2011 Decisions

  • This has become our largest and most active forum because the physics GRE is just one aspect of getting accepted into a graduate physics program.
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SSM
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2011 Decisions

Postby SSM » Sat Mar 26, 2011 1:03 am

In the spirit of Riley's latest thread I thought it might be a good idea if people begin posting their plans for after undergrad or wherever. It would definitely be helpful for me to hear why people are choosing to do what, since I'm torn between several places myself.

vesperlynd
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Re: 2011 Decisions

Postby vesperlynd » Sun Mar 27, 2011 1:51 am

Good idea, SSM. I guess I'll start off. I'm deciding between Berkeley, Harvard, and MIT (visiting Harvard and MIT this week). Hopefully, will have decision made next week, when I'm back home. Will update with the final decision and reasons next week.

cryingsun
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Re: 2011 Decisions

Postby cryingsun » Sun Mar 27, 2011 3:18 am

vesperlynd wrote:Good idea, SSM. I guess I'll start off. I'm deciding between Berkeley, Harvard, and MIT (visiting Harvard and MIT this week). Hopefully, will have decision made next week, when I'm back home. Will update with the final decision and reasons next week.

Huh, so your visits to stanford and caltech last week ruled them out? Why/how did that happen?

axiomofchoice
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Re: 2011 Decisions

Postby axiomofchoice » Sun Mar 27, 2011 10:12 am

I have it narrowed down to 5 schools, a few of them I'm visiting in the coming two weeks. I have a mental ranking, but I'm not above 60% sure about any of them yet.

@vesperlynd: I'm also interested to hear what discounted Stanford for you, beside the fact that they only pay half of the health insurance (and no dental or vision coverage :evil:).

t2kburl
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Re: 2011 Decisions

Postby t2kburl » Sun Mar 27, 2011 10:51 am

I chose Colorado State over UW-Madison, UW-Milwaukee and Utah State. My reasons included research interest, location, stipend, location, not being forced into a union, location, program reputation & growth trend, location, prospects for long term funding and location. 8)

tady
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Re: 2011 Decisions

Postby tady » Sun Mar 27, 2011 11:02 am

t2kburl wrote:I chose Colorado State over UW-Madison, UW-Milwaukee and Utah State. My reasons included research interest, location, stipend, location, not being forced into a union, location, program reputation & growth trend, location, prospects for long term funding and location. 8)

It is all about location.

SSM
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Re: 2011 Decisions

Postby SSM » Sun Mar 27, 2011 12:03 pm

Aside from not knowing exactly what I want to do, I'm having a lot of trouble deciding because I applied to places with arguably the best possible weather with good programs and places with terrible weather and slightly better programs.

tady
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Re: 2011 Decisions

Postby tady » Sun Mar 27, 2011 12:38 pm

Don't underestimate the importance of "quality-of-life". Assuming you're in your early twenties, the next few years are going to be pretty life changing in regard to career, starting a family, settling down, so on and so forth.

vesperlynd
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Re: 2011 Decisions

Postby vesperlynd » Sun Mar 27, 2011 2:27 pm

cryingsun wrote:Huh, so your visits to stanford and caltech last week ruled them out? Why/how did that happen?
axiomofchoice wrote:@vesperlynd: I'm also interested to hear what discounted Stanford for you, beside the fact that they only pay half of the health insurance (and no dental or vision coverage ).

Well, I'm rather undecided about what subfield. That pretty much ruled Caltech out - I was told by several people there that you pretty much need to know what subfield you want to pursue before going. Since I was only offered an RA there, I'd have to pick something when I need to explore a little more. Cryingsun - it's absolutely fantastic for astro-related research. Don't get me wrong, but I'm just not sure that's what I want to be doing for the rest of my life (in fact, I'm really unsure).

Stanford has more variety in their research fields (more advisors, etc) and the rotation system, which would be a huge plus for me. However, I really didn't like the country club feel of the place. Berkeley, on the other hand, has a similar rotation system which they discussed in their admissions letter. And they offered me a fellowship, with the option to TA to earn more. I realize I'd be taking a risk going there due to all of the budget cuts, etc, but their research is just as good, and I'd still have freedom to choose a subfield. Also, Berkeley has this cool Tech & Management program within their business school for scientists and engineers who want management training 8) (which would come in handy if I go into industry).

