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Is math research a waste of time?

  1. Jun 26, 2007 #1
    Is math research a waste of time for a physics major?

    Hey everybody,

    I will be starting my fourth and final year this Fall as an undergraduate with physics and math majors. Since in a couple of months I need to start my applications for physics grad school, I'm currently stressing out about what I need to do.

    I've heard many people stress how important research as an undergraduate is. My problem is that it seems I have more opportunities doing research in math than in physics. Since last year (Fall '06), I started doing work in an undergraduate physics research position. The progress is slow, however, and it will probably not be done until the end of the next semester (Fall '07). Right now, I'm in an 8-week math research program that will be done a week from this Friday.

    My math professor recently asked if I wanted to do another one of these programs that would last the entire semester, with the intent on continuing research on the same topic. My question is: Is having done math research not important in the eyes of the physics admissions people? Should I say yes to this opportunity, or should I try to do something else (i.e. original physics research)? Any help would be much appreciated.

    -Alex W.
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2007
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 26, 2007 #2
    Changed the title so it's not as misleading. Change didn't show up on main page, though.
  4. Jun 26, 2007 #3
    I don't think anything research-wise would be a waste of time if something comes out of it (i.e. good reccomendation letter from people you work with, maybe the faculty member you work with will even get it published).
  5. Jun 27, 2007 #4
    Thanks for the reply. I've done the same reasoning, but in the back of my mind it seems like I should do something more physics related. What about getting a recommendation from a math professor rather than a physics professor? Any thoughts?
  6. Jun 27, 2007 #5
    Well didn't you say you are doing physics research (ending Fall 07" as well? In that case, you will have letters from math & physics professors. Correct?
  7. Jun 27, 2007 #6
    Correct. Maybe I'm overthinking this a little too much. I should probably just be content that I am where I am.

    Thanks for the replies.
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