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New website for physics students

  1. Jun 1, 2007 #1
    Hello all,

    It's been a while since I visited this forum, probably a year or so ago. It looks pretty much the same. :)

    I need your assistance. Specifically, I need your opinions, advice, input, feedback, even questions. I hope you all are kind enough to help me out!

    I've just launched a website aimed at physics students who are interested in pursuing graduate studies and careers in physics. My hope is that this website will assist physics students in pursuing their desired educational and career paths.

    Within the website is a guide on how to apply to graduate school, the largest list of physics internships, scholarships, fellowships, and summer research opportunities out there (as far as I'm aware), interviews with current physics graduate students and physicists working in their careers, and more.

    The website is only a week old, so it's still very small. Here's where you come in. I need help figuring what I should add, change, emphasize, de-emphasize, expand, and improve. What would best help physics students learn about opportunities available to them? How can I best show physics students the hugely diverse areas open to them in graduate school and possible careers? How can my little website best benefit you?

    The URL is: http://www.astromiror.org .

    Thank you all so much!
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 1, 2007 #2

    Chris Hillman

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Some webdesign issues

    Could grow into a very helpful site. I notice that some text is poorly formatted (extends outside the side bars) and also that conflicting colors make some text hard to read. I'd also recommend resisting the temptation to put high quality astroimages everywhere since these can be slow to load for some users. Such design issues can be quite important in determining whether or not your site gets used!

    (Re the ancient site in my sig: do as I say, not as I do! I dislike CSS for many reasons such as bloated code, but simple html tags are generally considered unacceptably primitive these days. But at the same time, it is important to try to test access your own site from various locations to see if everything appears to work--- e.g. readable and visually attractive--- for generic users.)
  4. Jun 1, 2007 #3
    Hi Chris,

    Thanks so much for your response! May I ask what browser you're using? I've been testing with Internet Explorer 7 and Mozilla Firefox 2, and the text looks fine from my end. Is it just the sidebar text that's going over?

    In your opinion, which text colors don't work and where? I'm only using standard black text, with white in a few locations and red in very few locations.

    It's curious that you mention high-quality images. I specifically kept slower users in mind by only having two images on my site at all: the main banner, and my email address as an image to try to trick spammers. Since there is only one high-quality image, the load time should fairly quick.

    Thank you again! I worked on the design for a number of months; I didn't realize there were so many problems still!

  5. Jun 1, 2007 #4
    Hello Laura, interesting website you've got. To be honest, I wish I had something like this last year when I was applying to grad schools. Oh well, I successfully muddled my way through the process somehow. Looks great overall. The only suggestion I can offer at the moment is that it might be a good idea to have a survey of a few graduate students, as you do for the professional physicists. But you did say in your original post that something like this was on the site, so maybe I'm just not looking hard enough (maybe the site could use some sort of navigation page?).

    Incidentally I noticed that you do astrophysics. I myself am with a high energy astrophysics group.
  6. Jun 1, 2007 #5
    Excellent idea! Check out:

    They're in the Grad School Guide section under Personal Experiences. Looks like I need to do some navigation restructuring to make them more obvious. Thanks so much for the input!

    High-energy asto is amazingly cool, isn't it? I'm particularly drawn toward x-rays.
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2007
  7. Jun 1, 2007 #6
    X-rays, huh? I guess you're just a few doors down on the EM spectrum from me. I do very high energy astro (basically, gamma rays up in the 100 GeV to TeV range). But still pretty cool, nonetheless. What I find so amazing is that the technique actually works. I sometimes stumble back in disbelief that a few PMTs out in the desert can allow us to look at the Crab Nebula, blazars, and all that other stuff. Thank heaven (literally) for Cherenkov radiation!

    Of course, I think you are the real astronomer here. I, on the other hand, am a high energy physicist in disguise.
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