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  1. K

    Schools Focusing on multiple branches of physics for graduate school

    At the school I went to, if you came in with an MS, you basically had to start over. Some students used the MS to boost their admittance chances (and possibly their background knowledge level), but they had to do the same things us BA/BS students had to do. I did have a friend who...
  2. K

    Engineering Nuclear Engineering Vs Plasma Physics

    I wouldn't worry about what the degree is in so much. Instead focus on the programs that do fusion research. In the US for magnetic confinement fusion, Wisconsin-Madison (in a number of departments), Princeton, U-Washington, and MIT come to mind. Other schools that have smaller programs...
  3. K

    Post PhD: how to transition out of academia?

    Depends on your background and your mobility. I think it would have been much easier to get a job outside of academia if I was willing to move to California. I had several friends transitioned quite quickly who had previously left academia. Also had some other friends who went right to the...
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    Programs Does it make sense to obtain a physics and engineering degree?

    I can't speak about school reputations. I do know that a lot of people say they don't matter, yet many times those are the exact people it matters most to. With respect to your major, here's my experience. B.A. in Physics, Ph.D. in Astrophysics, both from 'good' US schools. The Ph.D. work...
  5. K

    Programs Does it make sense to obtain a physics and engineering degree?

    I meant something like a lab technician in a setting like a university or a national lab. Often they have a BA/BS or possibly a Masters in physics or something. Places like that seem more open to non-engineering degrees since many of the researchers also do not hold engineering degrees...
  6. K

    Programs Does it make sense to obtain a physics and engineering degree?

    Depending on the organization, you'll find some serious glass ceilings to your advancement. I mentioned the research sector. For example, you might be able to land a job at a government lab as a technician with an astro degree, but you are going to have a hard time moving over to an engineer...
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    Schools Graduate School Applications and Health Problems

    Unfortunately I don't think we know enough about your situation, nor enough about the admissions committees at the schools you are thinking of applying to. For example, it's not clear to me how food allergies would impact your GRE scores. I'm not doubting you and you don't have to explain it...
  8. K

    Computational Physics or E+M course

    If you are planning to go to graduate school, I would think that not having the material in E&M 2 would really bite you in the butt. Both in terms of admissions and preparation. I can't imagine making it through my grad program without having covered that material. On the other hand...
  9. K

    Schools Graduate School Applications and Health Problems

    My take on this: Who knows. Every admissions group is different, and there are a fair amount of a-holes out there. I know at my institution, one of the profs was a real stickler for having high GRE scores (really high) and others fought with him about it. His requirements were having...
  10. K

    Programs Does it make sense to obtain a physics and engineering degree?

    I can't imagine an Astrophysics degree is going to be a lot of use as an engineer. *Possibly* you might be able to land a technician job at in the research sector. Not really an engineering job. If you want to be an aerospace engineer, I would think the most direct route to that is to get a...
  11. K

    How Is Electricity and Magnetism Used In Computer Science?

    It sounds like to me your institution just wants you to have some background in physics, for the purposes of a well rounded education. So you take the basic two semester 'university' style physics course, which has E&M in it. Probably the course all the pre-med majors take. Specific example...
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    Schools Graduate School Preparation

    While things like particle physics and general relativity are fun, you probably won't get into much detail in them at the undergrad level. I might suggest really boning up on upper level (graduate level?) E&M, stat mech, and quantum if that is an option. Obviously if you've already taken...
  13. K

    Math major working in a warehouse. How can I get a real job now?

    If you have a decent background in programming and statistics, you might look into any kind of analyst position. Big data, insurance companies, etc. I'm sure you've already thought of it, but if not...
  14. K

    Do physics careers involve computers a lot?

    Most of my time spent as an experiment physicist was in front of a computer. Either running the experiment (via computer), analyzing data, writing talks, writing articles, or running simulation codes. Then factor in all the other crap that happens on computers like purchasing equipment, email...
  15. K

    Post PhD: how to transition out of academia?

