Is this year a bad year for condensed matter theorists?

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bahar.physics
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2009 12:38 pm

Is this year a bad year for condensed matter theorists?

Post by bahar.physics » Sun Jan 31, 2021 10:19 pm

Hey Guys

As I monitored carefully last years' accepted Ph.D. students at UMD and Yale for CMP, the theorists were a lot! so the need for new theorists would be less this year as I am seeing people mentioning in TheGradCafe that Uchicago also got CME more than CMT. What is your opinion?

geekusprimus
Posts: 103
Joined: Sat Jun 08, 2019 1:10 pm

Re: Is this year a bad year for condensed matter theorists?

Post by geekusprimus » Mon Feb 01, 2021 11:31 am

  • Every year is a bad year for theory. CMT maybe less so, but theory, in general, has less funding because the results are harder to apply or market.
  • This year is bad for everyone. Some schools are short on funding because of COVID, more people are going back to school because of COVID, and more people are going to apply to competitive schools because they don't have to share their GRE scores (because of COVID).

graddespair
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Joined: Tue Feb 18, 2020 9:36 am

Re: Is this year a bad year for condensed matter theorists?

Post by graddespair » Mon Feb 01, 2021 11:56 am

Uchicago received 20-30% more applications than ever before and accepted a little more than half of the number of students that they accepted last year. I imagine that, while not necessarily to the same extent, this will be the most competitive application cycle ever at most schools. An application that might have been on the cusp, but still competitive at a top 10 school in the past might not be close at all this year.

Also, grad cafe responses are usually too small of a sample size to properly gauge the number of acceptances in a specific subfield.

bahar.physics
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2009 12:38 pm

Re: Is this year a bad year for condensed matter theorists?

Post by bahar.physics » Mon Feb 01, 2021 2:00 pm

geekusprimus wrote:
Mon Feb 01, 2021 11:31 am
  • Every year is a bad year for theory. CMT maybe less so, but theory, in general, has less funding because the results are harder to apply or market.
  • This year is bad for everyone. Some schools are short on funding because of COVID, more people are going back to school because of COVID, and more people are going to apply to competitive schools because they don't have to share their GRE scores (because of COVID).
Yes, you are right, many people are trying high-rank schools since they do not need GREs. LOL, poor theorists.

bahar.physics
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2009 12:38 pm

Re: Is this year a bad year for condensed matter theorists?

Post by bahar.physics » Mon Feb 01, 2021 2:01 pm

graddespair wrote:
Mon Feb 01, 2021 11:56 am
Uchicago received 20-30% more applications than ever before and accepted a little more than half of the number of students that they accepted last year. I imagine that, while not necessarily to the same extent, this will be the most competitive application cycle ever at most schools. An application that might have been on the cusp, but still competitive at a top 10 school in the past might not be close at all this year.

Also, grad cafe responses are usually too small of a sample size to properly gauge the number of acceptances in a specific subfield.
Wow, I did not know that! you have complete information. How do you know they accepted a little more than half?

graddespair
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Feb 18, 2020 9:36 am

Re: Is this year a bad year for condensed matter theorists?

Post by graddespair » Mon Feb 01, 2021 4:12 pm

bahar.physics wrote:
Mon Feb 01, 2021 2:01 pm
graddespair wrote:
Mon Feb 01, 2021 11:56 am
Uchicago received 20-30% more applications than ever before and accepted a little more than half of the number of students that they accepted last year. I imagine that, while not necessarily to the same extent, this will be the most competitive application cycle ever at most schools. An application that might have been on the cusp, but still competitive at a top 10 school in the past might not be close at all this year.

Also, grad cafe responses are usually too small of a sample size to properly gauge the number of acceptances in a specific subfield.
Wow, I did not know that! you have complete information. How do you know they accepted a little more than half?
A former PI of mine is at Chicago, he was the one who told me about the 20-30% increase and told me that too many people accepted their offers the past two years so they were planning on significantly cutting the number of acceptances. I heard it was a little over half from one of the students in the group.

bahar.physics
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2009 12:38 pm

Re: Is this year a bad year for condensed matter theorists?

Post by bahar.physics » Mon Feb 01, 2021 6:12 pm

graddespair wrote:
Mon Feb 01, 2021 4:12 pm
bahar.physics wrote:
Mon Feb 01, 2021 2:01 pm
graddespair wrote:
Mon Feb 01, 2021 11:56 am
Uchicago received 20-30% more applications than ever before and accepted a little more than half of the number of students that they accepted last year. I imagine that, while not necessarily to the same extent, this will be the most competitive application cycle ever at most schools. An application that might have been on the cusp, but still competitive at a top 10 school in the past might not be close at all this year.

