Please hold forth on my situation

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rohit
Posts: 104
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2008 9:12 am

Please hold forth on my situation

Postby rohit » Tue Dec 09, 2008 9:51 am

International Male - India
BS - 3 years , MS - 2 years
GRE - Q-760
V- 750
A - ?
PGRE - 760/67% (missed 20 questions :evil: )
TOEFL - 113 (ibt)

Research
- 2 month radio astronomy summer project at National Centre for Radio Astrophysics of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research.
- 4 month project to be done during my 4th semester of MSc (Jan-May 2009) on "Schroedinger Group - Symmetries of the Scroedinger Equation"

No publications yet.

Interests - Astrophysics(tilt towards theory), HEP (theory/expt), Chaos/Non Linear Dynamics. Me would be happy to work on any of these me thinks. But i would like to go to a LARGE department to have all options. I also want to be in the east/west coast or the north.

Thinking of applying to-
Rutgers - NJ
U Minn Twin Cities
Purdue
Stony Brook
U Pittsburgh
U Florida/Florida State
Michigan State
Ohio State
Penn State
U Delaware
U Hawaii Astro
Case Western
U Notre Dame
Cornell Astro
a couple Canadian; not sure where

I have sent my free score reports to the following places but after getting my PGRE scores, will not be applying. Thoughts?
U Penn
UC Berkeley
U MD College prk
UIUC

What are my chances?
Do i have enough safeties?
Do i have enough reaches?
Which 4-5 schools should i eliminate frm this list to bring it down a to reasonable #?
Is it pointless to apply to Cornell astro?
Should i save 1500 $ and apply next year, try and do some project during the gap? (I'm pretty sure i can get a PGRE > 950 with some timing practice)

Replies to any of the questions would be much appreciated.
Last edited by rohit on Wed Dec 10, 2008 10:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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coreycwgriffin
Posts: 249
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 1:28 am

Re: Please hold forth on my situation

Postby coreycwgriffin » Tue Dec 09, 2008 8:02 pm

How do you know you missed 20 questions?

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Helio
Posts: 809
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2007 7:11 pm

Re: Please hold forth on my situation

Postby Helio » Tue Dec 09, 2008 8:17 pm

There are enough of nearly everything on the list. You have research experience, but no sense what you want to do it seems. You are "interests" are all over the place and some of these places have both astro and physics, so you should decide which departments to apply to. Theory international students, esp. HEP, are expected to score around the 900+ mark.

Personally in that situation, I would first try to figure out what I really want to do and save the money for now. Headless chickens that run jumping from group to group can sometimes be annoying to faculty and administration. It is pointless to do the shot gun method if you cannot narrow your interests down to 1 or 2 research options and whether to do experiment or theory, e.g. I have solar physics and astroparticle physics, both are experimental, for mine. Do another or two project, get a good letter of rec out of it, find out what you want to do and then apply because 1) It will save you money 2) you will find an advisor more easily (makes graduating quicker and saves money as well) 3) you will be happier with your choice in the long-run.

rohit
Posts: 104
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2008 9:12 am

Re: Please hold forth on my situation

Postby rohit » Wed Dec 10, 2008 9:50 am

coreycwgriffin wrote:How do you know you missed 20 questions?


eh.. i counted? i mean i ran out of time and could not attempt ~20 questions, out of which 10 could have put me >850 :cry:

rohit
Posts: 104
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2008 9:12 am

Re: Please hold forth on my situation

Postby rohit » Wed Dec 10, 2008 10:09 am

Helio wrote: You have research experience, but no sense what you want to do it seems. You are "interests" are all over the place and some of these places have both astro and physics, so you should decide which departments to apply to......
....Headless chickens that run jumping from group to group can sometimes be annoying to faculty and administration. It is pointless to do the shot gun method if you cannot narrow your interests down to 1 or 2 research options and whether to do experiment or theory....


I guess what i mean is i am interested in all of these and would readily work on any of them, and not whine later that i wanted not this but that. I've seen nearly all depts. say thatits fine to be undecided and not be very specific. Also heard some advice that unless one has done projects in [i]2 or more[i] fields one should not make up one's mind before going to grad school. In the schools which have both HEP and astro, is it wrong to say i'm interested in both? These are not top 20 schools after all where i guess you gotta be more definite.

Helio wrote: Theory international students, esp. HEP, are expected to score around the 900+ mark.


Isnt that for top 30 places?

User avatar
coreycwgriffin
Posts: 249
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 1:28 am

Re: Please hold forth on my situation

Postby coreycwgriffin » Wed Dec 10, 2008 10:55 am

rohit wrote:
coreycwgriffin wrote:How do you know you missed 20 questions?


eh.. i counted? i mean i ran out of time and could not attempt ~20 questions, out of which 10 could have put me >850 :cry:


"Not attempting" and "missing" are different things to me.

User avatar
Helio
Posts: 809
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2007 7:11 pm

Re: Please hold forth on my situation

Postby Helio » Wed Dec 10, 2008 3:01 pm

rohit wrote:
Helio wrote: You have research experience, but no sense what you want to do it seems. You are "interests" are all over the place and some of these places have both astro and physics, so you should decide which departments to apply to......
....Headless chickens that run jumping from group to group can sometimes be annoying to faculty and administration. It is pointless to do the shot gun method if you cannot narrow your interests down to 1 or 2 research options and whether to do experiment or theory....


I guess what i mean is i am interested in all of these and would readily work on any of them, and not whine later that i wanted not this but that. I've seen nearly all depts. say thatits fine to be undecided and not be very specific. Also heard some advice that unless one has done projects in [i]2 or more[i] fields one should not make up one's mind before going to grad school. In the schools which have both HEP and astro, is it wrong to say i'm interested in both? These are not top 20 schools after all where i guess you gotta be more definite.

Helio wrote: Theory international students, esp. HEP, are expected to score around the 900+ mark.


Isnt that for top 30 places?


nope.... i know at least here at USC if you want to compete for HEP you need a 900+ for international and USC is not top 30.

Penn state is one of the top departments in HEP (or was it Quantum Gravity) from what i have read here (don't quote I am not 100% sure), cornell astro is most probably in the top 20 astro departments, OSU astro is considered one of the top departments in astro and physics is somewhere around 30, Hawaii astro is also somewhere around top 20 in astro




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