Where are you Going?

highbounce
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Re: Where are you Going?

Post by highbounce » Thu Apr 08, 2010 8:37 pm

Mataka wrote:I was in a somewhat similar dilema, having to choose between Yale and Cornell, but both for physics. I went to both open houses, and based on what I have seen at the open houses I chose Cornell all the way. That being said, after reading your pros and cons I can see that your situation may be quite different than mine, especially because you're in applied physics. So the only relevant thing I can tell you is that, based what I have seen, I think I prefer the social life at Cornell than the social life at Yale. The grad students seemed more friendly, and more down to earth.
I think I agree with your assessment of the grad students at the two schools. When I visited Yale, I met some very friendly people and also a few who were a little too preppy or elitist for me. Cornell students did seem to be more down to earth.

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YellowXDart
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Re: Where are you Going?

Post by YellowXDart » Thu Apr 08, 2010 8:48 pm

Based on what you've written here, it seems like you feel you would be happier socially at Yale than at the other schools. Keep in mind though, that these are three well established universities, and even if you didn't get to experience much of it, I'm sure that there's a significant nightlife in all three towns. Even if you're not sure exactly what you'd like to do after grad school, I'm sure one school would help you get there more than the other two (which is probably Princeton). If it were me though, I would pick the school where I felt I fit in the best with the students and professors. You don't want to be in a state of perpetual awkwardness for the next 6ish years of your life.

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grae313
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Re: Where are you Going?

Post by grae313 » Fri Apr 09, 2010 10:25 am

It's a shame that you missed the regular open house at Cornell. There is definitely a bar scene in Ithaca and at least in the physics department we hit it up pretty regularly. Again, I'm speaking from physics, but we all meet regularly to go out to dinner, have barbecues at the lake, or have a house party, etc. Collegetown swarms with people, especially on Friday and Saturday nights. Although the quals are demanding, I don't know that anyone in the first year AEP class was asked to leave because of them. Also, as for prestige, Cornell's applied physics program is one of the best in the country, and I don't know how Princeton's EE dept is regarded, so that should be taken into consideration. EE may be better regarded if you plan to go into industry. As for the weather, Ithaca is a paradise from April to October. In between, well... as a born and raised Northern Californian who once thought that 40 degrees was frickin' cold, the remaining months aren't really that bad. The snow is beautiful, and you just need the right clothes. I do wish winters were shorter though. Unfortunately students visit in March which is seriously the ugliest month of the year. The pretty snow is gone and everything is brown and leafless before spring bursts forth in glorious colors.

bosonic
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Re: Where are you Going?

Post by bosonic » Fri Apr 09, 2010 4:50 pm

Just accepted BU's offer.

highbounce
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Re: Where are you Going?

Post by highbounce » Fri Apr 09, 2010 5:51 pm

grae313 wrote:It's a shame that you missed the regular open house at Cornell. There is definitely a bar scene in Ithaca and at least in the physics department we hit it up pretty regularly. Again, I'm speaking from physics, but we all meet regularly to go out to dinner, have barbecues at the lake, or have a house party, etc. Collegetown swarms with people, especially on Friday and Saturday nights. Although the quals are demanding, I don't know that anyone in the first year AEP class was asked to leave because of them. Also, as for prestige, Cornell's applied physics program is one of the best in the country, and I don't know how Princeton's EE dept is regarded, so that should be taken into consideration. EE may be better regarded if you plan to go into industry. As for the weather, Ithaca is a paradise from April to October. In between, well... as a born and raised Northern Californian who once thought that 40 degrees was frickin' cold, the remaining months aren't really that bad. The snow is beautiful, and you just need the right clothes. I do wish winters were shorter though. Unfortunately students visit in March which is seriously the ugliest month of the year. The pretty snow is gone and everything is brown and leafless before spring bursts forth in glorious colors.
Thanks for your valuable input, I really appreciate it! I do have a few questions for you if you don't mind.

1.I believe that everyone in applied physics (maybe physics too?) has to take PHYS 6510 the lab class. The one grad student I talked to at Cornell about this made it sound like a pretty time consuming class. Do they really just throw a bunch of equipments at you and tell you go measure this or that and you are expected to do research on the procedures and how to use the equipments with minimal to no guidance? It feels like to me that the class is like a 3 to 4 mini research projects that you have to complete in addition to your other classes.

2. Again, I am aware that physics may be different from applied physics, but how did you like your TA experience if you have had any? I heard that for some class the professor expects the TA to write the problem set and the solution to it (while some other professors really let the TA have an easy time). What I am afraid is that If I were to TA a junior/senior class on a subject that I am kind shaky myself, those obligations might be a very tall order. At the same time, I have heard that TAing relevant undergrad classes is one of the best ways to prepare for the qual.

3. What is the relationship between AP students and physics students like? It seems that a lot of first year AP students take similar kind of physics classes as the physics students. Do they mingle in the classes or is that like the AP people work on the homework only with AP people and physics people only with physics people? What about socially?

I might have a few more questions later :)

rahuldatta
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Re: Where are you Going?

