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Schools Difference of between a city and a private university

  1. Jul 8, 2006 #1
    Difference of...studies between a city and a private university

    (title was difference of studies)
    Ok i live in italy and i'm preparing to go to univ of Turin.

    Just a question: one that goes to MIT, Columbia, Caltech or Cambridge, has a lot of theoretical preparation more than a person who goes in a normal city university? big more or less as san francisco university?

    I don't mean money, experiments, structures... just how much is request in general on arguments. thx
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2006
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 9, 2006 #2


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    Not necessarily so. A professor at University of Houston did some pioneering work in high temperature superconductor material.

    Any particular program will depend upon the faculty members involved, and in some cases some city universities, as well as state universities actually have good programs with reasonably good theoretical content.

    U of Houston, Department of Physics
    http://www.phys.uh.edu/udp_brochure.htm [Broken]
    http://www.uh.edu/academics/catalog/nsm/phys_courses.html [Broken] - one would have to compare the level of instruction in order to determine whether or not U of H is comparable to MIT, Caltech or others.

    U of H, Dept. of Physics - Research Areas
    http://www.phys.uh.edu/research.htm [Broken]

    Here is an example of the Space Physics Group at U of Houston
    http://www.phys.uh.edu/spacephysics.htm [Broken]

    MIT, Caltech, Stanford, and others have great reputations, but many other programs are comparably satisfactory.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  4. Jul 9, 2006 #3


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    there are also differences between italian and us universities. it is my imprtession from years of invitations and generous support from universities in tialy e.g. that the italian government valeus math and science far more than that in the us and is much more generous with grants and support.

    in italy foreign scientists are regularly invited to year long and summer programs, students find generous summer support for training and can also visit abroad. in the us this support is much harder to come by.

    although talent is where you fibnd it, it is far easier in the us to get a grant if you are at a highly regarded private school than an obscure state school. i got my first grant while visiting harvard, even though i had done the work at a state school where i had been denied grant support.

    in fact i received every grant i applied for while at harvard, and upon returning to my state school was promptly denied again. the problem is no noe can really tell reliably how good you are, especially if they ahve not even met you, so they go on "indicators", like where you are, and who is supporting you, and what places have offered you benefits.

    if you turn down a job at princeton and go back to idaho because you liked the fishing better, people will assume you were not strong enough to stay at princeton. eventually you may become so well known for your axctual work that this does not matter, but it will be much harder to keep up a strong research rpesence in the hinterlands where support, helpful colleagues, and strong students, are all less available.

    the university of torino is a very good school, and in italy my impression is that the top schools are ones of this nature, like Roma I, II, III, Pisa, Pavia, etc.... And they have wonderful histories and traditions of top flight scientific performances going back hundreds of years, with supporting libraries of volumes that most us universities can only envy.
  5. Jul 9, 2006 #4


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    berkeley is very strong state school, but note e.g. that as soon as curt mcmullen got a fields medal there he moved to harvard. this kind of talent fishing by the most famous and wealthy schools is not unusual.

    there are also regular competitions (concorsi?) in italy as top young people jockey for plum positions in their favorite cities, although in italy frequently people wish to be near their homes, since family structures are healthier and stronger there.:smile:
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2006
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