Samual_Adams wrote:Everyone I've talked to has refrained from actually giving me advice about where to go, and I'm having trouble even deciding what are important criteria: Location, Stipend, Coolness of potential advisors are all of the list, but I'm not sure which are more important.
Any suggestions on how to choose?
Sam Adams, I know how you feel. Every time I try to talk to someone about making the decision, they just tell me that all my choices are good, so I can't make a wrong decision.
myass wrote:Your field of interest is Cosmology. Maybe it helps you making decision if you can dig a bit more.
My interest is in particle physics, and I can say I'm interested in both theory and experiment. However, now I like experiment more regarding particle physics (simply I consider there are a lot more to be done in experiment). While accelerator physics is getting old and almost die out (again this is according to some faculties and doesn't have to be in general), I believe that one path of particle experiments in future is along low energy experiments and/or astrophysical particle physics experiments. I chose neutrino physics experiments from these reasonings and also from my interest developed through my research work in a neutrino oscillation experiment. Theories of leptogenesis, seesaw mechanism and other topics regarding neutrino properties are very, very interesting for me and thus along with my field of study.
Once I came down to this far, it's easier to see what university I'm into. The forefront neutrino experiments are along with theories I am interested in; clarification of Majorana/Dirac nature, completion of one remaining neutrino mixing angle, absolute scale of neutrino mass, neutrino mass hierarchy, and the degree of CP violation in neutrino sector. Accordingly, I look for experiments like Double Chooz, Daya Bay, KATRIN, CUORE, MOON, EXO, Nova, T2K, Super-K, KamLAND, Majorana, Zerda, NEMO,,,, and more.
Then I think about two things:
Which of these experiments are likely to give opportunities to write a thesis in next 5 or 6 years?
Among institutions that gave me admission, which contributes in which at what level?
In my case, Double Chooz, Daya Bay, KATRIN, CUORE and EXO are active and next a few years would be a good timing to join. Others have either difficulties to proceed experiment or bad timings to join.
Berkeley provides opportunity in Daya Bay and CUORE. MIT for KATRIN, Stanford for EXO, and Columbia and Chicago for Double Chooz. EXO is a bit weak candidate actually since they haven't established the core technique that they need to acomplish the experiment. But it got a funding for further R&D. I am visiting those institutions as well as Yale and Princeton (since they have open house close to Columbia).
I had a bit negative overview about CUORE, but now one of Berkeley faculty personally gave me a long long talk (like 3hrs) about CUORE and how good the timing to join the group would be for me. Now I'm more motivated to join CUORE. I think same thing could happen when I visit open houses and ask professors in each of experiments I'm interested in. In my experience, they can tell me something more than what I know from reading their published papers.
Sorry for writing long, but above is my strategy to choose an institution and also to make visiting some open houses (instead of all) more meaningful.
Hope it helps instead of get you bored. I'm not making any progress in my work today...
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