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Summer Schools [PITP, TASI, SSI etc] still taking people?

  1. Apr 16, 2013 #1
    So this summer, I believe I'll be taking my second senior lab class and I am pretty sure I can work out completing all the necessary labs in about half the semester [I did the labs traditionally assigned for the second semester in my first since I was the odd one out for lab partners]. I'll be speaking with the professor for the summer when I get back from the APS meeting this week.

    My research adviser is cool with me going to some summer schools, and I think I can get a little bit of the travel support for this [but probably not all of what I'd need]. I was wondering what summer schools I should have on my radar as interesting schools that might give me some more meaningful ideas on where to apply for grad school, outside of "spamming" the "top ten".

    I attended SSI last year while working at SLAC and it was AWESOME...but they don't provide any student support...and it's two weeks long. Plus, Palo Alto is too expensive. I missed deadlines for TASI and PITP...so those are out. In general, I'm interested in a broad range of astrophysics and high energy theory, and phenomena where their intersection is particularly relevant.

    I've had a course in GR from Carroll and two semesters of QFT, so I can follow quite a bit...but I am not foolish enough to go to the European schools intended for "Grad students and post-docs" just yet. [If you know any especially cool European schools that are less intense and have later deadlines, I may look into alternative funding sources but I'd need the extra deadline time to properly investigate my funding sources]

    I'll mention that my adviser recommended CTEQ's but I'm not super excited by what they have planned. I have applied for CGWAS and I'm super excited for the opportunity to attend, if they like my application, but I would like to see something HEP related this summer. Is it worth seeing if TASI has space still?

    Thoughts? Suggestions?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 16, 2013 #2

    Vanadium 50

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    The schools are for advanced graduate students and recent postdocs, not undergrads. SSI is very loose about letting people attend lectures, since they are in the enormous Kavli auditorium, but most of the others are constrained by space. If they were to an accept an undergrad, that means they would have to reject a graduate student. It is better to take the grad student now, and the undergrad in a couple years: if the undergrad is prepared (as unlikely as it is), he'll be at least as prepared a couple years down the road.

    Under no circumstances should a summer school for grad students be providing support for undergraduates. The budgets are extremely tight, usually only partial support (if that) is provided, and supporting a First World undergrad at the expense of a grad student from a developing country is unconscionable. Often faculty eschew full support in order to make room for one last grad student - to find that money was spent on a First World undergrad would provoke a revolt.

    In addition, your idea that summer schools in the US are easier than the ones in Europe is simply false. I've taught in both places, including at schools that alternate continents, and do not believe this is the case.

    Finally, don't despair: TASI is really not for undergrads. You should pretty much be able to get the sign of the beta function in QCD and to work out the Higgs mechanism on a napkin (one on each side) before you're ready for TASI. But it will still be around in 3 or 4 years.
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