wanted your opinions on my safety schools

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satyad18
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wanted your opinions on my safety schools

Postby satyad18 » Fri Sep 03, 2010 11:42 am

Guys..how are these universities--> University of Central Florida, University of Alabama,Tuscaloosa and University of Mississippi.? I'm keeping them as safety schools. I know they are low-ranked ones, but I wanted to know the Physics happening there. Any comments.?

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satyad18
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Re: wanted your opinions on my safety schools

Postby satyad18 » Tue Sep 07, 2010 7:26 am

Are these universities that bad that no one is replying..??! hmmm....

Kites
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Re: wanted your opinions on my safety schools

Postby Kites » Wed Sep 08, 2010 3:37 pm

satyad18 wrote:Are these universities that bad that no one is replying..??! hmmm....


It's not that at all. Merely the forums are just not very active at the moment. They won't be for at least another month; Nov - April is the center of activity for this forum. You're simply too early to get attention.

pqortic
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Re: wanted your opinions on my safety schools

Postby pqortic » Wed Sep 08, 2010 3:47 pm

Kites wrote:
satyad18 wrote:Are these universities that bad that no one is replying..??! hmmm....


It's not that at all. Merely the forums are just not very active at the moment. They won't be for at least another month; Nov - April is the center of activity for this forum. You're simply too early to get attention.


thats not actually the reason. his question is one of those questions! nobody knows which school is at your level or below without knowing your profile info. (test scores, gpa,..).

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satyad18
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Re: wanted your opinions on my safety schools

Postby satyad18 » Wed Sep 08, 2010 11:26 pm

pqortic wrote:thats not actually the reason. his question is one of those questions! nobody knows which school is at your level or below without knowing your profile info. (test scores, gpa,..).


Okay. Let's just forget about those universities being considered as safety schools or them being lowly ranked.
So the re-framed question---> "Guys..how are these universities--> University of Central Florida, University of Alabama,Tuscaloosa and University of Mississippi.?" :)

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grae313
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Re: wanted your opinions on my safety schools

Postby grae313 » Thu Sep 09, 2010 4:18 pm

They are low enough ranked for no one to have heard anything about them and therefore for no one to have an opinion no them.

geshi
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Re: wanted your opinions on my safety schools

Postby geshi » Thu Sep 09, 2010 5:52 pm

Well they're all ranked sub-100 on US News. That's about all anyone on these forums probably knows. You can find a million posts about people's opinion on these forums as to what rankings mean in reality, so I won't get into that.

Google/bing/yahoo/etc "<name of university> physics department." Look at their websites and see what kind of research they have going on. That's the best information you'll find on them. If research in those departments interests you, then maybe you should apply.

(Hint: no one is going to look up this stuff for you.)

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satyad18
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Re: wanted your opinions on my safety schools

Postby satyad18 » Thu Sep 09, 2010 11:20 pm

grae313 wrote:They are low enough ranked for no one to have heard anything about them and therefore for no one to have an opinion no them.

Oh boy! :?
geshi wrote:Look at their websites and see what kind of research they have going on. That's the best information you'll find on them. If research in those departments interests you, then maybe you should apply.

The research there does interest me, but this low-ranked thing is making me confuse! What are the positives and negatives.?

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twistor
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Re: wanted your opinions on my safety schools

Postby twistor » Fri Sep 10, 2010 2:02 pm

Forget about the *** ranking system already.

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satyad18
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Re: wanted your opinions on my safety schools

Postby satyad18 » Fri Sep 10, 2010 11:14 pm

twistor wrote:Forget about the *** ranking system already.

Cool.. :D I mean, yeah..that solves the matter, I guess! :)

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twistor
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Re: wanted your opinions on my safety schools

Postby twistor » Sat Sep 11, 2010 7:56 am

It wasn't really directed at the OP but more towards the "they're sub-100" schools repliers.

Think of the absurdity of following conversation:

"So you have a Ph.d. in physics?"
"Yes"
"Where's it from?"
"Tuscaloosa"
"Tuscaloosa? And to think I respected you. That's not a real Ph.d."

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satyad18
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Re: wanted your opinions on my safety schools

Postby satyad18 » Sat Sep 11, 2010 12:12 pm

@twistor: okay. So what's the point that you're trying to make, and what am I to derive from it.?! :?

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Skullgrid
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Re: wanted your opinions on my safety schools

Postby Skullgrid » Mon Sep 13, 2010 2:02 am

satyad18 wrote:@twistor: okay. So what's the point that you're trying to make, and what am I to derive from it.?! :?