The faculty at Stanford are all very nice, except for the one that completely forgot about his appointment. :evil: And he was the one I was most interested in hearing from.

Dreaded Anomaly
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Re: 2011 Decisions

Postby Dreaded Anomaly » Sun Mar 27, 2011 5:31 pm

I'm deciding between University of Rochester and University of Maryland. I ruled out UIUC after visiting; beyond being the highest-ranking program into which I was accepted, it had little appeal to me. Of those schools, UIUC has the worst location, some administrative computer errors on their part cost me a lot of time and anxiety, and I didn't really feel that I "clicked" with the professors I met.

Rochester has an okay location, and professors and research that I like, so it'll come down to how I feel about Maryland's department when I visit (as the location is obviously better).

ekuphysics
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Re: 2011 Decisions

Postby ekuphysics » Sun Mar 27, 2011 6:13 pm

The decision has been made. In the fall, man this is hard... I will be taking my talents to Columbus Ohio to attend The Ohio State University. I realize that on this site many people feel Ohio State is not top tier, however it is a great fit for me. The area is pretty nice, great things to do nearly every weekend and large enough to accommodate students that, like me, are unsure about their area of research. Also, many schools are having budget problems. This has not yet occurred at OSU, and although the HEP-theory funding is low (theory funding is low a lot of places), funding in experimental is still strong. Further, with the option of researching the first two summers on the schools bill (as opposed to the research groups) allows students an opportunity to find a group to work with before being locked down by any particular group's funding. Overall, my visit went well and the ultimate decision came down to location. It is close to my family, gives my fiance' a chance to find work as an RN, and offers me an opportunity to still learn from some brilliant minds at a highly ranked university!

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HappyQuark
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Re: 2011 Decisions

Postby HappyQuark » Sun Mar 27, 2011 6:19 pm

ekuphysics wrote:The decision has been made. In the fall, man this is hard... I will be taking my talents to Columbus Ohio to attend The Ohio State University. I realize that on this site many people feel Ohio State is not top tier, however it is a great fit for me. The area is pretty nice, great things to do nearly every weekend and large enough to accommodate students that, like me, are unsure about their area of research. Also, many schools are having budget problems. This has not yet occurred at OSU, and although the HEP-theory funding is low (theory funding is low a lot of places), funding in experimental is still strong. Further, with the option of researching the first two summers on the schools bill (as opposed to the research groups) allows students an opportunity to find a group to work with before being locked down by any particular group's funding. Overall, my visit went well and the ultimate decision came down to location. It is close to my family, gives my fiance' a chance to find work as an RN, and offers me an opportunity to still learn from some brilliant minds at a highly ranked university!


I believe you'll find that OSU is regarded by most on the forum as the most underrated program out there. I think you made a good choice.

bfollinprm
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Re: 2011 Decisions

Postby bfollinprm » Sun Mar 27, 2011 7:40 pm

HappyQuark wrote:
ekuphysics wrote:The decision has been made. In the fall, man this is hard... I will be taking my talents to Columbus Ohio to attend The Ohio State University. I realize that on this site many people feel Ohio State is not top tier, however it is a great fit for me. The area is pretty nice, great things to do nearly every weekend and large enough to accommodate students that, like me, are unsure about their area of research. Also, many schools are having budget problems. This has not yet occurred at OSU, and although the HEP-theory funding is low (theory funding is low a lot of places), funding in experimental is still strong. Further, with the option of researching the first two summers on the schools bill (as opposed to the research groups) allows students an opportunity to find a group to work with before being locked down by any particular group's funding. Overall, my visit went well and the ultimate decision came down to location. It is close to my family, gives my fiance' a chance to find work as an RN, and offers me an opportunity to still learn from some brilliant minds at a highly ranked university!


I believe you'll find that OSU is regarded by most on the forum as the most underrated program out there. I think you made a good choice.



Agreed. If OSU was in Chicago, San Fran, or New York, it would be almost level with Chicago, Berkeley, and Santa Barbara. Same with UIUC and UT-Austin.

