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Which Major and School for Nanotech

  1. Aug 16, 2010 #1
    I'm interested in biology, physics, and Gerontology. I was going to major in Biomedical Engineering, but I have been reading that is a narrow major for an undergrad. Some other majors I have seen people recommend are Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Physics.

    I would like to eventually do research work on aging and how to create nanostructures that can help heal the deleterious effects of metabolism. What would be best for me to major in as an undergraduate.

    I'm currently taking some courses at a community college and would like to transfer in the Spring or possibly Fall 2011.

    My parents are moving to Tampa and say I should attend USF. From what I've read USF isn't a good engineering school, but is it very important where you get your undergraduate degree? I currently live in PA and was thinking about transferring to Pitt. I'm open to a few different schools, but would prefer ones in Pennsylvania and Florida that are affordable.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 17, 2010 #2
    Bump for any advice.
     
  4. Aug 18, 2010 #3
    Aging, metabolism - that's biology. So, given your ultimate interests, I would suggest you try to major in bio. Chemistry comes close too.

    Nanotech is a very wide field - it encompasses phy, chem, bio, material science, ......
    It would be a better option to choose a more general subject than going too specific right away for your undergrad. It is very likely that an undergrad doesnt really know what he really likes at the age of 17-18, (yes, it's true). Your interests could change, maybe even drastically over the next few years.

    So choose a wide subject like bio, chem, physics, or mech engg., elec engg.....
    Bio would be the best option considering the career options you've put down. Chemists & physics too work in the nano-field.
    elec & mech engg - not very close, but they do stuff like micro-electro-mechanical systems (mems), nems, etc.....
     
  5. Aug 18, 2010 #4
    Nanotech is big in electrical engineering. It depends which part of the work you want to contribute to. If you're interested in the biology, it wouldn't be unreasonable to think that you could work on the biology side of it. If you're interested in the engineering, then do electrical engineering. You could certainly work on bio-related projects in collaboration.
     
  6. Aug 19, 2010 #5
    Major:
    Electrical Engineering
    Applied Physics

    School:
    Stanford
    Caltech
    MIT
    Cornell
     
  7. Aug 20, 2010 #6
    Thanks for the replies.

    I'm planning on going to Pitt. I'll be talking with a Pitt advisor soon.

    I think I've narrowed possible majors down to Electrical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, or Engineering Physics with a minor in Materials Science.
     
  8. Aug 20, 2010 #7
    Aging and metabolism have a lot to do with proteins right? Now I'm not a biologist but if I remember correctly proteins are essentially biological nanomachines (like there the link between basic chemistry and cell structure), and we really don't know much about them to boot.

    Anyways you might want to take a glance at UC Santa Barbara, they have a whole building dedicated to nanotech research (nano is a big research emphasis there) and I remember taking a tour through the bio department a few years back and the professor was explaining how his research got into was all about figuring out protein folds.

    Plus the weather is waaaaay better than Pittsburg =p
     
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