City Discussion

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midwestphysics
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Re: City Discussion

Post by midwestphysics » Sat Feb 26, 2011 1:41 pm

graviton905 wrote:Great! Thanks for the response midwestphysics! And yes! Of course Ann Arbor! :mrgreen:
Can you also give me more information about Illinois Urbana Champaign? I am toward Cosmology/Astrophysics and I have just these 2 reasonable places to go! Which one do you think would be better for living and for studying? My conclusion till now is Michigan! But, just I want to gather more information to make my final decision! :?:
No problem, anytime. Above other people talked about Urbana, when we talked about Chicago. Both are good schools, I personally love U of M though so there would be very few other schools that would make me not pick it. That is my opinion of course so take it with a grain salt I guess. If you ask me it offers everything you want in a school and you're not in the middle of nowhere really, you're in the midwest still :lol: , but this is a good area. So if my vote counted I would go U of M without a doubt. Good luck though, you've got a nice delimema to be in :)

vttd
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Re: City Discussion

Post by vttd » Sat Feb 26, 2011 5:20 pm

axiomofchoice wrote:
bfollinprm wrote:
strikershootingguard wrote:Any thoughts on the area around Johns Hopkins?
Dirty, ghetto, and generally not-nice. They built the University there in an effort of urban renewal that never quite took. Baltimore spends 90% of its city beautification budget on the inner harbor, so anything else in the city is basically crap. Having said that, (1) JHU is definitely within easy distance of the harbor, (2) the campus itself is pretty, and (3) the rent around campus is really low for being in a city. Also, you can easily live in the suburbs (where UMBC is located, for instance).
Disagree to a certain extent. JHU campus is very beautiful, and as long as you don't go too far away, things are nice and safe. ~10 blocks away, though, you'd run into ghettos. Meeeh, just don't go there. I'd say there are many nice spots in Baltimore beside the inner harbor (which is IMHO overrated anyway), like the Mount Vernon area. If you live on the JHU shuttle route, you won't have problem getting to school, and thus you have a few more neighborhoods as options to live. And yeah, the rent is cheap-ish in general.
JHU is weird because it's like an oasis in the middle of the ghetto. The area is safe within maybe 5 blocks of campus in all directions (farther to the north). However, beyond that things get really sketchy really fast. Rent is very cheap and the cost of living is not bad at all. I didn't find a whole lot of things to do in Baltimore, but the Inner Harbor is generally where most people go, there's also a bar scene in Fell's Point. Just be aware of your surroundings and you should be fine.

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kubikat
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Re: City Discussion

Post by kubikat » Sat Feb 26, 2011 7:12 pm

graviton905 wrote:what about ann arbor? How it would be with 2160$/m?
I am not in AA, but I live relatively close to it.

The things I like about it are: the beautiful campus, abundance of little shops and restaurants, rich cultural life. Their physics program/facilities are pretty awesome, people are relatively friendly (but not as friendly as people down south).

The things I don't like are: the campus is huge, takes up the whole city and you will often need to take a shuttle to get from one building to another. Of course you can walk or bike, but that is less than pleasant in Michigan winters. The traffic is pretty bad (comparing to the rest of MI). It is very hard to find parking. A lot of buildings look a lot better on the outside than on the inside.

I haven't been to too many big campuses, so I am comparing to my very small/quiet/well maintained Alma Mater, and I don't know if my judgment will change after I visit the open houses of my possible graduate schools this year.

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midwestphysics
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Re: City Discussion

Post by midwestphysics » Sat Feb 26, 2011 7:33 pm

:) I'd say given that info there is a what, 1 in 3 chance I'm guessing that we went to the same undergrad school. Small world even if we didn't.

