UCLA vs. Columbia vs. Brown hep-th

haciyusuf
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Dec 13, 2010 2:31 pm

UCLA vs. Columbia vs. Brown hep-th

Postby haciyusuf » Tue Mar 22, 2011 1:15 pm

Hi all,

i've been accepted to UCLA, Columbia,Brown for phd , with high energy theory emphasis. Columbia looks better in rankings,

http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandr ... y-rankings

but when i made some google search about the faculty, it looked like UCLA also has pretty awesome people. Anybody knows the stronger/weaker aspects of those schools? It looks like Columbia has some strong group on computational lattice theories , but what about other people?

And what about Brown?

I'm pretty confused and appreciate any help..

frlz23
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2011 8:02 am

Re: UCLA vs. Columbia vs. Brown hep-th

Postby frlz23 » Tue Mar 22, 2011 1:28 pm

One word: Columbia
Two words: Brian Greene (though he probably doesn't take any students).

Now seriously, Brown is much lower ranked than UCLA and Columbia, and Columbia is not only the highest ranked but I gather they also have a pretty decent financial package (being so rich and a private university). If you like a specific research group at UCLA much better, it might be a tougher call to make. But even so, consider that you will be in graduate school for some time, and things may change, so I would decide based on the institution and not a specific research group.

Besides that, i'm not from hep-th so I can't help you with the specifics.

axiomofchoice
Posts: 199
Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2009 11:45 pm

Re: UCLA vs. Columbia vs. Brown hep-th

Postby axiomofchoice » Tue Mar 22, 2011 1:39 pm

What's your specific interest in hep-th? Phenomenology? String-theory? Computation stuff like lattice QCD? I would not go to Columbia just for Brian Greene - I doubt he takes any students.

vesperlynd
Posts: 194
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2009 9:28 am

Re: UCLA vs. Columbia vs. Brown hep-th

Postby vesperlynd » Tue Mar 22, 2011 2:40 pm

frlz23 wrote:Now seriously, Brown is much lower ranked than UCLA and Columbia, and Columbia is not only the highest ranked but I gather they also have a pretty decent financial package (being so rich and a private university).
Columbia is also in NYC, which is definitely expensive to live in.

Keep in mind that you may end up not doing HET at all. I'm not saying this will be the case, but you cannot rule out the possibility. Personally, I'm planning on picking a school based on current interests, other possible interests (subfield-wise), whether or not I like the feel of the school, and cost of living.

Like axiom said, I wouldn't make the decision based upon one professor. You should have three or so professors you would want to work for at each school. Having said that, I completed an REU at UCLA a couple summers ago. I don't know about HET specifically, but UCLA has excellent faculty in a variety of research areas working on a lot of cool, cutting-edge stuff. It wasn't an easy decision for me to turn them down. In retrospect, I should have held onto the offer a little longer.

LA is expensive for sure. Can't say anything about Columbia academically. frlz23 is absolutely right about Brown - it's ranked much lower than the other two.

negru
Posts: 308
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2010 3:49 pm

Re: UCLA vs. Columbia vs. Brown hep-th

Postby negru » Tue Mar 22, 2011 3:16 pm

Yes do you have any specific interests in HET? UCLA seems the best choice by a looong shot to me. Columbia is truly meh, wouldn't choose it over Brown, but I guess it depends on specific interests.

frlz23
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2011 8:02 am

Re: UCLA vs. Columbia vs. Brown hep-th

Postby frlz23 » Tue Mar 22, 2011 3:24 pm

negru wrote:Columbia is truly meh, wouldn't choose it over Brown, but I guess it depends on specific interests.


Why do you think so? They are very well ranked - almost top 10, and I happen to know of some outstanding faculty that they have (apart from Brian Greene).

