I wasn't sure where to start this thread, but I figured a forum where people give advice to college age students is a good cabdidate. I am 24 year old Computer Engineer working for one of the major corporations in this field. I like writing RTL and software (though there are drawbacks to doing it for a big corporation). I have a lot of ideas I want to try out, and can usually find ways to have fun doing my job. So I would like to continue in this field. However, I have always been interested in Math and Physics and would like to contribute those fields if I could. I fancied either being an ameteur, publishing every once in a while, or starting a second career once I retired from computer engineering. I want to know if this is a "pipe-dream" or not. I am not completely without training; my second undergraduate degree is in Applied Discrete Math, and I have a minor in Physics. However, I have been out of school for 3-4 years, and have no research experience even in engineering. I am palnning to go to school part-time to learn VLSI and some Solid-State Physics. The distinction between these fields and the one I am in is blurry, so my company will pay. I am also trying to become a radio enthusiast, but my fear of screwing up has kept my transmitter kit in its box. I figured these activities would move me closer to having a good background. So what do you think? Any advice? Know of any self-study courses that could help?