hey guys, I want your advice. I haven't had any good news with any universities I applied to yet. Can you tell me what I should try to improve to get into schools like UCSB and Penn State? I don't know if I am overshooting - I thought I was a good applicant sans GRE scores. Maybe I am missing something important. Here's a summary:
- I have a 3.7 GPA, 3.7-ish in Math and 3.9 in Physics, unranked state school.
- PGRE - about 20th percentile on the PGRE
- QGRE - got under 700 (it's a fluke, just didn't have $ to redo yet)
- VGRE - 590
- NSF REU analyzing lithium hydrides.
- 1 summer in Germany doing medical physics project - designed phantom to simulate human capillaries in brain.
- 1 summer research at NASA JSC, on amorphization of lunar dust grains by solar wind.
- Currently in second year of extensive research on gravity related project with a math professor and theoretical physics professor at my school. It's all math and general relativity.
Publications and Presentations:
- LOTS of presentations. About 5 from the NSF REU at student conferences. About 5 from the NASA work, including 2 at national meetings. 2 on my current work (one at my school and next month I'm talking at a gravity meeting specifically).
- 2 pseudo-publications: national conference abstracts from the NASA work.
College of Science Undergraduate Researcher of the Year at my school
Rhodes Scholar finalist
Undergrad research fellowship (almost $10k) from my school for my work in gen. relativity
Goldwater Hon. mention
bunch of smaller scholarships
4-year scholarship from my school
What else can I do, besides retake the GREs and hope for better? Is it because I have no real publications, or does my research seem to non-conventional or something? What advice can you sages give?