Post by rahuldatta » Fri Apr 09, 2010 6:27 pm

hey hello everybody

I am an international applicant and am going to UMich Ann Arbor Physics...

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grae313
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Re: Where are you Going?

Post by grae313 » Fri Apr 09, 2010 7:17 pm

highbounce wrote: Thanks for your valuable input, I really appreciate it! I do have a few questions for you if you don't mind.

1.I believe that everyone in applied physics (maybe physics too?) has to take PHYS 6510 the lab class. The one grad student I talked to at Cornell about this made it sound like a pretty time consuming class. Do they really just throw a bunch of equipments at you and tell you go measure this or that and you are expected to do research on the procedures and how to use the equipments with minimal to no guidance? It feels like to me that the class is like a 3 to 4 mini research projects that you have to complete in addition to your other classes.
I wouldn't say it is any more time consuming that any of the other major courses, and all of the courses are challenging. 6510 was one of my favorite classes. It's the bane of every theorist's existence and usually not much (relative) sweat for experimentalists. It is indeed 3 mini research projects, however, you'll have guidance. The class has come the closest to resembling real research and also taught me the most out of any lab class I've ever taken, and I was a chemistry double major so I've taken a lot of lab classes.
highbounce wrote:2. Again, I am aware that physics may be different from applied physics, but how did you like your TA experience if you have had any? I heard that for some class the professor expects the TA to write the problem set and the solution to it (while some other professors really let the TA have an easy time). What I am afraid is that If I were to TA a junior/senior class on a subject that I am kind shaky myself, those obligations might be a very tall order. At the same time, I have heard that TAing relevant undergrad classes is one of the best ways to prepare for the qual.
The TA duties are designed to take up to 20 hours a week and no more. I've found this to be the case in the physics department, and I've enjoyed my teaching assignments. We are given plenty of guidance as to how to run the class, maybe even too much (I don't have time to lecture that much because I'm giving quizzes or doing hand-out cooperative problems with the class). I've never heard of a course requiring TAs to write problem sets, but AEP could be different. At least in physics, the person who handles TA appointments tries hard to match us with classes that we are prepared to teach, and he talks to every student individually before their first year assignment is confirmed. Furthermore, if you find yourself overwhelmed with your TA duties, you can talk to him and he'll fix it if it needs fixing. You might want to email an AEP student and ask if there are similar safety nets in AEP.
highbounce wrote:3. What is the relationship between AP students and physics students like? It seems that a lot of first year AP students take similar kind of physics classes as the physics students. Do they mingle in the classes or is that like the AP people work on the homework only with AP people and physics people only with physics people? What about socially?

Physics and AEP is a Venn diagram with a healthy overlap. We do take similar classes, and HW collaboration will depend on the class. Our year invited AEP students to work with us, this year's class seems more separate, but there are definitely no barriers to doing that. We have two AEP students and three physics students renting a house together this year and we have parties there fairly frequently with both departments invited.

qbit_jtm
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Re: Where are you Going?

Post by qbit_jtm » Sat Apr 10, 2010 10:25 am

Just accepted Johns Hopkins offer, the weekend there in February was hella fun, the research was interesting and just a great general vibe from the department!

MacCutcheon60
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Re: Where are you Going?

Post by MacCutcheon60 » Sun Apr 11, 2010 12:42 pm

Goin' to Yale! UCSB has been my dream school for years, but Yale really impressed me during their open house.

PBPHUDMD
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Re: Where are you Going?

Post by PBPHUDMD » Mon Apr 12, 2010 11:04 pm

Decided on UCSB

blackcat007
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Re: Where are you Going?

Post by blackcat007 » Tue Apr 13, 2010 3:54 am

Going to UF anyone else off to the gator nation??

arieszen
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Re: Where are you Going?

Post by arieszen » Tue Apr 13, 2010 9:35 am

Going to IUB. So far haven't heard anything bad about this place. Really excited to begin.

MacCutcheon60
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Re: Where are you Going?

Post by MacCutcheon60 » Tue Apr 13, 2010 4:36 pm

blackcat007 wrote:Going to UF
Better brush up on your American Football.

blackcat007
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Re: Where are you Going?

Post by blackcat007 » Tue Apr 13, 2010 5:20 pm

MacCutcheon60 wrote: Better brush up on your American Football.
:D unfortunately I don't follow any sort of sports.. guess I will have to do something else during the football season..

kroner
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Re: Where are you Going?

Post by kroner » Tue Apr 13, 2010 5:48 pm

blackcat007 wrote:
MacCutcheon60 wrote: Better brush up on your American Football.
:D unfortunately I don't follow any sort of sports.. guess I will have to do something else during the football season..
They don't have a required football qual?

blackcat007
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Re: Where are you Going?

Post by blackcat007 » Wed Apr 14, 2010 2:44 am

kroner wrote:
blackcat007 wrote:
MacCutcheon60 wrote: Better brush up on your American Football.
:D unfortunately I don't follow any sort of sports.. guess I will have to do something else during the football season..
They don't have a required football qual?
Thankfully not :lol:

highbounce
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Re: Where are you Going?

