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FIU or FAU for Physics/Chemistry

  1. May 12, 2012 #1
    I want to double major, not sure what concentration of physics and chemistry yet. Possibly physical chemistry and possibly astro or theoretical physics. Anyone have some good info?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 12, 2012 #2


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    Undergrad or Grad?
  4. May 12, 2012 #3


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    I had a friend that went to FAU for undergrad and found it too slow. But if you're

    focused and self-motivated, that may not matter too much. It was a commuter school,

    so I would recommend getting housing nearby; commuting every day for 4+ years

    does add up.
  5. May 12, 2012 #4
    Undergrad. After I get my AA, for my BA. im 35 min. from FIU. I wanna do grad at FSu if I can get in. FAU is about 50 min I think. not too sure.
  6. May 12, 2012 #5


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    Why don't you apply to both and spend a couple of days in each campus to get a feel for which is best for you?
  7. May 12, 2012 #6
    I study physics and electrical engineering at FIU.

    I'm part of the society of physics students and we're all a pretty tight nit group of friends.

    We all study together, advertize internships and scholarships regularly for the student body, build and design experiments for demonstrations and offer tutoring.

    The department itself has Nuclear/Plasma, Optics, Condensed Matter, Biophysics, and Physics Education as research topics to choose from.

    I do research with the plasma physics professor and we collaborate with the Princeton Plasma Physics laboratory, 2 other students and myself have been working on equipment that will go into Princeton's tokomak.

    So some of the research is pretty good, the teaching is extremely hit or miss; you have about 3 or 4 very good teachers, 1 that is very friendly but horrible in a lecture setting, 1 that doesn't seem to know the material, and a few that are down right a-holes according to the grad students.

    I've discussed with the SPS president if we could lobby the department to make changes to the curriculum to sort of update the way the EE department is doing; but that's a debate for later.

    From what I've heard FAU physics is a big name in general relativity gravitational physics; but I don't know the details of their department.

    Hope I could help.
  8. May 12, 2012 #7
    I admittedly don't know much about either school, but I do know that recently I heard that FAU was THE place for some field of cosmology/astronomy. I'm sure someone on PF here knows the details. Point is, it probably depends on what specifically you want to do.
  9. May 13, 2012 #8
    Thank you for your help. That is good info. Clope. That sounds like a great setting.
  10. May 13, 2012 #9
    I know that they have a world class numerical relativity/radiation hydro group there. I worked with some of FAU people there on my dissertation.

    Don't know anything about the quality of the undergraduate program.
  11. May 13, 2012 #10
    It's an ok setting.

    The math requisites for the major, for instance are extremely lacking, for instance they don't require linear algebra.

    Depending on the teacher, you're sort of screwed for the class, regarding understanding not necessarily your grade.
    For instance the friendly but horrible lecturer teaches thermodynamics and math methods in physics, the consensus from several generations of people (so it's not just some bad students) is that no one learns from him.
    The only reason i did reasonably well in our math methods class with him is that I knew the math beforehand. Depending on the class and teacher it's suggested you know the material before even taking the class (I can tell you which ones if you like).

    The technical electives are not systematic nor conductive to getting students practical job skills outside of grad school. There's no required computer programming courses though you will need to be exposed to it doing the reports for modern physics and senior lab. There also isn't an advanced circuit/electronic class. Another problem is that alot of the lecture modules are taught as studio physics or modeling physics where math is downplayed and the material is presented dumbed down and half-assedly, leading to student problems in upper division courses.

    The department is full of flaws but has the potential to be good, which is why I said I was discussing with the SPS to bring these concerns to the head of the department and see if any changes can't be made to better the student body's experiences here.

    On top of the flaw we still send graduates to some very good schools, two friends of mine went to MIT and UMichigan for their PhD studies.

    Just letting you know what you get into if you decide to come to FIU.
    Last edited: May 13, 2012
  12. May 15, 2012 #11
    I understand Clope. I already started teaching myself Physics and the math that goes with it. THanks to Math Tutor DVD's lol I also have downloaded many textbooks and read them religiously. THe info is out there if you want to learn it.
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