not-very-well-defined interests

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Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2007 3:05 am

not-very-well-defined interests

Postby rohan » Fri Dec 21, 2007 1:48 pm

hey... i just came across this phrase (not-very-well-defined interests) in one of the posts on this site, and I wanted some opinions on this.
As a student, Ive seen a LOT of things in science... but I've actually "studied" probably nothing much beyond newtons laws ( I hope :P ) So, my undergrad experience has basically told me what all there is I DONT KNOW, and like a 2 year old in a candy store, I've gone straight ahead and grabbed at every exciting thing I've seen.
I also presume that to successfully complete a doctorate, you need to know a helluva a lot about something, and not just bits and pieces here and there. So, I obviously presume a university, while looking at admit sheets, would probably feel a having "not-very-well-defined interests" is not exactly a good thing....
I know people who tend to pass this syndrome off as "interdisciplinary" work... which is what I'm going for too, but does it really work???

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Postby butsurigakusha » Fri Dec 21, 2007 3:55 pm

When I say my interests are not very well defined, I mean that I am not sure exactly what area of research I want to go into. I have an idea of what I think might be interested in, but I am not set on any one thing, and would be wiling to consider something different if presented with an opportunity. It is possible for someone to have very well-defined interests that could be considered interdisciplinary.

On my statement of purpose, I don't say that I have no idea what I want to do. I get the feeling that wouldn't sound too great. I say what research I have done, and what research I think I would be interested in.

I don't think the universities will look down on someone who says he wants to do research that involves fields outside of physics. Especially if there are professors in the department you are applying to who do interdisciplinary research, I think you should definitely say that you are interested in it.

I have heard it said that most of the significant advances being made and that will be made in the future will occur in the overlaps of fields, with collaborations of different types of scientists. I think there is some truth to this.

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Postby rohan » Sat Dec 22, 2007 3:27 am

hmmm.... but my point your three or four undergrad years... all you can possibly achieve ( and again... correct me if im wrong ) is basically just touch upon a lot of fields.
for example.. ive been involved with a project on dna electronics, and i really enjoyed it. but when it came to concrete work... i really didnt do much (just some data correlation ) .... cause you spend most of your time simply increasing your level of awareness of different fields.... so... does this really count as research exposure??

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