UC Davis

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garlowski
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2008 3:25 pm

UC Davis

Postby garlowski » Thu Apr 17, 2008 9:07 pm

Out of the blue today I receive an acceptance for Davis off of the waitlist. I have accepted an offer at another university (where I'll be happy to be attending) but I do want to consider all my options. Did anyone visit UC Davis? What were your impressions? What's the atmosphere like - both research and social wise? I'm interested in observational cosmology which I believe Davis to be strong for. Is it competitive to work for these groups?

Also, how bad is it to accept an offer then turn it down after April 15? Will I be blacklisted in the physics community until my Nobel prize?

Any info would be really, really appreciated. Thanks!

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dlenmn
Posts: 577
Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2007 10:19 pm

Re: UC Davis

Postby dlenmn » Thu Apr 17, 2008 9:11 pm

See viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1499&p=12531#p12531 for info on changing offers.

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zxcv
Posts: 402
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2007 11:08 pm

Re: UC Davis

Postby zxcv » Thu Apr 17, 2008 10:15 pm

I visited Davis. The department had a quite friendly atmosphere among the grad students. I actually met someone at the UC San Diego open house who planned on turning them down for Davis even though UCSD had more resources and perhaps objectively better research because of the difference in terms of how sociable the grad students are. For what it's worth, I don't think there's much of a difference in how friendly grad students are anywhere, at least among the schools I visited.

The physical building for the physics department is rather average in terms of middle-aged academic buildings. A recent space crunch should be resolved very soon, as right now they're sharing with geology which is getting a new building (first year grad students had offices in a trailer in the back!).

The town of Davis is flat and filled with gazillions of bike paths and bikes. It's a fairly standard college town surrounded (immediately) by farm land, but within easy reach of nearby metropolises (San Francisco, Sacramento) and the Sierra Nevada (Tahoe is 2 hours away). Apparently it gets uncomfortably hot (but dry) in the summer, but in the rest of the year it's warm nice California weather.

Students did seem to spend a lot of time worrying about the quals. In particular, it seemed that they might forgo a possibly significant amount of research during the first summer to study instead for a month. I don't know if that's because the quals are particularly difficult (I doubt it: as at most places, most pass at Davis) or due in part to Davis being a lower ranked school than other places I visited, possibly with less strong students. But it's not unheard of for well-prepared students to pass immediately, either.

I do know that the caliber of students (and the number of applications) at Davis has increased dramatically in the past few years, as well as the quality and size of the physics department. It's definitely on an upward trend if you look at rankings over the past few years.

I didn't pay much attention to astronomy or experimental physics at Davis since those aren't my interests.

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will
Posts: 399
Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2007 3:26 pm

Re: UC Davis

Postby will » Fri Apr 18, 2008 12:01 am

garlowski wrote:Also, how bad is it to accept an offer then turn it down after April 15? Will I be blacklisted in the physics community until my Nobel prize?


Who do you think picks Nobel prize winners?

doom
Posts: 171
Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2007 6:42 pm

Re: UC Davis

Postby doom » Fri Apr 18, 2008 1:22 am

I assume he's planning on being so brilliant that they can't help but acknowledge the error of their ways and give him the Nobel and take him off the blacklist.

(All in good fun. ;) )

jack6
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Apr 20, 2008 7:15 am

Re: UC Davis

Postby jack6 » Sun Apr 20, 2008 6:02 pm

oh man dont get me started with uc davis. I did visit the campus as it was one of the schools i got accepted to but it was a huge disappointment compared to all the other UC's. I think the worst thing of all was how they try to hide the trailers of the first year grad students from the tour. Only when i got a chance to speak with some of the grad students there did i get a real impression of the environment; it seemed like no one was happy to be there, like davis wasnt their first choice or something.

overall, i dont think i would go with davis if you have other choices, as its not a very highly ranked school and the atmosphere there was very gloomy and off setting. Also, as a first year grad student i wouldnt want to be stuck in one of those run down trailers in the back of the building lol

ergscisyhp
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 3:55 am

Re: UC Davis

Postby ergscisyhp » Thu Apr 24, 2008 4:18 am

I really hope I am not too late to add my advice. I did a physics REU at UC Davis and worked in the experimental cosmology department. UC Davis is very good at experimental cosmology. Tony Tyson and David Wittman are both faculty working on the LSST. Tony Tyson is the director of the LSST and so Davis is quite involved with LSST. They were both very nice. If you want to work on LSST, Davis is a great place to do so. There are 7 experimental cosmologists in total (http://www.physics.ucdavis.edu/Cosmolog ... Group.html). I don't know too much about them but the department is pretty large. I would highly recommend UC Davis.

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jdhooghe
Posts: 204
Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2007 9:28 pm

Re: UC Davis

Postby jdhooghe » Sat May 10, 2008 9:35 pm

jack6 wrote:oh man dont get me started with uc davis. I did visit the campus as it was one of the schools i got accepted to but it was a huge disappointment compared to all the other UC's. I think the worst thing of all was how they try to hide the trailers of the first year grad students from the tour. Only when i got a chance to speak with some of the grad students there did i get a real impression of the environment; it seemed like no one was happy to be there, like davis wasnt their first choice or something.

overall, i dont think i would go with davis if you have other choices, as its not a very highly ranked school and the atmosphere there was very gloomy and off setting. Also, as a first year grad student i wouldnt want to be stuck in one of those run down trailers in the back of the building lol



:( Was the atmosphere there really that bad?

christopher3.14
Posts: 65
Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2008 2:19 am

Re: UC Davis

Postby christopher3.14 » Mon May 12, 2008 6:27 am

Have you signed anything yet? If nothing is official, then it might be a good idea to pay the school a visit since its not too far away.

But worst-case scenario you can get your master's from Davis and transfer to another program.




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