Differences

This shows you the differences between two versions of the page.

Link to this comparison view

Both sides previous revision Previous revision
Next revision
Previous revision
questions [2018/06/19 20:37]
jthaler [What are some things I should aim to achieve during my PhD?]
questions [2020/06/15 14:05] (current)
jthaler
Line 43: Line 43:
  
 There are as many ways to be a successful physicist as there are successful physicists. ​ That said, there are skills that are highly correlated with research success. ​ So if you are motivated by checking off boxes, here are some tasks that most (though not all) graduate students in theoretical physics complete by the end of their PhD. There are as many ways to be a successful physicist as there are successful physicists. ​ That said, there are skills that are highly correlated with research success. ​ So if you are motivated by checking off boxes, here are some tasks that most (though not all) graduate students in theoretical physics complete by the end of their PhD.
 +
 +  * Regularly attend research seminars and colloquia
 +  * Read the [[https://​arxiv.org/​|arXiv]] on a semi-regular basis
 +  * Have a favorite textbook on Quantum Field Theory (which may or may not be [[http://​admin.cambridge.org/​academic/​subjects/​physics/​theoretical-physics-and-mathematical-physics/​quantum-field-theory-and-standard-model|this]])
 +  * Become familiar with the Review of Particle Physics from the [[http://​pdg.lbl.gov/​|Particle Data Group]]
 +  * Attend a physics summer school
  
   * Learn to write in [[https://​www.latex-project.org/​|LaTeX]]   * Learn to write in [[https://​www.latex-project.org/​|LaTeX]]
Line 61: Line 67:
   * Explain your research to non-physicists   * Explain your research to non-physicists
  
-  * Regularly attend research seminars and colloquia +  * Optional: ​ [[jthaler@jthaler.net|Make suggestions]] for how to improve this list 
-  ​* Read the [[https://​arxiv.org/​|arXiv]] on semi-regular basis + 
-  ​* ​Have a favorite textbook on Quantum Field Theory ​(which may or may not be [[admin.cambridge.org/academic/subjects/physics/theoretical-physics-and-mathematical-physics/quantum-field-theory-and-standard-model|this]]) + 
-  * Become familiar ​with the Review ​of Particle Physics from the [[http://pdg.lbl.gov/|Particle Data Group]]+==== How do you come up with your acronyms? ==== 
 + 
 +You mean "​[[http://​abracadabra.mit.edu/​|ABRACADABRA]]"​ (A Broadband or Resonant Approach to Cosmic Axion Detection with an Amplifying B-field Ring Apparatus)? ​ Or "​[[http://​dmtpc.mit.edu/​DarkLight/​|DarkLight]]"​ (Detecting A Resonance Kinematically with Leptons Incident on a Gaseous Hydrogen Target)? ​ Or the infamous "[[https://​arxiv.org/​abs/​1712.07124|P...B...S...]]" (Polynomial... Basis... for... Substructure...,​ see footnote 10), which would likely best the competition at [[https://​www.cfa.harvard.edu/​~gpetitpas/​Links/​Astroacro.html|DOOFAAS]]? ​ I write down sentence describing the idea, take the first letters of (most) of the words, and watch my collaborators cringe. 
 + 
 + 
 +====== Teaching Questions ====== 
 + 
 +==== Have you ever let your students down? ==== 
 + 
 +During the covid pandemic in Spring 2020, we faced difficult decisions about how to assess student understanding of the material in [[http://​stellar.mit.edu/​S/​course/​8/​sp20/​8.044/​|8.044 ​(Statistical Mechanics)]]. ​ One student asked whether the final assignment grade could be dropped if their problem set grades were higher. ​ In response, I posted the following message to [[https://​piazza.com/​|Piazza]]:​ 
 + 
 +> We have developed the following [[https://​www.youtube.com/watch?​v=dQw4w9WgXcQ|official policy]] about whether it might be possible to give up the final assignment grade. 
 + 
 +At the end of the semester, some students got together to make their opinions known: 
 + 
 +> W​e have collaborated on the following [[https://youtu.be/CcV5M7IMLt0|official evaluation]] ​of 8.044 this semester. 
 + 
 +I appreciated their candor in telling us just how they'​re feeling ​and making us understand. ​ Certainly, a learning experience for everyone. ​ Thank goodness we were on [[https://​facultygovernance.mit.edu/​rules-and-regulations#​2-64|emergency pass/no record grading]]. 
 + 
 +====== Personal Questions ====== 
 + 
 +==== What are your preferred pronouns? ==== 
 + 
 +He/​him/​his. 
 + 
 +I have debated many times with myself about whether I should put this information in my email signature. ​ "​Jesse"​ is a somewhat gender ambiguous name, and I don't mind (too much) when people add an extra "​i"​ by mistake. ​ It feels a bit uncomfortable to assert my gender at this point in my career when the gender ambiguity in my name (and in my past [[http://​v1.jthaler.net/​photos/​images/​2002.05.C/​dance_rig.jpg|hairstyle]]) was part of my experience growing up.  Also, physics is a rather male-dominated field, and I worry that providing my pronouns would somehow reinforce male-ness as the default for a physics professor, though I also appreciate that my reticence is probably doing so implicitly. 
 + 
 +In any case, I do like the way that providing pronouns signals an aspiration towards a more diverse and inclusive physics environment. ​ As I often tell my students: there are as many ways to be a successful physicist as there are successful physicists. ​ So while I don't currently give my preferred pronouns, my email signature does have a link to the [[https://web.mit.edu/physics/​about/​values.html|MIT Physics Community Values]].   
 + 
  
  
-  ​ 
  
 ====== Website Questions ====== ====== Website Questions ======
Line 92: Line 126:
  
 What?  You don't like [[orange links]]? ​ I was semi-inspired by the [[http://​www.sfjazz.org/​|SFJAZZ]] poster hanging in my office, but a certain someone refused to let me use purple. ​ Consider yourself lucky I didn't use the {{::​sfjazz2004.png?​linkonly|2004}} color scheme. What?  You don't like [[orange links]]? ​ I was semi-inspired by the [[http://​www.sfjazz.org/​|SFJAZZ]] poster hanging in my office, but a certain someone refused to let me use purple. ​ Consider yourself lucky I didn't use the {{::​sfjazz2004.png?​linkonly|2004}} color scheme.
 +
 +====== Logic Questions ======
 +
 +==== Is today opposite day? ====
 +
 +Today is and is not opposite day.  [h/t Adrian]
questions.1529440632.txt.gz · Last modified: 2018/06/19 20:37 by jthaler