Astro-K
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Re: 2011 Decisions

Postby Astro-K » Sun Mar 27, 2011 8:29 pm

I've decided on University of Hawai'i - Manoa--it's the highest ranked program I was accepted into, their telescope access is unparalleled, it's a large department with a broad variety of research interests (I'm not set on a sub-field yet), and they require two publishable master's projects with two different advisers before you propose a dissertation topic (more publications and more opportunity to try out different projects). I also got along well with the current and other prospective grads and the location can't be beat (besides the obvious, Honolulu is also the most cosmopolitan city, which is important to me).

pqortic
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Re: 2011 Decisions

Postby pqortic » Sun Mar 27, 2011 10:38 pm

@ vesperlynd

don't forget to post your profile.

cryingsun
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Re: 2011 Decisions

Postby cryingsun » Sun Mar 27, 2011 11:44 pm

pqortic wrote:@ vesperlynd

don't forget to post your profile.

I think her profile has been there for quite a while...

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HappyQuark
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Re: 2011 Decisions

Postby HappyQuark » Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:03 am

Astro-K wrote:I've decided on University of Hawai'i - Manoa--it's the highest ranked program I was accepted into, their telescope access is unparalleled, it's a large department with a broad variety of research interests (I'm not set on a sub-field yet), and they require two publishable master's projects with two different advisers before you propose a dissertation topic (more publications and more opportunity to try out different projects). I also got along well with the current and other prospective grads and the location can't be beat (besides the obvious, Honolulu is also the most cosmopolitan city, which is important to me).


I'm strongly considering Hawaii but for physics. The major stumbling block for me right now is that based on the email they sent, the funding to the Physics grads is roughly half of what the Astro students are getting. $1,300/month for 12 months is the TA offer and I'm not sure how anyone could survive on that, especially in Hawaii. The cheapest nearby apartments I can find are around $700-$800/month.

Astro-K
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Re: 2011 Decisions

Postby Astro-K » Mon Mar 28, 2011 1:49 am

HappyQuark wrote:
Astro-K wrote: wrote:
I've decided on University of Hawai'i - Manoa--it's the highest ranked program I was accepted into, their telescope access is unparalleled, it's a large department with a broad variety of research interests (I'm not set on a sub-field yet), and they require two publishable master's projects with two different advisers before you propose a dissertation topic (more publications and more opportunity to try out different projects). I also got along well with the current and other prospective grads and the location can't be beat (besides the obvious, Honolulu is also the most cosmopolitan city, which is important to me).



I'm strongly considering Hawaii but for physics. The major stumbling block for me right now is that based on the email they sent, the funding to the Physics grads is roughly half of what the Astro students are getting. $1,300/month for 12 months is the TA offer and I'm not sure how anyone could survive on that, especially in Hawaii. The cheapest nearby apartments I can find are around $700-$800/month.


Ouch! Yeah, they said they've raised the astro stipend dramatically in the last few years in order to be competitive with the mainland schools, but I think that means the astro stipend is now well above that of any other department in the university. Would there be any fellowship possibilities down the road if you went there? Also, nearly all of the grad students I met on my visit share a house with other grads, which makes things a little cheaper. They generally each paid between $550 and $750 a month. The other thing is most students don't have a car, or buy a really cheap one once they get there, so you can save by not paying for car expenses. It is still expensive, though.

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HappyQuark
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Re: 2011 Decisions

Postby HappyQuark » Mon Mar 28, 2011 2:33 am

Astro-K wrote:
HappyQuark wrote:I'm strongly considering Hawaii but for physics. The major stumbling block for me right now is that based on the email they sent, the funding to the Physics grads is roughly half of what the Astro students are getting. $1,300/month for 12 months is the TA offer and I'm not sure how anyone could survive on that, especially in Hawaii. The cheapest nearby apartments I can find are around $700-$800/month.


Ouch! Yeah, they said they've raised the astro stipend dramatically in the last few years in order to be competitive with the mainland schools, but I think that means the astro stipend is now well above that of any other department in the university. Would there be any fellowship possibilities down the road if you went there? Also, nearly all of the grad students I met on my visit share a house with other grads, which makes things a little cheaper. They generally each paid between $550 and $750 a month. The other thing is most students don't have a car, or buy a really cheap one once they get there, so you can save by not paying for car expenses. It is still expensive, though.


I sent off an email with a few questions so I'll probably know a bit more tomorrow. I'm assuming (more hoping) that if I go with Hawawii I'll be able to get in with a research group relatively early and that the RA funding will be better than the current TA funding. I also need to get a bit of clarification on how their funding works. According to the email, TAs get $15,550 for 9 months but it's paid out over 12 months, hence where the $1,300 value comes from. However, on the website they mention that most students get some sort of TA or RA funding for the summer so I'm not sure if that just gets added to your monthly $1,300 or what. Most schools I've seen just do the funding for 9 months and then your sort of on your own for the summer months.

