Fall 2018 Applicant (Double Major Mathematics & Physics)

Answers to various questions regarding the SMART Scholarship application process. Includes many tips and statistics.

Fall 2018 Applicant (Double Major Mathematics & Physics)

Postby Evanh » Sat Feb 24, 2018 8:09 pm

Hello everyone.

I will be applying in the Fall of 2018 for the graduate SMART Scholarship looking to fund a double Masters in Mathematics & Physics, and ultimately a PhD in Physics. I will be finishing my double Bachelors in Mathematics & Physics, with a minor in Astro, around the time the finalists of the next award year are announced, hopefully I am one of them.

Just saying HI to the forum and seeing if there is anyone else out there in cyberspace looking to apply this Fall.

Evan
Last edited by Evanh on Wed Mar 14, 2018 10:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
Double Major Mathematics & Physics
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Re: Fall 2018 Applicant

Postby kbl2017 » Mon Feb 26, 2018 4:43 am

Hi! (To you and others applying in the fall)

Start researching sponsoring facilities now! Watch who gets interviews and if people are willing to share who hires a math/physics major. There are a lot of engineering majors on here - you'll have to look around for some physics and math majors! I suggest reading into what the research labs do. One of your essays will be along the lines of "why should we hire you" (the wording wont be straight forward like that) and you'll want to be able to discuss your top three facilities and why youd be a great fit there. It is extremely important and seems to be overlooked.

As a masters degree applicant you'll be judged more on your essays and experience than you'll be judged on your classroom scores and test grades.
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Re: Fall 2018 Applicant

Postby Evanh » Mon Feb 26, 2018 8:10 pm

kbl2017 wrote:Hi! (To you and others applying in the fall)

Start researching sponsoring facilities now! Watch who gets interviews and if people are willing to share who hires a math/physics major. There are a lot of engineering majors on here - you'll have to look around for some physics and math majors! I suggest reading into what the research labs do. One of your essays will be along the lines of "why should we hire you" (the wording wont be straight forward like that) and you'll want to be able to discuss your top three facilities and why youd be a great fit there. It is extremely important and seems to be overlooked.

As a masters degree applicant you'll be judged more on your essays and experience than you'll be judged on your classroom scores and test grades.


Thank you for the response and advice.

I have researched the SFs that fall under both Mathematics and Physics separately and SFs that are listed for both. I have found quite a few that I like that are listed for both and have narrowed down my top 3. As you can imagine they are Research Facilies that emphasize basic research over implementation, which in my eyes would be better aligned with engineering degrees.

I am leaning towards my graduate studies focusing on electrodynamics and quantum field theory for my Physics portion and Applied & Computational Mathematics for my Mathematics portion.. Fingers crossed I can cross thesis’ between them and reduce the work load, but if not, oh well.

I am probably an older candidate, in my young 30s, but I have quite a bit of experience under my belt. I worked offshore in the Oil & Gas industry, Commercial Diving, for 10 years where I worked as a Life Support Supervisor and Diver Medic for Saturation Diving, all over the world, and I’m hoping this paints a good picture of experiences and leadership.

I currently work as a Supplemental Instructor for Calculus 1 & 2, and I also plan to start working as an RA this Summer as an undergrad, hopefully in the laser lab.

My SFs of choice are Kirtland AFB with the Directed Energy/Space Vehicles directorate, White Sands Army Research,Wright Patterson, and China Lake. Still deciding which one out of the last two will make my top 3!


I have been trying to search the forum for both physics and mathematics majors but it seems they are very scarce. I’ll keep looking!
Double Major Mathematics & Physics
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Re: Fall 2018 Applicant

Postby almueller32 » Tue Mar 13, 2018 10:11 pm

I have a physics degree as well! And I was also looking for others to see what their interview success rate is... still waiting to hear from any of the SFs.
almueller32
 

Re: Fall 2018 Applicant

Postby Evanh » Wed Mar 14, 2018 10:47 am

almueller32 wrote:I have a physics degree as well! And I was also looking for others to see what their interview success rate is... still waiting to hear from any of the SFs.


Thank you for the response.

Please feel free to hijack my post and let me know how the process goes for you.

If you are willing, could you share any information regarding your chosen SFs, how far you are along in the process(past first round I assume?) and anything else pertinent to the process. We could always use more data!

Thanks in advance for any information you can share.

Evan
Double Major Mathematics & Physics
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Re: Fall 2018 Applicant

Postby almueller32 » Wed Mar 14, 2018 6:01 pm

Evanh wrote:
Thank you for the response.

Please feel free to hijack my post and let me know how the process goes for you.

If you are willing, could you share any information regarding your chosen SFs, how far you are along in the process(past first round I assume?) and anything else pertinent to the process. We could always use more data!

Thanks in advance for any information you can share.

Evan


Certainly, Evan! I am applying for funding for an MS in Applied Physics. I am a semi-finalist (top 50% of applicants in my category, of which I don't think there were many) and have yet to hear from any SFs. I believe I stuck with regional preferences rather than specific SFs, because at the time, I knew very little about the selection process. My preferences were 1) West, 2) Midwest and 3) NE. Essentially, I thought being general would allow me to be considered for more positions, which I have since learned is not really the case.

I'll update this thread as I learn more. I am not too optimistic, since I think more offers are made to other areas of study, but you never know!
almueller32
 

Re: Fall 2018 Applicant

Postby Evanh » Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:58 pm

almueller32 wrote:
Evanh wrote:
Thank you for the response.

Please feel free to hijack my post and let me know how the process goes for you.

If you are willing, could you share any information regarding your chosen SFs, how far you are along in the process(past first round I assume?) and anything else pertinent to the process. We could always use more data!

Thanks in advance for any information you can share.

Evan


Certainly, Evan! I am applying for funding for an MS in Applied Physics. I am a semi-finalist (top 50% of applicants in my category, of which I don't think there were many) and have yet to hear from any SFs. I believe I stuck with regional preferences rather than specific SFs, because at the time, I knew very little about the selection process. My preferences were 1) West, 2) Midwest and 3) NE. Essentially, I thought being general would allow me to be considered for more positions, which I have since learned is not really the case.

I'll update this thread as I learn more. I am not too optimistic, since I think more offers are made to other areas of study, but you never know!


I have also learned that it is better to put specific SFs in the selections, however, I have also read that quite a few people ended up getting picked up by SFs that were not one their chosen, and who never made contact with the applicant so I would suggest that there is still hope!

This coming Fall I will be choosing Kirtland AFB for Directed Energy/Space Vehicle, White Sands Missile Range Research, and Wright Patterson AFB Research.

I am leaning towards electrodynamics for my graduate Physics work and for my math grad work I will specialize in Applied & Computational Mathematics, and I will try to lean my thesis topic towards my physics field to get some crossover before finishing with my PhD.

Some people say it might be bad idea to contact SFs but I don’t see any problem with it. I actually plan on contacting a few once I submit my application under the premise that because there are only 3 options to fill I could not choose all of the facilities of interest to me. I will simply make contact just to let them know I would be interested in working at their facility under the DOD SMART Program if they have any need for my field.
Double Major Mathematics & Physics
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