    Here's my two cents about transitioning out: 1. You have to find a company who is looking for a Ph.D./researcher. You can try to market yourself into other kinds of jobs, but you will probably not be overly happy, nor overly successful in this job market. In other words, you are going to be...
  16. K

    Energy Research

    The fact of the matter is that if you want to do energy research and you are an undergrad, you WILL have to make a prediction as to what will be a promising field. In other words, you aren't going to be working on technology X when it comes to the forefront if you did your masters/Ph.D. on...
  17. K

    Trapped - 3rd year ME student & not enjoying school

    While I worked hard and knew some people who worked ALL the time, I can't say it was a pressure cooker. I had a blast in graduate school. Did a lot of things, went a lot of places, and socialized a lot. And learned a lot.
  18. K

    Undergrad physics program suggestions

    Good point. Some small schools offer the same thing. Multiple flavors of intro physics courses. I don't think I ever had a class over 15 people in physics, and that was only for the very intro course. Most of my classes had 6-9 people in them.
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    Undergrad physics program suggestions

    Absolutely. I was more making comments about the profs at those schools than the grad students teaching :) Just something to be aware about.
  20. K

    Undergrad physics program suggestions

    I can tell you that Swarthmore is a very good choice. You'll get an education there that is extremely good. You'll also probably pay quite a bit for it :) The department is good and for the most part, active in research. It might lack some research opportunities on site, but most students...
  21. K

    Trapped - 3rd year ME student & not enjoying school

    At some point, school is what you make of it. If you are finding the material easy enough that you still get good grades while skipping class, you are in a much better position than many. In other words, you aren't having any trouble keeping up, so you should have extra time to devote to...
  22. K

    Statement of Purpose - Physics

    I can't give you great advice, because I've never been on an admissions committee. However, my thoughts are: 1. It might be worthwhile to mention that you decided to be a physics major during your junior year, thus requiring you to do a fifth year. This can be part of the statement about what...
  23. K

    Refractive Eye Surgery

    I think it's more important to find a program that does the kind of research you want to do. I wouldn't be surprised if it could occur in any one of those departments. In other words, you'll have a lot better chance securing a job in the field if you acquire experience in the field during your...
  24. K

    How open are postdoc positions - and teaching during postdoc

    If I wanted to teach during my postdoc, I would have had to do it an a different institution as an adjunct. Mine wouldn't allow it. Obviously if you are doing a postdoc at a place like a national lab or in industry, you'll definitely have to teach somewhere else. As far as grants and research...
  25. K

    Engineering Physics to Engineering - Is it possible?

    I had several friends in grad school who did physics for undergrad and some form of engineering for their Ph.D. I know several people from another institution who did physics for undergrad and engineering for their Masters. Depending on the program you came from and your background, and the...
  26. K

    Postdoc Interview, What to Expect?

    Most of the interviews my friends and I did for post doc positions consisted of a 'job talk' and then an interview and tour of the facilities. The job talk was a talk on whatever research you were most recently a part of. Graduate work if you were about to graduate, and postdoc research if you...
  27. K

    Engineering Aerospace and Nuclear Engineering

    I have friends who work in the nuclear industry. Most of them are engineers. Most of them are not nuclear engineers. If you are good, you have the same career opportunities regardless of your engineering specialization. One of the major advancement paths at many power plants is to become a...
  28. K

    What's up E&M?

    You could also look into plasma physics and solar/space/astrophysics. Anything with a plasma in it is going to make heavy use of E&M, and quite a lot of your day can be spent thinking how magnetic fields behave. For what it's worth, it's mostly classical in nature.
  29. K

    Interesting articles online on academia and the PhD problem

    It's a tough question to answer in a succinct fashion. Imagine this: I spent four years doing my BA in physics at one of the top liberal arts schools in the country, 6.5 years doing my Ph.D. at one the top universities in the world, and another 4.5 years doing a postdoc. That's 15 total years...
  30. K

    Interesting articles online on academia and the PhD problem

    I agree with what ParticleGirl says for the most part. I'm not sure most of the problem lies in academia's attitude. Sure, they contribute. Sure, they could study up some on what their ex-students are doing, etc. Despite that, I think a huge portion of the problem is industry's attitude...