Doing Astrophysics at MIT or OSU?

MadHatter
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2007 3:06 pm

Doing Astrophysics at MIT or OSU?

Postby MadHatter » Tue Apr 10, 2007 3:20 pm

Hi all,

I'm trying to decide between doing astrophysics at MIT or OSU, and I thought that I'd ask what the opinions here are. I'd like to do exoplanets, and with both schools have a couple of people involved in that (Winn, Bergasser, and Seager for MIT and Gaudi, Stanek, and Gould for OSU). My reading on the two is:

MIT - Great name in physics, but maybe not for astro? The qualifiers look like they're brutal, and a lot of more general physics classes and not much astronomy. Still, a lot of stuff goes on there, Winn and Seager are appealing to work with, and doing something besides astro. research afterwards (perish the thought!) would be easier.

OSU - Lots of research experience and publishing. Gaudi and Stanek are pretty good, and OSU is a partner on the LBT on Kitt Peak. But Columbus, OH is kind of far away from everything, and it seems like OSU has less recognition than MIT does.

So any opinions on what to choose are welcome!

slee
Posts: 38
Joined: Sat Dec 02, 2006 7:10 pm

Postby slee » Wed Apr 11, 2007 3:04 am

hey madhatter,

i'm taking a seminar w/ winn and burgasser now on exoplanets and brown dwarfs. they are both nice guys, but it seems like burgasser is mostly into BDs right now. i'm not sure what kind of work he's doing on exoplanets, if any. there might be more people in the EAPS department who do this sort of thing (jim elliot?), but i'm not sure how flexible the crossover is between them and physics.

for this seminar, i'm writing a paper on microlensing detection of exoplanets, which incidentally put me in touch w/ gaudi. from his e-mails he seems like a nice guy too, and his papers are solid. along w/ gould, kochanek, etc. microlensing (and lensing in general) seems to be a strength of the department. i didn't apply, but when i was visiting chicago a lot of the other prospectives had already visited osu and were pretty excited about it. it sounds like the grad students there generally pump out a relatively high number of papers before they graduate. so their program definitely seems like it is growing.

hope this helps!

MadHatter
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2007 3:06 pm

Postby MadHatter » Wed Apr 11, 2007 2:46 pm

Thanks slee.

So if you're in a seminar with Winn and Bergasser, are you at MIT physics right now? What do you think about that?

slee
Posts: 38
Joined: Sat Dec 02, 2006 7:10 pm

Postby slee » Wed Apr 11, 2007 10:11 pm

hi madhatter,

yup, and i think you are right about some of your impressions. there are a lot of good general physics classes here, but not so many focused on astro (at least in the physics department, not so sure about EAPS). i think other schools recognize MIT as a little weaker in astro than other fields of physics, as well, though i'm not sure how they think it stacks up w/ OSU's astro. of course there are still a lot of great people here to work with.

good luck!

freddy
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2007 9:58 pm

Postby freddy » Fri Apr 13, 2007 10:09 pm

I can personally recommend OSU. I worked in the department as an undergrad for two years on the MODS project (for LBT). The faculty in the department are all great to work with both in that they are top notch scientists and also because they view the department as a family.

I don't know a thing about MIT, but I can assure you that the education and more importantly the research opportunities you will get at OSU will be second to none.

Also, you should add David Weinberg to your list of notable faculty at OSU.




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