Computational science&engineering/ applied math

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coffee
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2009 11:38 pm

Computational science&engineering/ applied math

Postby coffee » Fri Aug 14, 2009 12:35 am

Hi,
I'm an international student looking for grad schools in computational science & engineering (and similar). I know this is a physics forum, but I really have no idea about the schools' reputations and my chances, so I'll be glad for any input.

I'm in my second year, so I still have some time.



Undergrad Institution: Europe, top school of my country, 40-60 in some world rankings, some reputation for physics
Major(s):math
Minor(s):physics
GPA in Major: in American terms ~3.9/4 (I should be able to keep it up, since I've taken all hard classes already. There's one C tarnishing my transcript, but it has a very good explanation)
We don't have any graded classes besides major and minor. (about 25 math+5physics classes)
Length of Degree: 3.
Position in Class: Near top.
Type of Student: International female with immigration background.

GRE Scores: (Practise test)
Q: ~800
V: ~550

P: shouldn't be too bad. I studied quite a lot, and I still have some time

TOEFL Total: 116 :-) I also have an A+ in a C2-level English class

Research Experience:
- co-author of a book that will be published at Pearson Education (subject: comp sci)
- undergrad thesis (will be in numerics, or, if possible, simulation)
- 3 months modelling/simulation at a university in eastern europe (scholarship)
- 140page project thesis during high school (see add. info, developed a GSM supervision system for a water supply company)
- 1 week work camp at prestigious uni in another country (scholarship)

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: (Within your school or outside?)
- small scholarship by career network (well-known companies)
- scholarship for research internship
- pretty useless awards for soft skills/ECs; pretty useless contests

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
- started working as programmer at age 15
- continously worked to support my studies
- at least 1 year of highly relevant job experience

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:
- took several extra classes and labs in the field of physics, visualization, numerics
- several certificates in High Performance Computing (I live next to a supercomputer and they have awesome, free lectures)
- several other certificates (CISCO CCNA, English,..)

Special Bonus Points:
female? Well, no clue.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
- went to a vocational school instead of regular high school and did something like a associates degree in electronics/informatics there. (=5 yrs of 40hrs science/lab lessons)



What kind of schools would you be looking for with this kind of cv? What kind of extra classes would you take? What about jobs - would being an undergrad TA help? Or another research position?

Any advice would be very appreciated.
Thank you.
Claire

pqortic
Posts: 398
Joined: Fri Aug 29, 2008 9:24 am

Re: Computational science&engineering/ applied math

Postby pqortic » Fri Aug 14, 2009 10:55 am

coffee wrote:Hi,
I'm an international student looking for grad schools in computational science & engineering (and similar). I know this is a physics forum, but I really have no idea about the schools' reputations and my chances, so I'll be glad for any input.

Your resume seems to be strong but your field is out of our specialty to estimate your chance!

excel
Posts: 257
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2008 2:33 am

Re: Computational science&engineering/ applied math

Postby excel » Fri Aug 14, 2009 4:50 pm

Hi,

I did apply to and get into applied math graduate programs, so I will respond to your post.

Applied math programs vary quite a bit in terms of their focus and style. For example, Northwestern's applied math is heavily into mathematical modeling, whereas Brown's applied math program is heavier on the theoretical aspects of applied math (analysis). You can improve your chances at getting into and succeeding in top programs by choosing programs best aligned with your interest and background. For programs good for computational studies, one thing to do may be to look at which universities have the fastest supercomputers (for example, UNC Chapel Hill, Stanford) and to look at US News rankings (applied math specialty) to get an idea -- but dont pay too much attention to the rankings!

