Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

So I was planning on getting into research next year for my Undergrad

  1. May 25, 2010 #1
    So I was planning on getting into research next year for my Undergrad in Physics and so I self studied, trying to get ahead in my classes. I talked to my counciler about it and she told me to just talk to one of the professors.

    During Mid-Semester I talked to my quantum professor as well as my EM professor about either being advised or working for them. My quantum professor said he was glad that I was interested in his research and told me that he'd give me material over the summer to read over given that I went back to him towards the end of the semester. My EM professor on the other end gave me an article that he published and told me to understand it and talk to him a number of weeks later.

    Needless to say, I did my research and understood the published paper my EM teacher gave me, but now he won't even let me talk to him about it. He automatically wrote me off as incompetent and won't believe that I understand it, which I really do.

    My quantum teacher on the other hand wrote back to me declaring that doesn't even want to advise/ guide me for research; apparently he found 3 other students he'd rather employ/help next year.

    So I emailed my adviser about finding other professors and now she won't even respond to me. Its not like I'm a bad student, I got A's on all the hw in EM turning out with a B+ in the class and I also received a B in Quantum.

    How can I get into research? I keep asking around and it's like no one wants anything to do with me. I hate this so much, it's rather depressing; I would make a better researcher than student, thats just who I am.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 25, 2010 #2
    Re: Professors

    Hard to say without being there... but I will repeat a bit of advice my physics professor gave me; "Be humble."

    Actions do speak much louder than words. And to be a good researcher you have to be a good student, a researcher is just a student of nature after all.
  4. May 25, 2010 #3
    Re: Professors

    I wouldn't worry too much about these things, and don't take them personally. For now, keep your focus on getting good grades and don't panic about not being able to get some research done right away - persevere with what you've been doing, however. Try to become friendly with professors throughout the semester: if you're focussing on your classes you'll be able to show your inquisitive side during/after lectures by asking questions. In time you can talk to any new lecturers about starting some research projects - it might be an idea to simply mention that you're interested in looking for a research project and you're flexible about what you can do. You can then ask if this researcher is interested in taking on a student, but if not, you can also ask if they know anyone that might be interested.
  5. May 25, 2010 #4


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    Re: Professors

    Keep trying. Research positions for an undergraduate students can be very competative and professors can't take on every student who contacts them.

    Does your program have an option for an undergraduate thesis, or research project? Even if you do it for course credits, it still counts as research experience.
  6. May 25, 2010 #5
    Re: Professors

    Also, look for professors who you haven't taken but who run big labs, maybe even outside your field if you've got decent programming skills. It's a foot in the door, at least.

    Also, when did you email your adviser? If you did it recently, have some patience 'cause it's the end of the semester and everything's sort of crazy.
    Last edited: May 25, 2010
  7. May 31, 2010 #6
    Re: Professors

    Ok well thanks for the advice/support. I only want to good in physics, thats all.
  8. May 31, 2010 #7
    Re: Professors

    If the professors you were working with did their research in the fields you mentioned, then it is probably not good research.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook