USC

BigGumbo
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Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2009 12:03 pm

USC

Postby BigGumbo » Mon Jul 27, 2009 12:05 pm

Hey,

I'm interested in gradschool in the US, just wondered what people think about USC (southern cal U) as a place to study Physics?

BigGumbo
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2009 12:03 pm

Re: USC

Postby BigGumbo » Tue Jul 28, 2009 5:08 pm

No one after 44 views? :(, the place...that bad or something?

nathan12343
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Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 9:34 am

Re: USC

Postby nathan12343 » Tue Jul 28, 2009 6:10 pm

We just don't want to do your research for you.

If you have a specific question, I'm sure someone would be able to help.

BigGumbo
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Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2009 12:03 pm

Re: USC

Postby BigGumbo » Tue Jul 28, 2009 6:30 pm

OK fair comment perhaps, I'm certainly not looking for other people to go out of their way to to do the research for me, I've done a lot of research on my own already, looking at their String Group, and flicking through a few papers by the members there. I'm not a US citizen though, so more than anything I just wanted to get a gauge on what people generally think of the place? All I have to go on so far is USnews ranking it in the 40's, but I know ranking in this way is never everything.

Specific questions, would be how respectable is someone like Clifford Johnson there in the String Community? how likely am I to get a job in academia after gradschool here? Would people say the String group here is of a higher quality than the rest of the Physics group, and maybe it's just the other areas dragging it down?

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monocles
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Re: USC

Postby monocles » Tue Jul 28, 2009 7:15 pm

Getting an academic position after doing a PhD in string theory will be a crapshoot regardless of where you go. Only 1 in 4 string theory PhDs from Harvard ends up in academia - you can assume that the odds are only grimmer anywhere else you look.

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quizivex
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Re: USC

Postby quizivex » Wed Jul 29, 2009 2:40 am

monocles wrote:Getting an academic position after doing a PhD in string theory will be a crapshoot regardless of where you go.
yes, except in this version of craps, the dice must be tossed backhanded into a shot glass located 25 feet away at the bottom of a jacuzzi with swirling waters and nude girls distracting you. Oh, and you must still get 7 or 11.

Good luck.

BigGumbo
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Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2009 12:03 pm

Re: USC

Postby BigGumbo » Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:12 am

I looked at Johnson's papers, and one of his ex students Filev seems to have landed a postdoc in string theory at the Dublin Inst of Advanced Study (of course Im not sure how great this place is?). Also another professor there Werner, did his PhD under Hawking and seems to have published papers with big names like Cumrun Vafa. Seems pretty good to me for a school ranked 48th?

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monocles
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Re: USC

Postby monocles » Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:53 am

Here's an article that will give you an idea on the odds of getting a job in string theory:

http://infoproc.blogspot.com/2008/09/su ... ysics.html

BigGumbo
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Re: USC

Postby BigGumbo » Wed Jul 29, 2009 10:44 am

Article is a good read. I already know that String theory is the most competitive field out there though, but there is no way I would switch to another field than the one I love based on job prospects. If all I cared about was my job prospects I could get a much higher paying non academic job right now just on the strength of my undergrad in Europe, having a PhD will not give me any better non academic career prospects. I don't want to work in another field of Physics just so I can remain in Physics no matter what, my philosophy is do the PhD and a few postdocs, enjoy the ride and if I come up with some great idea/contributions then I will get tenure, if I dont then I prob don't deserve tensure anyway, and it's job time.

Having said that I do want to give myself a fighting chance and know that the department I enter isn't utterley terrible and not well respected and so on.

BigGumbo
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2009 12:03 pm

Re: USC

Postby BigGumbo » Wed Jul 29, 2009 6:58 pm

Could anyone give a European or UK physics group that the one at USC is roughly the same level as?

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Helio
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Re: USC

Postby Helio » Thu Aug 06, 2009 1:18 pm

I actually went to USC for undergrad... The string people are pretty strong and get their students to postdoc positions. Johnson is an interesting fellow to say the least. He does a lot of stuff on the side like "The Universe" on History Channel or even movies on his own. He has his own blog as well http://www.asymptotia.com

For the uni, if you are not a theorist there are very little options and some of the options are bad IMO. On the string theory side of things, there is a lot of separation among the people that do it. There is a clear divide between the more stringy people and more timey people. I would recommend it for variety, but then again you have consider what you want to do. String theory is also a lot of hot steam at times and telling you how much your ideas are crap.

If you need any more info just shoot me a msg.




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