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UCI vs UCLA

  1. Apr 25, 2007 #1
    I just got accepted to both of them as a transfer student majoring in physics. However, I'm also considering doing a double major in either applied math or in mechanical engineering, but I still don't know. I'd rather do the applied math, but I'm also aware that there are few jobs out there for physics professors and researchers (which is what I want to do), so that's why I'm also considering mech engineering. Plus, I may enjoy it as well, so why not earn good money and do something you enjoy? But I don't know since I haven't taken any engineering classes. But for now I can say that I enjoy math and physics more than I do engineering. So what would be the best option? To do a double major in applied math and applied physics?

    I suppose going to UCLA will be the better option since I'm unsure about my future (if has more prestige, so if I only get a B.S., I can find a job easier). But I don't want to live with a roommate. I'd much rather commute to UCI. What if I live in an apartment where the neighbors like to party a lot?
     
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  3. Apr 25, 2007 #2
    I am not sure but my friends told me that UCI and UCSD are kind of party schools because the weather is kinda good so people want to hang out everyday.
    UCLA is a famous school.
    If you study mechanical engineering, then you don't have many chances to take maths classes. Some of my friends take double majors in Physics and Maths. There is a bunch of internship for both maths and physics. It depends on how well you are.
     
  4. Apr 25, 2007 #3

    Math Is Hard

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    Come to UCLA. Bruins rock, baby! ;-)
     
  5. Apr 25, 2007 #4
    I just got accepted to UCLA as a transfer for physics also! I'm still deciding between UCLA and UC Davis.
     
  6. Apr 25, 2007 #5
    If you want a social life, go to UCLA. If you want peace and quiet, go to UCI.
     
  7. Apr 25, 2007 #6
    hmmmm.........
     
  8. Apr 26, 2007 #7
    " If you want a social life, go to UCLA. If you want peace and quiet, go to UCI."

    Social life as in partying or drinking? I don't want that. The only socializing I need are with the students and professors in my classes and maybe some student clubs
     
  9. Apr 26, 2007 #8
    Same here, Proton. That's the reason I decided against UCSB. Their physics program looked great, but it seemed like all there is to do on your free time is drink and party.

    I've never been a huge partier. I am social, but in more of a comedy club, jazz club, sports bar, have a few people over the house sort of way. That's what appealed to me about LA because I felt it offered that since it's a big city.
     
  10. Apr 26, 2007 #9

    ZapperZ

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    I'm utterly puzzled. A school has a "reputation", accurately or not, of being a "party school", and therefore you will AUTOMATICALLY either get influenced by it, or get distracted by people who do? HELLO? How impressionable ARE you at this age? If you are, then you need a few more years at home under the watchful eyes of your parents, because frankly, you are not responsible enough to be let out of the house!

    If you are basing your decision on which school to go to on something as flimsy as this, then I hope you will eventually see what you missed.

    Zz.
     
  11. Apr 26, 2007 #10
    ZapperZ,

    There is a school around where I live called IUP, its nothing but parties, the education itself is terrible as well, so by calling it a "partying" school its implying the education your going to get is going to suck in a big way.

    But I wouldn't classify IUP against UCLA I thought UCLA was good, my girlfriend always wears UCLA cheerleading shorts but doesn't go so it must be a good education system.

    But if employers also see UCLA as a "party" school the degree itself you get from that school isn't goign to mean much, a name of a school can help you or hurt you, depends on what the employer thinks.
     
  12. Apr 26, 2007 #11

    ZapperZ

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    I disagree. I went to University of Wisconsin-Madision, which is very well-known as a party school (look up their Halloween celebration). During the first weeks of the semester, there's a block party almost every weekend.

    Yet, the school still has an excellent reputation academically, and, from first hand experience, there's NOTHING there that compelled anyone to join in the drunken festivities. If you want to study, there's nothing that will stop you.

    I could say the same thing about U. of Colorado - I have a couple of friends who went there. So I do not buy this type of excuses or justifications, certainly not for such prestigious institutions as what we have talked about here. If you graduated from Colorado, and worked under Carl Wieman, I would seriously doubt that ANY potential employer would be distracted by Colorado's reputation ahead of the fact that you worked for a Nobel Laureate!

    Zz.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2007
  13. Apr 26, 2007 #12
    I go to UCLA and I can tell you that while there maybe lots of people who drink and go to parties you do not have to be influenced by that. Also you can still find peace and quiet at UCLA. You can hang out at professor's offices or at the library. I say you should not take anything about social life into consideration in your decision. Try to look at what classes are offered and have been offered recently and you would like to take.

    But then again, I commute to UCLA, so I do not live next to anyone who drinks and parties etc. But I do have classmates who live on campus and they are not affected at all by any of these social considerations.


    You can always spend your free time at the library studying physics of going to professors office hours or studying ahead, even exercise... there are so many things you can do besides drink and party if you want to.

    You should not base your decision one whether most people drink and party.
     
  14. Apr 26, 2007 #13
    Zapper,

    I surely hope this wasn't directed at me. :confused: Perhaps I didn't word myself right, but I didn't AUTOMATICALLY decide against any school because of the reputation. I decided on UCLA for plenty of reasons other than my social life.

    I've visited UCSB pleny of times and quite frankly, I wouldn't want to live there for college. It's beautiful, yes, but a small beach town that's very much like the town I grew up in is not what I'm looking for. For me, personally, there just wasn't enough to do there. I'm looking for more than just education....I'm also looking for a whole new experience and a chance to grow as a person.

