**Undergrad Institution:** top 5 school in Germany, top 20 in physics (worldwide)

**Major(s):** Physics, Mathematics

**GPA in Major:** 1.49/1.00 (physics), 1.45/1.00 (maths)

**Overall GPA:** 1.49/1.00 (physics), 1.48/1.00 (maths)

**Length of Degree:** 3 years

**Position in Class:** above average

**Type of Student:** international male

**Graduate Institution:** top 5 school in Germany, top 20 in physics (worldwide) - same as above

**Major(s):** Theoretical Physics

**GPA in Major:** 1.20/1.00

**Length of Degree:** 2 years

**Position in Class:** above average

**GRE Scores:** new version

**Q:** 161 (83%)

**V:** 145 (24%)

**W:** 4.5 (73%)

**P:** 750 (65%)

**TOEFL**: 110 (speaking: 24)

**Research Experience:** *Math bachelor thesis* on the 'Ground State Properties of the Weakly Interacting Bose Gas' applying methods from Functional Analysis, Mathematical QM, PDE's, Distribution theory (6 months) -> no publication.

*Physics bachelor thesis* in CMT (nonequilibrium many-body dynamics); continued working on the project after submitting the thesis (1 year altogether) -> PRB publication (1st author out of two) + a talk at my university.

*Physics master thesis* in CMT on phase transitions in a specific cold atoms system: superfluidity, superconductivity, charge density wave, supersolidity: have first results on the T_c for unconventional superconductivity. Working on a project on a supersymmetric field theory extension - first results available (hoping to finish the thesis by June)

**Awards/Honors/Recognitions:** Prestigious university award; 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in National Physics Olympics (high school level) - never went for an international competition, though; 2nd place for a presentation in a student physics conference (high school level); a couple of fellowships, a membership in a prestigious community

**Pertinent Activities or Jobs:** TA since my second semester as an undergrad in Mathematical Methods for Physics, Theoretical Mechanics (twice), Theoretical Electrodynamics, Quantum Mechanics 1, and a Physics Lab course for chemistry students.

**Special Bonus Points:** Recommendations from my three thesis advisors, math advisor fairly famous in the math phys community (though not CMT) - expect strong letters. Belong to the 2% (out of approx. 300 students) in my year to finish both degrees in 3 years. Took twice as many grad courses as required (scoring predominantly 100% in the final exams), including every course somehow related to CMT available + a few 'exotic' courses (QED, SUSY, GR).

**Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:** Currently taking part in journal clubs on 'Topological Insulators' and 'Ultracold Atoms'. Set up a professional homepage describing my research projects and put the link in the SOP. (it has a twofold purpose: a) to keep the admissions committees updated with my latest research results. b) I integrated and hid! a visitor counter which shows the places of recent visits - this way I also know which university is interested in my app)

**Applying to Where:** All CMT: mainly phase transitions, many-body dynamics, and topological insulators

Indiana University: -

accepted 06/02 via email (had checked my homepage)

Boston University: -

accepted 28/01 via email (had checked my homepage)

Rice: -

accepted 11/03 via email (had checked my homepage)

Georgia Tech: -

accepted 13/03, email enquiry (didn't check my homepage)

Penn State -

rejected 28/02, email to check web (didn't check my homepage)

UMD: -

rejected 08/03, email enquiry (checked my homepage after the rejection

!)

UIUC: -

rejected 23/03, via email (didn't check my homepage)

Yale: -

rejected 14/02, email to check web (had checked my homepage)

Cornell: -

accepted 14/02 (after a language interview), email to check web (had checked my homepage)

UC Berkeley: -

rejected 02/03, email enquiry (didn't check my homepage)

UCSB: -

rejected 22/03, email to check web (didn't check my homepage)

UCSD: -

rejected 22/03, via email (didn't check my homepage)

*My advice for future applicants:*
1.

before you apply to a given school, get in touch with them and ask them how many PhD positions roughly they have for the current year in

your field of interest. If some schools don't give you an exact answer to this question, email directly the chair of the admissions committee, or

any other prof till you figure this out. Even schools with a sound tradition in a certain field may have only 1-2 slots to offer - in which case the app fee is not worth paying.

2.

international students - try to minimize the number of public schools you apply to (especially in CA!, but not exclusively) - they can be short of funding. Find some statistics (e.g. enquire from the schools themselves) about the last couple of years regarding the number of international students admitted to the public schools you want to apply to.