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I'm a freshman with sophomore knowledge. Should I join research?

  1. Nov 8, 2012 #1
    I'm a pHysics major freshman and I know lots of college physics and math, lots of which I don't get to skip in college.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 8, 2012 #2
    How do you know you really know these things?? It's easy to think you know something, but that doesn't mean you actually do.
  4. Nov 8, 2012 #3


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    http://img.spikedmath.com/comics/232-how-much-math-do-you-know.png [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  5. Nov 8, 2012 #4


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    If I'm not mistaken, you're the person who doesn't attend \ skips lectures. How do you expect a professor to take you in for research if you don't even attend his\her lectures?
  6. Nov 8, 2012 #5
    I was preparing for Physics Olympiad so I spent lots of time doing practice problems. I even did the challenge problems (I think for nearly every chapter) for Physics.
  7. Nov 8, 2012 #6
    It's like my 6th week of college, I haven't even started taking Physics classes so the Physics professors don't know my... thing
  8. Nov 8, 2012 #7
    Challenge problems in what book?? A book like Kleppner of Spivak, or a book like Halliday?
  9. Nov 8, 2012 #8
    I don't get it. You're doing a physics major right?? How can you major in physics without taking physics classes yet??
  10. Nov 8, 2012 #9
    Sears and Zemanskys.

    I'm on quarter system, doing calculus, chemistry and english this quarter
  11. Nov 9, 2012 #10
    I would say the summer after your freshman year you can get into research, at least that's when I started it and I wasn't ahead in terms of classes just very motivated. Also, my school highly recommended getting into research as early as possible so there were always professors asking for students interests.

    I would shoot for a cross between physics/CS type research that way if you have any coding skills they can use you and then you can slowly build your knowledge of math/physics in your classes along the way. I can't speak for experimental groups because I've never been in one of those, maybe others can give advice for that. I would avoid the hardcore theory groups. They're usually reserved for extremely talented young students or upper class men because the knowledge base is quite large.

    The best thing you can do right now is just ask professors, the worst they can say is no but at least they know you're interested. Don't let the other posters demotivate you from pursuing a goal but please don't be cocky when you ask professors. I know you think you're ahead of the game but you're only slightly ahead. At my school, we had a couple "2nd year" undergrads taking grad classes.. they were ahead.
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