1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Grad School Group Decision

  1. Oct 18, 2009 #1
    So I'm in my first year of Grad school, where there is a crap load of groups I would like to join.

    Things like plasma physics (fluid dynamics has always interested me and I'm taking a class on it now), single-molecule detectors, one-way nanopores, and a crapload of things from the engineering department that would fall under physics as well.

    My problem? This is something I'd like to work on:

    I mean, let's face it, I would be better than Jesus. But anyway, it's not that I've lost interest in physics. No, I in fact plan to take all the courses I can over the next few years, even if only one per quarter.

    My dilemma now is that we have a particle group that works on ATLAS and one of the things they are doing is writing up algorithms for quick decisions on what to do with the gathered data. They need it to be as fast as possible, plus it involves AI to determine what is and is not "good" data.

    Computer Science interests me and AI would no doubt be somewhere up the alley of artificial limbs (okay, so I like robotics in general, doesn't have to be that specifically), plus particle physics is also interesting to me, though I am a bit uneasy about the idea of having 2000+ people fighting over attention.

    Any advice on how I could resolve this problem? i.e. what to do to help me figure out what I want to do? :shy:
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 18, 2009 #2
    40 views and no replies. Okay, that tells me nobody has any clue what I am asking. Here's a shorter version:

    How much of Grad school is learning a set of skills vs. learning about a sub-area of physics?

    I like programming, I like building and tinkering, and yeah, even analyzing data. I'd like to have my job have me do all of those. I can definitely see myself doing plasma physics for a while and then switching over to condensed matter or something. Nearly all areas of physics interest me, and what is more important for me is what my project is, and not as much what the physics is.

    Am I in for a surprise? Or can I totally pull this off? Goals after Ph.D.: I don't know. Could be post-doc -> academia, or government lab, or straight to industry, or even starting my own company.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook