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How helpful is experience with DFT (eg.VASP) when applying to graduate programs in SS physics?

  1. May 19, 2017 #1
    How useful is experience with software like VASP as an undergraduate when applying to graduate programs in solid state physics?I'm not asking if they expect you to know how to use it,but can it come across as something important in the application?
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  3. May 20, 2017 #2
    The program has to be "computational" condensed matter in order to appreciate your experience with VASP. If you published a paper based on this code that is a big plus. If you just used during a summer internship or so, still it is something good to include in your "statement of purpose" part of the application.
  4. May 21, 2017 #3


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    Well I think it would basically just be seen as relevant research experience and your overall performance would be what matters since it is quite common for people to do different things than they did in undergrad, even in the same subfield. For example, I stayed in the same subfield but did mostly computational work. Now I do mostly analytical theory and use computational methods as needed. Solid state physics is also a very broad field and there are a lot of different tools people use so for someone in experiment or more exotic theory VASP would not be relevant.
  5. May 25, 2017 #4
    I think grad school is a lot different from industry in this important respect: industry values direct experience in specific tools (including specific computer software packages) that are of use to the employer (less training time required); whereas, in grad school, it's pretty much expected that if you need a particular tool to get your thesis done, you'll learn it as a matter of course. But, by all means, list it on your application along with other specialized software you're proficient in.
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