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Currently doing undergraduate research, but need help on career path

  1. Jul 30, 2014 #1
    Hey all!

    I am currently doing a computer science project for a scientific collaboration at an REU this summer. I am a physics student and I plan to be a researcher one day. I really do not want to continue this project for two main reasons:

    I simply do not know the computer science required(Would be a great learning experience though) and that this is not actually a physics project, but rather only to help the collaboration.

    The project is to develop an artificial intelligence to help the researchers themselves. I'm curious that if I decide not to continue this project, my professors involved in this collaboration will not allow me to do undergrad research for them anymore. I really enjoy studying physics; it's my passion. If you guys could give me some advice. I've also been thinking of testing the waters in GR with a theoretical physicist at my University. How could I approach him? I also need to provide an undergrad thesis in 2 years

    Thanks! I owe you all a lot
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 30, 2014 #2


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    Well for starters, have you taken GR before?
  4. Jul 30, 2014 #3
    I have not haha. Which is the biggest problem, I understand. I don't believe my university has an undergrad GR course though
  5. Jul 30, 2014 #4


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    It might not be. It all depends on how much experience the professor you want to work with has with undergrads wanting to do GR research. Presumably you aren't the first to ever ask him/her. It would be hard, practically impossible, to give you a truly full blown GR project when you don't know any GR. But you can always do computational GR. Here you certainly will not need to know any GR at all in the start, youll just need to know basic coding concepts and possibly languages like Fortran which doesnt seem like it would be a problem for you. This is assuming you have an undergrad computational GR program at your university. You can also do cosmology if there is a professor you can work with on that. You really dont need to know any GR to do cosmology.

    I would approach the professor of interest by asking if he/she normally considers undergrads for GR projects to begin with. You can take it from there.
  6. Jul 31, 2014 #5
    Thanks! This is definitely helpful. I've heard a lot of physics merges with computer science. I'm not that big of a fan of computer science or coding, however I do know how to use some languages. One reason why I don't want to continue doing the first project is because I feel it does not relate to physics research. I also however don't want to lose a shot at doing research with the collaboration too
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