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Whether to join winter/summer programs?

  1. Sep 4, 2012 #1
    Whether to join winter/summer programs??

    Hello everyone..

    I am an undergraduate (2nd year) of physics. I have interest in the subject, though having been not formally introduced to modern topics i wonder if i should join some summer/winter programs which are supposed to be based on some ideas of the modern and existing research.
    At present when I look at my understanding of mechanics or electromagnetism or thermal (which i am presently doing in my college) I feel as if they are incomplete, i don't really understand what a force is or how to interpret the thermodynamic variable like pressure at the microscopic level (without getting into quantum mechanics). I find my knowledge of physics to be confined to the books i have studied , and i think this is far from what will be needed for the programs out there. And the moment i give up the thought of these programs, i am haunted by the thought that if i don't take part in such programs what will my resume contain, taking away my chances of admission to a good university. Then i wonder if i take up such programs only for the purpose of making my CV impressive i would be fooling myself, because in this way i wouldn't have understood what i am doing in the limited time and would have done all that just for the sake of doing it.
    So please advice me what should i do?
    Any help will be appreciated..
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 7, 2012 #2
    Re: Whether to join winter/summer programs??

    Someone please reply... what should I do?
    And please tell me, what is important for a resume to get admission to universities in UK for masters in physics? What do they generally expect the applicant to have,like having done some summer projects, or internship etc. ?

    Please reply.
  4. Sep 10, 2012 #3
    Re: Whether to join winter/summer programs??

    Its been like six days that i asked this ... but no answers!!

    Someone please tell me what do i do??
  5. Sep 10, 2012 #4


    Staff: Mentor

    Re: Whether to join winter/summer programs??

    In the second year of undergrad I wouldn't expect you to be any further along than you are. It sounds like you are doing fine. If you want to join a program that you think would be enjoyable, then do so, but if it is only for a CV entry then skip it for now and wait until you are further along and can more accurately judge any deficits in your curriculum.
  6. Sep 11, 2012 #5
    Re: Whether to join winter/summer programs??

    Thanks a lot !
    One more thing i wanted to ask- To show our dream universities that we are interested in so and so field of physic do we need to be active members of science societies and specific groups in our locality??
    (Ultimately we would want to get to a good university and there cv is very important...)
  7. Sep 11, 2012 #6
    Re: Whether to join winter/summer programs??

    I am at an university that many would consider their "dream" university; but I still find that things that are taught in the courses are incomplete and superficial. As such, to gain real insights and understanding you must study independently and actively - research the best books on topics you are studying and know the material inside out, ask questions here on PF, work with professors who genuinely want to teach and collaborate with students, get your like-minded friends to join your endeavor of knowing how the world works - what makes it tick, its perfection, its imperfections. If you totally immerse yourself and only have things like this on your mind, you'll definitely succeed in understanding this universe and yourself.
    About getting into your "dream" university, in my opinion that it is only secondary; maybe you will get better opportunities in the future if you go to good universities but to be honest with you, I don't think it matters. For example, look at the list of nobel laureates of the past, where have they done their bachelor's? Majority of those schools, you would have never heard of, yet they accomplished something significant in their fields, and only because they were curious and didn't give up despite their circumstances

    Maybe that will convince you to really learn without inhibitions, but I am in no position to tell you what is right; after all, I am still learning myself. :) If getting into these seemingly good universities will invoke a tempestuous need to learn within you then I suggest you engage with professors and help them with their research. Inquire about their research after class and say you are interested in their research and would like to help them. Even if they don't require help, they'll happily re-direct you to one of their colleagues. I don't think being in second year matters; my second year quantum mechanics prof was recruiting undergrads from his class to help him in his research.

    Good Luck!

  8. Sep 11, 2012 #7
    Re: Whether to join winter/summer programs??

    OP, this is some of the best advice you will get into how you can succeed in your field.

    SolsticeFire, well said.
  9. Sep 12, 2012 #8
    Re: Whether to join winter/summer programs??

    Thanks a lot SolsticeFire..
    I am going to follow your advice with full honesty..

    Thanks everyone..
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