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kubikat
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Re: City Discussion

Post by kubikat » Sun Feb 27, 2011 1:12 am

midwestphysics wrote::) I'd say given that info there is a what, 1 in 3 chance I'm guessing that we went to the same undergrad school. Small world even if we didn't.
Small world indeed. However I doubt we were in the same school. We only have 2 people graduating this coming May and both are 22. (Yes I did stalk this forum enough to figure out you were 25) :mrgreen:

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midwestphysics
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Re: City Discussion

Post by midwestphysics » Sun Feb 27, 2011 1:25 am

kubikat wrote:
midwestphysics wrote::) I'd say given that info there is a what, 1 in 3 chance I'm guessing that we went to the same undergrad school. Small world even if we didn't.
Small world indeed. However I doubt we were in the same school. We only have 2 people graduating this coming May and both are 22. (Yes I did stalk this forum enough to figure out you were 25) :mrgreen:
Yes I guess you did :D , but I am also careful enough not to have posted when I graduated, or even if I have yet for that matter. I've narrowed myself down on here far enough to where there are probably only a handful of people that could match up with me given the details I put out, but I don't think anyone could get exactly who I am. That's the way I like it.

Edit:
Just to end the debate though I did a little "stalking" myself I guess :D . I can reasonably say we're not from the same schools, but still, small world.

strikershootingguard
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Re: City Discussion

Post by strikershootingguard » Sun Feb 27, 2011 9:25 am

vttd wrote:
axiomofchoice wrote:
bfollinprm wrote:
Dirty, ghetto, and generally not-nice. They built the University there in an effort of urban renewal that never quite took. Baltimore spends 90% of its city beautification budget on the inner harbor, so anything else in the city is basically crap. Having said that, (1) JHU is definitely within easy distance of the harbor, (2) the campus itself is pretty, and (3) the rent around campus is really low for being in a city. Also, you can easily live in the suburbs (where UMBC is located, for instance).
Disagree to a certain extent. JHU campus is very beautiful, and as long as you don't go too far away, things are nice and safe. ~10 blocks away, though, you'd run into ghettos. Meeeh, just don't go there. I'd say there are many nice spots in Baltimore beside the inner harbor (which is IMHO overrated anyway), like the Mount Vernon area. If you live on the JHU shuttle route, you won't have problem getting to school, and thus you have a few more neighborhoods as options to live. And yeah, the rent is cheap-ish in general.
JHU is weird because it's like an oasis in the middle of the ghetto. The area is safe within maybe 5 blocks of campus in all directions (farther to the north). However, beyond that things get really sketchy really fast. Rent is very cheap and the cost of living is not bad at all. I didn't find a whole lot of things to do in Baltimore, but the Inner Harbor is generally where most people go, there's also a bar scene in Fell's Point. Just be aware of your surroundings and you should be fine.
Thanks, guys! Will definitely keep all this in mind.

I've talked to a few people who've visited the area around JHU, and they told that the campus is really, really beautiful. It's also comforting (okay, almost comforting) to know that there do exist some good spots in Baltimore. At first I was kind of worried about the city and started thinking that I might have to go all the way to DC to let off all physics-related steam, but then again I've probably seen too many episodes of "The Wire."

I'm planning to visit Hopkins (and--hopefully--some other schools :wink: ) before April 15. Do schools usually allow admitted students to visit the department long after their open house is done? I'm an international, and I can visit the States only after the last week of March.

graviton905
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Re: City Discussion

Post by graviton905 » Sun Feb 27, 2011 4:26 pm

midwestphysics wrote:
graviton905 wrote:Great! Thanks for the response midwestphysics! And yes! Of course Ann Arbor! :mrgreen:
Can you also give me more information about Illinois Urbana Champaign? I am toward Cosmology/Astrophysics and I have just these 2 reasonable places to go! Which one do you think would be better for living and for studying? My conclusion till now is Michigan! But, just I want to gather more information to make my final decision! :?:
No problem, anytime. Above other people talked about Urbana, when we talked about Chicago. Both are good schools, I personally love U of M though so there would be very few other schools that would make me not pick it. That is my opinion of course so take it with a grain salt I guess. If you ask me it offers everything you want in a school and you're not in the middle of nowhere really, you're in the midwest still :lol: , but this is a good area. So if my vote counted I would go U of M without a doubt. Good luck though, you've got a nice delimema to be in :)
Your vote is highly appreciated! Based on all the things I have heard from Ann Arbor, I think I will love being there! And, you know what? I think you Americans are very nice people! :wink: Thanks again.

