Ah great, it's good to see you're very focued and confident with your plans. That's awesome that VTech allows unlimited credits. Mine charged full tuition price , $450 for each credit over 17, which I think is outrageously unfair. Students should be encouraged to be ambitious and take rigorous rosters... it should be free provided they keep a decent GPA!
bluecoconut wrote:But, another question: Is it common to get something published after an REU? or is that something rare? or is it just... chance 50-50 kinda thing?
I get the impression that it's sortof a toss-up 50/50 thing. It mostly depends on what group you join. Fortunately, something got published from my REU's group that I worked with and I was listed third author. I did not by any means contribute anything significant, but I was there during the experiments and tried to help any way I could. So the point is, you're more likely to get something published if u work in a group that's actively running experiments ( though if you do the REU the summer after junior year it might not get published early enough to put on apps). An undergrad student who works on a more individual project is much less likely to produce anything publishiable himself unless he has extremely advanced background in the particular topic (for theory) or he's just running predesigned experiments collecting new data (experiment). Also some students end up on a project that amounts to building an apparatus or writing a program and there won't be anything to publish. So in short, as for REUs, some get their name on something and some don't, depending mostly on where they worked. Many students present posters whether or not they published, though I think that's a waste of time... more of a publicity stunt. Don't be too discouraged if nothing gets published.
bluecoconut wrote:also, what would a "very promising with a very prolific prof" be like? I've got a few teachers who I could ask to work with, but I'm not sure what you mean I should be looking for.
I just mean if you know a prof at your school who is actively publishing lots of stuff, who is highly admired at your school, who is personable and helpful to his students, who would seem like an ideal recommendation writer, who offers you work with him,... then your best bet is probably to work with him instead of taking the REU lottery... but unless such a slam dunk opportunity arises at your school, the benefits of doing research elsewhere (it looks good on apps and you get to experience something different) is the best deal.
bluecoconut wrote:I was hoping to do an REU next summer in Japan, but... Now i'm kinda worried that doing something like that sounds more... extravagant fun, rather than down to earth work that a grad school would want. (eg. getting an REU at a big name school here in the US, one that i might look to attend) Or, should i be looking towards doing something like japan instead?
If you're in an official research program I would not worry about people nitpicking over the location of your program. Research is research. I think it's kindof sad that students are expected to do research every summer nowadays when summer used to be called "summer break," and it'd be even worse if we were only given credit if we went to a boring location... Keep in mind though that getting into an REU even at a mediocre school is a longshot for white males in the US... I applied to places I never even heard of and got rejected by nearly all of them, (though I was a sophomore and sophs are given much less consideration than juniors)... I was rejected by Wright State, U. Nevada and Lehigh REUs (lol who?)... but a year and a half later I was accepted to Caltech's grad program. I definitely suggest going to the REU in Japan, but be sure to apply to others as backups, and don't count on getting into one at an elite US school.
bluecoconut wrote:Another question: Because I'm also an engineering major, would it be bad if i tried out an internship at an engineering firm or something? (When my goal is specifically physics grad school?) Or would the diversity actually help me when it comes to the application?
I have no idea. Some people would probably pick one point of view and some would pick the other... and some would just say it doesn't matter...any good experience is good experience.