UIUC or Maryland (Condensed Matter)

genh
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 10:13 pm

UIUC or Maryland (Condensed Matter)

Postby genh » Mon Apr 06, 2009 10:27 pm

Hi all,

I am an international student and I have been accepted to both UIUC and Maryland. My interest is in condensed matter physics. I have been contacting PhDs in both schools but I am still inconclusive.

PhDs from Maryland say their funding is abundant and their research direction is more "modern" than those of UIUC, and they say UIUC has declining funding. PhDs from UIUC say, of course, that UIUC has long been rank #1 in condensed matter physics.

Do you know the situations of UIUC and/or Maryland? In particular, do you agree that UIUC is "declining" and Maryland is "rising"? Is it real that UIUC tends to research in more "traditional" topics while Maryland tends to be more up-to-date?

Thanks

a bucket
Posts: 60
Joined: Fri Aug 08, 2008 9:02 am

Re: UIUC or Maryland (Condensed Matter)

Postby a bucket » Tue Apr 07, 2009 12:12 am

Hi,

Currently I'm in almost the same situation as you are but I'm doing AMO so Maryland is the obvious choice for me. Nevertheless, I went to the open house and it seemed that they had a lot of borderline AMO/CM research. For example, there was someone using microwave cavities to simulate lattices. There's also someone using cold atoms in optical lattices to do the same thing.

Overall I'd say Maryland does more work on quantum information and simulation than... quite frankly... anywhere. On the CM side of quantum information there's a couple of people working on superconducting qubits. My general impression from Maryland seemed to be that it's one of the few places (if not the only one) focusing so much on applications of quantum systems rather than holding the "purist" view that all physics should be fundamental research. So IMO, yes Maryland does tend to explore new topics more than other places.

As for funding, the physics department there is huge and pretty much swimming in money. The ran out of space in their main building and proceeded to take over the computer science and atmospheric sciences buildings... where they also ran out of space. So now they will start work on a new $300 million building which will be built over the course of 4 years.

Regards.

genh
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 10:13 pm

Re: UIUC or Maryland (Condensed Matter)

Postby genh » Tue Apr 07, 2009 2:09 am

Thanks for your information - especially for international students who feel too costly to go to open house!

For UIUC, the PhDs there tell me that they have recently established a new institute a new institute called Institute for Condensed Matter Theory (ICMT). Can anybody comment on how it is compared with JQI, CMTC or NanoCenter of Maryland? Which school would have advantage in research of FQHE, graphene, spin hall, etc?

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

Re: UIUC or Maryland (Condensed Matter)

Postby grae313 » Tue Apr 07, 2009 5:41 pm

genh wrote:Thanks for your information - especially for international students who feel too costly to go to open house!

For UIUC, the PhDs there tell me that they have recently established a new institute a new institute called Institute for Condensed Matter Theory (ICMT). Can anybody comment on how it is compared with JQI, CMTC or NanoCenter of Maryland? Which school would have advantage in research of FQHE, graphene, spin hall, etc?


Have you even looked at the research group webpages for the two universities? You can read all about the research that is going on at either school and decide for yourself whether it is "modern" or not. If you have any questions about a particular group, you can email the professor.

genh
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 10:13 pm

Re: UIUC or Maryland (Condensed Matter)

Postby genh » Wed Apr 08, 2009 4:18 am

grae313 wrote:Have you even looked at the research group webpages for the two universities? You can read all about the research that is going on at either school and decide for yourself whether it is "modern" or not. If you have any questions about a particular group, you can email the professor.


That's the normal procedure and I did - and I got the first impression as in my first post. The problem is, UMD got very brief "research direction" and the reply from most professors are very brief too :(




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