School aims and any improvements

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Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2020 1:34 pm

School aims and any improvements

Post by VSkid1 » Mon Aug 23, 2021 10:15 am

Hey everyone ! I’m an undergrad from India( institution having a good and recognised physics department, at least in cosmology ) and I’d be starting my junior year of undergrad(3rd year ) this semester ( mine is a 4 year BS Degree, writing this just to clear that I’m not doing an engineering degree ). I’d eventually wanna do a PhD in cosmology with a healthy dose of quantum gravity.

I know some of you might consider this early but I’d be really grateful if anyone can help me with what I should do with the remaining half of my undergrad 😅 So here are things about me

GPA : 3.3/4 (At this point, no big courses here with regards to my research at this point but I’m taking 2 grad courses this sem alongside QM and stat mech so the real fun is yet to factor in here😃Also due to COVID and personal issues, I screwed up a bit in my freshman year classical mech course(not the analytical mechanics one) and a bit on electromagnetism but I’m pretty sure I’m gonna do really well on all my upcoming courses )

PGRE : 980 ( gave it in my freshman year for fun )

Usual GRE : Haven’t done it yet

Research experience( the favourite part 😁):

Wrote 3 papers on early universe cosmology(primarily inflation) and the string theoretic swampland, 1 paper on quintessence dark energy and the swampland and one on warm inflation . In total 5 papers till now , all single authored.

All 3 of my inflation and swampland papers have been accepted for publication in PRD, CQG and Physics Letters B and the dark energy one has been accepted in IJGMMP. 4 publications till now
( I currently have an h-index of 4 with 21 citations on all my papers till now, if that matters )

Have presented my papers in 9 conferences till now- 2 times as a poster, 4 times as short parallel talks ( approx 10/15 mins) and 3 times as a long parallel talk ( 30 mins ) ( in all of these conferences, I was the only undergrad speaker and in of them, I was the first undergrad speaker in the conference’s 28 year history )(all the conferences were international ones hosted outside of my home country, felicitated by the online nature currently )

(I’ve been accepted to present another talk by the end of the year, a 15 min parallel talk and that will be my 10th conference presentation and, by some miracle, I’ll again be the only undergrad presenting in that conference too)

Have been accepted to 3 summer schools so far in the US, Brazil and recently in Greece, with me being the only undergrad accepted to attend the school in Greece

I am currently working with a professor in Greece on some exotic forms of bouncing cosmological models and we have made some really nice (publishable) progress till now

I also represented my country in an international science forumin the UK ( associated with OxBridge) in the final year of my high school with work on the quantum interpretation problem

Academic stuff ( not directly related to research )

I was invited as a plenary speaker in two of the biggest high school science fairs in Africa.

I have been interviewed 2 times till now on my early career journey in research

I am one of the cofounders and general director of a novel high school science initiative, which saw incredible success in its first edition itself patterning with renowned high school STEM research organisations worldwide. The other cofounders alongside me are also young researchers from across the globe.

That’s that !

This is what I’ve done throughout my first two years of undergrad. So what I want to ask is,

1) What should I do make my profile more competitive and on a scale of 1-10, how would you rate my current profile for grad schools in the US, UK and Canada ( primarily considering them at this time but my inclinations can change a lot obviously )

2) What kind of schools should I currently be aiming at with my profile as of now? ( considering I can do reasonably decent stuff in the future too )

Thank you !

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