UC Davis VS Purdue

jamiro
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2013 11:31 am

UC Davis VS Purdue

Postby jamiro » Mon Apr 08, 2013 11:49 am

I am an international applicant got the admissions from UC Davis and Purdue.

I need to choose one of two graduate schools til April 15.

I am interested in Condensed Matter Experiment.

Which school is a better option for CME?

2012 USNEWS ranking for CME does not show any more below than 19 ranks.

You know, the two schools are not included in the 19 ranks.

Just rankings for Physics are..

UCD
USNEWS(2012)-26
NRC(2010)-66

Purdue
USNEWS(2012)-40
NRC(2010)-30

I don't know why two different rankings have contradiction.
It makes me confused with selecting one school of them.

Are there someguys who can tell me which school is better in view of CME and totally?

Minovsky
Posts: 99
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 10:05 pm

Re: UC Davis VS Purdue

Postby Minovsky » Mon Apr 08, 2013 2:39 pm

Rankings are relatively meaningless.

Browse the faculty pages of both schools and see which looks more interesting to you.

Remember, it's going to be ~6 of your life. You should probably make sure you'll enjoy it. High ranking from USNews or NRC or whatever means nothing if you hate your life for 6 years. Another thing to consider is would you rather live in Davis or Lafayette?

Both are good schools. Deciding between them is a personal choice and only you can decide on personal choices for you.

blighter
Posts: 256
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2012 6:30 pm

Re: UC Davis VS Purdue

Postby blighter » Mon Apr 08, 2013 3:05 pm

Also weigh in how much they are paying you and the costs of living of those places.

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

Re: UC Davis VS Purdue

Postby bfollinprm » Mon Apr 08, 2013 5:21 pm

jamiro wrote:
Just rankings for Physics are..

UCD
USNEWS(2012)-26
NRC(2010)-66

Purdue
USNEWS(2012)-40
NRC(2010)-30

I don't know why two different rankings have contradiction.
It makes me confused with selecting one school of them.

Are there someguys who can tell me which school is better in view of CME and totally?


outside the top schools, this kind of 'contradiction' occurs all the time. What it means is that the ranking system breaks down, and as others said the rankings mean nothing at this level (in other words, the systematic uncertainties in collapsing the multi-dimensional space of grad school into a one-dimensional ranking are of the order of the rankings themselves, once you get beyond the very few top schools who are truly good at almost everything). Both Purdue and UC Davis are excellent at many things, and both have some deficiencies (which is why they aren't ranked in the top 10). I go to Davis and will happily answer any specific questions you have, but I don't know the CME offerings very well here or elsewhere, so can't argue as to which program is better for what you want to do. I can, however, answer any general questions you might have (If you were interested in cosmology, I could tell you without hesitation that UCD is miles ahead).

I would imagine that at the level of Davis/Purdue, the choice will come down to a few faculty of interest, and their personal interest in taking you on. Also, as others have said, the culture of the two places are very different, and might play a significant role in your eventual choice.

jamiro
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2013 11:31 am

Re: UC Davis VS Purdue

Postby jamiro » Mon Apr 08, 2013 9:26 pm

bfollinprm wrote:
I would imagine that at the level of Davis/Purdue, the choice will come down to a few faculty of interest, and their personal interest in taking you on. Also, as others have said, the culture of the two places are very different, and might play a significant role in your eventual choice.


Minovsky wrote:
Rankings are relatively meaningless.

Browse the faculty pages of both schools and see which looks more interesting to you.

Remember, it's going to be ~6 of your life. You should probably make sure you'll enjoy it. High ranking from USNews or NRC or whatever means nothing if you hate your life for 6 years. Another thing to consider is would you rather live in Davis or Lafayette?


blighter wrote:
Also weigh in how much they are paying you and the costs of living of those places.




Thanks for the answers.

Then can you(or the other guys) tell me more about how different culture between UCD and Purdue?
If the subtle ranking difference is not critical issue, the atmosphere or culture may seem important factors for me but I have no idea at all.

As imagination from web searching, I prefer more sunny climate in California as well as proximity to Sanfrancisco and Secramento than those things in Lafayette. However I don't have any real expriences in both area. Youguys, natives, would better to tell me about that. :)

As to funding, as you know well, I got tuition waivers with TA stipends from both.
Monthly stipends in both are not much different but Purdue said that they can't assure summer(3 months) TA jobs although they would try to give a TA support. Also stipend for 9 months could be reduced by 1000$ if I could not pass the English proficiency exam for international.
UC Davis assures summer TA support(around 6,239 $) by refering on an admission letter. UCD also said that they would not cut down stipend or fire me in the TA job even if I could not pass the Elglish proficiency exam. It makes me feel safer.

About faculty, by website information, Purde have a litte more diverse and number of faculty in CME than those in UCD.
I did not decide more detail major in CME yet. It confuses me.

However, do the safer financial support and good feeling(?) in UCD have some bigger benefits relative to Purdue's things, in veiw of opportunity costs?

Emotionally I am inclining to UCD, but rationally to Purdue. It seems tricky dilemma for me. ;)

Welcome for any comments.

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

Re: UC Davis VS Purdue

Postby bfollinprm » Tue Apr 09, 2013 10:58 am

You are right about Davis, it is sunny. We have a Mediterranean climate here, with wet mild winters, a long spring, and hot, dry summers. It only ever rains in the winter.

We are near Sacramento and San Francisco, as well as wine regions (Napa and Sonoma valleys) and resort mountains (Lake Tahoe). The beach is ~2 hours by car.

The culture is classic Northern Californian, based on craft beer, locavore dinner parties, and loads of bicycling. Due to the proximity of the Sierra-Nevada Mountains, there are lots of skiers/rock climbers/outdoorsmen in Davis as well.




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