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Undergraduate Physics 26-Feb-20111. 26-Feb-20112 Undergraduate Physics at the University of Illinois Agenda: Welcome Dale.

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Presentation on theme: "Undergraduate Physics 26-Feb-20111. 26-Feb-20112 Undergraduate Physics at the University of Illinois Agenda: Welcome Dale."— Presentation transcript:

1 Undergraduate Physics 26-Feb-20111

2 26-Feb-20112 Undergraduate Physics at the University of Illinois Agenda: Welcome Dale Van Harlingen Parallel Parents: financial aidDavid Wilde Students: university lifeMatt Feickert, Shannon Glavin university housing overview Mari Anne Brocker physics curriculum Kevin Pitts lunch – meet students and faculty Roundtable with facultyProfs. Cooper/Gollin/Greene/Makins physics careers, research Kevin Pitts question and answer period Parallel Tour PHYS 403 labProf. Eugene Colla More Q&A adjourn

3 26-Feb-20113 Welcome!  Physics at UIUC: –Ranked #2 in the nation in undergraduate engineering physics –Ranked #8 overall (two surveys) –Other national rankings:  #2 in condensed matter physics  #8 in quantum information  #10 in nuclear physics  #12 in elementary particle physics Tony Leggett receiving the Nobel Prize for Physics (2003)

4 26-Feb-20114 Undergraduate Physics at the University of Illinois Toni Pitts Coordinator of Recruiting, Advising, and Special Programs and Kevin Pitts Professor of Physics Associate Head for Undergraduate Programs

5 26-Feb-20115 Outline  The Department  Undergraduate Degree Programs – Choices of Major – Courses  Extracurricular Activities – Physics Society – Physics Van  Undergraduate Research Opportunities – REU – Senior Thesis  Extracurricular Activities – Physics Society – Physics Van  What can I do with a Physics Degree?

6 26-Feb-20116 By the numbers  60 faculty  290 graduate students  315 undergraduate students  $23M in grant support for research  We award – 60 Bachelor’s degrees/year – 40 Ph.D.’s per year  Average ACT score is 31 Charles Slichter receiving the National Medal of Science (2008)

7 26-Feb-20117 Areas of Research  Astrophysics  Atomic and Molecular Optics  Biological Physics  Complex Systems  Condensed Matter  Cosmology  High-Energy Physics  Nuclear Physics  Physics Education  Quantum Information  Campus centers: –Institute for Condensed Matter Theory –Center for the Physics of Living Cells  Close research ties with: –National Center for Supercomputer Applications (NCSA) –Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory –Argonne National Laboratory

8 26-Feb-20118 Undergraduate Degree Programs  Engineering Physics –Offered through Engineering College  Science and Letters Physics –Virtually identical to Engineering Physics  Specialized Physics –Most flexible physics curriculum  Physics Teaching Option –Includes secondary education minor (and teaching certification)

9 26-Feb-20119 Engineering Physics  Offered through College of Engineering  128 Hours required to graduate  Curriculum features: “Elective Options” – [more on this in a minute]  Graduate school or industry track  3 years HS foreign language or 3 semesters satisfies language requirement

10 26-Feb-201110 LAS Science and Letters Physics  Offered through College of Liberal Arts and Sciences  Curriculum features: “Elective Options” – [more on this in a minute]  120 hours required to graduate  Graduate school or industry track  4 years of HS foreign language or 4th- semester college language satisfies language requirement

11 26-Feb-201111 LAS Specialized Physics  Offered through College of Liberal Arts and Sciences  126 hours required to graduate  4 years of HS foreign language or 4th- semester college language satisfies language requirement  “Option-oriented” curriculum (ideal for pre-med, pre-law, and physics related fields)  Very flexible in upper-level courses

12 26-Feb-201112 LAS vs. Engineering A: Nothing in the physics + math curriculum. –LAS physics majors must pay the college of engineering college surcharge. (They utilize all of the same equipment/infrastructure.)  LAS/Engineering have slightly different general education requirements.  LAS requires 4th semester of foreign language.  Engineering requires a few more hours.  Is one “more prestigious” than another? –Not for grad school…maybe in the job market? Q: What ’ s the difference between LAS Science and Letters and Engineering Physics?

