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Research Opportunites For College-Bound H.S Senior

  1. Oct 27, 2009 #1
    Hey everyone, I'm currently a high school senior and I was just wondering if there was anything I could do this upcoming summer to help boost my application for graduate school. I know it is way far down the road, but seeing many of you guys report on how difficult it is to get into a top 5 grad. school, I wanted to get busy early. And not only am I trying to build my application, but spending a year doing something physics related sounds so appealing. So, do any of you have suggestions on what I can do??

    P.S If this makes any difference, the schools I am applying to are Uni. of Chicago, UCSB, UCLA, Berkeley, Johns Hopkins and Carnegie Mellon...

  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 27, 2009 #2


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    If you live near any universities (or even community colleges) you can always approach professors to see if they are looking for any volunteers or have any work opportunities in their labs.

    Another option is to develop some skills that will help you get a spot in a formal undergraduate research experience program such as learning a programming language or familiarizing yourself with a program like MATLAB.
  4. Oct 27, 2009 #3
    How hard is it to teach oneself a programming language like C++ or how to use a program like MATLAB? Expanding on that point, what languages would best advantage me if I were going to be applying to REU's during my undergraduate studies?
  5. Oct 30, 2009 #4
    Any other comments on my original question?
  6. Oct 30, 2009 #5


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    Which programming languages would be most useful depends a lot on what you ultimately want to do. But learning C, C++, or Perl would help you either way - at least you'd be learning how to program, and after you've done that the rest is just syntax. There are plenty of good introductory programming books out there. I'd recommend this one for Perl. https://www.amazon.com/Learning-Per...=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1256951004&sr=8-2

    Without having any contacts, it will be hard to find a professor wiling to take on a student who hasn't even started college yet as a research assistant. There wouldn't be a whole lot you could do. Once you get into a school, you could always ask them if they offer anything, but the schools you mentioned have plenty of grad students and undergrads who have higher priority for getting a research spot.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
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