Also, grad cafe responses are usually too small of a sample size to properly gauge the number of acceptances in a specific subfield.
Wow, I did not know that! you have complete information. How do you know they accepted a little more than half?
A former PI of mine is at Chicago, he was the one who told me about the 20-30% increase and told me that too many people accepted their offers the past two years so they were planning on significantly cutting the number of acceptances. I heard it was a little over half from one of the students in the group.
Thank you so cutting the number was not because of the COVID. It was mainly because there is less position.

graddespair
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Feb 18, 2020 9:36 am

Re: Is this year a bad year for condensed matter theorists?

Post by graddespair » Tue Feb 02, 2021 12:20 am

bahar.physics wrote:
Mon Feb 01, 2021 6:12 pm
graddespair wrote:
Mon Feb 01, 2021 4:12 pm
bahar.physics wrote:
Mon Feb 01, 2021 2:01 pm


Wow, I did not know that! you have complete information. How do you know they accepted a little more than half?
A former PI of mine is at Chicago, he was the one who told me about the 20-30% increase and told me that too many people accepted their offers the past two years so they were planning on significantly cutting the number of acceptances. I heard it was a little over half from one of the students in the group.
Thank you so cutting the number was not because of the COVID. It was mainly because there is less position.
I think that many schools will cut acceptances due to COVID, especially state schools and less competitive schools. MIT and Harvard will not have any problems, but even a school like UPenn originally announced a halt on all PhD funding this year for financial reasons (this has since been taken back, but should serve as a reminder of the financial hardships even the most well funded schools are experiencing due to COVID). Even a small decrease of 10-15% in the number of acceptances this year due to COVID uncertainties would make competition severe when compounded with the overall increase in applications.

bahar.physics
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2009 12:38 pm

Re: Is this year a bad year for condensed matter theorists?

Post by bahar.physics » Tue Feb 02, 2021 1:07 am

graddespair wrote:
Tue Feb 02, 2021 12:20 am
bahar.physics wrote:
Mon Feb 01, 2021 6:12 pm
graddespair wrote:
Mon Feb 01, 2021 4:12 pm


A former PI of mine is at Chicago, he was the one who told me about the 20-30% increase and told me that too many people accepted their offers the past two years so they were planning on significantly cutting the number of acceptances. I heard it was a little over half from one of the students in the group.
Thank you so cutting the number was not because of the COVID. It was mainly because there is less position.
I think that many schools will cut acceptances due to COVID, especially state schools and less competitive schools. MIT and Harvard will not have any problems, but even a school like UPenn originally announced a halt on all PhD funding this year for financial reasons (this has since been taken back, but should serve as a reminder of the financial hardships even the most well funded schools are experiencing due to COVID). Even a small decrease of 10-15% in the number of acceptances this year due to COVID uncertainties would make competition severe when compounded with the overall increase in applications.
I see, I hope I get into a good school. I was happy since there was no requirement for the GREs. But, now it seems the situation is getting worst!

zephyr
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2021 9:30 pm

Re: Is this year a bad year for condensed matter theorists?

Post by zephyr » Thu Feb 04, 2021 8:17 pm

I know for a fact from speaking with faculty at UMD that there will be very few condensed matter theory and high energy theory students taken this year, due to overaccepting a bit last year combined with funding difficulties as a result of COVID. Additionally, there were a high number of applicants

phygre123
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Jul 18, 2017 12:13 pm

Re: Is this year a bad year for condensed matter theorists?

Post by phygre123 » Fri Feb 05, 2021 1:35 am

I think so. May be there is flood of application from everyone, who live in different corners of the world, so many experts will not get admission because of their low GPA -- worse standard to judge students-- which depends upon many unknown and unfavorable factors.
Secondly, professors will get pressure to have students according to their gre, pgre scores, research and participation in different conference to get more funding from next year, without that they will not be able to select candidates, who will succeed in future with unique research.
It is physics and I think most candidates without these ability will fail to survive in their PhD with some valuable results. It is likely that most candidates end their result to explain the previous theory and others' work. 2021 will be huge lost for scientific world, physics, and more pressure will be there for the Universities.

gaugeinvariance
Posts: 31
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2020 6:33 am

Re: Is this year a bad year for condensed matter theorists?

Post by gaugeinvariance » Fri Feb 05, 2021 9:06 am

phygre123 wrote:
Fri Feb 05, 2021 1:35 am
I think so. May be there is flood of application from everyone, who live in different corners of the world, so many experts will not get admission because of their low GPA -- worse standard to judge students-- which depends upon many unknown and unfavorable factors.
Secondly, professors will get pressure to have students according to their gre, pgre scores, research and participation in different conference to get more funding from next year, without that they will not be able to select candidates, who will succeed in future with unique research.
It is physics and I think most candidates without these ability will fail to survive in their PhD with some valuable results. It is likely that most candidates end their result to explain the previous theory and others' work. 2021 will be huge lost for scientific world, physics, and more pressure will be there for the Universities.
Talking about GPA, would graduate school in physics usually look at CGPA or MGPA? :oops:

geekusprimus
Posts: 103
Joined: Sat Jun 08, 2019 1:10 pm

Re: Is this year a bad year for condensed matter theorists?

