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Graduate School

  1. May 22, 2014 #1
    I have been working under a supervisor in the field of microwave circuits and devices. I have been told that he would be willing to supervise me in the graduate program, and if I am interested, I should begin to think about what I would like to do. I have some confusions regarding this.

    Is "what I would like to do" supposed to be specific? Or does the supervisor provide a bit of aid, as long as the student has a general idea of the direction they want to go? For example, I am interested in utilization of synchrotron radiation to perform X-ray and UV lithography on microwave decives and circuits. At the undergraduate level, I know this creates a high-aspect ratio, which thereby may be able to reduce planar area (and therfore, take up less space on boards). Beyond this, my knowledge base lacks, although it would improve upon entering graduate school and taking some classes. Is my general direction sufficient to approach the supervisor, or is a more well-defined direction required? For example, would I have to know whether I am demonstrating the high-aspect ratio on a specific decive (such as a coupler, resonator, antenna, etc)? Or would it be at this point that they chime in with a suggested decive or component?
    Last edited: May 22, 2014
  2. jcsd
  3. May 22, 2014 #2


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    It can vary from supervisor to supervisor.

    Generally speaking, you won't be expected to know anything beyond the undegraduate level, so a potential supervisor will usually help you with the details of a project - particulaly if you're required to put together some sort of research proposal. But if you're interested in a specific area, you should start to read up as much as you can in the field and try to generate some of your own ideas, if for nothing else than to hold some intelligent discussions with your supervisor. Remember that as you proceed through graduate studies, you (should) gain more and more freedom with the direction of the project to the point where the final parts of it are performed more-or-less independently.

    I know a lot of supervisors really like it when students come to them with ideas because it demonstrates that the students have been thinking
  4. May 22, 2014 #3
    Thanks for the response. It was exactly what I was looking for. I believe I am on the right track then. I was a little confused as to how everyone knew off the get-go what project they were going to do without being exposed to the graduate level curriculum.
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