I think his point is that people put waaay too much emphasis on the rankings of programs. A Ph.D. is a serious endeavor regardless of which school you're attending; what matters most is the research that is being conducted there and what you can get out of your time there.

CarlBrannen
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Re: wanted your opinions on my safety schools

Postby CarlBrannen » Wed Sep 15, 2010 12:58 am

I think that the rankings DO matter, if your intention is to stay in academia. To get a research job in a top tier-1 research institution you pretty much have to have a degree from a tier-1 research institution. And since there are far more PhDs granted than jobs created, tier-1 PhDs snag the jobs in the next rank or two.

If you're looking to teach at the community college level, then any PhD will do for you. And if you're looking to work in industry, I don't think the school matters as much. But academia promotes from within its own in a fairly predictable pattern. You need recommendations from people at the best universities and you start that process by attending those universities.

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HappyQuark
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Re: wanted your opinions on my safety schools

Postby HappyQuark » Wed Sep 15, 2010 12:46 pm

CarlBrannen wrote:I think that the rankings DO matter, if your intention is to stay in academia. To get a research job in a top tier-1 research institution you pretty much have to have a degree from a tier-1 research institution. And since there are far more PhDs granted than jobs created, tier-1 PhDs snag the jobs in the next rank or two.

If you're looking to teach at the community college level, then any PhD will do for you. And if you're looking to work in industry, I don't think the school matters as much. But academia promotes from within its own in a fairly predictable pattern. You need recommendations from people at the best universities and you start that process by attending those universities.


Actually, I would be willing to bet that the exact opposite is true. If you intend to do research in academia, then it is more important that you worked with a productive and well known program and research group than to be at a top ten, name brand school. As a general rule, those in academia know who is doing what research and how well they are doing it. For example, if you want to do research in some field that Harvard doesn't really do but that Arizona State works heavily in, you are better off going to Arizona state. If, however, you intend to go into industry, you will likely find that most employers aren't familiar with the current research in your niche field so they will rely on name recognition and prestige of a university.

I think twistor's ultimate point was that the ranking system should only be a very small (perhaps the smallest) influencing factor that goes into determining whether a school or department is best for your situation. In fact, you should only ever use the ranking as a starting point into your deeper investigations.

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twistor
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Re: wanted your opinions on my safety schools

Postby twistor » Wed Sep 15, 2010 4:51 pm

Ha!

This makes me feel like some great sage that left a few dying words that became the subject of contentious debate for the following eons....

In this case I'm not dead (or am I?) and your interpretation is correct.

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HappyQuark
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Re: wanted your opinions on my safety schools

Postby HappyQuark » Wed Sep 15, 2010 7:15 pm

twistor wrote:Ha!

This makes me feel like some great sage that left a few dying words that became the subject of contentious debate for the following eons....

In this case I'm not dead (or am I?) and your interpretation is correct.


I was sure that I had gotten the interpretation correct. For does it not say in Twistalonians chapter 3 verse 3, "But of the graduate school rankings which is in the US News and World report, Twistor hath said, Ye shall not read of it, neither shall ye utilize it when making life altering post undergraduate education decisions, lest ye die."

CarlBrannen
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Re: wanted your opinions on my safety schools

Postby CarlBrannen » Wed Sep 15, 2010 7:41 pm

HappyQuark wrote:If you intend to do research in academia, then it is more important that you worked with a productive and well known program and research group than to be at a top ten, name brand school. As a general rule, those in academia know who is doing what research and how well they are doing it. For example, if you want to do research in some field that Harvard doesn't really do but that Arizona State works heavily in, you are better off going to Arizona state.


I agree completely. For example, U. New Mexico has a good program in quantum information. But the tier-1 research institutions are the ones that have a lot of good programs so if you don't have a program picked out, that's where you want to go.

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grae313
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Re: wanted your opinions on my safety schools

Postby grae313 » Thu Sep 16, 2010 5:57 pm

HappyQuark wrote:
CarlBrannen wrote:I think that the rankings DO matter, if your intention is to stay in academia. To get a research job in a top tier-1 research institution you pretty much have to have a degree from a tier-1 research institution. And since there are far more PhDs granted than jobs created, tier-1 PhDs snag the jobs in the next rank or two.