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midwestphysics
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Re: City Discussion

Post by midwestphysics » Sun Feb 27, 2011 4:41 pm

graviton905 wrote:Your vote is highly appreciated! Based on all the things I have heard from Ann Arbor, I think I will love being there! And, you know what? I think you Americans are very nice people! :wink: Thanks again.
Now that's something I like to hear, but overall most people around the world are nice. I actually went through a little mini-shunning at a non-physics related seminar in Germany not too long ago because of being American, but once everybody relaxed and got to know each other we got along great, I’m still friends with them now. I think you'll probably enjoy being around the people in MI, for the most part we're laid back, especially in the area you'll be in.

graviton905
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Re: City Discussion

Post by graviton905 » Sun Feb 27, 2011 4:56 pm

kubikat wrote:
graviton905 wrote:what about ann arbor? How it would be with 2160$/m?
I am not in AA, but I live relatively close to it.

The things I like about it are: the beautiful campus, abundance of little shops and restaurants, rich cultural life. Their physics program/facilities are pretty awesome, people are relatively friendly (but not as friendly as people down south).

The things I don't like are: the campus is huge, takes up the whole city and you will often need to take a shuttle to get from one building to another. Of course you can walk or bike, but that is less than pleasant in Michigan winters. The traffic is pretty bad (comparing to the rest of MI). It is very hard to find parking. A lot of buildings look a lot better on the outside than on the inside.

I haven't been to too many big campuses, so I am comparing to my very small/quiet/well maintained Alma Mater, and I don't know if my judgment will change after I visit the open houses of my possible graduate schools this year.
So, I suppose I should buy that bicycle very soon for being at Ann Arbor!
Thanks kubikat! :)

hpharty
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Re: City Discussion

Post by hpharty » Mon Feb 28, 2011 10:16 pm

I've been at Hopkins for the past 3 years. Please feel free to contact me with your serious Baltimore questions.

There are at least a half dozen nice neighborhoods within a (free) shuttle ride or walking distance of the Homewood campus. I've never felt threatened here, because I don't need to go into threatening areas. If you're not completely new to cities, there is nothing intimidating about Baltimore; it is like every other major city in the US. There are good parts, bad parts, and it is exactly as interesting as the effort you put in.

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Re: City Discussion

Post by bfollinprm » Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:50 pm

hpharty wrote:I've been at Hopkins for the past 3 years. Please feel free to contact me with your serious Baltimore questions.

There are at least a half dozen nice neighborhoods within a (free) shuttle ride or walking distance of the Homewood campus. I've never felt threatened here, because I don't need to go into threatening areas. If you're not completely new to cities, there is nothing intimidating about Baltimore; it is like every other major city in the US. There are good parts, bad parts, and it is exactly as interesting as the effort you put in.
true enough baltimore also has the advantage of easy access to east coast cities like new york or philadelphia

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midwestphysics
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Re: City Discussion

Post by midwestphysics » Wed Mar 02, 2011 2:07 am

Astro-K wrote:Anyone lived in Honolulu or Hawaii in general? Do you get too claustrophobic in the islands? Is it affordable on a grad student stipend?
I've never been to Hawaii but would love to go. Never the less, since I see nobody replied to this I think I'll at least try and offer a little help. You can use this website http://www.bestplaces.net/col/ to compare cost of living to where ever you're thinking and to where you are now. It breaks it down into housing, food, etc and allows you to input income to base calculations off of. Might not be helpful but it's something.

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Re: City Discussion

Post by quizivex » Wed Mar 02, 2011 2:56 am

@Astro-k: I've never been to Hawaii either so hopefully someone with experience will comment, but IMO I wouldn't worry about claustrophobia. This isn't some 3rd world resort island or uninhabited beach like this:

Image

Hawaii is an official American state where people live in permanent homes and Honolulu is a real city...

Image

I think you'd have everything that students in "normal" American cities have, plus some better weather and scenery. I'd guess that U of Hawaii is less isolated than a college in a rural town of the mainland US. Honolulu being a city probably has good public transportation, which suburban or rural towns in the mainland US don't always have. Being in Princeton without a car is probably more claustrophobic lol... (If I didn't have one I would've dropped out by now.)

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midwestphysics
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Re: City Discussion

Post by midwestphysics » Wed Mar 02, 2011 6:48 pm

To add to quizivex, my brother has been to Hawaii and he said he was shocked at how big it actually was, it's not huge, but it's a lot bigger than we tend to imagine. It actually has more land area than Connecticut, Delaware, and Rhode Island, in fact almost more than all of them combined. It's also 43 in total area, which includes water obviously. So I don't think it's all that confining, you can always island hop to check out different places.

