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Importance of undergrad research

  1. Sep 26, 2012 #1
    Alright, so I have a question that's really been bothering me.

    Suppose you're an undergrad, and you've done research for a year or two. And you've been fairly successful under two groups so you know what research is like. Then what is the point of being pushed ("encouraged") to do MORE research before graduate school? Especially since undergrads can't do much compared to grad students from what I've seen - not enough time &/ knowledge.

    Isn't the end of undergrad and the first year or two of grad school the last chance to actually learn the fundamentals inside and out? Then after that you're sort of stuck in whatever field you choose to specialize in?

    The only point I see is to boost your resume, at the expense of other things you could be learning.

    EDIT: By the way, no matter what I'm going to be continuing research until I graduate - I can't leave it now without it looking really bad on my grad school app. We're at the verifying work / almost ready to publish stage. I just can't get this question out of my head - the "why the hell am I doing this anyway?" question.
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2012
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 26, 2012 #2

    Vanadium 50

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    If you like research, wouldn't you want to do more of it? And if you don't like it, would't grad school be a mistake? I fail to see the problem here.
  4. Sep 26, 2012 #3
    I know I like research. I want to do more of it. But I don't have the theoretical background to understand what I am actually doing at the level that I want to, and this frustrates me. Since I know I like research, and I have shown to my profs that I like research, wouldn't it be better for me to spend time learning more of the fundamental background info, instead of produce,produce,produce?

    Why would profs prefer me to do research instead?
    Also, I am concerned that I might have gaps in my physics knowledge later on because I was pushed to do research instead of really nailing down the fundamentals.
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2012
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