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Undergrad Research Concerns

  1. Dec 4, 2008 #1
    Quick question regarding undergrad research:

    Background:

    If i decide to major in physics to get the degree done in a reasonable time( aboout 2.5 years ) I would be unable to to do any summer REU as I would be taking courses.

    There is no Ph.d. in physics program at my school, and no astronomy program at all. I would like to do a Ph.d. in Astrophysics.

    My school offers Research courses as an unde

    b. Nothing to do with the sort of career I would like to pursue.


    I can't change schools at this point. Is there anyways I would be able to get some research done in the fields I care about? Should I do some research even if it isn't the field I'm interested in? How would I go about choice from the groups if I have no real prejudice in either direction.

    Here are a few of the programs my school has research in(Not sure if they are all available for undergrads):

    NON-LINEAR OPTICS
    SOLID-STATE PHYSICS
    QUANTUM MANY-BODY PHYSICS
    QUANTUM NON-LINEAR DYNAMICS AND CONTROL
    NON-LINEAR DYNAMICS IN BIOLOGY
    SEMICONDUCTOR OPTOELECTRONICS

    Which would be the most helpful to astro?

    Thanks for your input, hopefully I get a few more responses than my last time around.

    ps. Also, where I can I look to get more info on what Undergraduate Research is like anyways, I have no idea what to expect.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 4, 2008 #2

    tmc

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    Take longer to do your degree, and do some REUs. This isn't a race. You're here to learn, and you learn a lot in an REU.
     
  4. Dec 4, 2008 #3
    Fair response, but I've already been knocking around undergrad for 4-5 years part-time. If I don't finish up in a reasonable time my debt is really going to add up.
     
  5. Dec 4, 2008 #4

    tmc

    User Avatar

    How so? REUs tend to pay for at least your living expenses, so they should not add to your debt.

    In any case, these fields seem far enough from astrophysics that it doesn't really matter which one you choose, as long as you get research experience somewhere. Ideally, go for either theory or experiment, whichever you want to do in grad school. Finally, try to go for whatever group you feel might get you a publication or two. And then, if you still can't decide, go for whatever interests you most out of these / which advisor seems best.
     
  6. Dec 4, 2008 #5
    What is the best way to get familiar enough with each group to make that sort of decision?
     
  7. Dec 5, 2008 #6

    tmc

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    Talking to people. If you know research students in those groups, that would be the best way. If you don't, then you'd have to talk to the profs themselves (thankfully, most profs love to talk about their research)
     
  8. Dec 5, 2008 #7
    I agree, please take your time...2.5 years? What's the rush, I don't see how debt can be "that" big of a problem unless we're talking about high end, graduate school, private universities or something.
     
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