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Doing anything productive this summer?

Posted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 1:37 am
by doom
So, is anyone doing anything productive this summer? (Productive as far as physics is concerned, that is.)

I know at least some schools give you a free shot at passing quals this fall. Anyone planning on giving that a serious shot?

I'm thinking about possibly trying to learn some basic QFT this summer. It's a lofty goal, and I'm not sure I'm ready for it, but I found this helpful guide, so maybe I'll give it a shot and see how far I get. Might be helpful for someone like me interested in HEP theory.
Learning QFT as an undergrad

I have an offer to do research this summer at Minnesota, but it's unlikely that I could work in high energy theory, and I'm not all that interested in leaving home early to do research in an area I don't really care about.

So, how 'bout it? Anybody got any cool summer plans?

Re: Doing anything productive this summer?

Posted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 2:02 am
by will
I was going to learn QFT this summer upon having finished taking quantum, until I found out how little quantum you actually have to know. So I learned quantum field theory this semester instead, and now I don't know what to do. =(

Re: Doing anything productive this summer?

Posted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 2:15 am
by TheHawkBat
I'm going to review a subject that I can have the option of testing out of taking a class on at the start of the fall term. If I don't pass, I have to take the class, but if I can test out, I can get a head start on other fun stuff. I am thinking of doing this for Classical. Just get it outta the way I guess.

Oh and I may have the opportunity to work for a professor, but that is still up in the air.

Re: Doing anything productive this summer?

Posted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 2:31 am
by WontonBurritoMeals
God. Is that guy serious? He's all like:

Ideally a student with a strong background could take the analytical mechanics course, electrodynamics, and the mathematical physics course early on. With a solid mathematical background, quantum mechanics can often be taken concurrently with electrodynamics. A first course in general relativity would provide all the special relativity required as well as giving some geometric perspective of gauge theories. (In principle a student can fit all of this in by the end of their sophomore year.)


I mean, maybe if you took two years of college in high school, didn't take any GE, or God Forbid, electives.

Oh, well. At least (s)he does a thorough job through more than 2-3 books like you might usually see.

May the wind be always at your back,
-Wonton Burrito Meals

Re: Doing anything productive this summer?

Posted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 2:46 am
by zxcv
In a word: No.

I have the rest of my life to obsess about physics. This summer I will take off.

Caveat: I probably will actually spend the last few weeks of this summer studying physics, so I can pass the prelim exam at Berkeley right out of the gate. It's a reasonable goal, and will make things far more convenient later. Also, I will be working on fellowship applications for next year. But that's really not much at all.

Re: Doing anything productive this summer?

Posted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 7:48 am
by twistor
Yes, I am doing something productive.

Re: Doing anything productive this summer?

Posted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 8:03 am
by excel
WontonBurritoMeals wrote:God. Is that guy serious? He's all like:

Ideally a student with a strong background could take the analytical mechanics course, electrodynamics, and the mathematical physics course early on. With a solid mathematical background, quantum mechanics can often be taken concurrently with electrodynamics. A first course in general relativity would provide all the special relativity required as well as giving some geometric perspective of gauge theories. (In principle a student can fit all of this in by the end of their sophomore year.)


I mean, maybe if you took two years of college in high school, didn't take any GE, or God Forbid, electives.

Oh, well. At least (s)he does a thorough job through more than 2-3 books like you might usually see.

May the wind be always at your back,
-Wonton Burrito Meals


This is certainly possible. I myself completed taking all my physics courses by the end of my second year. I did not take general relativity, but I took everything else mentioned here.

Re: Doing anything productive this summer?

Posted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 10:11 am
by dlenmn
doom wrote:I know at least some schools give you a free shot at passing quals this fall. Anyone planning on giving that a serious shot?


They have that deal at Wisc, so I'll do some studying if I decide to go there. UPenn, on the other hand, doesn't have any quals! decisions... decisions....

doom wrote:So, how 'bout it? Anybody got any cool summer plans?


Yes, but they involve traveling in Europe and losing all my money due to the shitty exchange rate...

Re: Doing anything productive this summer?

Posted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 10:14 am
by twistor
Obviously you should be savvy and choose the school with no qualifiers.

Re: Doing anything productive this summer?

Posted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 10:26 am
by fermiguy
zxcv wrote:In a word: No.

I have the rest of my life to obsess about physics. This summer I will take off.

Caveat: I probably will actually spend the last few weeks of this summer studying physics, so I can pass the prelim exam at Berkeley right out of the gate. It's a reasonable goal, and will make things far more convenient later. Also, I will be working on fellowship applications for next year. But that's really not much at all.


+1 !!!!!!!!!!!!