Astro-K
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Re: City Discussion

Post by Astro-K » Wed Mar 02, 2011 10:33 pm

Thanks for the replies, everyone. I've actually been to Honolulu a couple times and really liked it, but I'm a little worried that it may get claustrophobic after 5-6 years there. I love to travel and to have the ability to escape for a weekend if necessary, so I'm not sure how that will work out. I'm hoping the fact that it's pretty much paradise will override the rest of it.

badphysicist
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Re: City Discussion

Post by badphysicist » Wed Mar 02, 2011 11:23 pm

Anyone know what Merced is like? I've been camping up in Yosemite many times and know a little of the general area but I've no experience with Merced/Modesto.

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midwestphysics
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Re: City Discussion

Post by midwestphysics » Wed Mar 02, 2011 11:26 pm

Astro-K wrote:Thanks for the replies, everyone. I've actually been to Honolulu a couple times and really liked it, but I'm a little worried that it may get claustrophobic after 5-6 years there. I love to travel and to have the ability to escape for a weekend if necessary, so I'm not sure how that will work out. I'm hoping the fact that it's pretty much paradise will override the rest of it.
I'm the same way, but still I think escaping from Honolulu to one of the other islands, maybe somewhere a little less busy would do the trick. Besides, if you get so hopped up that getting off the islands is needed I'm willing to bet that a ticket to Japan, NZ, AS, or anywhere in Asia really is about the same if not less than a ticket to say the east coast. So you have that as an option too. Though I think a few years in paradise is do-able :D

t2kburl
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Re: City Discussion

Post by t2kburl » Thu Mar 03, 2011 1:28 am

Currently @ a high class (not) motel in Lincoln, NE.

Waves @ Riley

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WhoaNonstop
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Re: City Discussion

Post by WhoaNonstop » Thu Mar 03, 2011 2:00 am

t2kburl wrote:Currently @ a high class (not) motel in Lincoln, NE.

Waves @ Riley

Are you headed to Colorado State? If so you'll most definitely drive past my undergraduate city/town and under a big silly arch across the interstate.

-Riley

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grae313
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Re: City Discussion

Post by grae313 » Thu Mar 03, 2011 12:07 pm

badphysicist wrote:Anyone know what Merced is like? I've been camping up in Yosemite many times and know a little of the general area but I've no experience with Merced/Modesto.
They are the shittiest places in Northern California :( Modesto makes the top 10 list of the least educated cities in America.

My sources: growing up in the bay area and my good friend here from UCB that is from Modesto.

badphysicist
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Re: City Discussion

Post by badphysicist » Fri Mar 04, 2011 3:29 am

grae313 wrote:
badphysicist wrote:Anyone know what Merced is like? I've been camping up in Yosemite many times and know a little of the general area but I've no experience with Merced/Modesto.
They are the shittiest places in Northern California :( Modesto makes the top 10 list of the least educated cities in America.

My sources: growing up in the bay area and my good friend here from UCB that is from Modesto.
That's seems to be a common theme when describing that area. And at bestplaces they say unappealing things.

I'll see for myself in a few days.

Though according to: http://www.clrsearch.com/Merced_Demogra ... pare=90732
I'd be going to a safer city!

t2kburl
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Re: City Discussion

Post by t2kburl » Fri Mar 04, 2011 9:44 am

WhoaNonstop wrote:
t2kburl wrote:Currently @ a high class (not) motel in Lincoln, NE.

Waves @ Riley

Are you headed to Colorado State? If so you'll most definitely drive past my undergraduate city/town and under a big silly arch across the interstate.

-Riley
Yeah I saw the big arch. I passed through there regularly when they were building it.
Fort Collins is great 8)

vesperlynd
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Re: City Discussion

Post by vesperlynd » Tue Mar 08, 2011 4:05 pm

These replies are all great so far.

Is anyone at Berkeley now, or attended there as an undergrad who can tell us about the area? I heard housing was expensive and there are more homeless people than at least where I live.

vttd
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Re: City Discussion

Post by vttd » Tue Mar 08, 2011 4:18 pm

vesperlynd wrote:These replies are all great so far.