13 26-Feb-201113 Degree Requirements  “Core” Physics Courses  “Core” Math courses (+2 courses = math minor)  Supporting courses (Chem, CS)  General Education requirements  Elective Options  Free electives

14 26-Feb-201114 Elective Options  Allows students to tailor curriculum to their needs and interests.  Examples: –Professional Physics (this is the grad school track) –Astrophysics –Biophysics –Bioengineering –Computational Physics –Materials Science –Physical Electronics –Earth Science –Science Writing –Pre-law –Pre-med –User defined New options coming: Nuclear physics Energy/sustainability Management Atmospheric science …

15 Recent user defined options –Electrical Engineering Technical Option –Geology/Geophysics –Pre-Optometry –Mathematical Physics –Prep for Grad School in Library Science –Economics –Acoustic Engineering –Atmospheric Sciences –Acoustics –Biomedical Engineering –Nuclear Physics –Sustainable Technology Commercialization 9-Nov-20101526-Feb-201115

16 9-Nov-201016 PHYSICS 26-Feb-201116

17 9-Nov-201017 PHYSICS 26-Feb-201117

18 26-Feb-201118 Teaching Option  Offered through Liberal Arts and Sciences in conjunction with the College of Education  Must complete a secondary education minor  Apply to Science and Letters Physics (then tell us you are interested in teaching option after admission)  Contact advisor Prof. Mats Selen (

19 26-Feb-201119 Introductory Courses  Introductory sequence (3 semesters) –PHYS 211 – Mechanics –PHYS 212 -- Electricity and Magnetism –PHYS 213 -- Thermal Physics (half-semester) –PHYS 214 -- Waves and Quantum Physics (half-semester) –PHYS 225 – Relativity and Math Methods  Notes: –Courses have calculus prerequisites –Take Phys 225 the same semester you take Phys 212 –Phys 213 and 214 are two half-semester courses (for practical purposes, it’s a single four hour course)  What if you change your mind? –Calculus and Phys 211-214 are required for most engineering majors.

20 26-Feb-201120 Introductory Courses  Introductory sequence (3 semesters) –PHYS 211 – Mechanics –PHYS 212 -- Electricity and Magnetism –PHYS 213 -- Thermal Physics (half-semester) –PHYS 214 -- Waves and Quantum Physics (half-semester)  Course format: –Lecture, discussion (interactive problem-solving), labs –Lectures are highly interactive using iClickers  New for fall 2011: –Physics major-only discussion sections –Register for one of these if you can, it’s ok if you can’t –Help to build a sense of community with our majors –Cover additional material when appropriate

21 26-Feb-201121 More About Our Courses General information: Details on programs:  Engineering physics:  LAS Physics Course web pages:  We will help you choose your courses during summer registration. It helps to review our sample schedule and look at the course material before you come.  Schedule summer registration date through registrar’s office. Their website will be open on March 15.

22 26-Feb-201122 Discovery Courses  Freshman-only courses  Enrollment limited to 19  Offered in many departments  Spring 2011 –“Behavior of Complex Systems” –“Science and Pseudoscience” –“Physics of Electronic Musical Instruments”

23 26-Feb-201123 Academic Advising  Every major is assigned an advisor and a faculty mentor –Advisor is the expert on courses/programs/graduation requirements –Mentor is the faculty member, expert on research/areas of study/careers  Required to meet academic advisor and mentor until PHYS 325 is taken  We are working on some new programs to further aid the mentoring process.

24 More on Advising  Each student is assigned a faculty “mentor” –Get to meet the mentor during first year –Degree to which you use the mentor is up to you  New for Fall 2011: we are going pair freshmen up with an upperclass student –They can help you learn the “things you need to know” 26-Feb-201124

25 26-Feb-201125 Extracurricular Activities Physics Van Physics Society Society of Women in Physics

26 26-Feb-201126 Physics Society   Speaker meetings  Faculty research talks  Pizza meetings  Informal dinner with faculty  Engineering Open House  Physics demos for kids and the public

27 26-Feb-201127 Society for Women in Physics  Undergraduate research database  Midwestern women in physics conference  Social gatherings  Seminars (“How to get into grad school”, “Careers in Physics”)

28 26-Feb-201128 Physics Van   Traveling science show for kids  Visit regional elementary schools  Fun for everyone!