A few things. Undergraduate teaching assistantship would help, but not as much as a research position. High school and length of your thesis report do not matter. With a 3 year degree, you would not be eligible to apply to almost any applied math graduate program. You would need a 4 year degree or a masters.

nathan12343
Posts: 249
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 9:34 am

Re: Computational science&engineering/ applied math

Postby nathan12343 » Fri Aug 14, 2009 10:05 pm

Excel may not be aware that in other countries a three year degree is normal. I wouldn't worry about the length or quality of your undergraduate degree.

excel
Posts: 257
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2008 2:33 am

Re: Computational science&engineering/ applied math

Postby excel » Sat Aug 15, 2009 12:55 am

In general, students with only a 3-year undergraduate degree are not eligible for admission to PhD programs in the U.S.-- whether or not it is "normal" in some countries is not that relevant. The only relevant point is whether the U.S. graduate school and the graduate program would consider the degree equivalent to a 4 year US Bachelor of Science. In general, most universities would not. For Bologna-compliant 3 year degrees, even if the graduate admission office of some universities allowed the application (to take an easy way out), remember that it is the graduate programs who then make the admission decisions. Not being concerned about the length of the degree may not be good advice; at least, check with the graduate admissions and the programs of your interest

Of possible interest, http://chronicle.com/article/Graduate-S ... der/44305/
http://www.gsas.harvard.edu/prospective ... ements.php

pintu_agarwal
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2009 1:38 am

Phd in Physics ????

Postby pintu_agarwal » Thu Nov 19, 2009 2:08 am

Hello,
I have done B.E(Computer Engineering) in 2001 and right now working in a Software Company in Bangalore(India). Further, I wanted to a research in Physics(astronomy) and so wanted to do Ph.D in Physics/Astronomy from any of the good Foreign University (or in India if good).
Is it possible to do a Ph.D in Physics holding a BE in Computers???
Please let me know the Best universities in World for doing Ph.D in Physics/astronomy and also provide some website references...

Also wanted to know if it is possible to do Ph.D and also continue with my present job to satisfy my financial need.

Thanks,
Pintu
Bangalore - India

User avatar
quizivex
Posts: 1029
Joined: Tue Jan 09, 2007 6:13 am

Re: Phd in Physics ????

Postby quizivex » Thu Nov 19, 2009 4:00 am

pintu_agarwal wrote:Please let me know the Best universities in World for doing Ph.D in Physics/astronomy and also provide some website references...
This is a link to a website that has lots of information on graduate programs, applications, tests, etc... It answers nearly all of the common questions prospective students have. It also has a convenient search feature allowing you to locate the specific information you want.

pintu_agarwal wrote:Is it possible to do a Ph.D in Physics holding a BE in Computers???
Changing fields after undergrad is an extremely rare phenomenon and it's very difficult to find any information on switching from engineering or another science field to physics. Fortunately, I found this excellent blog which was written by someone who made a transition from computer science to physics just like you're planning to do.

pintu_agarwal
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2009 1:38 am

Re: Phd in Physics ????

Postby pintu_agarwal » Thu Nov 19, 2009 6:57 am

Hello,
Thanks for your reply.

I wanted to know one more thing.
To study for a Ph.D in Physics (or Ph.D in Astronomy) from any Foriegn University(out of India) do I need to qualify in GRE (both General and Subject wise or only Subject test)??
Also since I am an Indian student do I need to qualify for TOEFL also??

Also, since my family background is financially weak I cannot fully quit my job and study. Is there any thing where I can persue Higher Education by continuing my current job as well??
Or is there any Distant Ph.D program available Abroad??

wisegops
Posts: 20
Joined: Sun Nov 08, 2009 2:43 am

Re: Phd in Physics ????

Postby wisegops » Thu Nov 19, 2009 12:58 pm

I am in the same league as you are, Indian , engineering grad, financially not in the best shape, wanting to be a physicist.
My little bit of knowledge is, great to good institutions do offer full funding for PhD students, but whether there is any hope of supporting the family whilst study, well i hope the answer is yes, but only someone who's been there, done that can say for sure.
Most institutions require a full time commitment from students, so dont think about being an engineer or whatever by day, and physics student by night, 5 days of the week, u may be able to do some part time job in the weekends though.

But i suppose if you are fine with studying in India and have found institutions there which do the kind of research u are interested in, then you could probably work partly as a research student and some other job, although highly unlikely and difficult to make practical.

TOEFL, GRE General, GRE Physics all these test amounting to $395.00 plus application fees to each university you are applying to, be prepared to dish out Rs 50,000/- at least all in all if you are seriously planning on physics.

Best!




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