Signup date: 01 Aug 2007 at 2:41pm
Last login: 12 Jun 2008 at 11:01pm
Post count: 90
Cakeman: "i must admit it also seems to be mostly the chaps who are at fault here."
A generalisation, surely? You could equally say that women are more open to discussing their relationship problems than men, so that is why their stories appear more frequently on this forum. Anyway, I think it's an unhealthy attitude to adopt, automatically thinking that you might be the source of problems, before any have even arisen.
As someone nears the end of their PhD and enters the writing up stage then the amount of free time they can dedicate to their partner will normally be reduced. I think this is a common cause of tension in a "PhD" relationship. If both partners can come to some sort of compromise then it survives, if not... well, c'est la vie!
VeryPoor: "There's no big deal. But if you would had made it clear I never would have criticised you. That's my point."
He made his intentions abundantly clear in his previous thread:
One that you happened to reply to!
Engineering Mathematics and Advanced Engineering Mathematics by K. A. Stroud are good to get you from A-level up to near the end of 2nd year undergrad, I'd say, as far as maths is concerned. The excercise driven format encourages you to "do" maths as you read them, so to speak.
From memory, certain essentials, such as Fourier transforms (which you'll enounter rather frequently in astronomy), are not covered. However, I'm sure there are plenty of good books dealing with the more advanced maths specific to astronomy courses.
Of course, there is also the small matter of whether you really are up to the task! It is worth bearing in mind that the first two years of a UK undergrad degree in physics are heavily focused towards understanding the maths that you need to tackle physical problems to any sort of depth. If you have only studied maths up to A-level, you really will need to put in considerable effort before embarking on a PhD in physics. This came as quite a shock to me as I transitioned from physics A-level to undergrad degree level. The subject you study at sixth form is barely recognisable to the real deal at university. Quite simply, my maths was nowhere near good enough and it's a common complaint of physics departments up and down the country that the students they receive do not have the necessary grounding in the subject.
You won't know until you apply, but every funded pure physics PhD position I've ever seen has stipulated that the candidate holds a good physics undergrad degree. Perhaps things are different for astronomy/astrophysics, but I wouldn't count on it since these groups are normally a small part of a large physics department. My personal feeling is you will have a hard time trying to convince someone from a physics department that you're up to scratch as, I'm sad to say it, physicists tend to look down upon those from the other scientific fields. When I was a physics undergrad I can remember countless times when a lecturer would make snide remarks about chemists and biologists. This is stupid, of course, since much of science is interdisciplinary (even more now than it used to be with convergent fields such as nanotechnology), but I fear it is still a relatively commonly held attitude.
It's obviously an advantage to have some publications when applying for postdocs, but it's certainly possible to find one without. In a lot of cases people get postdoc positions through word of mouth and recommendation from their supervisors, so in your case this route might be easier. I would suggest that you try and find a mutual contact, if possible, between your current department and the one you want to apply to.
I'm sorry if I sound harsh, but have you considered the possbility that the other candidates that applied for the positions were just better than you? It's very normal to get rejected for anything you apply for these days, be it jobs or PhDs. If one failure leaves you distraught then I'd seriously think twice about embarking on a PhD as it will, by its very nature, be full of wrong turns, disappointment and failure before you reach your goal.
I don't know anything about the format of these DTCs but is it the case that the 4 years are compulsory, even if you already possess a masters? If that's true then I think that it's a bad idea - I think that 4 years of undergrad (e.g. MPhys/MChem/MBio/MEng), plus 3 years for the PhD is sufficient. Obviously, an additional 6 months extra for writing up should also be available, if necessary.
By the way, if both partners are in academia the situation is even worse as often one must sacrifice their career for the other as you really cannot afford to pass up an opportunity if it arises, sometimes even if that means moving to another continent. This inevitably puts a strain on relationships. All quite depressing really.
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