could comment my profile and my chances of getting admitted at the schools of my choice. Here's my profile:

Undergrad Institution: One of the biggest german-speaking universities with a very strong experimental quantum physics department (esp. quantum optics)
Major(s): BSc. in Physics, BSc. in Mathematics (full degrees)
Minor(s): None.
GPA in Major: 4.0 (Physics), 4.0 (Mathematics)
Overall GPA: 4.0
Length of Degree: Both 3 years, but started with Mathematics one year later, hence in total 4 years.
Position in Class: Top 5-10 (classes are ~100-200 students)
Type of Student: International

GRE Scores : Will do the test within the next few weeks.
Q: ???
V: ???
W: ???
P: Taking the october 28th exam, expect to score >800-900 having had a quick look at the practice exam.
TOEFL: Will do the test within the next few weeks, but I am confident to score 105-110.

Research Experience:
- I don't know if it counts, but I will have written 2 bachelor theses, both relevant for my graduate purposes.
- Since my PHYS bachelor thesis will be about a topic currently researched by my supervisor, I'll probably get some research experience in the coming months.
- Talk about information as a foundational principle in quantum physics.
- Talk about mathematical aspects of quantum theory.

- at the time of application 3x recipient of the yearly University Merit Scholarship for having excellent grades (always rated ~5th of all physics undergraduate students)
- Represented my nation at the international final of a student competition in theoretical physics (university-level)

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
- Occasionally tutoring fellow students or high school students.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:
- I did a 6 weeks internship at the national space agency during an analogue mars mission, at which people from 19 nations where involved (also one guy from NASA attended). But I did nothing physics related, more like supporting the final workings at the spacesuit, supporting preparation of experiments and being a member of the simulated Mission Control Team during the mission.
- I have done an advanced laboratory course in quantum optics.
- I am doing three graduate level courses exactly in the field of my interest for graduate studies in this semester.

Special Bonus Points:
- My physics bachelor thesis supervisor is quite known in his field, which is Quantum Foundations and Quantum Information Theory, and I will ask him for a letter of recommendation.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
My university has a partnership with the Perimeter Institute and my bachelor supervisor is the coordinator of it.

Applying to Where:
All in quantum information/computation/foundations, preferably theoretical.

Schools (in no particular order):

U of Waterloo (MSc. Physics or MSc. Quantum Information)
PSI (special program at the Perimeter Institute)
U of Maryland
Stanford U
UC Santa Barbara
U of Oxford (MSc. Theoretical and Mathematical Physics)
U of Edinburgh (MSc. Theoretical Physics or MSc. Mathematical Physics)

I am currently also having a look at the QI/QC/QFound groups of the following:

U of New Mexico
U of Toronto
U of British Columbia
UC Berkeley

If anyone knows other schools not listed above with strong departments in my field of interest, please share them.

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