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midwestphysics
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Re: 2011 Decisions

Postby midwestphysics » Mon Mar 28, 2011 2:41 am

HappyQuark wrote:I'm strongly considering Hawaii but for physics. The major stumbling block for me right now is that based on the email they sent, the funding to the Physics grads is roughly half of what the Astro students are getting. $1,300/month for 12 months is the TA offer and I'm not sure how anyone could survive on that, especially in Hawaii. The cheapest nearby apartments I can find are around $700-$800/month.


Yeah, it's damn near impossible to live alone on that amount in HI, and living in the somewhat ghetto grad housing isn't really any cheaper plus you still have room mates. After utilities, etc, you're in the hole every month if you're on your own. I'm pretty shocked they only offered 15.6 k for 12 months, the 9 month for most schools is equal to or more than that, and even more made in the summer doing research or teaching. Hopefully you can find a way to make it work, if you really want to go there. Talk to the department maybe, they have to know it's not feasible, and if they really want you maybe they can find a way to bump it up. You're not really nitpicking or extorting them on this one, you're just trying o survive.

EDIT: just posted as you posted

bfollinprm
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Re: 2011 Decisions

Postby bfollinprm » Mon Mar 28, 2011 6:48 am

HappyQuark wrote:
Astro-K wrote:
HappyQuark wrote:I'm strongly considering Hawaii but for physics. The major stumbling block for me right now is that based on the email they sent, the funding to the Physics grads is roughly half of what the Astro students are getting. $1,300/month for 12 months is the TA offer and I'm not sure how anyone could survive on that, especially in Hawaii. The cheapest nearby apartments I can find are around $700-$800/month.


Ouch! Yeah, they said they've raised the astro stipend dramatically in the last few years in order to be competitive with the mainland schools, but I think that means the astro stipend is now well above that of any other department in the university. Would there be any fellowship possibilities down the road if you went there? Also, nearly all of the grad students I met on my visit share a house with other grads, which makes things a little cheaper. They generally each paid between $550 and $750 a month. The other thing is most students don't have a car, or buy a really cheap one once they get there, so you can save by not paying for car expenses. It is still expensive, though.


I sent off an email with a few questions so I'll probably know a bit more tomorrow. I'm assuming (more hoping) that if I go with Hawawii I'll be able to get in with a research group relatively early and that the RA funding will be better than the current TA funding. I also need to get a bit of clarification on how their funding works. According to the email, TAs get $15,550 for 9 months but it's paid out over 12 months, hence where the $1,300 value comes from. However, on the website they mention that most students get some sort of TA or RA funding for the summer so I'm not sure if that just gets added to your monthly $1,300 or what. Most schools I've seen just do the funding for 9 months and then your sort of on your own for the summer months.



If you have other, better offers from similar schools play them up. You can probably get an additional fellowship; I can't imagine many people end up going for 16k/yr. And I bet the research funding the next year is enough to live on, since I can't imagine physics grants somehow being more stingy than their astro brethren. The school should be able to find another 5-6k for you to assuage this concern, otherwise I'd be very scared of how much they actually cared about you.

bfollinprm
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Re: 2011 Decisions

Postby bfollinprm » Mon Mar 28, 2011 11:27 am

Deciding between Davis, Irvine, and San Diego in the next week (after visiting). Waitlisted at Texas, so will probably wait until the 15th to make a decision (unless someone really blows my mind), but I'll know between the 3 CA schools by the 11th, and will let the other 2 know.

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satyad18
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Re: 2011 Decisions

Postby satyad18 » Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:00 pm

I have decided to attend Pittsburgh.

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HappyQuark
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Re: 2011 Decisions

Postby HappyQuark » Mon Mar 28, 2011 6:52 pm

HappyQuark wrote:
Astro-K wrote:
HappyQuark wrote:I'm strongly considering Hawaii but for physics. The major stumbling block for me right now is that based on the email they sent, the funding to the Physics grads is roughly half of what the Astro students are getting. $1,300/month for 12 months is the TA offer and I'm not sure how anyone could survive on that, especially in Hawaii. The cheapest nearby apartments I can find are around $700-$800/month.


