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Best place for physics in India -- Undergraduate

  1. Apr 15, 2012 #1
    This post is for those familiar with the IITJEE system in India. I wanted to know which IIT has the best physics department. If an unequivocal decision is impossible, please give me the advantages and disadvantages of whichever dep. you think is the best. Thanks in advance.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 15, 2012 #2
    I haven't been to any IIT but I've talked to a few person about undergraduate studies in physics in India and apparently the Kanpur branch is a good one to be at. If I recall correctly, they're also the ones who're changing their system to more reflect the American one, which means that the degree is now a four year B.S, not a five year M.Sc. There's an option to stay another year for an M.S.

    There's also the Chennai Mathematical Institute which offers joint degrees in "Mathematics and Computer Science" and "Mathematics and Physics". They also require an exam but students having done well in the local Olympiads can apply without doing that. They also have a "placement" section under their website where you can see where their graduates have ended up, which is good to know if you want to do a PhD.
  4. Apr 15, 2012 #3
    Are degrees from CMI good?Do they have good value???
  5. Apr 15, 2012 #4
    IISC is best for Physics.
  6. Apr 15, 2012 #5
    See for yourself:

    You'll observe that the Math&CS students seem to have had more success than their physics counterparts...

    Based on what? Besides, they have not even graduate a single class from their new BS program yet! I believe the first graduating class will be that of 2015!
  7. Apr 17, 2012 #6
    @Mepris Well, the quality of students that go there is good, and also, the program has a good reputation, not based on results, but on the quality of teaching. The teachers there are also researchers of a high calibre.
  8. Apr 17, 2012 #7
    Their program feels too rigid and I get the impression, based on their timetable, that attending will feel like high school all over again. Further, they don't accept international students, so it's not like I can even apply!

    At any rate, I much prefer CMI, largely because it is so flexible, has a solid program (although the new Physics program has yet to graduate anyone but the math&cs one is meant to be excellent) and it'll leave me with more freedom.
  9. Apr 18, 2012 #8
    The BSc Physics course in CMI is actually quite horrible. Poor quality of teaching and lots of sarcasmic comments from the teachers. Check out this link:-


    But the Math & Computer Science program is pretty good.
  10. Apr 18, 2012 #9
    Thank you very much.I am deeply interested in physics and thought of going to CMI.But after reading that article I don't think that I am going to that institute
  11. Apr 18, 2012 #10
    Yeah, me too.
  12. Apr 18, 2012 #11
    @Mepris Too rigid? How so?
  13. Apr 18, 2012 #12
    Wait, all of you guys are high school/intermediate students too? Feels good to know that I'm not alone.
  14. Apr 18, 2012 #13
    Also, i want to know what's BAD about each physics dep. Everyone says that IISc is awesome, but is it perfect? What are the disadvantages?
  15. Apr 18, 2012 #14
    That document by Anirbit is very, very old. CMI has changed their syllabus a few times since that. I've e-mailed him a number of times and what he said was that if one is serious about studying physics, going to Europe, America and elsewhere in Asia (he mentioned the NUS; the universities in China and Hong Kong seem to have good doctoral placement as well) would be a better than in India. If one were to stay here, he recommended the IISc, CMI, NISER, IISER, BITS and IITs.

    Again, it's just the opinion of *one* person. There's other people who went there and did well. Someone who graduated in the same year as him went to Ecole Polytechnique for his PhD. Anirbit himself is at UIUC for his PhD in theoretical high energy physics - he started last year. Another one who graduated last year is doing condensed matter (theory) at UC Berkeley.

    I don't like the IISc because their program, while allowing one the choice of a few different disciplines (math, chemistry, physics, biology, materials science), is still a very rigid one. While I do have casual interests in various forms of science, I wouldn't want to do that many core courses. Their time table also looks a lot like a high school one. Heck, I had more freedom outside of high school. At CMI, there'd be more time between lectures. Apparently they're not very good when it comes to experimental work though, so one may not get a good grounding in that if this what they're interested in.

    I think one should attempt the entrance exams and if admitted, go visit each college and talk to the current students and see what they think. I've had some interesting conversations with 2-3 CMI students and most of them are nice enough to reply to e-mails. If you do some digging, you'll find their e-mails easily enough. A few of them actually post here...
  16. Apr 26, 2012 #15
    Thanks, I've written the entrances and its looking good. I may get in everywhere mentioned above except CMI.
  17. Apr 26, 2012 #16
    CMI haven't even held their entrance exam if I'm not mistaken!

    Another thing with that Anirbit document - he actually speaks quite fondly of his alma mater. Read his G+ blog and see for yourself. I don't know what his opinion of it is exactly but in the grand scheme of things, it doesn't really matter if the school you go to *works for you*.
  18. Apr 26, 2012 #17

    What does written mean???Have you given the entrances then???
  19. Apr 26, 2012 #18
    That is SO not true! I know enthusiastic people who've hit rock bottom, just because the school, in addition to NOT working for them, actually demotivated them!

    Of course, I'm not implying that might be the case with CMI, and I do acknowledge the fact that the coursework may have been revised from back then, but do you really think things like sarcasm and non-encouragement of creativity, simply die out?
  20. Apr 28, 2012 #19
    @Mepris : I didn't apply. Unfortunately for me.
  21. Apr 28, 2012 #20
    You won't know for sure until you experience the school in question first hand. I think visiting and getting a feel of the school is important. (i.e, talking with professors, students, people in administration, anyone who you'd meet on daily basis if you were to live there, really!) If you're miserable at a school, it's unlikely you'll be able to do well there. Now, there's some people who strive under insane amounts of pressure/stress and also some who can actually turn their "misery" or "anger" into something constructive. Not sure if that's a common thing though...

    In my opinion, when it comes to the point where one can choose from the "best" schools in their country, selecting which school to attend is largely a question of fit. (i.e, if one is comfortable at said school)
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