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Is a Ph.D equivalent self-education possible?

  1. May 30, 2004 #1
    Is a Ph.D equivalent self-education possible?

    I want to be a computer game programmer/designer and I want to know if I can teach myself physics in my spare time.

    It may take me 20 years, but I am determined to learn everything there is to learn about physics.

    I would become a physicist if I didn't want to be a computer game designer more. Right now I just think I would be more happy (and wealthy, which doesn't hurt) being a game designer.
     
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  3. May 31, 2004 #2

    ahrkron

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    Short answer: IMO, almost surely no.

    Longer answer: there are two components toa PhD: education and research. The first can probably be achieved with a lot of reading and discipline in solving exercises and asking questions. The second one, however, is far more difficult to do on your own, especially if you are using half your time (or less) for it.

    Actually, I started as a computer engineer and ended on a PhD in physics. I wanted to do something along the lines of what you suggest, but the problem is that (at least for me) it was extremely difficult to stay focused on physics, since my former work with computers was extremely demanding.

    But of course, I cannot say that what you want is completely impossible.

    Good luck!
     
  4. May 31, 2004 #3
    I could get a Ph.d in physics THEN go into the computer game industry. I guess the biggest turn off is the fact that graduate students don't have much free time. I really want to have the time to date, and stuff like that

    How much time to physics grad students have for that stuff?
     
  5. May 31, 2004 #4

    Njorl

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    On the contrary - physics grad students have plenty of time to date. Girls just don't like them!

    Just kidding!

    They don't have plenty of time to date.

    Njorl
     
  6. May 31, 2004 #5

    That rules me our for now. I am a 19-year-old virgin and I need to get laid (more than once!)
    What do you guys think about going back to school later to get a Ph.D in physics? How long would be the max to wait? I know that the courses lose their significance the more you wait due to the advance of knowledge.
     
  7. Jun 12, 2004 #6
    if you are planning to avoid school to get laid then you are quite a unique person...
     
  8. Jun 12, 2004 #7

    lol

    i just dont think i would have much time to date in grad school
     
  9. Jul 1, 2004 #8
    who awards Phd and exactly what does it consist of and how long does it take to get one
     
  10. Jul 2, 2004 #9
    A Phd means that a university officially owns your work.
     
  11. Jul 2, 2004 #10

    selfAdjoint

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    The only work they own is your thesis.
     
  12. Jul 2, 2004 #11

    selfAdjoint

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    Universities with graduate schools offer PhD's. Not all universities offer PhDs in all fields, you have to get a graduate catalog, or go to the university's web site to see. The time needed to get one also varies, if all goes well, three to four years.

    You first spend two to three years of heavy study soaking up all the advanced level information in your field, so you will be qualified to teach it. Somewhere in there you present a proposed thesis topic to one of the professors and he becomes your thesis advisor, a key mentoring relationship.
    Then you do the research, write it up and present it to the advisor. When he is satisfied an orals committee is formed and your (dreaded) oral exam is scheduled. The committee members read your thesis and can ask you questions about that or about some obscure question in your field to see if you really retained all that advanced knowledge you studied. If you pass you're a PhD. The university gives you the degree, and you can start looking for a job on a college faculty.
     
  13. Jul 2, 2004 #12
    Thats my point?
     
  14. Jul 6, 2004 #13
    Degrees And Intelligence

    The single greatest mind, and most certified GENIUS I have ever encountered, had never attended ONE DAY of formal education in his entire life.

    I met him, living on the streets of Canberra in 1983. He worked for the Soviets designing ASAT systems in the mid-80s (because he COULDN'T get a job in the West - because of his lack of qualifications). The guy also managed to build a particle accelerator and patent about 50 different inventions. He achieved all this, by the age of 25.
    Last I heard from him, he was "occupied" in Antarctica, working for some organisation I had never heard of.

    So, yes.
    In the West one needs your little piece of paper to make you official.
    In classified/higher Military/private industry circles, a Degree matters not...
     
  15. Jul 9, 2004 #14
    self adjoint --- for those who enter PhD programs is the Masters Degree obtained automatically along the way?
     
  16. Jul 9, 2004 #15
    that is--- PhD programs without already having their Masters....
     
  17. Jul 9, 2004 #16

    selfAdjoint

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    I went through a program that let you skip the masters. I made that choice in order to speed up my path to the Ph.D., but it was a mistake in retrospect. Because I never did finish the Ph.D. and if I had taken the year out to get the masters, I would at least have had that to boost my non-academic careeer.
     
  18. Jul 17, 2004 #17
    What's the average number of years that a grad student takes to get his Ph.D. I would like to earn one but not marry unitl its over. And if I'm 30 and single most of the good normal girls would be married... :cry:
     
  19. Jul 18, 2004 #18

    Chronos

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    Why would you want to date normal girls with all those post-doctoral babes hanging around the lab?
     
  20. Jul 18, 2004 #19

    selfAdjoint

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    Evidence of a couple of anecdotes (Einstein and Feynmann) suggests that great physicists like smart babes when young and maternal caretakers when old, and can be pretty ruthless toward the other sex in between.
     
  21. Jul 19, 2004 #20
    hmmm.....
    Girls that are smarter than me..... I don't like that idea... lol. Well I don't look for a scientist in a girl, I look for someone to have fun with.
     
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