cedricyu803 wrote:I am admitted to a grad program as well, with interests in high energy theory and cosmology.
I know that many grad students are already involved in research on topics like quantum gravity, some even are able to publish papers.
And now I am still reading a quantum field theory textbook. (not even Peskin & Schroeder: I am reading Srednicki)
Am I too slow compared to others?
I am anticipating a tough first year to really get started in research
Monkerest wrote:Hi all,
I have recently been admitted to a few graduate programs that I am confident I would go to (if I am not admitted to a few others that I have yet to hear back from). They are top 30 programs (I don't honestly know what that means) and I am a bit concerned that while I look pretty okay on paper, particularly with respect to my research experience, I may not cut it when it comes to doing problem sets. I get the impression that grades were somewhat inflated at my school, and I'm someone who came to math/physics late, not someone who has always been innately good. Also it's been a while since I was in undergrad, so what little skills I had are on the rusty side.
Anyway, I've been thinking of going through Boas's Mathematical Method's of the Physical Sciences over the summer. And Shankar's QM book, and Griffith's E & M. And when I write that out I know it's just not going to happen. So I'm asking what the expectation is for student preparedness (minimum). I also only took Diff Eq, Linear Algebra, and Calc III. I'm planning on taking the experimental route, but I don't want to just avoid my weaknesses, and I am certain that I'd be better off with more comprehensive mathematical prep.
So what do you guys advise? What should I concentrate on so that I can get a running start at graduate school? Also, I'm going to be TAing! HAHAHA, ME?! Right. I'm going to go change my pants.
I know that I can do it, but I know I'm going to have to put some time in, and I'd like to hear from experienced people what adjusting to the expectations for a first year graduate student were like.
Advice is appreciated.
XC423 wrote:First of all, you shouldn't expect a PhD program to be easy. If it were more people would do it. Its hard for everyone.
Secondly, I don't really understand. Are you currently an undergrad in the US? Where you admitted to a PhD in the US? If you answered yes to both of these questions, I don't know why you think that you will be behind if you are reading up on QFT. QFT is covered at the undergrad level in Europe, but certainly not in the US so if you go to a PhD program in the US nobody expects you to know anything about QFT except that it exists. Typically you take EM, Quantum, and Classical Mechanics in the first term of a US PhD program. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.
tsymmetry wrote:I took QFT this year and I was the only undergrad in the class. Most of the students in the course were actually second year grad students with some exceptions. Usually people take two semesters of quantum, E&M, math methods, stat mech, and possibly things like GR, condensed matter, or classical mechanics in their first year of grad school if they have not previously taken these subjects at the grad level.
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