Is anyone at Berkeley now, or attended there as an undergrad who can tell us about the area? I heard housing was expensive and there are more homeless people than at least where I live.
Yes housing is really expensive. I shared a 2 bedroom, 1 bath and paid $700 a month. And it is not quality housing either, had a lot of problems with leaking and etc. However, I stayed there for 2 years because it was cheap, especially since my roommate had lived there for a year before me and the apartment was rent controlled since then. After I left, a few friends moved in because it was still cheap at $800 a pop. I lived on Southside about a 10 minute walking distance. Not too bad, but there were spikes of crime (rapes, armed robberies) that occurred while I was there. But you're going to get that in most of Berkeley because of the urban vibe. If you want really nice housing I would suggest Northside like in the Berkeley Hills. It's more secluded and you can get more for your money (but you'll have to share a house with 4 other people because they don't have many apartments that direction). You can find a decent place anywhere for about $800 with a roommate, but studios are both expensive and hard to come by. The farther from campus you go, the cheaper it gets because most undergrads live in apartments. Just be careful if you are looking at regions like Oakland, Richmond, or Emeryville. Housing there is hit or miss.

There are a lot of homeless people around People's Park and Telegraph, but they really leave you alone. They ask for money, but most people just ignore them. Otherwise the campus is really beautiful especially in spring and summer. It's not as hippie as everyone thinks, but it's still quite liberal. There's always something to do and you're just a BART ride away from SF. I really loved it, but it's definitely not for everyone.

xbomber88
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Re: City Discussion

Post by xbomber88 » Wed Mar 09, 2011 5:29 pm

Anyone know anything about Palo Alto?

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grae313
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Re: City Discussion

Post by grae313 » Wed Mar 09, 2011 5:48 pm

xbomber88 wrote:Anyone know anything about Palo Alto?
http://www.physicsgre.com/search.php?ke ... mit=Search

lots of discussion...

SPat
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Re: City Discussion

Post by SPat » Sun Mar 13, 2011 1:34 am

vttd wrote:Yes housing is really expensive. I shared a 2 bedroom, 1 bath and paid $700 a month. And it is not quality housing either, had a lot of problems with leaking and etc. However, I stayed there for 2 years because it was cheap, especially since my roommate had lived there for a year before me and the apartment was rent controlled since then. After I left, a few friends moved in because it was still cheap at $800 a pop. I lived on Southside about a 10 minute walking distance. Not too bad, but there were spikes of crime (rapes, armed robberies) that occurred while I was there. But you're going to get that in most of Berkeley because of the urban vibe. If you want really nice housing I would suggest Northside like in the Berkeley Hills. It's more secluded and you can get more for your money (but you'll have to share a house with 4 other people because they don't have many apartments that direction). You can find a decent place anywhere for about $800 with a roommate, but studios are both expensive and hard to come by. The farther from campus you go, the cheaper it gets because most undergrads live in apartments. Just be careful if you are looking at regions like Oakland, Richmond, or Emeryville. Housing there is hit or miss.
How much does Berkeley on campus housing cost? I haven't yet decided on Berkeley yet, and might take till April for that. Will on-campus housing fill up by then?

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Re: City Discussion

Post by bfollinprm » Tue Mar 15, 2011 10:52 am

So, I'm trying to narrow down the list of possibilities for me and my SO. One possible choice is some combination of Irvine/UCSD. I'm worried about the LA suburb commute. Anyone whose lived in the area care to comment about the traffic situation around Irvine? I'm imagining that living closer to Irvine is the better option, because traffic will be easier going opposite the direction of LA in the morning and towards LA in the evening. Am I right on that? I suppose it will also be ameliorated by being able to set some of my own hours, so I won't have to travel I-5/I-15 the same time as everyone else. How long is LA rush "hour"?

Also, if we look for a compromise location between the two schools, where should we be looking? We want a place with a real downtown--restaurants, farmer's markets, culture--though I know it won't be huge.

