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PhD/Research Questions

  1. Jun 10, 2012 #1
    Hello all. I'm transferring from a Community College to a four year uni. I have a little time (maybe a semmester) before I need to declare a major. Right now it's between physics and mechanical engineering. If I only get a bachelor's, I'll do engineering. If I go the PhD route, I'll do physics in undergrad. The deciding factor will be how much I like (or think I'll like) research.

    Sadly, I don't think I'll have to time to do an internship or similar before I have to delcare. Since I haven't been accepted yet, I haven't spoken to my potential advisor about it.

    I read the book So You Want to be a Scientist by Philip A. Schwartzkroin. It gave a good overview of what goes into getting a PhD. I'm looking for some specifics. I'd like to know the types of topics people did their research on. What did you do in your team? What did you actually do on a daily basis? What experiments did you take part in? When you say you spent a whole bunch of time coding, what were you coding? Why? What did you do for the six years it took you to get your PhD? Why did it take six years? Does your research or research experience relate to anything you are doing now?

    There is a prof at my CC that I'll talk to about this stuff if he has time. He left research for education, so I'm interested to hear what he has to say. Any articles, books, anecdotes, links, etc. would be awesome. (I'm not really sure how to google for these questions. Suggestions on that would be cool too.)

    Thanks in advance!
  2. jcsd
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