Harvard vs UCSB for CME

brownfox
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:20 pm

Harvard vs UCSB for CME

Postby brownfox » Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:27 pm

Hi all!

Probably looking for some graduate student advice on whether to go to Harvard or UC Santa Barbara for condensed matter experimental physics. I've heard really good things about Andrea Young at UCSB, and similarly great things about Amir Yacoby/Phillip Kim at Harvard. Curious as to whether anybody had any opinions on this.

Honestly, I would also be interested in some faculty at MIT -- has anyone heard of Harvard/MIT crossover graduate students?

Thank you for all your advice and time.

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Nishikata
Posts: 124
Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2018 6:37 am

Re: Harvard vs UCSB for CME

Postby Nishikata » Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:50 pm

I presume you already got the offers from these schools...
I can understand the difficulty of choosing Harvard or MIT, but is it even a question to compare Harvard vs UCSB?

Choosing a smaller school just because there is one professor you are interested in is a very brave choice.
That one professor might move to a bigger institution during your 5-6 years of your PhD, or taking a sabbatical leave, or die, and you might be in tough spot then.

I personally would prefer places where there are 2-3 professors of same calibre, just in case they cannot take me in for the whole duration. Usually, these are the larger schools.

jabennett2194
Posts: 65
Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2018 6:54 pm

Re: Harvard vs UCSB for CME

Postby jabennett2194 » Tue Mar 05, 2019 11:08 pm

Five Gods, you're too much Nishikata hahahha!

DO NOT ESCHEW COMPARING SCHOOLS "BECAUSE ONE IS HARVARD" AS NISHIKATA SUGGESTS!!!!!!!! UCSB IS LITERALLY #6 AND HARVARD IS #4...... https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-sc ... r-rankings

BOTH SCHOOLS ARE TOP 10, AT THAT POINT FORGET IVY LEAGUE NAME BRAND AND EVALUATE THEM AS YOU CURRENTLY ARE — BY POTENTIAL MENTORS.

This prof as UCSB looks amazing — young, productive, well-known. https://www.afylab.com/

Then again, both at Harvard look like they have huge groups too, http://yacoby.physics.harvard.edu/yacob ... tions.html and http://kim.physics.harvard.edu/publications/

I mean honestly, look at how good both schools are: https://www.physics.harvard.edu/research/facresearch http://www.physics.ucsb.edu/research/cmx

Have you been in touch with any of those profs? Any good/bad first impressions?

brownfox
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:20 pm

Re: Harvard vs UCSB for CME

Postby brownfox » Tue Mar 05, 2019 11:29 pm

All professors seem really great, the Harvard labs are really big (which I guess means that there will be less personal contact with the profs).

The point that a professor may leave is pretty interesting, I don't know if he would have long term plans at UCSB. I was hoping someone could mention the research quality of these labs, or whether anybody knew of any graduate students in any of these labs and their comments on how the atmosphere was.

Lastly, I've seen a couple graduate students from MIT work at Harvard and vice-versa, does anybody know if this can still happen?

jabennett2194
Posts: 65
Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2018 6:54 pm

Re: Harvard vs UCSB for CME

Postby jabennett2194 » Tue May 07, 2019 7:08 pm

To your last point, this can absolutely happen. Very common in Boston. Brandeis students take classes at MIT, Northeastern take classes there/Harvard. You can build relationships with local professors to hopefully get them on your thesis committee.




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