User avatar
HappyQuark
Posts: 762
Joined: Thu Apr 16, 2009 2:08 am

Re: UCLA vs. Columbia vs. Brown hep-th

Postby HappyQuark » Tue Mar 22, 2011 3:28 pm

haciyusuf wrote:Hi all,

i've been accepted to UCLA, Columbia,Brown for phd , with high energy theory emphasis. Columbia looks better in rankings,

http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandr ... y-rankings

but when i made some google search about the faculty, it looked like UCLA also has pretty awesome people. Anybody knows the stronger/weaker aspects of those schools? It looks like Columbia has some strong group on computational lattice theories , but what about other people?

And what about Brown?

I'm pretty confused and appreciate any help..


In my opinion, Brown has one of the more underrated HEP programs. When I was applying I was mostly concentrating on their experimental research but I seem to recall they were just as strong in theory. With that said, I think I would still likely choose Columbia over Brown, unless of course you find specific projects at Brown that you are more interested in. However, I would choose UCLA over Columbia for HEP-TH, again assuming you have no specific groups in mind.

User avatar
WhoaNonstop
Posts: 851
Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2009 1:31 am

Re: UCLA vs. Columbia vs. Brown hep-th

Postby WhoaNonstop » Tue Mar 22, 2011 3:29 pm

frlz23 wrote: They are very well ranked - almost top 10


You'd have to offer me a lot of money plus a personal body guard and chauffeur for me to live in New York City. I drove through that place and I don't want to go back. ;)

-Riley

frlz23
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2011 8:02 am

Re: UCLA vs. Columbia vs. Brown hep-th

Postby frlz23 » Tue Mar 22, 2011 3:38 pm

WhoaNonstop wrote:
frlz23 wrote: They are very well ranked - almost top 10


You'd have to offer me a lot of money plus a personal body guard and chauffeur for me to live in New York City. I drove through that place and I don't want to go back. ;)

-Riley


New York is a very safe city, and some people like the density and the craziness that goes along with it. That being said, it is definitely NOT the right city for some people. I guess you either apply there or Cornell, but never both, because that would be completely inconsistent :)

bfollinprm
Posts: 1197
Joined: Sat Nov 07, 2009 11:44 am

Re: UCLA vs. Columbia vs. Brown hep-th

Postby bfollinprm » Tue Mar 22, 2011 3:39 pm

Keep in mind funding issues in California (and every other state school). This year, all other things being (even close to) equal, it might be best to pick the endowed school, since they have more financial flexibility.

I would simply drop Brown off the list. Columbia and UCLA are much bigger names in both industry and academia, and are strong enough to give you a chance at an R1 research position.

Granted, there are extenuating circumstances. I'm not even likely taking my own advice (replace UCSD with UCLA and UC Davis with Brown). But this is because my priorities aren't towards trying to get an R1 research position; I'm in the minority on that. I also know EXACTLY what I'll be doing in grad school (down to the project) so adviser becomes much more important. I also have a SO whose opinion is 50% of the decision (though I don't know I'd change my preferences if she somehow didn't exist).


But, advantages vs. disadvantages for the schools I think clearly shows Brown<<UCLA<Columbia, with the last inequality at 75% confidence level and mostly based on CA's funding issues. If you have fellowships that calculus might change.

negru
Posts: 308
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2010 3:49 pm

Re: UCLA vs. Columbia vs. Brown hep-th

Postby negru » Tue Mar 22, 2011 3:48 pm

frlz23 wrote:
negru wrote:Columbia is truly meh, wouldn't choose it over Brown, but I guess it depends on specific interests.


Why do you think so? They are very well ranked - almost top 10, and I happen to know of some outstanding faculty that they have (apart from Brian Greene).

I dunno, just glossing over the people they have in HET I don't see anyone particularly well known or doing anything of great promise. You can scratch Brian Greene of the list right away. If he's not busy writing a book, he'll be busy giving talks somewhere else. It looks like he's writing something like a paper a year. That will get you absolutely nowhere in HET.