Ouch! Yeah, they said they've raised the astro stipend dramatically in the last few years in order to be competitive with the mainland schools, but I think that means the astro stipend is now well above that of any other department in the university. Would there be any fellowship possibilities down the road if you went there? Also, nearly all of the grad students I met on my visit share a house with other grads, which makes things a little cheaper. They generally each paid between $550 and $750 a month. The other thing is most students don't have a car, or buy a really cheap one once they get there, so you can save by not paying for car expenses. It is still expensive, though.


I sent off an email with a few questions so I'll probably know a bit more tomorrow. I'm assuming (more hoping) that if I go with Hawawii I'll be able to get in with a research group relatively early and that the RA funding will be better than the current TA funding. I also need to get a bit of clarification on how their funding works. According to the email, TAs get $15,550 for 9 months but it's paid out over 12 months, hence where the $1,300 value comes from. However, on the website they mention that most students get some sort of TA or RA funding for the summer so I'm not sure if that just gets added to your monthly $1,300 or what. Most schools I've seen just do the funding for 9 months and then your sort of on your own for the summer months.


As if things weren't already tricky enough, the day after I sent my email asking Hawaii if they were out of their minds for expecting me to live in Oahu with only $15,550/year, I get an email from Utah saying they've increased their salary from $18,506/year ($20,108/year for students that pass the common exam) to $20,641/year (23,500/year for students that pass the common exam).

What the hell, Hawaii?

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midwestphysics
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Re: 2011 Decisions

Postby midwestphysics » Mon Mar 28, 2011 7:05 pm

Unfortunately I think your hands are tied unless they increase the stipend, or if you can find some other grads you want to/can move in with. $15,550 is joke, and I'd treat it like one unless they can up it.

Sorry to hear that though :( , Hawaii would be awesome to live in for a few years.

EDIT: It might be a good thing, this is the AIP report from 08 astronomy unfotunatley, but it gives you an overview of the school somewhat. Nearly half of the people bomb and leave Hawaii with a masters after 2 years. I feel sorry for you astro guys and gals, it looks like they weed out heavily.

http://www.aip.org/gpb/pdf_files/191.pdf

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grae313
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Re: 2011 Decisions

Postby grae313 » Mon Mar 28, 2011 9:33 pm

I'd contact some current grads there and try to find out how they do it and what it's like.

Astro-K
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Re: 2011 Decisions

Postby Astro-K » Mon Mar 28, 2011 10:19 pm

midwestphysics wrote:EDIT: It might be a good thing, this is the AIP report from 08 astronomy unfotunatley, but it gives you an overview of the school somewhat. Nearly half of the people bomb and leave Hawaii with a masters after 2 years. I feel sorry for you astro guys and gals, it looks like they weed out heavily.

http://www.aip.org/gpb/pdf_files/191.pdf


Check those numbers again--all of the "master's" recipients received the degree en-route to the PhD. The "terminal master's" degrees are the ones who left and that number is pretty small. More important for me, too, was talking to the current grads--the last few people who left either did so in the first year or did so after passing quals, so it was more of a "personal choice" (insofar as potential systemic issues can be ascribed to personal choice, anyway).

grae313 wrote:I'd contact some current grads there and try to find out how they do it and what it's like.


Excellent idea. Also, HappyQuark, did you get a chance to visit?

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midwestphysics
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Re: 2011 Decisions

Postby midwestphysics » Mon Mar 28, 2011 10:48 pm

Ah, I mixed up the numbers, thanks for clearing that up.

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HappyQuark
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Re: 2011 Decisions

Postby HappyQuark » Mon Mar 28, 2011 11:28 pm

Astro-K wrote:
midwestphysics wrote:EDIT: It might be a good thing, this is the AIP report from 08 astronomy unfotunatley, but it gives you an overview of the school somewhat. Nearly half of the people bomb and leave Hawaii with a masters after 2 years. I feel sorry for you astro guys and gals, it looks like they weed out heavily.

http://www.aip.org/gpb/pdf_files/191.pdf


Check those numbers again--all of the "master's" recipients received the degree en-route to the PhD. The "terminal master's" degrees are the ones who left and that number is pretty small. More important for me, too, was talking to the current grads--the last few people who left either did so in the first year or did so after passing quals, so it was more of a "personal choice" (insofar as potential systemic issues can be ascribed to personal choice, anyway).

grae313 wrote:I'd contact some current grads there and try to find out how they do it and what it's like.


