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I'd like to know how you got your research

  1. Sep 3, 2014 #1
    Greetings again PF, I wish everyone had a good three day weekend. College officially started two weeks ago, and I am much enjoying both the academic and social aspects of it so far. Unfortunately however, I have yet to grasp a research opportunity.
    So far I've only been emailing few professors, briefly introducing myself and what not. I know this isn't the only way, in fact even an effective way of leaving a good impression to my potential employer s, so I would like to know how others attempted and succeeded in getting into research.
    So how have you guys done it?
    Thank you in advance.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 3, 2014 #2
    Talking directly to the ones that seem approachable.
  4. Sep 3, 2014 #3


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    Well if you're taking the professor's class then try asking after lecture for an appointment. Alternatively, if the professor hasn't yet replied to your emails then go to their office and ask if they have time for a quick question regarding undergraduate research in their group so that you can setup an appointment to talk more extensively about research.

    I finished my professor's GR class before asking him so he already knew who I was; I just dropped by his office and asked if I could do GR research with him. He is also the nicest professor I've ever had so others may not be as open and approachable as he is.
  5. Sep 3, 2014 #4
    Only two weeks into freshmen year is a bit early. I'd at the absolute least finish the first semester and have naturally built-up a bit of contact with professors first.
  6. Sep 4, 2014 #5
    I would comment on the material during lecture in a way that showed the professor I had a strong understanding of it. I would go to office hours with new questions each time from outside the class, he'd then email me academic papers for me to read (related to my questions, like power gating in digital circuits) and we would discuss them.

    Then he got me a key to his lab and I've been involved since. This was only 4 weeks into his course, I showed him some work in basic hardware design I did on my own and that was enough to impress him.

    Unless you're a truly advanced freshmen in the field of your interest I would wait until you gain more perspective of said field before beginning research.

    @Newton I've seen some professors who have been incredibly rude to students asking to help with research, definitely some not so open professors out there . One told the student that with a 3.3GPA that no one would want to work on research with him and he should switch out of engineering...talk about harsh.
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2014
  7. Sep 5, 2014 #6
    I emailed a bunch of professors, got quite a few nice replies, and picked the one who seemed most promising.
  8. Sep 7, 2014 #7
    You must have gone to a big state school? Reminds me of my experience. Not specifically that happened to me but In big state schools (from my sample size of N = 2, one smaller private, one bigger state school ), professors seem to have so many students to choose from that they don't mind telling a good bunch of them to get lost.
  9. Sep 7, 2014 #8
    I go to a big state school and ive never heard or encountered anything that harsh, I think the student just encountered a pompous fraud
  10. Sep 7, 2014 #9
    Yes big state school. That makes sense.

    Perhaps the student approached him with an entitled attitude? He's no fraud, he is a very accomplished researcher in his field and plays a fairly significant role in the department.
  11. Sep 9, 2014 #10
    Thank you people! As porcupine137 has pointed out, it seems a bit early to look for research already. As academics alone is hefty enough for me as of now, I decided to delay my search for research until next semester and learn coding. Next semester however, I will take an introductory modern physics course taught by a professor who's research I am very interested in. I was rejected at first since he already had two very skilled and intelligent senior undergraduate researchers working under him, but hopefully through the contact next semester I can prove to him that my diligence can be useful to him in the coming years.
    Again, thank you for the sincere replies.
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