    I agree with you that no one should base their decisions on a college's repuation, but I do feel making sure you'll enjoy the place you live the next few years is impoartant. :smile:
     
  15. Apr 26, 2007 #14
    Well thats a different case, if the school has an excellent reputation academically then of course college kids being college kids means nothing to an employer.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2007
  16. Apr 26, 2007 #15
    I agree with you completely and that's what most of my time goes to now anyway. :) I'm at a junior college and I have no time to socialize so I highly doubt I'll find any when I transfer! :wink:

    Like I mentioned in the post above, it's not just the partying and drinking. I looked at what the town of Santa Barbara had to offer and what LA had to offer and saw that for me. LA was a better fit. In fact, New York is the best fit for me, but it was too difficult to attend college on the other side of the country.

    However, this was just one small part of why I chose UCLA. I visited the UCLA campus, spoke to the counselers, asked the current students how they liked it, sat in on physics classes and fell in love!
     
  17. Apr 26, 2007 #16
    How was the physics class? I've just submitted my SIRs to UCLA and I was very iffy about my decision and I'd sort of like some insights on the school.
     
  18. Apr 26, 2007 #17
    " I'm utterly puzzled. A school has a "reputation", accurately or not, of being a "party school", and therefore you will AUTOMATICALLY either get influenced by it, or get distracted by people who do? HELLO? How impressionable ARE you at this age? If you are, then you need a few more years at home under the watchful eyes of your parents, because frankly, you are not responsible enough to be let out of the house!

    If you are basing your decision on which school to go to on something as flimsy as this, then I hope you will eventually see what you missed."

    Umm... I'm not automatically getting influenced by the partying. I just don't have many reasons for favoring one school over the other since I like both school's environment, etc. I just want to go to a school that will offer a decent education, good preparation for grad school, good research opportunities, and offer enough social activities/clubs.

    hrc969, how are the research opportunities at UCLA (I'm assuming youre a physics major)?
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2007
  19. Apr 27, 2007 #18
    Anyone who wants to live in a small quirky town, close to campus (i.e. 15 minutes biking max) should seriously consider UC Davis. The school is beautiful as is the rest of the area. It is a very isolated community, designed for bicycles, with a strange economy more or less insulated from large corporations. News here is that there really isn't much, so the newspapers are funky. People have parties, but it doesn't matter much!

    The acedemics are top notch. The physics department is small but this makes for a good undergrad experience from what I can tell so far. Also, there are other general courses that are quite interesting: I took two somewhat unrelated math courses as well as a course on bulgarian folk music last quarter; this quarter I am finishing my lower division physics with modern physics, and finishing general ed with a course on everything (really landscape design, but we talk about everything about all kinds of poeple and where they live), global climate change and technology, and a food science class about myths and folklore surrounding food.

    And I am a transfer student myself, and I found the transition from my community college to here to be quite easy from an academic perspective. Of course adjusting socially, to a new town- a small one at that, and living on my own with roommates took time. I think you will be pleasantly surprised that the workload will be comparable (perhaps even easier) than what you remember from your community college. Just manage time well and the transition will be seamless, especially if you are going from semesters to quarters (which I loved doing!). Anyway, I hope you enjoy yourself wherever you end up.

    Colin
     
  20. Apr 27, 2007 #19
    Well, actually I am a math major. But I did start out as a physics major, planning to add math as a double major. I already knew I liked theoretical physics more than experimental and after studying some of the more advanced math topics I decided I wanted to go with just doing math.

    But anyways, I do happen to know that research opportunities are great here. I was actually part of and astrophysics research group as a first year (I'm a third year now). Had I stuck with physics I would probably still be working with the same group and had alot of experience in that area. There are alot of professors that love working with undergraduates (some that don't), but you have to try to figure out which are which. Talking to professors really helps. How I got into the reasearch group that I was in was that I went to my E&M professor's office hours and was talking to him and he mentioned that he was looking for some undergrads for his group. I was definately interested so I asked for him to consider taking me. He ended up picking two sophmores but recommended me to another professor which worked on similar projects. I ended up working with that professor for about 2.5 quarters (then I decided I was going to do math and would not be taking any more advanced physics so I would not be able to advance in the type of things I did and wanted to focus on math more). In case you are interested, what I did for the group was related to data analysis (by choice, I had the option to be part of the experimental part of the group but felt that I needed a bit more experience before I went on to the) I had to look at the programs we used for the data analysis check for errors or if there was something wrong I would look for where in the proccess the had been an error, etc. so mainly programming things. Of course first I had to learn what we were doing, where we were getting data from and then what we did to it, etc. Overall it was a really fun experience.

    So even though I did not continue in physics I do think the research opportunities are great and recommend that you not be shy about talking to professors. If you know what particular area you are interested in you can look at what professor do that type of reasearch. But if you don't (I did not at that time) you can just talk to professors and ask if they know anyone who would let you work with them. Even if you don't end up doing research in that area you still get experience.
     
  21. Apr 27, 2007 #20
    "Try to look at what classes are offered and have been offered recently and you would like to take."
    I noticed that UCLA's physics department offers slightly more electives than UCI. I've also heard that UCI's math department is weak. But I want to take upper-div classical mechanics my first quarter, UCLA doesn't offer it but UCI does. Is taking mechanics right away really important?

    "Well, actually I am a math major."
    How's the math department there? Do the professors have thick accents or lecture too fast?
    Those are some of the complaints I've heard about UCI's math professors
     
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