User avatar
WhoaNonstop
Posts: 851
Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2009 1:31 am

Re: UCLA vs. Columbia vs. Brown hep-th

Postby WhoaNonstop » Tue Mar 22, 2011 3:52 pm

negru wrote:It looks like he's writing something like a paper a year. That will get you absolutely nowhere in HET.


You writing zero papers in four years got you into Princeton.

-Riley

negru
Posts: 308
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2010 3:49 pm

Re: UCLA vs. Columbia vs. Brown hep-th

Postby negru » Tue Mar 22, 2011 3:54 pm

I did research of great promise

bfollinprm
Posts: 1197
Joined: Sat Nov 07, 2009 11:44 am

Re: UCLA vs. Columbia vs. Brown hep-th

Postby bfollinprm » Tue Mar 22, 2011 3:55 pm

WhoaNonstop wrote:
negru wrote:It looks like he's writing something like a paper a year. That will get you absolutely nowhere in HET.


You writing zero papers in four years got you into Princeton.

-Riley


I think it was the liberal bias of academia that propelled negru into princeton.

bfollinprm
Posts: 1197
Joined: Sat Nov 07, 2009 11:44 am

Re: UCLA vs. Columbia vs. Brown hep-th

Postby bfollinprm » Tue Mar 22, 2011 3:57 pm

negru wrote:
frlz23 wrote:
negru wrote:Columbia is truly meh, wouldn't choose it over Brown, but I guess it depends on specific interests.


Why do you think so? They are very well ranked - almost top 10, and I happen to know of some outstanding faculty that they have (apart from Brian Greene).

I dunno, just glossing over the people they have in HET I don't see anyone particularly well known or doing anything of great promise. You can scratch Brian Greene of the list right away. If he's not busy writing a book, he'll be busy giving talks somewhere else. It looks like he's writing something like a paper a year. That will get you absolutely nowhere in HET.



What Brian Greene is good for is attracting excellent sabbatical visitors.

negru
Posts: 308
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2010 3:49 pm

Re: UCLA vs. Columbia vs. Brown hep-th

Postby negru » Tue Mar 22, 2011 3:58 pm

bfollinprm wrote:
WhoaNonstop wrote:
negru wrote:It looks like he's writing something like a paper a year. That will get you absolutely nowhere in HET.


You writing zero papers in four years got you into Princeton.

-Riley


I think it was the liberal bias of academia that propelled negru into princeton.

played them like puppets

frlz23
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2011 8:02 am

Re: UCLA vs. Columbia vs. Brown hep-th

Postby frlz23 » Tue Mar 22, 2011 4:02 pm

By the way, you may also want to look at selectivity - it's not everything but it'll tell you something. Study the 2011 acceptance thread, and you will see that Columbia is appropriately more selective than UCLA (as it is higher ranked), but it is even narrowly more selective than Cornell and Yale, and on par with Chicago.

So if anything you should be proud of yourself for getting in.

negru
Posts: 308
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2010 3:49 pm

Re: UCLA vs. Columbia vs. Brown hep-th

Postby negru » Tue Mar 22, 2011 4:15 pm

would you stop with the rankings. just look at what research they're doing, how many cites the profs have, and in particular how many cites they have on the work they're currently doing, who cites them, are they being cited by the big names frequently, and where do the students usually end up.

use http://inspirebeta.net/ with confidence.

axiomofchoice
Posts: 199
Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2009 11:45 pm

Re: UCLA vs. Columbia vs. Brown hep-th

Postby axiomofchoice » Tue Mar 22, 2011 5:44 pm

I would not worry about living expenses in NYC. Columbia has subsidized housing, which is comparable in price to other schools (i.e. not higher as per expectation), and its stipend is on the high end of the spectrum (the second highest among my schools), which will offset some of the other costs of living in NYC. I doubt UCLA or Brown will offer better financial package.

However, Columbia does not at this moment have a great hep-th group afaik, as least not at the level one would expect from its history and its overall reputation. It does have some amazing people at the hep-ex side, though, so that explains its ranking partly.




Return to “School Selection”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron