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    Programs Quality of Phd in US or Germany

    It completely depends on what you want to do afterwards. If you want to go into academia in the U.S., then your best bet is to do your PhD there, as the contacts you develop during grad school will become very useful later. The opposite is probably true if you're aiming for academia in Europe...
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    Schools Graduate school admissions and wall street layoffs

    Grad school admissions committees are not stupid. Their main goal is to select the candidates that are most likely to complete the graduate program successfully. It does not matter if an applicant has impressive Ivy-league credentials if it is obvious that applying to grad school was a backup...
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    First post - and I was never good at science.

    Let me give you an analogy of how evolution and selection could work in finance, then. Suppose you want to design an automated strategy for trading stocks in a way that maximizes profit. You can define several numerical parameters (when to buy, when to sell, when to take a loss, when to be safe...
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    What to Do With Myself.

    You don't pay tuition at PhD programs. You are given a stipend by the university, either from TA/RA appointments or fellowships. You will not live in luxury, but you can get along just fine and your parents won't have to pay a cent.
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    Schools How difficult is it for an international student to get into a top US university?

    Most applicants will have those, including many domestic ones. They may be enough for them to consider you, but you have a much better chance of being accepted if you have something that distinguishes you from the applicant pool (in a positive way, of course). Otherwise, you're just one of...
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    Difficulty of upper level physics

    Forget about reviewing/reading your notes and counting that as studying. Do that for 30 minutes and move on. The trick to doing well in upper-division physics is to do problems. Lots of them. Go through your textbook, and look at each problem. If you don't think you would be able to that...
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    Schools How does one fund graduate school?

    I do not mean to discourage you, but being accepted without funding is essentially a polite rejection. I think you will be much better off in the long run if you take a year off and strengthen your application (retake the GRE-Ph, publish a paper) and look for an acceptance with financial support...
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    Programs Too late to get the degree?

    Not trying to discourage you, but the median time to get a PhD in physics is about 6.5 years (in the U.S., at least). Also, most students in the U.S. skip the MS and go straight for the PhD. A reasonable estimate for finishing the Bachelor's + PhD is about 10 years. You are never to old to...
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    Quick question about Stafford loans

    Anyone? I'm sure there's someone who took loans as an undergrad and then went to grad school around here...
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    Quick question about Stafford loans

    I am analyzing my payment options for my last year of college and I just wanted to confirm this: You do not have to make payments for your undergrad Stafford loans if you are enrolled as a full-time student in a PhD program--right? In other words, interest may accumulate, but I would not be...
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    Schools Will I still be able to get into grad school?

    UTeach is fairly prestigious, so if you are seriously considering teaching, it would help you to have it in your CV. Here's my advice: enroll officially in the UTeach plan, but make sure you take all the courses required for the regular B.S. Physics (and more). Take the full quantum sequence...
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    Summer 2009 Math REUs

    I think you still have a decent chance if you are waitlisted. Since REU applications are free, people often send many of them. I will be turning down five out of six offers next week, and I suppose many people that have been successful with their applications are in a similar situation.
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    I Think, Therefore I Am A Rat

    Interesting study. If it turns out to be accurate, I wonder if this will affect the status of mice/rats as the stereotypical lab mammal. Wouldn't self-awareness immediately lead to ethical concerns when it comes to how these animals are currently handled?
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    Whats the difference between a dead virus and a live one?

    The answer is homeostasis. Even the simplest life requires incredibly precise regulation between all of its components to continue to function. The balance between components is so precise that, once lost, it is essentially impossible to recreate it. If you take a car's engine out, repair it...
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    How's UT Austin's undergrad Physics/Math program?

    I'm a Physics/Math (Applied) major there and so far I've been satisfied with their undergrad programs. While I haven't attended other programs to use for comparison, I think that if you are a Texas resident, it would be hard to get better value for your money. Two issues that hurt UT in many of...
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    Is a Prestigious Undergrad really worth it?

    If you are planning on going on to grad school, I'd say UT Austin is a very solid choice, especially if going to a more prestigious alternative would mean putting yourself deep into debt. UT is good enough to get you into a top program for grad school (assuming you do well, of course), which...
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    Sigma Pi Sigma

    Sorry for sounding cynical. As far as I know, the chapter doesn't have a lot of activities at my university, so that would be the only reason to join.
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    Sigma Pi Sigma

    I just got invited to Sigma Pi Sigma and I'm wondering if it's worth paying the fees to join. It does not seem to be very selective (it says GPA > 3.0), so I'm not really sure if it means much being in it. The way I see it, I am paying $45 for something to fill one of the "Honors and...
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    The goal is clear, but the path not so much

    It's a tough question. I enjoy learning, but sometimes I feel like college classes aren't that challenging any more, so in that sense I am somewhat anxious to graduate and start more advanced work. I wouldn't mind finishing the Bachelor's degree, but a Master's does seem more interesting at the...
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    Schools Any suggestions for a University?

    I'll vouch for UT Austin. You should definitely check it out. It has good programs for all the areas you mentioned (I'm in Physics myself, and I'm very satisfied so far). There are plenty of research opportunities as well. Admission requirements are pretty reasonable too. If you are scared of...
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    The goal is clear, but the path not so much

    I'm looking for opinions and advice about an important academic decision I will have to make next year. I'm sorry if this post becomes too long, but I really appreciate your comments. About me: I'm a senior Physics/Computational Math undergrad at a decent state university (top 15 US in both...
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    How much do you study?

    Balance is, in my opinion, the key to success. I'm a 4.0 physics/math student at a well-recognized school, and study about 5-10 hours a week. The human body is not a machine for studying, but one with many complicated needs and desires. I have found that when I study instead of exercising...
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    Schools REU vs. work at your own university

    Thanks for the comments so far, they have been helpful. One more question: Say one university I'm really interested in for grad school offers an REU. Do you think going there for a summer and performing well would significantly increase my chances of being accepted into that particular...
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    Schools REU vs. work at your own university

    Yeah, I'm not saying you'll get into a top school just because you were accepted into a prestigious REU. However, assuming you perform well, a Harvard REU certainly looks good on your application.
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    Schools REU vs. work at your own university

    Yes, an REU (Research Experience for Undergrads) is a formal research project, where you usually visit another university and work full-time on a project that is of appropriate length and difficulty for an undergrad student's summer. The main advantage I can see is that it's much more...
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    Schools REU vs. work at your own university

    Greetings... I'm looking for opinions about whether I should apply for an REU next year. My situation is the following: I'm a physics undergrad student at a school with a fairly good physics reputation (UTexas at Austin). I'm certain that I want to pursue an academic career, and therefore plan...
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    Programs Dedicated course on optics during my physics major

    I've been planning out my future coursework and it seems unlikely that I'll be able to take a dedicated course on optics during my physics major. Therefore, I'm hoping for some suggestions about Optics textbooks that would make a good reference for self-study during the summer. I'm a junior and...
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    I'm not cut out for work

    My advice: get a job that will make you appreciate even the most "boring" tasks you were given and put you in your place. Work at a fast-food store, a restaurant or retail--somewhere where you will have to interact with customers and deal with co-workers that aren't as easy-going and respectful...
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    Testing HW Help as Physics GRE practice?

    I'm just wondering if anyone's tried this before, and how well it worked. I am thinking about spending roughly an hour a day to answer questions in the HW Help section as practice for the GRE-Ph. I figure it'll give me a good variety of problems and I'll get to help some people along the way...
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    Time Dilation-AHH

    Just to check if I'm understanding the problem correctly, is the answer supposed to be 64.2 hours?