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When to start research?

  • Thread starter proton
  • Start date
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My school runs on the trimester system. Next quarter, I will start my upper-div physics by taking classical mechanics. Along w/that I'll take a lower-div physics lab, and upper-div DEs. I want to also take abstract algebra, since I've found my 1st quarter of upper-div math to be more interesting than my current physics classes. I want to wait to do undergrad research until spring of next year, but I'll be behind everyone else, right? Also, I want to apply to REUs for next summer, so doing research for a prof will give a good letter of rec to apply to REUs, right? Therefore, would it be a bad idea to not do research next quarter (winter) but postpone it to spring?
 

jtbell

Mentor
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What year are you in, now?
 
The sooner, the better, I would think. Even if you have to post-pone taking a class. You know the class you put off now will still be offered later. Getting a prof to give you something to do isn't that easy.
 

eep

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Definitely the sooner the better. Once you get a research position, it takes a lot of time learning background material before you'll actually be able to get anything done. You don't want to run out of time before being able to produce something useful.
 
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i'm currently a junior (i plan on graduating in my 5th year). That sucks that research is better the sooner.
 
i'm currently a junior (i plan on graduating in my 5th year). That sucks that research is better the sooner.
Well then, it sounds like the best time for you to start trying hard to get involved in research is...right now.

Really, that goes for most people that are interested in research. Why wait? Yeah, there's limits on what you can do at a given stage, but there's always something worth doing or learning.
 

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