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The struggle for getting the best of all

  1. Dec 20, 2015 #1

    faiziqb12

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    well ,for the introduction i am someone whose parents named him faiz .. i am very very very much interested and good at physics and mathemetics , and i swear i dont have something more appealing than these two in my life
    .Today i am posting here after a long time and even that for a reason very different from what i used this some time ago.
    and my whole confusion lies around what i will do after my high school graduation ? which university should i join ? shall i go abroad ? what should i set my goal as a future job ? and most importantly should i choose physics or mathametics as a subject in university?

    first of all i would like to say that i am completing my high school after 3 years . some years earlier my whole goal in life was getting into the IIT , but some weeks ago i found that IIT was not good at all for all except those engineers .One thing i know for sure is that i want a job that pays me excellently well and is a research job in the US . But i dont know whether i should choose research in mathametics or physics . i know that you will say if i choose physics then i will remain in touch with mathametics but thats not enough. Wont i miss the experiment and sort of that if i choose mathametics. Please help me !

    maybe god send me my career path from an angel whom i not have seen or heard before
    so be it !
     
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  3. Dec 20, 2015 #2
    Excellently well... Something you need to understand about both mathematics and physics is that people don't go into either field for the money. They go into the field because it's something they enjoy with all their heart and soul, something they want to pursue. They have a thirst and hunger for understanding how the world works. I think the odds of you finding an "excellently well paying research job" in the US or anywhere else for that matter, is pretty slim. It's hard enough to get research jobs in general in physics and mathematics.

    Don't confuse my words, I'm not discouraging you, I'm simply telling you that you need to make your expectations more realistic. If you really wanted an "excellently well paid job" you'd be better off going into something like Computer Science, or Engineering or maybe becoming some business entrepreneur.

    As for which one you should pursue, that's up to you. No one can tell you different, you have to decide that on your own. Mathematics is the purest of all sciences, and physics is built directly on top of pure mathematics. So either way you go, you'll need to intimately know math. If you go into physics, you won't remain "in touch" with math, you'll be in a relationship with math. You'll use it every day, math is the most fundamental language of the universe and the world we live in.

    I'm not quite sure what you mean by "the experiment." Physics can be just as theoretical as math, and I'm sure math can be just as experimental as physics. It's up to you to choose that path, I don't have any experience in math and what it's like to research in math. Then again, I don't have it in physics either but I've talked to a lot of graduates and professors about physics.

    The first thing you need to do is tear away any misconceptions, do some research, send some emails and letters, call some graduate students and talk to them about what it's like to work in either field. First and foremost, get the "excellently well paid job" idea out of your head. I'm not saying it's impossible, but improbable. If you go into physics or math, you'll likely be paid well enough to get along, if you work hard enough, but not "excellently." So don't get into either of the fields for the money, it should be about your curiosity and your motivation to learn how the world and the universe works.

    When it comes to university, to be completely honest, it doesn't always help to go to an "Ivy League" university or the best in the country. What's important is the reputation of the department you want to go into, Mathematics or Physics in this case. Does the University have a good program? Do they have research opportunities/internships for undergrads? Those are questions you should strive to answer when thinking of a university, ask the professors and staff there. Again, email some graduate students from the universities you'd like to attend and talk to them about what it's like.

    For now, I think one of the best things you can do is focus on finishing High School with good grades. And ask yourself, are you looking for a well paying job, or are you looking for something that you really want to do with all your heart and soul?
     
  4. Dec 20, 2015 #3

    Choppy

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    As you try to figure out what you want to do in the future remember that this isn't one big decision. It's actually a series of small decisions that accumulate and the more you take responsibility for them, the more satisfied you will be with where you end up.

    The first decision - not that it isn't big - is where to go to school. I can't speak to the quality of education at IIT personally, but it's important that you make choices like this based on data, rather than just what you hear. Are there physics students at that school that go on to graduate studies? Are there graduates who have become professors? What happens to the majority of graduates from that program? Ask these questions of all the schools that you're considering. You also have to factor in different questions such as what schools are reasonable for you to get to? What is the cost-benefit ratio? Sometimes there is a small increase in benefit by going to a more expensive school, but sometimes it's just not work incurring half a lifetime of debt for.

    As to the physics or mathematics question, remember that the first year of most university programs in either subject is going to be fairly similar in terms of required courses. You'll take an introductory mathematics sequence (calculus, maybe linear algebra), and an introductory physics sequence. After that you'll have some electives - maybe an introductory computer science course, another science such as first year chemistry and perhaps a humanities requirement. By second year, you start to specialize a little bit, but it's only by about your third year that you really have to commit to a decision. And if you're still struggling at that point, you can always choose a double major or pick one direction for your major and then pick up the courses you want in the other subject as electives.
     
  5. Dec 20, 2015 #4

    jtbell

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  6. Dec 20, 2015 #5

    WWGD

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    Youu can make good money with applied Math and go back-and-forth between theory and practice.
     
  7. Dec 22, 2015 #6

    faiziqb12

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    Thanks bumpeh for your heart touching words . Why i actually used the phrase "excellently paying job " was because of the expectation my father has from me , when i talk with him about this he says that " what will you do if you specialize in mathametics ? Will you even find a living in that ? would you ever be appointed even as a professor ? would you wait to earn until you are 30 ? " . These questions baffle me , but i still have a craze for maths and physics , what i really want to is them . But a great confusion i have is that will it pay me enough that i can make out a good living ?
    thanks in advance

    again what is your opinion about harvard college
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2015
  8. Dec 22, 2015 #7

    faiziqb12

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    Thanks WWGD for the advice but my primary area of interest at this moment is pure mathametics and not the applied .
     
  9. Dec 22, 2015 #8

    faiziqb12

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    I did not choose a particular one because i wanted the best , and its a good to remember fact that nothing remains best for too long
     
  10. Dec 22, 2015 #9

    Student100

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    Why Harvard? Is it the name recognition? There are literally hundreds of schools in the US just as adequate.

    Can you make a decent living with either? Certainty. Will you become rich, probably not.

    Should you do mathematics or physics, I don't know, and it sounds like you don't know either. It would probably be best for you to enter university as an undecided natural science major and see which appeals more to you in a few years.

    To come to the US to study you'll need a visa, have you looked into the requirements for obtaining one yet?
     
  11. Dec 22, 2015 #10

    faiziqb12

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    Definitely , i qualify all of the requirements
     
  12. Dec 22, 2015 #11

    WWGD

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    Then you can make money if you become a top of the line researcher. I don't mean to push the money angle, I jut had the impression this was a concern of yours, sorry f it is not.
     
  13. Dec 23, 2015 #12

    faiziqb12

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    But what exactly does it mean to become a top of the line researcher ?
     
  14. Dec 23, 2015 #13

    WWGD

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    Someone who puts out a good amount of papers on high-quality journals.
     
  15. Dec 23, 2015 #14

    faiziqb12

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    and do those papers always have findings or are they just a depper explanation of a mathametical fact , suppose an equation
     
  16. Dec 23, 2015 #15

    WWGD

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    That is a very big question, I think it would be a good idea to post it as a separate question.
     
  17. Dec 23, 2015 #16

    faiziqb12

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    Fine , i am going to !
     
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