Post by geekusprimus » Fri Feb 05, 2021 10:02 am

gaugeinvariance wrote:
Fri Feb 05, 2021 9:06 am
phygre123 wrote:
Fri Feb 05, 2021 1:35 am
I think so. May be there is flood of application from everyone, who live in different corners of the world, so many experts will not get admission because of their low GPA -- worse standard to judge students-- which depends upon many unknown and unfavorable factors.
Secondly, professors will get pressure to have students according to their gre, pgre scores, research and participation in different conference to get more funding from next year, without that they will not be able to select candidates, who will succeed in future with unique research.
It is physics and I think most candidates without these ability will fail to survive in their PhD with some valuable results. It is likely that most candidates end their result to explain the previous theory and others' work. 2021 will be huge lost for scientific world, physics, and more pressure will be there for the Universities.
Talking about GPA, would graduate school in physics usually look at CGPA or MGPA? :oops:
Mostly major GPA, but an abnormally low cumulative GPA is still going to be a red flag.

gaugeinvariance
Posts: 31
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2020 6:33 am

Re: Is this year a bad year for condensed matter theorists?

Post by gaugeinvariance » Fri Feb 05, 2021 10:29 am

geekusprimus wrote:
Fri Feb 05, 2021 10:02 am
gaugeinvariance wrote:
Fri Feb 05, 2021 9:06 am
phygre123 wrote:
Fri Feb 05, 2021 1:35 am
I think so. May be there is flood of application from everyone, who live in different corners of the world, so many experts will not get admission because of their low GPA -- worse standard to judge students-- which depends upon many unknown and unfavorable factors.
Secondly, professors will get pressure to have students according to their gre, pgre scores, research and participation in different conference to get more funding from next year, without that they will not be able to select candidates, who will succeed in future with unique research.
It is physics and I think most candidates without these ability will fail to survive in their PhD with some valuable results. It is likely that most candidates end their result to explain the previous theory and others' work. 2021 will be huge lost for scientific world, physics, and more pressure will be there for the Universities.
Talking about GPA, would graduate school in physics usually look at CGPA or MGPA? :oops:
Mostly major GPA, but an abnormally low cumulative GPA is still going to be a red flag.
Thanks geekusprimus for solving the mystery. However, how "abnormally low CGPA" usually is? I've got a 3.8x MGPA but 3.5x CGPA, I would like to ask, would this be a real problem :oops:

bahar.physics
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2009 12:38 pm

Re: Is this year a bad year for condensed matter theorists?

Post by bahar.physics » Fri Feb 05, 2021 9:57 pm

zephyr wrote:
Thu Feb 04, 2021 8:17 pm
I know for a fact from speaking with faculty at UMD that there will be very few condensed matter theory and high energy theory students taken this year, due to overaccepting a bit last year combined with funding difficulties as a result of COVID. Additionally, there were a high number of applicants
Agree, Yale and UMD as I knew from the students, they accepted many theorists!

bahar.physics
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2009 12:38 pm

Re: Is this year a bad year for condensed matter theorists?

Post by bahar.physics » Fri Feb 05, 2021 9:59 pm

phygre123 wrote:
Fri Feb 05, 2021 1:35 am
I think so. May be there is flood of application from everyone, who live in different corners of the world, so many experts will not get admission because of their low GPA -- worse standard to judge students-- which depends upon many unknown and unfavorable factors.
Secondly, professors will get pressure to have students according to their gre, pgre scores, research and participation in different conference to get more funding from next year, without that they will not be able to select candidates, who will succeed in future with unique research.
It is physics and I think most candidates without these ability will fail to survive in their PhD with some valuable results. It is likely that most candidates end their result to explain the previous theory and others' work. 2021 will be huge lost for scientific world, physics, and more pressure will be there for the Universities.
huh!? the worst standard for judging is GREs, not GPA!

phygre123
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Jul 18, 2017 12:13 pm

Re: Is this year a bad year for condensed matter theorists?

Post by phygre123 » Fri Feb 05, 2021 11:33 pm

GPA also plays roles in selection, but in global scale, GRE and TOEFL will help to solve the differences in GPAs - How to compare BS and MS? . Every country has own laws and regulations, these are needed to keep touchstones of that country. Having language experience and knowledge of that country are like respecting the culture of that country and keeping peaceful relationship with citizen, colleagues and society of that country.



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