I will do some work, so I don't make a jackass of myself come the fall... Taking this year off to work was a good thing but I'm starting to get dull with my physics skills. But beyond that I am SOOOOOOO taking this summer off to relax, hang out with my friends and basically be lazy. I have worked every summer since I was 16 and I'm kinda looking forward to watching some day time TV, and being irresponsible!

Re: Doing anything productive this summer?

Posted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 12:02 pm
by ___
dlenmn wrote:
doom wrote:So, how 'bout it? Anybody got any cool summer plans?


Yes, but they involve traveling in Europe and losing all my money due to the shitty exchange rate...


Yeah, I'm totally taking my stimulus check and spending it in another country. Take THAT economy!

Re: Doing anything productive this summer?

Posted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 12:12 pm
by dlenmn
___ wrote:Yeah, I'm totally taking my stimulus check and spending it in another country. Take THAT economy!


I guess I just hate America... Perhaps I'm a terrorist at heart... Physics is kind of like engineering, right? :roll:

Re: Doing anything productive this summer?

Posted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 2:14 pm
by grae313
doom wrote:So, how 'bout it? Anybody got any cool summer plans?


My boyfriend and I will be taking our motorcycles on a trip to Alaska and the Yukon, camping all the way up and back. It's going to be *** awesome.

Pictures taken by others on a similar trip:

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Then I'm going to teach myself solid state, some stat mech, and the second half of griffiths since I didn't have any of that in undergrad.

Re: Doing anything productive this summer?

Posted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 2:51 pm
by quizivex
Wow that's awesome, grae313!!! The only time I saw scenery like that was at my REU program out west...

Students in my program are invited to start early work at PPPL. While they're not forcing us or pressuring us at all, it seems most of the students this year are doing it, July 1st, so I decided to compromise and plan to start one month early August first. Until then, I don't know, I hope I can catch up on my physics and math and try to relax and enjoy life (I should've been doing that all along this year since there's no pressure, but I still find reasons to be stressed or frustrated), I just hope I don't end up sleeping 12 hours per day like I often do. One of my classmates is starting his program not long after graduation and another is doing an internship at a national lab... I just hope that doesn't become the norm in this country. After the 4 years of pressure, exams, setbacks, surprises and homework we all endure to get to this next step, I'd like to see all students take advantage of the summer reprieve between ugrad and grad school, rather than dive straight into grad school, which will be twice as intense and nearly twice as long, right after picking up your diploma... I doubt any school will literaly force students to start early, but students will feel forced if everyone else is doing it, they don't want to be at a disadvantage...

Re: Doing anything productive this summer?

Posted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 4:08 pm
by WontonBurritoMeals
So you would have had:

2 years of Calculus (1 I can easilly see in H.S.), Linear Algebra, a year of Differential Equations, a year and a half of introductory physics, a year of quantum mechanics, a year of electro-magneticsm, a year of thermodynamics & Optics, a year of laboratory, and a year of classical mechanics in two years?

1 Calc + 1 DE + 1.5 Intro + 1 QM + 1 E&M + 1 TD&Op + 1 CM + 1 Lab = 8.5 years or about 4 classes per semester. All the while doing research? #.#

Wouldn't this require forgoing GE and electives?

May the wind be always at your back,
-Wonton Burrito Meals

Re: Doing anything productive this summer?

Posted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 4:58 pm
by excel
Well, the specifics are not exactly like what you said, but you are correct in principle.

I placed out of some introductory physics and math courses. My only freshman level coursework was 1 sem of "modern physics" and 1 sem of calculus. I had started taking 2nd year level coursework in my very first semester in college. I mainly took math and physics courses (especially the core requirements) in my first two years--I postposed fulfilling humanities & arts requirements. I also used to "overload", as they call it here.

Re: Doing anything productive this summer?

Posted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 6:34 pm
by vroomfondel
i just canceled my summer travel plans because my research adviser told me he could pay me till mid-august.

ie, i'm finishing up my research, and then going straight to grad school :)

Re: Doing anything productive this summer?

Posted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 8:09 pm
by fermiboy
vroomfondel wrote:i just canceled my summer travel plans because my research adviser told me he could pay me till mid-august.

ie, i'm finishing up my research, and then going straight to grad school :)


I'm doing that too. I'm also teaching an algebra and trig based physics course (the lab section) for my undergrad school this summer. Listening to pre-meds whine about every point I knock off. Fun.

Re: Doing anything productive this summer?

Posted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 8:28 pm
by VT
I will be in Madison working with a Prof there. I never got a chance for an REU, so I just wanted to spend this summer doing some experiments. Pretty excited about it ( Madison + summer = gorgeous, this is what I have heard, we'll see).

Re: Doing anything productive this summer?

Posted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 8:51 pm
by twistor
Then I'm going to teach myself solid state, some stat mech, and the second half of griffiths since I didn't have any of that in undergrad.