Excellent idea. Also, HappyQuark, did you get a chance to visit?


So I got a response from the department and it looks like things aren't quite as bleak as I first figured. TA funding is $15,550 plus there is an initial $1000 one time scholarship and then about $6000 to teach summer labs making the yearly total around $22,550. I'm still a little bit confused as to why they split the $15,550 over 12 months ($1300/month) and then split the summers $6000 over 3 months, meaning your summer month income is $3300/month. The way they've set it up, you are severely underfunded for 3/4 of the year and then overfunded for the last 1/4 to make up for it.

It would seem logical to split $15,500 over 9 months, i.e. $1725/month and then split the summer $6000 over 3 months, i.e. $2000/month.

Astro-K, I didn't get a chance to visit so if you want to comment on the experience or the general feel, it would amount to more than what I've got to go on right now.

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Re: 2011 Decisions

Postby Astro-K » Tue Mar 29, 2011 2:00 am

HappyQuark wrote:Astro-K, I didn't get a chance to visit so if you want to comment on the experience or the general feel, it would amount to more than what I've got to go on right now.


The physics and astronomy departments are completely separate and actually the astro department is about a block off campus in its own building. I also can't comment on the general feel of campus, because I only drove briefly through it. However, that said, I really liked the feel of the department--they only admit people they think will finish, so competition is at a minimum and the students seem to get along pretty well. More generally, there was the normal complaining about undergrads, since this is a typical big state university with a number of less-than-enthusiastic students. Also, campus is far back from the main tourist areas, so the area has a more local feel to it, which I liked.

The stipend situation sounds better, with your new info. Good luck getting more specific info on the department!

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Re: 2011 Decisions

Postby SSM » Tue Mar 29, 2011 7:02 pm

bfollinprm wrote:
HappyQuark wrote:
ekuphysics wrote:The decision has been made. In the fall, man this is hard... I will be taking my talents to Columbus Ohio to attend The Ohio State University. I realize that on this site many people feel Ohio State is not top tier, however it is a great fit for me. The area is pretty nice, great things to do nearly every weekend and large enough to accommodate students that, like me, are unsure about their area of research. Also, many schools are having budget problems. This has not yet occurred at OSU, and although the HEP-theory funding is low (theory funding is low a lot of places), funding in experimental is still strong. Further, with the option of researching the first two summers on the schools bill (as opposed to the research groups) allows students an opportunity to find a group to work with before being locked down by any particular group's funding. Overall, my visit went well and the ultimate decision came down to location. It is close to my family, gives my fiance' a chance to find work as an RN, and offers me an opportunity to still learn from some brilliant minds at a highly ranked university!


I believe you'll find that OSU is regarded by most on the forum as the most underrated program out there. I think you made a good choice.



Agreed. If OSU was in Chicago, San Fran, or New York, it would be almost level with Chicago, Berkeley, and Santa Barbara. Same with UIUC and UT-Austin.


Zuh? Aren't all those schools roughly on the same level (Tier 1)? If they were to be divided I would put Chicago, Santa Barbara and UIUC on one level and OSU and Austin on another. Columbus isn't exactly a small town either, but I think I see what you mean.

et
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Re: 2011 Decisions

Postby et » Thu Mar 31, 2011 6:15 am

I'll be attending the PSI Master's program at Perimeter next year. Anyone else?

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HappyQuark
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Re: 2011 Decisions

Postby HappyQuark » Thu Mar 31, 2011 12:39 pm

et wrote:I'll be attending the PSI Master's program at Perimeter next year. Anyone else?


Hey, this thread is about Hawaii now!

Back on topic, while I was looking through the gradschoolshopper data sheet for UH I noticed that in the most recent version (circa 2008 I believe) they say

"The ASHRA detector for neutrino interactions in the atmosphere is being installed on three (initially one) mountaintop(s) in Hawaii."

But when I do a search on ASHRA I can only find a few references to detector in reference to UH faculty and the rest links back to the University of Tokyo. There is a webpage called "ASHRA at UH" that lists some faculty but it's about 7 years old and if you go to any of the UH Faculty webpages, only 2 of the 5 or so cite ASHRA as a project they are involved in and it's sort of just a passing reference. So is ASHRA something that UH is actively working on or is it one of those instances where U of Tokyo needed to use Hawaii because of the location so UH got marginally involved just because of proximity?