EDIT: Just for comparison's sake. I grew up near DC, so I'm used to it taking a half-hour to get anywhere. I also have a 45 minutes commute now, and it feels short to me. Friends and family sometimes have 2 hour commutes, and anything south of 1.5 hours to me is doable daily. Living separately is not an option; we don't want to, and it really isn't financially viable.

badphysicist
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Re: City Discussion

Post by badphysicist » Tue Mar 15, 2011 11:48 am

grae313 wrote:
badphysicist wrote:Anyone know what Merced is like? I've been camping up in Yosemite many times and know a little of the general area but I've no experience with Merced/Modesto.
They are the shittiest places in Northern California :( Modesto makes the top 10 list of the least educated cities in America.

My sources: growing up in the bay area and my good friend here from UCB that is from Modesto.

Just came back from visiting Merced and liked the city very much. Though I didn't visit the city south of the 99 hwy I thought the part of the city I visited was nice; very similar to Rohnert Park, CA (where I did my undergrad).

On a side note: I also liked the professors (and their research), the few grad students I met, and the school itself (there was the usual construction going on). It's an overall good fit, just waiting on the other schools to make an informed choice; though, I've probably already made it.

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grae313
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Re: City Discussion

Post by grae313 » Wed Mar 16, 2011 1:01 pm

badphysicist wrote:Just came back from visiting Merced and liked the city very much. Though I didn't visit the city south of the 99 hwy I thought the part of the city I visited was nice; very similar to Rohnert Park, CA (where I did my undergrad).

On a side note: I also liked the professors (and their research), the few grad students I met, and the school itself (there was the usual construction going on). It's an overall good fit, just waiting on the other schools to make an informed choice; though, I've probably already made it.
Ugh I hate Rohnert Park :P Glad you liked Merced though. Different strokes :)

badphysicist
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Re: City Discussion

Post by badphysicist » Wed Mar 16, 2011 10:12 pm

grae313 wrote:
badphysicist wrote:Just came back from visiting Merced and liked the city very much. Though I didn't visit the city south of the 99 hwy I thought the part of the city I visited was nice; very similar to Rohnert Park, CA (where I did my undergrad).

On a side note: I also liked the professors (and their research), the few grad students I met, and the school itself (there was the usual construction going on). It's an overall good fit, just waiting on the other schools to make an informed choice; though, I've probably already made it.
Ugh I hate Rohnert Park :P Glad you liked Merced though. Different strokes :)
Indeed, I loved Rohnert Park. It's very different from my hometown.

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Dorian_Mode
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Re: 2011 Decisions

Post by Dorian_Mode » Wed Mar 30, 2011 6:48 am

I hope no one minds if I move this thread further from the original topic, but as current grad student at UH-Manoa, I thought I could help out HappyQuark a little bit. I started out here last August with a TA position, but managed to luck my way into an RA position this semester. The starting TA salary isn't great, but it's definitely livable. I was pretty annoyed when I found out how much more the astronomy TAs make, but that's a discussion for some other time. One thing I would say if you end up attending is that you want to come in with a bit of a cushion for your first semester. For one thing, you don't actually get your first paycheck until a month or so into the school year due to some stupidity with the university payroll. I ended up borrowing about $2000 from my parents because I chose to live in the campus grad-student housing (which is ok, but definitely not as good as finding a room in a house or apartment) and their payment plan required me to pay off a substantial amount of the semester's housing fee before I had actually earned that money. At this point, though, I would easily be able to pay them back that money without having to worry too much about my spending. And I wouldn't say my spending has been frugal: my girlfriend and I make most meals ourselves, but we tend to go out for dinner at least once a week and I definitely have money to go out and get drinks or watch a movie basically whenever I want. I also blow money on things like Apple TVs and Lego sets, so take that how you will.

Overall, I'm pretty happy with the department and living situation out here. I could go on, but I think this has strayed sufficiently from the topic. Feel free to pm me if you have other questions about the department/city/beach/whatever.