What the hell have you been doing all this time?

Re: Doing anything productive this summer?

Posted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 8:54 pm
by twistor
My boyfriend and I will be taking our motorcycles on a trip to Alaska and the Yukon


grae you have a Harley?

Re: Doing anything productive this summer?

Posted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 8:58 pm
by butsurigakusha
I will be working in the physics tutorial lab and finishing up a couple of GE courses. Also try to finally publish.

Re: Doing anything productive this summer?

Posted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 9:45 pm
by grae313
twistor wrote:grae you have a Harley?


Hell no! I have one of these:

Image

Re: Doing anything productive this summer?

Posted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 9:46 pm
by grae313
twistor wrote:What the hell have you been doing all this time?


Doing research, working, grading, tutoring, playing call of duty 4, riding my motorcycle, sleeping, eating, hanging out... and every now and then, going to class. :D

Re: Doing anything productive this summer?

Posted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 10:22 pm
by will
kawasaki pirate > kawasaki ninja.

Re: Doing anything productive this summer?

Posted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 10:42 pm
by twistor
grae313 wrote:
twistor wrote:grae you have a Harley?


Hell no! I have one of these:


I have a much harder time respecting you now that I know that.

Re: Doing anything productive this summer?

Posted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 11:27 pm
by grae313
twistor wrote:I have a much harder time respecting you now that I know that.
HA!

Re: Doing anything productive this summer?

Posted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 11:29 pm
by will
And what is it you drive, twistor?

Re: Doing anything productive this summer?

Posted: Sat Apr 12, 2008 10:27 pm
by theoretical_phys
Hm...I'll be studying for the regular and physics GRE. And, completing an REU at the University of Chicago.

Yay for a productive summer! Now...hopefully, I don't freak out about the physics GRE....

Re: Doing anything productive this summer?

Posted: Sat Apr 12, 2008 10:52 pm
by jdhooghe
San Francisco State has a test that you must take before you start the semester to see how well prepared you are so I will be studying for that. I'm not sure if I will be able to get a T.A. though so my summer will probably also be spent working and seeing which loans would be the best. I also have to find an apartment and roommates too which is quite daunting. Anyone know of any resources?

Re: Doing anything productive this summer?

Posted: Sun Apr 13, 2008 1:34 am
by grae313
jdhooghe wrote:San Francisco State has a test that you must take before you start the semester to see how well prepared you are so I will be studying for that. I'm not sure if I will be able to get a T.A. though so my summer will probably also be spent working and seeing which loans would be the best. I also have to find an apartment and roommates too which is quite daunting. Anyone know of any resources?


Where do you live? Are you nearby?

Re: Doing anything productive this summer?

Posted: Mon Apr 14, 2008 5:01 am
by quizivex
will wrote:And what is it you drive, twistor?


Twistor, being a tornado, exploits the wind...

He rides a kite when weather conditions are appropriate to blow him in the right direction. I wonder what he does when the weather doesn't cooperate...

Re: Doing anything productive this summer?

Posted: Mon Apr 14, 2008 2:11 pm
by grae313
grae313 wrote:
jdhooghe wrote:San Francisco State has a test that you must take before you start the semester to see how well prepared you are so I will be studying for that. I'm not sure if I will be able to get a T.A. though so my summer will probably also be spent working and seeing which loans would be the best. I also have to find an apartment and roommates too which is quite daunting. Anyone know of any resources?


Where do you live? Are you nearby?


Because if you aren't, I could possibly check out some apartments/rooms you find online and let you know if they look OK.

Re: Doing anything productive this summer?

Posted: Mon Apr 14, 2008 10:18 pm
by jdhooghe
That's very kind of you Grae but I never meant to have people go on a full blown quest to find the perfect website let alone actually going to SF. I just thought someone might know of a good resource off the top of their heads. I was just being lazy; I can google it and go to San Francisco if need be. :)

Re: Doing anything productive this summer?

Posted: Mon Apr 14, 2008 10:29 pm
by butsurigakusha
Have you tried Craig's List?

Re: Doing anything productive this summer?

Posted: Mon Apr 14, 2008 10:52 pm
by grae313
butsurigakusha wrote:Have you tried Craig's List?


yeah, I've found all my apts on craigslist

Re: Doing anything productive this summer?

Posted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 12:31 am
by jdhooghe
Graig's list it is! Thank you both for the input. Now to find somewhere that is close to both SF and Berkeley that won't cost an organ every month to rent. I did get 16,500 in assorted grants and loans though so hopefully I will have enough left over for vegetarian ramen noodles.

Re: Doing anything productive this summer?

Posted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 1:32 am
by quizivex
FERMIBOY, MAXWELL!!!! Why haven't you taken the easy victory in the battle on the lounge thread?? Go post before you get defeated...