Post by highbounce » Wed Apr 14, 2010 10:58 pm

After an extremely agonizing one week of wavering between Cornell, Yale and Princeton, I have finally decided the winner tonight, it's gonna be Yale. Now it's time for me to join post-decision depression.

matonski
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Re: Where are you Going?

Post by matonski » Thu Apr 15, 2010 3:18 am

I'm going to Maryland!

yusufm
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Re: Where are you Going?

Post by yusufm » Thu Apr 15, 2010 3:28 pm

Stony Brook....

SolarS
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Re: Where are you Going?

Post by SolarS » Thu Apr 15, 2010 4:20 pm

Going to UCLA for Astronomy, had a nightmare trying to decide between them and U of Arizona. I get the feeling this forum would have said to go to Arizona for sure (they're higher ranked in Astro), but I really enjoyed the area around UCLA and the feeling of the department, so I'm satisfied with my decision.

johnpauljones
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Re: Where are you Going?

Post by johnpauljones » Thu Apr 15, 2010 4:32 pm

SolarS wrote:Going to UCLA for Astronomy, had a nightmare trying to decide between them and U of Arizona. I get the feeling this forum would have said to go to Arizona for sure (they're higher ranked in Astro), but I really enjoyed the area around UCLA and the feeling of the department, so I'm satisfied with my decision.
At the APS March Meeting last month, the physicist at UCLA who consults with the Big Bang Theory gave a talk about working in the entertainment industry. He mentioned in his talk that in the past, the cast/crew/producers of the show have actually toured the department and gone to visit grad students' apartments to get a better feel for the lifestyle and everything. So, say hi to Penny for me if you see her :D

SolarS
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Re: Where are you Going?

Post by SolarS » Thu Apr 15, 2010 5:13 pm

johnpauljones wrote:
SolarS wrote:Going to UCLA for Astronomy, had a nightmare trying to decide between them and U of Arizona. I get the feeling this forum would have said to go to Arizona for sure (they're higher ranked in Astro), but I really enjoyed the area around UCLA and the feeling of the department, so I'm satisfied with my decision.
At the APS March Meeting last month, the physicist at UCLA who consults with the Big Bang Theory gave a talk about working in the entertainment industry. He mentioned in his talk that in the past, the cast/crew/producers of the show have actually toured the department and gone to visit grad students' apartments to get a better feel for the lifestyle and everything. So, say hi to Penny for me if you see her :D
If Penny visited my apartment I think I'd probably be too shocked to remember :shock:

Ryalnos
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Re: Where are you Going?

Post by Ryalnos » Thu Apr 15, 2010 10:24 pm

Maryland it is!

tdk333
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Re: Where are you Going?

Post by tdk333 » Thu Apr 15, 2010 10:32 pm

IUB it is.

Maxos
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Re: Where are you Going?

Post by Maxos » Fri Apr 16, 2010 6:20 am

yusufm wrote:Stony Brook....
Me too!

dct64xx
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Re: Where are you Going?

Post by dct64xx » Wed Apr 28, 2010 12:52 pm

Just accepted University of Toronto's offer (they had given me an extension). Not my first choice by any means, but I'm happy to be staying in Canada. They're certainly paying me well if nothing else.

meggo
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Re: Where are you Going?

Post by meggo » Wed Apr 28, 2010 9:49 pm

I just got into Cornell today. I'm going to accept their offer, finish my masters this summer at Penn State, and start at Cornell in the fall.

Yay! :)

yusufm
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Re: Where are you Going?

Post by yusufm » Wed Apr 28, 2010 10:02 pm

Maxos wrote:
yusufm wrote:Stony Brook....
Me too!
See you this fall!!

ultraballer2000
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Re: Where are you Going?

Post by ultraballer2000 » Thu Apr 29, 2010 1:51 am

meggo wrote:I just got into Cornell today. I'm going to accept their offer, finish my masters this summer at Penn State, and start at Cornell in the fall.

Yay! :)
Congratulations! Any idea on where's a good place to live?

meggo
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Re: Where are you Going?

Post by meggo » Thu Apr 29, 2010 10:22 pm

ultraballer2000 wrote:
meggo wrote:I just got into Cornell today. I'm going to accept their offer, finish my masters this summer at Penn State, and start at Cornell in the fall.

Yay! :)
Congratulations! Any idea on where's a good place to live?
Thanks! Does this mean you're going to Cornell, too?

There's some useful information here about where (and where not) to live: http://forum.thegradcafe.com/topic/9833-cornell/

Also, my boyfriend (2nd year in AEP) might be looking for a roommate. He's got a big house that is pretty close to campus. I can put him in touch with you if you PM me your email address (if he is, in fact, looking for another roommate).

ultraballer2000
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Re: Where are you Going?

Post by ultraballer2000 » Tue May 11, 2010 11:15 pm

yup, I'm going to Cornell. thanks for the link!

I just found a place to live, although it's a little on the pricey side.

theoretical_phys
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Re: Where are you Going?

Post by theoretical_phys » Tue May 18, 2010 8:03 am

Going to University of Exeter (in Exeter, UK) to study star formation! Found out that I have full funding last night!



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