Gaussian Kernel
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Re: 2011 Decisions

Postby Gaussian Kernel » Thu Mar 31, 2011 5:13 pm

et wrote:I'll be attending the PSI Master's program at Perimeter next year. Anyone else?


I am seriously considering PSI too but they seem to have slightly too many cosmology/relativity/particle physics courses for my taste.

cryingsun
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Re: 2011 Decisions

Postby cryingsun » Fri Apr 01, 2011 9:12 am

et wrote:I'll be attending the PSI Master's program at Perimeter next year. Anyone else?

hey et do u mind telling us the reasoning behind your choice? im also accepted by pi.

et
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Re: 2011 Decisions

Postby et » Sat Apr 02, 2011 4:59 pm

I've been pretty excited about PSI ever since I first heard about it at a conference about 2.5 years ago; I've spoken with a few people who have been through the program and they were all very positive about it. I like the idea of building up a stronger foundation of knowledge before I start my PhD, so that I'll be more competitive with people coming in from, say, the Russian system. I also expect that doing this program will help me decide whether I want to focus more on experiment or theory, so that I can be more directed/efficient during my PhD. Bottom line is I feel like I'm not risking much by delaying by a year, and the potential upside is pretty large.

Gaussian, I agree that the advanced courses are weighted more heavily toward the hep-th side than I'd prefer. I would rather see more in-depth condensed matter material, but I do still find the high energy stuff interesting and I think I'll enjoy learning more about it.

Gaussian Kernel
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Re: 2011 Decisions

Postby Gaussian Kernel » Sat Apr 02, 2011 7:43 pm

et wrote:I've been pretty excited about PSI ever since I first heard about it at a conference about 2.5 years ago; I've spoken with a few people who have been through the program and they were all very positive about it. I like the idea of building up a stronger foundation of knowledge before I start my PhD, so that I'll be more competitive with people coming in from, say, the Russian system. I also expect that doing this program will help me decide whether I want to focus more on experiment or theory, so that I can be more directed/efficient during my PhD. Bottom line is I feel like I'm not risking much by delaying by a year, and the potential upside is pretty large.

Gaussian, I agree that the advanced courses are weighted more heavily toward the hep-th side than I'd prefer. I would rather see more in-depth condensed matter material, but I do still find the high energy stuff interesting and I think I'll enjoy learning more about it.


I am also worried about another of PSI: you take so many courses and most of the courses last for so little that you do not end up learning much from the program (I have actually heard this complaint from a faculty working near PI).
You said that you talked to people who went through PSI. Did they mention this issue? I am also wondering if you could help me contact some of them so I can ask them about their experience at PSI.

et
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Re: 2011 Decisions

Postby et » Sat Apr 02, 2011 10:45 pm

I can see that being an issue potentially, but if you don't choose scattershot courses then you should be using what you learn in the early courses (QFT, advanced stat mech, etc.) as building blocks in the later courses. It has always seemed to me that that's when you really cement your learning anyway, the first time through any material it rarely 'sticks,' at least in my experience. At any rate, you might not retain much of your 'explorations in string theory' course but I think you will build a strong foundation of useful knowledge over the course of the year.

The people I talked to didn't mention this specifically, but they seemed pretty happy with the amount they had learned. I think the intensity level plays some part in helping you retain things. I met these people at conferences unfortunately, and I don't have their emails, but the PSI people said they could put me in contact with former students if I wanted, so you might want to email them and ask.

bfollinprm
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Re: 2011 Decisions

Postby bfollinprm » Thu Apr 07, 2011 12:56 am

Can I suggest that posters on this thread add their reasons for their decision to the schol profile thread for whatever school they're attending? after a few years we can build up a really good resource thee for future applicants.

Link: http://www.physicsgre.com/viewforum.php?f=16

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grae313
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Re: 2011 Decisions

Postby grae313 » Thu Apr 07, 2011 1:28 pm

I agree, I think the school profiles could be a great resource if people ever started using them... I shouldn't talk though, I haven't even written anything about my undergrad institution.

vesperlynd
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Re: 2011 Decisions

Postby vesperlynd » Fri Apr 08, 2011 3:41 pm

Is anyone on this forum going to MIT? 'Cause that's where I'm headed in the fall. :)

SPat
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Re: 2011 Decisions

Postby SPat » Fri Apr 08, 2011 8:29 pm

Will be joining physics @ berkeley!