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midwestphysics
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Re: 2011 Decisions

Post by midwestphysics » Wed Mar 30, 2011 6:53 am

Dorian_Mode wrote:I hope no one minds if I move this thread further from the original topic, but as current grad student at UH-Manoa, I thought I could help out HappyQuark a little bit. I started out here last August with a TA position, but managed to luck my way into an RA position this semester. The starting TA salary isn't great, but it's definitely livable. I was pretty annoyed when I found out how much more the astronomy TAs make, but that's a discussion for some other time. One thing I would say if you end up attending is that you want to come in with a bit of a cushion for your first semester. For one thing, you don't actually get your first paycheck until a month or so into the school year due to some stupidity with the university payroll. I ended up borrowing about $2000 from my parents because I chose to live in the campus grad-student housing (which is ok, but definitely not as good as finding a room in a house or apartment) and their payment plan required me to pay off a substantial amount of the semester's housing fee before I had actually earned that money. At this point, though, I would easily be able to pay them back that money without having to worry too much about my spending. And I wouldn't say my spending has been frugal: my girlfriend and I make most meals ourselves, but we tend to go out for dinner at least once a week and I definitely have money to go out and get drinks or watch a movie basically whenever I want. I also blow money on things like Apple TVs and Lego sets, so take that how you will.

Overall, I'm pretty happy with the department and living situation out here. I could go on, but I think this has strayed sufficiently from the topic. Feel free to pm me if you have other questions about the department/city/beach/whatever.
Hey, perfect opportunity, I was actually just wondering about Hawaii (well japan). I haven’t heard anything about the Belle, after the earthquake that is, do you know if anything was damaged? I’d imagine Prof. Vahsen is pretty worried about his collegues over there.

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Re: 2011 Decisions

Post by Dorian_Mode » Wed Mar 30, 2011 7:04 am

As far as I've heard, nobody at Belle (or KEK or other places people from our department work) was killed or seriously injured in the quake or tsunami, and I'm fairly certain that the Belle facilities were relatively unscathed. This is all basically hearsay, though, so I could have missed out on something. Out of curiosity: why do you mention Prof. Vahsen in particular?

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Re: 2011 Decisions

Post by midwestphysics » Wed Mar 30, 2011 7:09 am

Dorian_Mode wrote:As far as I've heard, nobody at Belle (or KEK or other places people from our department work) was killed or seriously injured in the quake or tsunami, and I'm fairly certain that the Belle facilities were relatively unscathed. This is all basically hearsay, though, so I could have missed out on something. Out of curiosity: why do you mention Prof. Vahsen in particular?
Just a few past emails... oh and he has the best personal webiste :lol: , the picture throws you at first because he looks like he's an art teacher in it.

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Re: 2011 Decisions

Post by Dorian_Mode » Wed Mar 30, 2011 7:13 am

Ah, yes, I love the website. That first picture on opening it really sells him as a visionary, and also European. As it so happens, I'm working in his group, so if you go back and peruse his site you might catch a glimpse of my lovely face. Wouldn't that be exciting?

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Re: 2011 Decisions

Post by midwestphysics » Wed Mar 30, 2011 7:18 am

Dorian_Mode wrote:Ah, yes, I love the website. That first picture on opening it really sells him as a visionary, and also European. As it so happens, I'm working in his group, so if you go back and peruse his site you might catch a glimpse of my lovely face. Wouldn't that be exciting?
:) Ah, one out of three chance, I'll guess blue and black shirt with beanie to top it off?

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Re: 2011 Decisions

Post by Dorian_Mode » Wed Mar 30, 2011 7:22 am

Well done! Do I give off the vibe of a hat aficionado?

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Re: 2011 Decisions

Post by midwestphysics » Wed Mar 30, 2011 7:26 am

Dorian_Mode wrote:Well done! Do I give off the vibe of a hat aficionado?
To be honest, and this isn't a shot at the other two, but getting your picture taken in front of a white board or chalk board doesn't scream "I've got a killer personality and I like interacting with people." Which would mean they're not like to be posting here. That's what made me contact professor Vahsen in the first place, outside of the research that is. He seems like a friendly guy from that picture alone.

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Re: 2011 Decisions

Post by Dorian_Mode » Wed Mar 30, 2011 7:34 am

Yeah, I basically searched facebook for my most engaging but somewhat professional profile picture (let's ignore the fact that I'm holding a beer in it). And yes, Professor Vahsen is extremely friendly and has been a really great person to work with so far. Were you considering Hawaii last year, or do you just have a general interest in high-energy or particle experiments?

