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Statement of Purpose Critique

  1. Dec 24, 2013 #1
    So, here it is.... rough draft obviously. I included foot-notes denoted by asterisks *

    Also, while I have you here, considering I went to a small state school not known for Physics, how does my application look for applying to not top schools (i.e. U. Oklahoma, Clemson, Oregon St)

    GPA: 3.38
    Physics: 3.82 [Note, overal GPA past 3 semesters have been 3.98 avg, also took 11 PHY courses, and 1 ENG in these 3 semesters]

    GRE: Q: 166 (91%) V: 155 (66%) AW: 3.5(35%) :(

    I'm also trying to get a TA position... Thanks.


    I have been assisting Dr. ________in observing and collecting data on photometric binary star systems. This includes operating ________ University’s .61m optical telescope. During the fall semester of this year I have taken Practical Astronomy as an independent study with Dr._____ to pursue my interest in this field. This course involved calibrating, and working with the telescope and collecting, processing, and analyzing data. Obtaining the light curves for the systems often required staying up the entire night. Once the data was collected software was used to process and plot the information received from the light curve. Recently I have been involved in a project determining the stellar and planetary radii of a confirmed exoplanet and F-star. Using relative fluxes at contact locations derived from the transit of the planet, the radii was successfully confirmed.
    I have worked on two projects with Dr. _______ over the past year. The first involved an oscillating granular system. Convection and the angle of repose were recorded for various frequencies of vibration, and different shapes and sizes of containers. The second project, which I received 3 credits for as ‘Physics Research’ involved working with other physics undergraduates to examine how solar cells perform under conditions of extreme cold.  Throughout the semester I tested several polycrystalline photovoltaic solar cells and produced an IV curve for each. The cells were then submerged in liquid nitrogen for different intervals of time and then allowed to cool overnight. These cells were then retested, producing a new IV curve. The results produced from this experiment show that the cells that were submerged to liquid nitrogen had an improved performance. Recently an abstract with me as the second author was sent in to APS on this experiment.
    Academically I have prepared by obtaining a grade point average of 4.0 in my upper level physics classes. *2 This not only involved performing well on tests and homework, but having a profound understanding of the phenomena, and the mathematical underpinning of those phenomena . *3 Simply by glancing at my transcripts, one will see a tremendous upheaval took place, academically, from the periods of time from when I added a physics major in the Fall 12’ semester. *4
    I have tutored mathematics and physics for the past 3 semesters. I spent consecutive semesters as a supplementary instructor for college algebra, and then introductory physics. This involved attending the course and holding two ‘office’ hours open for students to come either individually, or in groups, to ask for questions or recitation of lecture material. I am continuing this in the spring semester as a supplementary instructor for the second part of introductory physics. Teaching others has strengthened not only my communication skills, but my ability to explain physics to other undergraduate.




    *1 Not quite sure how to start the intro… I suppose with why I want to do research/my passion for physics? I’m just having trouble wording this section without sounding cliché or overdoing it.

    *2 [is this too much? Should I just say ‘material’?]

    *3 [I’m not sure if I should include this, I know they have my transcripts in front of me, however I received mixed reviews about putting ‘grades’ in there.. I’m thinking of adding a section about what adding that major meant to me, however I’m not sure if that is too personal or will just be filler?]

    *4[May put in a sentence or two about how being a dual major has helped me excel, and will in future endeavors. I took a graduate level Topology course… perhaps a sentence about that?]

    *5 This space is reserved for information specific for each university
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 25, 2013 #2

    Vanadium 50

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    Statement of Purpose.
  4. Dec 25, 2013 #3
    B) Writing the Statement of Purpose:

    Part 1: Introduction

    Part 2: Summarize what you did as an undergraduate

    a) Research you conducted. Indicate with whom, the title of the project, what your responsibilities were, and the outcome. Write technically, or in the style of your discipline. Professors are the people who read these statements.

    b) Important paper or thesis project you completed, as well as anything scholarly beyond your curricular requirements.

    c) Work experience, especially if you had any kind of responsibility for testing, designing, researching or interning in an area similar to what you wish to study in graduate school.

    Part 3: Indicate your current activities.
    If you graduated and worked prior to returning to grad school, indicate what you’ve been doing: company or non-profit, your work/design team, responsibilities, what you learned. You can also indicate here how this helped you focus your graduate studies.

    Part 4: Elaborate on the topic you wish to pursue for graduate school


    Thanks' for the 'critique' on the content I had written. It is clear from my footnotes that I realize I am missing that portion and was planning on tailoring what I wanted to do for each school.
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