My decision was probably far more random than others here (I dint visit anywhere, for eg.). I was pretty torn between Yale, Cornell and Berkeley and I think the deciding factor was the enthusiastic response from Berkeley faculty and students.

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kubikat
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Re: 2011 Decisions

Postby kubikat » Fri Apr 08, 2011 11:32 pm

I will be at Yale. Liked it during the visit and will try to endure the cold.

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WhoaNonstop
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Re: 2011 Decisions

Postby WhoaNonstop » Sat Apr 09, 2011 6:23 pm

Just wanted to let you guys know. If any of you are interested in staying connected, I would gladly accept facebook friend requests from anyone who has been active on this site over this past year. I know I will be around for the upcoming years, but I doubt everyone will stick around. So if you're interested in staying in contact with me, go ahead and add me on there. It would also be nice if you send me a message informing me who you are/were on the forum so I can assure I don't have creepers trying to add me. Of course I won't tell anyone who you are if that is your wishes!

facebook.com/whoanonstop

Otherwise, I hope the best to everyone and their decisions on graduate studies and perhaps I'll see some of you over the next 5-6 years at conferences!

-Riley

CurseTheseFactorsOf2
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Re: 2011 Decisions

Postby CurseTheseFactorsOf2 » Sat Apr 09, 2011 6:43 pm

kubikat wrote:I will be at Yale. Liked it during the visit and will try to endure the cold.


I'll be headed to New Haven in the fall with my fiance (he's starting a Stat PhD). I'm a little sketched out by what I've read about the crime issue, it seems like East Rock is the only area I'd really feel safe in. Do you think you'll live in the graduate housing for the first year? Yale will most likely not be on my list when I apply for programs next year, but I may be sneaking into some of your more interesting seminars. Especially if there are tea and cookies to be had...

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HappyQuark
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Re: 2011 Decisions

Postby HappyQuark » Sat Apr 09, 2011 9:09 pm

WhoaNonstop wrote:Just wanted to let you guys know. If any of you are interested in staying connected, I would gladly accept facebook friend requests from anyone who has been active on this site over this past year. I know I will be around for the upcoming years, but I doubt everyone will stick around. So if you're interested in staying in contact with me, go ahead and add me on there. It would also be nice if you send me a message informing me who you are/were on the forum so I can assure I don't have creepers trying to add me. Of course I won't tell anyone who you are if that is your wishes!

facebook.com/whoanonstop

Otherwise, I hope the best to everyone and their decisions on graduate studies and perhaps I'll see some of you over the next 5-6 years at conferences!

-Riley



Pssshhhh, we were bfff since before it was cool.

That's "best facebook friends forever", for anyone not in the know.

SSM
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Re: 2011 Decisions

Postby SSM » Sun Apr 10, 2011 12:38 pm

WhoaNonstop wrote:Just wanted to let you guys know. If any of you are interested in staying connected, I would gladly accept facebook friend requests from anyone who has been active on this site over this past year. I know I will be around for the upcoming years, but I doubt everyone will stick around. So if you're interested in staying in contact with me, go ahead and add me on there. It would also be nice if you send me a message informing me who you are/were on the forum so I can assure I don't have creepers trying to add me. Of course I won't tell anyone who you are if that is your wishes!

facebook.com/whoanonstop

Otherwise, I hope the best to everyone and their decisions on graduate studies and perhaps I'll see some of you over the next 5-6 years at conferences!

-Riley


Whoa, you were really a blackjack dealer? Sweet.

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WhoaNonstop
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Re: 2011 Decisions

Postby WhoaNonstop » Sun Apr 10, 2011 1:46 pm

SSM wrote:Whoa, you were really a blackjack dealer? Sweet.


Yep. I really enjoyed it too.

-Riley

SSM
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Re: 2011 Decisions

Postby SSM » Sun Apr 10, 2011 3:27 pm

I decided to go to Michigan EECS. There really isn't much difference between it and an applied physics program, which is what I wanted to do in the first place. Not having to TA in the first year will be nice too.

cryingsun
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Re: 2011 Decisions

Postby cryingsun » Sun Apr 10, 2011 5:02 pm

vesperlynd wrote:Is anyone on this forum going to MIT? 'Cause that's where I'm headed in the fall. :)


I'm almost decided to go there....almost :?
Still struggling....




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