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Re: 2011 Decisions

Post by midwestphysics » Wed Mar 30, 2011 7:48 am

Dorian_Mode wrote:Yeah, I basically searched facebook for my most engaging but somewhat professional profile picture (let's ignore the fact that I'm holding a beer in it). And yes, Professor Vahsen is extremely friendly and has been a really great person to work with so far. Were you considering Hawaii last year, or do you just have a general interest in high-energy or particle experiments?
Interest in particle experiment, was searching around and his UH and Cern website really intrigued me.

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Re: 2011 Decisions

Post by Dorian_Mode » Wed Mar 30, 2011 7:54 am

Ah, I see. I guess it just shows that physics is a small world, haha.

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Re: 2011 Decisions

Post by ultraballer2000 » Thu Mar 31, 2011 5:26 pm

HappyQuark wrote: I'm strongly considering Hawaii but for physics. The major stumbling block for me right now is that based on the email they sent, the funding to the Physics grads is roughly half of what the Astro students are getting. $1,300/month for 12 months is the TA offer and I'm not sure how anyone could survive on that, especially in Hawaii. The cheapest nearby apartments I can find are around $700-$800/month.
I was born and raised in Honolulu, $1300/month is going to be really tough considering the cost of everything, food and gas are both mad expensive, and you probably won't want to live in some place that cheap because I'm guessing it's in a ghetto area or is super gnarly. The city of Honolulu itself is alright, I actually went to elementary school right across the street from UH, and manoa is a really nice place. Honolulu gets boring pretty fast though, and there really aren't any nice bars / pubs to just hang out, most places are like clubs dedicated to tourists and undergrads and military people to rage at. If you've got any questions about living in Hawaii let me know, but I'll probably be biased to tell you negative things about it.

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Re: 2011 Decisions

Post by WhoaNonstop » Thu Mar 31, 2011 5:31 pm

ultraballer2000 wrote:there really aren't any nice bars / pubs to just hang out.
Who needs a bar when you can bring Candy land along?

-Riley

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Re: 2011 Decisions

Post by ultraballer2000 » Thu Mar 31, 2011 5:39 pm

WhoaNonstop wrote:
ultraballer2000 wrote:there really aren't any nice bars / pubs to just hang out.
Who needs a bar when you can bring Candy land along?

-Riley
ah well I was just talking about something to do when you want to just chill and relax, but if you're looking for a full night of adventure and danger then candy land is definitely the way to go, especially in hawaii.

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Re: 2011 Decisions

Post by HappyQuark » Thu Mar 31, 2011 5:41 pm

WhoaNonstop wrote:
ultraballer2000 wrote:there really aren't any nice bars / pubs to just hang out.
Who needs a bar when you can bring Candy land along?

-Riley
Candy land is for the faint of heart. Real men play Chutes and Ladders!

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Re: 2011 Decisions

Post by Dorian_Mode » Thu Mar 31, 2011 7:31 pm

I haven't really heard anyone talking about ASHRA since I've been here, but that doesn't mean much. The website is definitely out-of-date, though, so it's probably not a high-priority project at the moment.

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Re: 2011 Decisions

Post by Dorian_Mode » Thu Mar 31, 2011 7:37 pm

ultraballer2000 wrote:Honolulu gets boring pretty fast though, and there really aren't any nice bars / pubs to just hang out, most places are like clubs dedicated to tourists and undergrads and military people to rage at.t.
It's true that there are a lot of terrible clubs aimed at tourists, especially if you're going down to Waikiki, but there are at least a few decent bars around. Some of the ones in Chinatown (e.g. bar 35, Manifest, etc.) have a pretty decent selection and good atmosphere as long as you're not there on First Friday or some other really crowded night. The Yardhouse, which is in Waikiki, also has a pretty great draught beer selection. Other than that, I'd say Honolulu is a lot less boring than most cities I'm familiar with, and it's impossible to beat the weather or the scenery. It's pretty isolated, though, so I can see myself wanting to head back to the mainland in a few years. Also we get like no good concerts here, so that's kind of lame.

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Re: 2011 Decisions

Post by WhoaNonstop » Thu Mar 31, 2011 8:11 pm

I find it very depressing that the only "activity" that people ever cite for entertainment is good pubs / bars in the area. I'd say living in Hawaii there would be a lot of interesting things to do other than this.

-Riley



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