29 17-Apr-201029 Teaching Opportunities  Upper-class physics majors might have an opportunity to teach!  It’s a great learning experience  It looks great on your resume/cv  Teaching assistants receive stipend  Typical teaching load is 2 laboratory sections per semester (~8-10 hours/week)  Our TA’s are good…75% are voted as “excellent” by their students! 26-Feb-201129

30 26-Feb-201130 Undergraduate Research  On campus: –Work in a research lab  can earn individual study credit –Summer research through senior thesis project  Off campus –Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) –10 week summer research program –Offered at many schools

31 26-Feb-201131 Senior Thesis Sequence  Co-taught by Professor Lance Cooper and technical writing expert Celia Elliott, Director of External Affairs and Special Projects

32 26-Feb-201132 Intro to Physics Research  Explore research fields  Presentations  Journal Club  Introduction to scientific communication  Oral presentations  Scientific writing  Introduction to research basics  Collaborations  Ethics

33 26-Feb-201133 Senior Thesis  More emphasis on Communication Skills  How to design a scientific poster  More practice giving presentations  Learn specifics on formatting your thesis  Journal Club continues

34 26-Feb-201134 Other Research Opportunities   Can get credit for work (PHYS 199 or 497, Individual Study)

35 26-Feb-201135 We return to the big question…. What the heck can I do with a physics degree???

36 26-Feb-201136 The Answer…  ANYTHING YOU WANT!  ~50% of UIUC Physics graduates go to graduate school –Mostly in Physics –Some related fields (Astronomy, Engineering)  Others find employment in a variety of fields.

37 26-Feb-201137

38 26-Feb-201138 Graduate School: Who/What/How?  Grad school may be for you if you want to… –do research and development –work at a national laboratory –teach/research at the college/university level.  Duration –1-2 year Master’s, 5-6 year Ph.D.  Grad school –Typically get remitted tuition + ~$20k per year –Two years of course work (+ teach + research) –Three-four years of research + dissertation

39 26-Feb-201139 Graduate Schools  Where do UIUC students attend graduate school? SchoolField BerkeleyPhysics Boston UniversityHigh Energy Physics CaltechPhysics CornellEngineering, Physics, HarvardApplied Physics MichiganEngineering NorthwesternEngineering (Quantum Information) Oxford (UK)Physics StanfordApplied Physics University of ChicagoPhysics, Astrophysics University of IllinoisPhysics, Engineering, Education….

40 9-Nov-201040 Post Graduate (Ph.D.) Employment  50% get postdocs  40% get permanent jobs  10% other Overall employment rate for Ph.D.’s is *very* high. 26-Feb-201140

41 26-Feb-201141 Jobs!  Fuji Machine America Corporation  GMS / Vedior  Greenlight Planet, Inc.  Highland Engineerin, P.C.  Imaje  Leo Burnett  Lockheed Martin  Northrop Grumman  Orchid Tree WEb Solutions  Quantum Design  S&C Electric Company  Sargent & Lundy  United Conveyor Corporation  Val-Matic Valve & Manufacturing Corporation  Wellpoint, Inc.  Zurich North America  Accenture  Aerotek Scientific  Aisin Electronics Illinois, LLC  Analysts, Inc.  Argonne National Lab  Army Corps of Engineers  Beckman Institute (University of Illinois)  Caterpillar, Inc.  CONTAX, Inc.  Creative Thermal Solutions  CSG Systems  Delcross Technologies, LLC  Deloitte Consulting, LLP  Exelon  Fermi National Lab  This is only a portion of the employers who hired recent physics bachelors into technical positions.  Source: AIP Statistical Research Center, Initial Employment Surveys, classes 2007 thru 2009.Incomplete list of employers and positions (2000-2003) Employers in Illinois that recently hired new physics bachelor recipients

42 9-Nov-20104226-Feb-201142

43 9-Nov-201043 Skills  Knowledge and skills rated as important by physics bachelors 5-8 years after graduation 26-Feb-201143

44 9-Nov-20104426-Feb-201144

45 9-Nov-20104526-Feb-201145

46 9-Nov-20104626-Feb-201146

47 What WE are doing 1.Working with industry to market our majors and explain the value of physicists! 2.Working with our majors (and Engineering Career Services) to make sure they market themselves and seek out opportunity. 3.Seek out intership opportunities for our students. (separate from research opportunities discussed last week) 4.Surveying our alumni to find out what careers they are in and create ties for future graduates. 5.Getting input from students, parents… 9-Nov-20104726-Feb-201147

48 26-Feb-201148 More Career Data  Illinois companies that hire physics bachelors:  Education and Employment Trends:  American Institute of Physics collects the most data on Physics Trends  You can find the pot of gold with a physics degree!

49 26-Feb-201149 Summary  It’s all about opportunity!  Opportunities for variety in your physics curriculum  Opportunities to supplement your education (working on those “people skills” employers love) with extracurricular activities  Opportunities to do research as an undergraduate  Opportunities for your future!

50 26-Feb-201150 Contact Information Toni Pitts Coordinator of Recruiting, Advising, and Special Programs Email: Phone: 217-244-2948 Professor Kevin Pitts Email: Department of Physics University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 1110 West Green Street Urbana, Illinois 61801-3080

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