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Assistance Needed

Posted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 6:14 pm
by kah
I need some help on deciding what graduate school to attend. I'm interested in HEP theory, specifically focusing on string theory, quantum gravity, and some cosmology. My three options are UT, Stony Brook, and Cornell. I'm leaning towards UT and Cornell, but Stony Brook still looks appealing. Any advice or opinions about the different departments are welcome.

Re: Assistance Needed

Posted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 6:44 pm
by nowhereguy
If you want to do string theory, go to Stony Brook, hands down. Austin has a good group, but the members do not publish as much as they did before, which is crucial if you want to get a postdoc; Cornell has two professors doing string cosmology and that is it (not to say that they cannot work on other topics within string theory, but that is what they do nowadays).

Stony Brook is way above those two. They have a very good group, they have the C.N. Yang Institute for Theoretical Physics and, starting from this year, they will have the new Simons Center for Geometry and Physics, for which they have hired one of the leading string theorists in the world to be its director (if you want more info about this new center, just google it). I don't know how mathematically oriented you are, so, you should take into account that Stony Brook, and to some extent Austin, focus more on formal work within string theory. Cornell less so. On the downside, I guess Austin should be a more exciting city to live in that Stony Brook (haven't been to either, I am an international student).

Good luck making the decision :wink:

Re: Assistance Needed

Posted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 11:14 pm
by kah
Thanks, nowhere guy. After doing some research on Stony and the new geometry and physics center, I think you're right. Stony does seem like it is going to be "the place to be" in a couple years. I am also very mathematically oriented (I should have added mathematical physics to my list of interests above...actually, it is my number one interest). Thanks again and much appreciated.

Re: Assistance Needed

Posted: Sat Mar 22, 2008 4:07 pm
by pifield
ya, I agreed that with the above comments. Stony seems to be stronger than Cornell and Austin in mathematical string, and they have people working on phenomenology as well. of course, Cornell has the ivy name. But I won't care about austin really, if I were u. Their time has passed. I actually looked up their courses page before. This guy who teaches QFT every time, Vadim K. got very bad rating for teaching, and I think they only offer their QFT 2 once every other year. Austin doesn't seem to offer the core courses for theoretical physics regularly. So be careful. Also, in some teaching rating, one string theorist also got very bad rating for his string theory course. And there is really no young theorist at austin.

The great thing about stony is really the new center and the arrival of M.Douglas. M.Douglas was the reason Rutgers became the international center for string.

Stony is the birth place of supergravity, and they have some young good people, like Perez and Rastelli. There is also Simons workshops in math. phy every year at stony!