More physics classes or grad-lvl classes in other depts?

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InquilineKea
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More physics classes or grad-lvl classes in other depts?

Postby InquilineKea » Fri Jan 21, 2011 4:45 am

So... I don't have many upper-division physics classes, and apparently those are the courses that the admission officers will most closely look at. Instead, I've decided to take graduate level courses in all sorts of different departments (especially applied math), and many other upper-division classes in departments like atmospheric sciences. My background is still VERY heavily analytical/computational though.

Will this hurt me (for astrophysics grad school) relative to those who've taken more upper-division physics classes? Most astronomy research doesn't really use that much physics (it's more computational than analytical), but astronomy professors still want their students to pass the quals and first-second year courses.

Right now, my hunch is that it will mostly increase the variance in my outcomes.

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satyad18
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Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2009 9:17 am

Re: More physics classes or grad-lvl classes in other depts?

Postby satyad18 » Sat Jan 22, 2011 2:45 am

InquilineKea wrote:So... I don't have many upper-division physics classes, and apparently those are the courses that the admission officers will most closely look at. Instead, I've decided to take graduate level courses in all sorts of different departments (especially applied math), and many other upper-division classes in departments like atmospheric sciences.

Is this allowed? I'm an international student and I'm not aware of such things. But if it is, its really gonna be an exciting time taking math courses apart from the regular physics courses. I'm into HEP/Gravitational theory/Mathematical physics. :)

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InquilineKea
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Joined: Sun Mar 21, 2010 9:07 pm

Re: More physics classes or grad-lvl classes in other depts?

Postby InquilineKea » Sat Jan 22, 2011 2:57 am

Yeah, it's allowed. To be honest, I want to be in university to take advantage of resources (and technology) that I can't get at home. And many other departments have really modernized their teaching. Theoretical physics, however, is almost as bad as math, when it comes to modernization. Sure, it's important to know my advanced physics. But I can teach those to myself later (or along the way). For most astronomy research in particular, numerical methods, parallel computing, nonlinear optimization, and other applied math/CS topics are generally more relevant than, say, solid state physics.

Here's an interesting post:

http://physicsforums.com/showpost.php?p ... ostcount=4

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satyad18
Posts: 229
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2009 9:17 am

Re: More physics classes or grad-lvl classes in other depts?

Postby satyad18 » Sat Jan 22, 2011 3:17 am

InquilineKea wrote:Yeah, it's allowed.

Yay! :D
InquilineKea wrote:To be honest, I want to be in university to take advantage of resources (and technology) that I can't get at home. And many other departments have really modernized their teaching. Theoretical physics, however, is almost as bad as math, when it comes to modernization. Sure, it's important to know my advanced physics. But I can teach those to myself later (or along the way). For most astronomy research in particular, numerical methods, CS, and applied math are generally more relevant than, say, solid state physics.

Here's an interesting post:

http://physicsforums.com/showpost.php?p ... ostcount=4

Agree. Obviously I'll be taking the advanced physics courses, but I believe to get into real theoretical research requires math. That's why I'm thinking of taking more math courses. Also a plus point that I needn't worry about GPAs so long as I have the bare minimum. :)




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