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Research or Summer Program

  1. Mar 29, 2008 #1
    Hi, I am a junior in high school, and was wondering what would look better.
    A summer program at a university (probaly Rutgers - Physics), or a research program under a mentor (rutgers or princeton)

    Last summer I did a summer program at Harvard - Astronomy. I want to pursue astronomy/astrophysics as a major in college so any help would be appreciated.

  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 29, 2008 #2


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    They will probably both look good on a college application.

    The research program seems pretty self explanatory. I assume they will let you help out a professor and his research group for a summer?

    What is involved in the "summer program?"
  4. Mar 29, 2008 #3
    The summer program is basically prep for AP Physics that I will be taking.

    Btw what are some good research topics? Stuff that hasn't really been done before, that can be.
    I really want to apply to Intels or Siemens, and do that I need a research topic in Physics, but apparently I haven't been able to think of one. Any suggestions?
  5. Mar 29, 2008 #4
    Research will be more fun than prep for a class.
  6. Mar 29, 2008 #5

    I think it would look better as well. If I cannot get a proffesor to mentor me (I'm failry confident though that I can) then can one of you guys suggest any research topics/areas?
  7. Mar 29, 2008 #6
    Yeah, I mean if you are (sorry for lack of better words) smart enough to do a research program that early on. Then I do not know how much prep you will be needing for AP. Physics.
  8. Mar 29, 2008 #7
    I don't think you have to be smart to do a research ... you just have to pay attention to your mentor, and work hard.
  9. Mar 29, 2008 #8
    Pretty much. I'm a 3rd year student now and when my professor wanted to give me a different project, I said "Sure... but what would I need to know?" You know, so I don't go in over my head. He just said "Everything and nothing." and smiled. I was halfway there. :)

    When I worked in my school's physics lab over the summer, there was a kid who had just graduated high-school working there. I'm sure he didn't know much physics yet, but he was there nonetheless, because the things he did didn't require a rigorous knowledge of the formulas and derivations, just the qualitative explanations that he could pick up on the fly. "A particle will come in here, this machine will detect it, and your job is to figure out the signal to noise ratio."

    If you're lucky, you'll get to solder. I did a lot of that. :)
  10. Mar 29, 2008 #9


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    Go for the research program end of story!

    Not only is it great experience but having it on your resume will probably help you get similar internships designes for college undergrads, like REUs. Good luck and have fun in the research program!
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