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I need an area of study to get passionate about!

  1. Dec 11, 2012 #1
    I am a Materials Science undergraduate, and love it! But I'm looking for something to get passionate about. Nothing fulfilling enough has caught my attention, although I have some promising leads. I've currently hit a wall in my search. Can you help me?

    My leads:
    -Thin films. A study-for-fun on enamel led me to choosing thin films as my grad study. They are interesting, useful, and have an inner technological beauty. However, I am stuck on what I can do further than the regular studies (which takes all the magic away...it looks like their quantic properties gain the main research interest, and it's not my area).
    -I am getting increasingly interested in neuroscience and the human mind. However, I haven't found a connection with my science yet. Also, I'm interested in kinetic studies for robotic-or other-applications. But I don't think I can find a research team to get in, or to go far by myself (I'm broke -_-). Another "biological" direction is biomimetics, but I'm a little new to it... can it be a main research direction, or is it simply extra inspiration?
    -Other topics I've enjoyed were electronics, composite materials, smart materials, superconductors, health structure monitoring, and materials of alternative energy sources.
    -The perfect study subject would have these characteristics: inspiring one to explore new possibilities and solve problems, instead of being too technical, or having loose ends that only the "great masters" can realize. Also, having lab-testing potential instead of being solely theoretic-I love getting my hands on experiments! Thirdly, not having the whole world's scientists already working on it (like solar cells...) Finally, my brain runs on structural analyses rather than complex maths, so I'd love being able to utilize my "visual" way of thinking. I'm good at stuff like Electronics and Biomaterials, but weak at Probabilities and Quantum Mechanics (although I liked probabilities...)

    Thank you in advance!!!
    I really need some suggestions about where can I look next, I'm open to any suggestion!!!
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 14, 2012 #2
    Hey I don't know if you are already in a graduate school, but the University of Memphis (where I am now) has a great materials science program with a biophysics component and one of the physics concentrations is Material Science, for both undergrad and graduate. The main researcher in that field here is Dr. Sabri, who is working on gold plated aerogels to help people who have severed nerves. If you are also interested in robotics then there is Dr. Franklin of the computer science department and Fedex Institute of Technology (FIT), although he deals more with the cognitive side of robotics with the cognitive computing research group (CCRG).

    Although if you are looking for a doctorate, then don't come to the University of Memphis, our Physics program ends at the masters level.
  4. Dec 14, 2012 #3


    Staff: Mentor

    how about origami?
  5. Dec 14, 2012 #4
    Oooooooo, that sounds interesting! I'll look it up right away, I were looking for something like this :D
    I am undergrad, but I will be for one more year only, so I'm looking into what I can do next. Thank you for the recommendation, Jdodson :D

    Jedi-origami? I had that hobby once :p
    Scientifically speaking I've only heard of the mathematic approach, though, I think I've seen a mechanics-inspired article too...I've never read about anything materials-oriented.
  6. Dec 14, 2012 #5


    Staff: Mentor

    What about the materials used to do the folding?

    Artists use all kinds of papers and other materials? They do dry folding and wet folding and some even do anarchist folding (no rules just crumple, flatten and form into a shape)

    Prof Robert Lang has assisted NASA projects such as the folding telescope lens.

    So there may be room for a materials science person.
  7. Dec 14, 2012 #6
    Folding lens??? I haven't heard of that one :eek:
    I'll look it up, thanks!!! :D
  8. Dec 14, 2012 #7


    Staff: Mentor

  9. Dec 15, 2012 #8
    hmm, since you want to do low math, not everyone doing it, and lab potential:

    biosensors. these are things that change property when exposed to living cells of different types. These can range from electronic glucose monitoring systems to lab-on-a-chip disposable diagnostics.

    I feel you, materials is a great field to be in with lots of different possibilities ranging from computer chips to catalysis and its hard to choose!
  10. Dec 20, 2012 #9


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