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Question about casm programme in cambridge, uk.

  1. Feb 2, 2007 #1


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    i want to know, is the restriction on choosing nine lecture courses obligatory?
    i mean if you want to take more than the nine, is it possible, or very unlikely
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 4, 2007 #2
    You can go to as many courses as you like - it's just that there is a maximum number you can enter an exam for. Plenty of people go to more courses than they need to, although its usual to take a slightly more relaxed approach to the courses you're not expecting to sit an exam in.

    I went to 10 courses during Part III, but only needed 6 for the exam. :)
  4. Feb 4, 2007 #3
    You can offer a maximum of nineteen units (which roughly translates to six "major" courses, not nine) for examination. While a lot of people go to more courses than that just to obtain a flavour of some areas which may be outside their primary area of interest, it's really not in your interest to spend too much time outside of your main courses. If you want to obtain a distinction in the tripos, concentrate on six subjects and do as well as you can in them.

    For what it's worth, I think Part III is *way* overrated. The structure of the course, and the peculiarities of the lecturing system at Cambridge in particular, are heavily weighted in favour of people who have already been at Cambridge as undergrads. More particularly, you will be expected to memorise vast amounts of material if you are to be successful in the tripos examinations, an approach which puts many of the outsiders to significant disadvantage. I did it because I was already here as an undergrad and wanted to do a postgrad here also, but if I'm honest, I don't see Part III as being of terribly great value, especially to outsiders. You won't actually learn a great deal about physics; you'll learn how to memorise things.

    My advice to people who want to come to do Part III is this: acknowledge that the odds are stacked against you and ask yourself why you really want to do the course. If you're interested in graduate study, identify the area in which you are interested and find out which institutions are leaders in that field, and then apply to those places. *Do not* come to Cambridge simply because you want to see what it's like, or because Hawking is here (he'll be retiring in eighteen months to two years anyway, but I digress). Finally, if you don't have excellent results from your undergrad degree, there's probably a large chance that you won't be successful during the tripos exams: they're significantly more difficult than anything you will have seen before.
  5. Feb 5, 2007 #4


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    well, if lets say after the casm i were to procceed in phd studies in cambrdige, would i need to take some of the courses which are offered in the casm programme?

    so i gather that you both have graduated from cambridge, well im inquiring now but i still have time till graduation.
  6. Feb 5, 2007 #5
    Yes. At least, you would need to be familiar with the material covered in those courses most closely related to your chosen area of research.

    By the way, if you're interested in loop quantum gravity (I'm guessing this based on your username), go elsewhere. There's nobody here who really works in LQG and it doesn't really seem to be regarded as a fruitful area of research. As a result you probably won't be able to find somebody willing to supervise you.
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2007
  7. Feb 5, 2007 #6
    What are the primary interests in the Cambridge physics department, I have always been curious?

    Also, I watched some show a while back where these cambridge dudes had ridiculous computers and were constructing possible alien worlds based on physics, chemistry, biology, etc.

    It was an interesting show granted it lacked any mention of science but I was curious what that department is? They look like they are having the time of their lives.

    A friend of mine goes to Cambridge but he wasn't sure of the answer to that question. It's just a silly inquiry.
  8. Feb 6, 2007 #7


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    well, i'm more keen in researching in pure maths than theoretical physics although physics intersets me as well (im doing a bsc in physics and maths), this is why i asked if i could take more than nine (or as you put it 6 major courses) lectrued courses, some in physics as well. (i feel that exams are part of the process of attending the course, and getting the most out of the course, although exams may be more/less difficult depending on the lecturer it's important to have them).

    btw, if we already discussing about LQG, as far as i know there isnt outside PSU, and i think a place in canada where smolin is working, a place where you can research on LQG.
    and i also looked in Msc programmes in my country (israel) in physics, there isn't even a mention of LQG, only string theory and its family (supergravity,supersymmetry, etc).
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