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Choosing a faculty for research

  1. Apr 13, 2007 #1
    I'm a community college student applying for a undergrad reserach program at UCSB, but I dont know which faculty member to choose. I havent taken any upperdiv classes yet so I dont know which area of physics to pursue for grad school, but for now, I want to theoretical physics, in perhaps astrophysics or mathematical physics. But is it wise to do research in theoretical physics right now? or would it be smarter to do experimental, such as condensed matter or experimental high energy?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 13, 2007 #2
    My experience (however little) would suggest that at the undergraduate level, the type of research you do isn't as important as the fact that you've done research. Theoretical astrophysics, mathematical physics, it doesn't really matter, so long as you've done some good research experience. To be honest, I'd focus more on the undergrad program itself: the classes they offer, how well they'll prepare you for graduate school, and other things of that nature. Graduate school is the time to figure out what area of physics you want to go into. Heck, my senior thesis was in space physics (not to be confused with astrophysics), and this summer in grad school I'm doing work on high energy astrophysics. Obviously if you do a lot of work in one area, you'll become quite adept at it. But now isn't really the time for you to specialize. Heck, I'll be a first year grad student this May, and it isn't even time for me to specialize!
  4. Apr 13, 2007 #3
    Ah its too late. I already submitted the application just before you responded. I chose condensed matter professors even though I would rather do mathematical physics or astrophysics, because I thought that an experimental area would be better. Oh well, not a big problem
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