If you're looking to teach at the community college level, then any PhD will do for you. And if you're looking to work in industry, I don't think the school matters as much. But academia promotes from within its own in a fairly predictable pattern. You need recommendations from people at the best universities and you start that process by attending those universities.


Actually, I would be willing to bet that the exact opposite is true. If you intend to do research in academia, then it is more important that you worked with a productive and well known program and research group than to be at a top ten, name brand school. As a general rule, those in academia know who is doing what research and how well they are doing it. For example, if you want to do research in some field that Harvard doesn't really do but that Arizona State works heavily in, you are better off going to Arizona state. If, however, you intend to go into industry, you will likely find that most employers aren't familiar with the current research in your niche field so they will rely on name recognition and prestige of a university.

I think twistor's ultimate point was that the ranking system should only be a very small (perhaps the smallest) influencing factor that goes into determining whether a school or department is best for your situation. In fact, you should only ever use the ranking as a starting point into your deeper investigations.


OK but ASU is still a decent University that people have heard of and that has some respected and established research groups. Someone here at one point took some top 10 universities and looked at all of their recent (last ~ten years) hires and where those hires got their degrees. They were all from top 20 Universities with maybe one or two exceptions, and even those exceptions were not unheard of (in physics) schools.

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HappyQuark
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Re: wanted your opinions on my safety schools

Postby HappyQuark » Thu Sep 16, 2010 6:23 pm

grae313 wrote:
HappyQuark wrote:
CarlBrannen wrote:I think that the rankings DO matter, if your intention is to stay in academia. To get a research job in a top tier-1 research institution you pretty much have to have a degree from a tier-1 research institution. And since there are far more PhDs granted than jobs created, tier-1 PhDs snag the jobs in the next rank or two.

If you're looking to teach at the community college level, then any PhD will do for you. And if you're looking to work in industry, I don't think the school matters as much. But academia promotes from within its own in a fairly predictable pattern. You need recommendations from people at the best universities and you start that process by attending those universities.


Actually, I would be willing to bet that the exact opposite is true. If you intend to do research in academia, then it is more important that you worked with a productive and well known program and research group than to be at a top ten, name brand school. As a general rule, those in academia know who is doing what research and how well they are doing it. For example, if you want to do research in some field that Harvard doesn't really do but that Arizona State works heavily in, you are better off going to Arizona state. If, however, you intend to go into industry, you will likely find that most employers aren't familiar with the current research in your niche field so they will rely on name recognition and prestige of a university.

I think twistor's ultimate point was that the ranking system should only be a very small (perhaps the smallest) influencing factor that goes into determining whether a school or department is best for your situation. In fact, you should only ever use the ranking as a starting point into your deeper investigations.


OK but ASU is still a decent University that people have heard of and that has some respected and established research groups. Someone here at one point took some top 10 universities and looked at all of their recent (last ~ten years) hires and where those hires got their degrees. They were all from top 20 Universities with maybe one or two exceptions, and even those exceptions were not unheard of (in physics) schools.


I don't doubt that this is true but I think it is more likely that the best researchers are at the top 10-20 schools and so graduates from these schools are getting hired as opposed to graduates getting hired due to name recognition. That is to say, if you wanted to study Quantum Symbiotic Hypercube Group Bio-Symmetries, then you would be better off at Unicorn Tech than at Harvard, because Harvard has no faculty or research groups that study in this field. If, however, you want to study something boring like HEP-TH, then you would be wise to go to MIT/Stanford/etc.

CarlBrannen
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Re: wanted your opinions on my safety schools

Postby CarlBrannen » Thu Sep 16, 2010 7:12 pm

I think a useful series of articles are those by Dr. Pion. They're specialized to physics jobs in academia and elsewhere:

Supply:
http://doctorpion.blogspot.com/2007/07/ ... art-1.html
Demand:
http://doctorpion.blogspot.com/2007/07/ ... art-2.html
Types of jobs:
http://doctorpion.blogspot.com/2007/08/ ... art-3.html
Tenure standards:
http://doctorpion.blogspot.com/2007/08/ ... art-4.html

The competition to get into the high ranked schools is sharp. Why is this? I think that the above articles give a pretty good explanation.

He writes:
I think the most important lesson is that the majority of students will be employed at an institution below (in the sense of R1, PhD, MS only, BS only, CC) the one they got their degree at.

http://doctorpion.blogspot.com/2007/07/ ... art-2.html

To learn what "R1" is, and what this means in terms of what you would actually be spending your time doing in a job at that kind of institution, see the above links.




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