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Should I do undergrad research

  1. Feb 16, 2010 #1
    Basically my question is, next semester I'll be a senior & don't have any undergraduate research, & I'm wondering if I should do research even if I'm not interested in the subject. At the college I go to, they are doing some mathematical research in string theory, & I never particularly cared for the subject. It seems like there is a lot of learn before I can even begin contemplating any possible computations. So is it worth it, if that is possibly the only undergrad research I might get? I applied to some REU's for the summer, but I'll just have to wait & see about getting into them. I hope to go to grad school, hopefully in the field of astrophysics, but we'll have to see being that I come from a small school.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 16, 2010 #2
    I am personally in no particularly good position to give you any substantial advice, but the common answer that i have usually encountered given by the people in this forum to questions simmilar to yours is that: any research experience is better than no research experience at all.
  4. Feb 16, 2010 #3
    ehhh, if you're not into the research opportunities at your school, do something else that interests you. Undergrad years are for exploration. If that means joining a philosophy reading club, so be it. Over the summer find an REU that interests you, and during the school year do what you find interesting.
  5. Feb 16, 2010 #4
    my bad, missed that you were a senior. In that case, you won't be able to do an meaningful research this semester probably, so I'd definitely recommend doing an reu to try and get something before you apply to grad school.
  6. Feb 17, 2010 #5

    Vanadium 50

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    Let's back up a bit - if you aren't interested in research, why do you want to go to grad school?
  7. Feb 17, 2010 #6
    How did you gather that from what I posted? I'm not interested in string theory, that was my point.

    rms344, I stated I'll be a senior NEXT semester. I'll probably hold off a bit until I hear back from some of the REUs, then if I don't get any I'll try & work on this or maybe a mathematics research project.

    I like working hard, & it appears to be a challenge, but I just rather focus the time & energy on something I'm interested in & will probably do in grad. school rather than just adding a line item to my resume.
  8. Feb 17, 2010 #7


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    It sounds to me like you're creating an artificial barrier for yourself by assuming that there are no research projects available that you're interested in.

    You may want to speak with some of your professors and tell them that you're interested in doing some research and what areas you ARE interested in exploring. Just because they focus on one area doesn't mean they may not know someone else looking for a keen student.
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