Last minute suggestions for free PGRE score reporting

wavicle
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Oct 19, 2011 6:47 pm

Last minute suggestions for free PGRE score reporting

Postby wavicle » Thu Nov 03, 2011 11:59 pm

Tomorrow is the last day for me to fill out the "correction" form. I left the schools blank when I registered. Can you help me decide which schools to send my score? UT Austin is my alma mater, I already get my score sent to them free

So far I got:
Colorado (long shot?)
UNC Chapel Hill

I'm considering (short listed):
Arizona
North Carolina State (too much coursework?)

Also considering (long listed):
Georgia
Oregon State
Colorado State
New Mexico
Washington State
U Washington
Missouri, Colombia
Florida

I've tentatively crossed off:
Portland State (ridiculous requirement to write reports of colloquia on all topics 1st year)
Virginia (too much coursework)

My factors in choosing a school...I have a Masters- I'm not interested in more coursework than average. Good AMO/CM focus and/or strong industry presence. Nice places to live and seemingly good AMO/CM- I'm as driven as the next guy, but I don't want to live somewhere that I'm miserable just for school. I'm down for being a hippie (and surrounded by them) as long as the research is respectable ;)

About me:
2 REUs as a Physics undergrad
Took a year off, wasn't sure about continuing in Physics
Did non thesis Masters in Biomedical Engineering (sucks by comparison). Non thesis in order to GTFO of Boston
Spotty employment during this time off, but very relevant research experience with Semiconductor mfg startup

So, any input is appreciated!

On a side note, I'm kinda upset that Colorado is the highest rated. I wanted to go there because it has NIST/JILA, it's beautiful, and great for outdoors. Now it's gonna be flooded because of "brand recognition".

CarlBrannen
Posts: 381
Joined: Mon May 24, 2010 11:34 pm

Re: Last minute suggestions for free PGRE score reporting

Postby CarlBrannen » Fri Nov 04, 2011 11:56 am

wavicle wrote:Also considering (long listed):
...
Washington State
...
My factors in choosing a school...I have a Masters- I'm not interested in more coursework than average. Good AMO/CM focus and/or strong industry presence. Nice places to live and seemingly good AMO/CM- I'm as driven as the next guy, but I don't want to live somewhere that I'm miserable just for school. I'm down for being a hippie (and surrounded by them) as long as the research is respectable ;)


Pullman is a beautiful small town in rolling hills. Probably the lowest crime neighborhood of the places you listed. First snow was today. The physics department is the friendliest I've ever visited. They are reasonably strong in condensed matter and there's a lot of work on stuff of interest to the semiconductor industry. I was attracted here based on the LIGO gravitational wave observatory. Rent for my 2-bedroom apartment, about 1.3 miles from the physics department (maybe 0.7 miles from the university) is $465 per month but the TA pay is equal to other state schools. Consequently, life as a grad student here is quite pleasant.

wavicle
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Oct 19, 2011 6:47 pm

Re: Last minute suggestions for free PGRE score reporting

Postby wavicle » Sat Nov 05, 2011 11:39 am

Thanks for the info Carl. Those schools on my long list are just ones I haven't checked out in too much detail yet, so this info is useful.

CarlBrannen
Posts: 381
Joined: Mon May 24, 2010 11:34 pm

Re: Last minute suggestions for free PGRE score reporting

Postby CarlBrannen » Sat Nov 05, 2011 3:19 pm

wavicle wrote:Thanks for the info Carl. Those schools on my long list are just ones I haven't checked out in too much detail yet, so this info is useful.


I was at a conference at Oregon State (Corvallis) a couple weeks ago. It's about as rural as Pullman. The school seems more concentrated on agriculture. Perhaps due to this, their football team beat ours this year. I'm guessing that the rural environment means that rent is as low as Pullman.

UNM is in Albuquerque, which is sort of a home town. I think the best Mexican food in the US is available around here. The climate is dry and the altitude is high, about 5200 feet. This is the "alto-plano" or high plains. Summers are hot but dry and so are fairly nice. The coldest it's been in Albuquerque that I remember was -17F. (Pullman hit -41F in 1998.) They've been known to have a good basketball team. Skiing is available in the nearby Sandia mountains (elevation around 10,000 feet), but of course much better skiing can be had in the Pacific Northwest. Costs are approximately midway between Pullman and Seattle. Albuquerque is something like 500,000 population; pretty much anything you want to do should be available nearby except stuff having to do with salt water.

U. Washington is in Seattle which is a big city and fairly expensive. My rent for a 2 bedroom apartment there was $1100 per month. There are things you can buy and do in Seattle that aren't available in the smaller towns. They've got a larger physics department. My experience with them is that they're not a terribly friendly crowd, compared to Pullman. Here the faculty treat grad students very well and seem to take care of them. When they're talking about their research, professors make a big deal out of all the great jobs their grad students picked up after graduation.

wavicle
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Oct 19, 2011 6:47 pm

Re: Last minute suggestions for free PGRE score reporting

Postby wavicle » Mon Nov 07, 2011 12:11 pm

Really glad that you mentioned Mexican food because the biggest complaint I had about Boston was that most of the Mexican food sucked. This is unacceptable as a Texan. My only impressions of living in Albuqurque so far have been from a Weird Al song, of the same title.

With the temperature getting so low, what commonly happens on those days with regard to work/school attendance? Thanks again

CarlBrannen
Posts: 381
Joined: Mon May 24, 2010 11:34 pm

Re: Last minute suggestions for free PGRE score reporting

Postby CarlBrannen » Mon Nov 07, 2011 5:43 pm

wavicle wrote:With the temperature getting so low, what commonly happens on those days with regard to work/school attendance? Thanks again


These places hit their record cold, uh, rarely. Most of the time it's a lot nicer. For example, the snow in Albuquerque usually melts within 2 days. If it stays below zero, then the snow sublimates.




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