"So You Want To Be A Physicist" Discussion


by ZapperZ
Tags: discussion, physicist, physics education, physics jobs
GregJ
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#109
Sep22-11, 02:47 PM
P: 66
Fantastic read ZapperZ! Will re-read it tomorrow again :)

I haven't gone through the whole thread yet however.
ZapperZ
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#110
Sep22-11, 07:05 PM
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Quote Quote by GregJ View Post
Fantastic read ZapperZ! Will re-read it tomorrow again :)

I haven't gone through the whole thread yet however.
Thank you.

Since I was asked this a couple of times this week already, let me again post the link to the entire essay in its present form:

http://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=df5w5j9q_5gj6wmt

I actually wrote a new entry for the essay a few weeks ago where I intended to put in my 2 cents on what it means to be a good and useful Academic Advisor. However, after writing it, I thought it became more of my own personal, idealized vision. Although I do have a graduate student that I mentor, and have had a few students here and there over the years, I don't think I have achieved the idealized version of an Academic Advisor. The main reason for this is that, as someone who isn't at an academic institution, we do not have a role as an academic advisor.

So what I ended up doing is rewriting the chapter on what I want an Academic Advisor to be, and posted it as a blog entry.

http://physicsandphysicists.blogspot...c-advisor.html

Zz.
GregJ
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#111
Sep23-11, 11:20 AM
P: 66
Re-read the essay again today along with your blog entry.

I am finding it all very useful as I will eventually move someday from the UK to the US to continue my studies (although that will be in quite some time). So it is nice to know what's ahead and perhaps avoid any mishaps that may arise.

The T.A. section was especially useful to me (something I never knew of until I read it in your essay) and something that I will certainly have to look at in more detail, so that someday I may actively aim for it.

The blog entry sounds what every Academic Advisor should be like. I imagine you're not too far off from that version ;)
ZapperZ
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#112
Oct6-11, 01:11 PM
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This is a report on a panel discussion held at SLAC on how to find jobs outside of Academia.

http://www.symmetrymagazine.org/brea...side-academia/

Many of the advices being given echoes what I had previously stated on here and in my essay, especially that on acquiring skills and knowledge in experiments/instrumentation.

Zz.
Condensate
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#113
Oct23-11, 08:47 PM
P: 20
Hi ZapperZ!

Are the courses in college going to be similar to the way high school AP courses are structured?
I ask because my interest in the Physics and Chemistry AP classes is low.
Brown Arrow
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#114
Dec17-11, 12:08 AM
P: 101
hey Greg

the links you have posted in your first post are not working,
Brown Arrow
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#115
Dec17-11, 12:13 AM
P: 101
Quote Quote by Brown Arrow View Post
hey Greg

the links you have posted in your first post are not working,
for me I took university chem..physic..bio..math in HS....

for all my courses at university(UofT) we reviewed first semester for the intro courses..

AP in HS can make you hate the subject... Had experience with AP did not like it

PS: I'm doing specialist in Astrophysics... got a good sense of the physics part of the course going to be taking the Astor part in the winter
ZapperZ
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#116
Dec18-11, 11:05 AM
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Quote Quote by Brown Arrow View Post
hey Greg

the links you have posted in your first post are not working,
Those were posted on a sister forum that is no longer running.

Again, and I should do this periodically, I suppose, the complete version of the essay (as of this moment) can be found at this link.

Zz.
PookDo
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#117
Jan21-12, 10:28 AM
P: 20
I printed it up and read parts of it this morning before work. I am focusing on brushing up on my math skills before I start school. A lot of it addressed some questions I have but I am sure other ones will be answered when I get to read it all the way through. I still question my ability to do it just starting school at 43 but it's something I want to do really bad
algaidaman
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#118
Jan25-12, 01:16 PM
P: 12
Thanks for the write-up ZapperZ!! That was some really good information.
algaidaman
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#119
Jan25-12, 01:17 PM
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Quote Quote by PookDo View Post
I printed it up and read parts of it this morning before work. I am focusing on brushing up on my math skills before I start school. A lot of it addressed some questions I have but I am sure other ones will be answered when I get to read it all the way through. I still question my ability to do it just starting school at 43 but it's something I want to do really bad
No time like the present!!
ZapperZ
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#120
Feb23-12, 10:00 AM
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It's official! Physics is Hard!!!

http://news.sciencemag.org/scienceno...s-is-hard.html

Zz.
Condensate
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#121
Mar18-12, 11:46 AM
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Thanks Brown Arrow!
That was very helpful.
ZapperZ
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#122
Apr13-12, 08:27 AM
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How Physics Careers Compare To Others

http://www.physicscentral.com/buzz/b...49717892784113

It's difficult to take these "studies" seriously, but it is still an amusing read. Even if we give them large error margins, physics still doesn't come out too bad.

Zz.
ZapperZ
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#123
Apr15-12, 09:35 AM
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Another reminder that the complete "So You Want To Be A Physicist" essay can be found at this link.

Zz.
Jack21222
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#124
Apr18-12, 10:28 PM
P: 771
I've been accepted to grad school at Northeastern University, Zz, and you can take partial credit for that. It wasn't until reading your essay that I realized I would be able to go to grad school. At the time, I assumed it wouldn't be possible financially. I'm sure I would have learned about assistantships eventually, but your essay was the first place I heard about them. This lead me to buckle down and work harder at my classes, knowing that grad school was a possibility.

Now, it's a reality. Thank you, Zz.
ZapperZ
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#125
Apr19-12, 05:31 AM
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Quote Quote by Jack21222 View Post
I've been accepted to grad school at Northeastern University, Zz, and you can take partial credit for that. It wasn't until reading your essay that I realized I would be able to go to grad school. At the time, I assumed it wouldn't be possible financially. I'm sure I would have learned about assistantships eventually, but your essay was the first place I heard about them. This lead me to buckle down and work harder at my classes, knowing that grad school was a possibility.

Now, it's a reality. Thank you, Zz.
You're very welcome. I'm glad the essay was useful in some parts for you. Thanks for the feedback.

And congratulations!

Zz.
Albereo
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#126
Apr23-12, 11:10 AM
P: 16
Hey I haven't read through all 8 pages of the replies so forgive me if this has come up before. In your "Undergraduate Preparation" section you note that a student should have working knowledge of two programming languages, minimum, and recommend that these are Fortran and C.
I think this needs updating. Most experimental work these days uses Matlab (well discounting LabView but that can be learned in a particular setting). And the importance of Mathematica cannot be overstated for graduate classes and theoretical work. I'd say that by and large these two have replaced Fortran, but C remains as a useful base language.
I would strongly recommend Matlab because it's a pretty intuitive language if one has a basic grasp of vector algebra, it's easy to start off with some basic differentiation/integration programs, numerical analysis, etc. And it's fast and powerful and very widely used.


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