I am an international student. Luckily, I got the admission from U Mich, Rutgers, and Rice. Right now, I am seriously considering between U Mich and Rutgers, but it's really hard to make my decision... I'll be grateful if anyone who is familiar with U Mich, Rutgers, or even Rice can give me some advice since most of the information I can access is from their website and physicsgre forum (it helps a lot!).
As title, I'm interested in theoretical/computational condensed matter physics especially for hard matter since I studied density functional theory during my undergraduate studies. Besides, I have also taken many particle physics courses, and I think particle phenomenology is really fascinating to me. However, considering the intense competition in hep-th, I will probably stay with CMT.
I think Rutgers have a very strong group in CMT. The size of the group is quite large and there are many faculties that I would like to work with. In addition, they are very strong in computational stuff such as dynamical mean-field theory (they have Gabriel Kotliar and Kristjan Haule). Aside from academic stuff, I have no idea about the campus there and the environment of New Brunswick such as cost of living or entertainment.
On the other hand, U Mich definitely has better overall reputation in its physics program, but the CMT group there is quite small for hard matter. (Most of them are doing complex systems) There are only two professors and both of them are new (both are assistant professor). One is for theoretical (Kai Sun) and one is for computational (Emanuel Gull). Both of their works are really interesting to me and I would like to work with any of them. However, I'm not sure whether the small size of the CMT group and choosing assistant professor as my advisor will have any limitation or disadvantage to my graduate studies
Overall, I want to stay in academia and be a professor one day. Rutgers seems have better reputation in CMT while U Mich have better overall reputation for its physics program. I wonder which one will benefit my future career the most...?
Thank you for patiently reading this!
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