1. Not finding help here? Sign up for a free 30min tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

REU letter: comments? criticisms?

  1. Jan 15, 2007 #1
    My REU letter: comments? criticisms?

    Hey everyone,

    I wrote the following REU letter, it's for a Canadian university. (NSERC is kind of like the Canadian equivalent of the National Science Foundation). I'd greatly appreciate it if you all could evaluate it. Any things I should add or take out? Anything that should be rephrased? Is the length alright? It kind of feels short to me at the moment...

    ---

    I'm a student in the Physics Specialist Program at the University of Toronto. My career intention is to pursue graduate study in physics. The two fields that I am seriously considering to pursue are experimental particle physics and experimental condensed matter. This is a direction I have taken myself toward, as my interest in physics is in quantum mechanics and interactions at the atomic and subatomic levels. For this reason, I am particularly interested in matter in the presence of high-energy radiation and magnetic fields. Related to this, I am attracted to research into high Tc superconductivity as well as cooling and trapping techniques for cold atoms. In the high energy area, what interest me are neutrino oscillations and the interaction of particles with the Higgs field. I intend that by participating in the NSERC USRA program, I will gain further practical experience in the use of modern experimental apparatuses in physics that I first became acquainted with in my 3rd-year experimental physics laboratory course.

    If you are looking for a student with previous physics research experience, I am currently working with a professor to design an optical imaging system using CODE V software for his cold atoms apparatus. I was a research assistant this summer responsible for performing IR/Raman frequency calculations with GAUSSIAN software on large carbon-based molecules. In 2005, I was a member of a group researching Bose-Einstein Condensate as part of my second-year physics laboratory course.

    ---

    Thanks a lot,
    Vince
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2007
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 17, 2007 #2
    By the way, USRA = undergraduate student research award

    Could someone give me their thoughts on this?
     
  4. Jan 18, 2007 #3
    my 2 cents:
    1. perhaps you can tell more about why things are interesting to you? the statement doesn't seem personal to me... it seems like a list of things someone might be interested in. perhaps make it more personal? maybe state some specific work that you do in previous research experience and how they enhance your knowledge?

    2. i don't think it's a good idea to say "if you are looking". You should address how you fit into their research program, and how you are what they are looking for.
     
  5. Jan 18, 2007 #4
    thanks for the advice tim_lou, i'll keep these two things in mind
     
  6. Jan 23, 2007 #5
    Can anyone else provide some input to this letter?

    Here is a revised versioN:

    I am a student in the Physics Specialist Program at the University of Toronto. My career intention is to pursue graduate study in physics and join the physics research community. The two fields that I am seriously considering to pursue are experimental particle physics and experimental condensed matter. This is a direction I have taken myself toward, as my interest in physics is in quantum mechanics and interactions at the atomic and subatomic levels. Personally, I’ve been interested in these phenomena since having read books about the very small when I was younger, which inspired me to learn more about what is different in the submicroscopic world. For this reason, I am particularly interested in matter in the presence of high-energy radiation and magnetic fields. Related to this, I am attracted to research into high Tc superconductivity as well as cooling and trapping techniques for cold atoms. In the high energy area, what interest me are neutrino oscillations and the interaction of particles with the Higgs field. I intend that by participating in the NSERC USRA program, I will gain further practical experience in the use of modern experimental apparatuses in physics that I first became acquainted with in my 3rd-year experimental physics laboratory course.

    In terms of previous physics research experience, I am currently working with a professor to design an optical imaging system using CODE V software for his cold atoms apparatus. From this I was able to obtain an understanding of the design of multiple-element optical systems and the diagnostic criteria used to evaluate them. I was a research assistant this summer responsible for performing IR/Raman frequency calculations with GAUSSIAN software on large carbon-based molecules. This experience led me to understand the concepts behind density functional theory (DFT) calculations for combining atomic orbitals, as well as Raman and IR spectra. In 2005, I was a member of a group researching Bose-Einstein Condensate as part of my second-year physics laboratory course which familiarized me with cooling and trapping techniques in cold atom experiments.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2007
  7. Jan 24, 2007 #6
    1) I would avoid using your first sentence as the first sentence. Come up with something interesting/captivating -- making the reviewer wanting to read more. I'm sure everyone who is applying with you will have interest in physics, and plans to pursue graduate school.

    2) "Related to this, I am attracted to research into" -- that doesn't sound right. You're "attracted to"? It doesn't sound too professional.

    3) "I am currently working with a professor" -- Perhaps you can give the name of your professor and his specialty, and comment on his brilliance (but don't overdo it or sound too cheesy)... it might show that he (an expert/intelligent man) chose you because you had the right qualities for his research assistant. Someone gave me this advice before, for the same situation you are in.

    4) "I was a research assistant this summer responsible for performing IR/Raman frequency calculations with GAUSSIAN software on large carbon-based molecules."

    can perhaps be changed to:

    During the summer of 200-, I was offered a research assistant position at ----. My major duties included performing IR/Raman frequency calcuations, utilizing GAUSSIAN software on large carbon-based molecules. From my experience at ----, (the rest is ok, add it here).

    Also you might want a conclusion or something to wrap it up. Simply ending it won't help.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?



Similar Discussions: REU letter: comments? criticisms?
Loading...