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Undergrad research?

  1. Sep 12, 2007 #1
    im pretty sure i want to do theory in grad school because i don't like experiment. so i don't really want to do undergrad research that involves turning knobs and righting down numbers. nor am i able to contribute to a theory group. what am i to do? would research in math be sufficient? do i really have to do undergrad research?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 12, 2007 #2
    You don't have to do anything. However I'm sure grad schools would like to see proof that you will be a productive researcher, be it theoretical or based on lab findings. Your graduate research does not need to be related to any undergrad projects. Find a professor who's involved in something that is even close to your interests and see if he/she would like an assistant.
  4. Sep 13, 2007 #3


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    any kind of undergraduate research helps in the bigger picture. remember you won't be learning just what you are apparently doing (eg. learning how to turn the knots on the CRO or how to enter data in Excel), what is more valuable is to understand the process of research: the thinking through, the ability to tackle unexpected challenges, the skills in analysis, making rational decisions when you can't do everything and when things turn out to be non-ideal, how to communicate your results to others, how to work as in a small team etc.

    besides more general knowledge doesn't hurt. A good ideas can come from anywhere... usually places you least expect! good luck
  5. Sep 13, 2007 #4
    I'm just going into my fourth year of a Physics degree and I'm currently doing undergrad research. Take it from me, it''s incredibly valuable. Even if it's nothing to with your desired PhD, there is so much else to learn! You get so many valuable insights into life AS a scientist. Your work will probably be minor, but that isn't really the point of it!
  6. Sep 13, 2007 #5


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    While you mentioned possible experimental and theoretical contributions from an undergraduate doing research, another way is to help do calculations, analytically or computationally (possibly using tools like Java, C++, Python, or Maple).
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