I’m a physics student from Argentina and I’ve just been accepted for a Physics PhD in Cornell University. There are a few research groups that I really like and I was wondering if it is a common thing to mail them introducing myself and asking if it is possible that there is going to be an available position for me in the future. I wouldn’t like to study there for a year to find out that the groups I like wouldn’t have taken me in the first place. Thanks!

P.D.: Also, does anybody know when does research begins? I thought that the PhD program was 1 year of courses and then research, but now I’ve read that there are actually 2 years of courses before you join a research group.

I noticed today that the function that returns the numbers of ways to add two squares in order to express an integer was giving me consistent numbers that I expected to see in a different field – pythagorean triangle geometry. “SquaresQ” in Mathematica. It was also consistently returning factors of 2,3 and 5 along with distinct larger, distinct, consistent prime factors. Every time, many times.

Seems that the density of numbers that can be represented as two squares or three squares have “coefficients”, and the coefficients were 2 and 4/3, also straight from elementary geometry, the equations for round objects in 2 and 3 dimensions (when I asked about representations of 2 or 3 squares, go figure)

So just for fun I checked the problem out as a representation of 4 square integers to see what the coefficient is on that hypothetical object. I got 6 2/3

In this world of Modern Computer Science*, research is produced almost every hour(#). Majority of the research that is conducted in industries such as Google, Facebook, Microsoft, IBM and such giants requires their experiments to be tested on large Machines in terms of computing capacity.

However, we as university research staff (lecturers, PhD scholars)–though have ideas to test–can’t do it due to unavailability of such machines (e.g. Hypotheses that requires high end GPU systems).

We do publish our works, but we have to limit ourselves to ideas that could be feasible when implemented into the currently available machines.

My question is “How to stay motivated in such competitive world of computing research?” Is collaboration the only good solution in such case?

‘*’ It is quite justified to say Data Science (including Machine Learning and Deep Learning).

‘#’ This is a slight exaggeration.

I am towards the end of my postdoc at a prestigious US lab. I have been looking for full-time employment in the research sector in national labs (L) and academia (A). I have secured offers from one each: a prestigious lab similar to mine and a top university (world no. 2 in its dept, as per some rankings). I am confused between these two offers and would need some advice.

Both places and positions offer good platform for my research interests and do not have any teaching load, which I prefer. The differences I see in both places are:


  • More intellectual freedom
  • Opportunities to work with faculty, postdocs, grad students

  • long-term position, (surprisingly!) hard money-based

  • inter-disciplinary project and more “impact” from the research


  • Lower salary than the lab, high cost of living
  • slight shift from my core discipline, not sure if this helps in long term


  • higher salary

  • US govt. lab so a secure job (may be not?)

  • Project is my core discipline


  • soft money-based, so need to work on grants
  • chance to work with summer students only (not full-time)

I have done research and developed a device that would be patent able. However i do not have enough funds to get an international patent, zero to be exact, and i think that it might be better to write a research paper on the device so that people can read about it and provide funds for a patent, how ever i am worried that somebody can patent my device after reading my research paper. I can also wait for a year or so when the college can get me funds and a patent lawyer and co-patent it with me. Which should i do? Thanks in advance

I am an undergraduate student very much interested in internal combustion engines and wish to do MS in this field. I have co-authored a paper and authored another one related to this field. Both are part of a reputed journal. Please let me know of the universities who are researching extensively in internal combustion engines.

Recently, as a fresh graduate with a BSc in both physics and mathematics, I’ve met up with a mathematics professor from a University in my home country.

During the discussion, he asked for my motivation in collaborating and I’ve made it clear to him that my objective is

1) To indulge in research during my time in industry

2) To obtain significant research experiences during the period in which we collaborate to strengthen my application for graduate admission.

We will be working on two future research directions built on a previously published paper of his. I have been told not to share the two future research directions until the paper is published. Further, he has not commenced on this research project yet due to teaching commitments.
But, currently, I am picking up background knowledge related to this paper while familiarising myself with his previously published paper that is related to this current research.
This research looks something on the level of an Msc or honours level thesis.
He has made it clear that in collaborating, he expects results.

In academia parlance, is it clear to academics that given (2) or the fact that he expects results, it is implicitly known that I expect a co-authorship?
If it isn’t, how should I broach this topic?
If it is, how do I ensure that he sticks to his word, assuming I do make a reasonable amount of contribution?
To what degree should transparency be ensured?

I have more than 100 software product ideas and I want to evaluate which product to pursue.
Which textbook/readings/topics/course that I should read up on that would help me in understanding the initial actionable approach to be taken?

I know about the approach advised by “The Startup Owner’s Manual” but I am looking for more scholarly approaches.

I am interested in doing some research online in theoretical physics, quantum mechanics or computational physics.

Is there a way that I can work with an advisor or in a group online? I don’t mind doing it for free, or even I can pay to work on such research projects.

I have a bachelor’s degree in Physics and currently pursuing a masters in Mathematics. While studying Math, I found myself missing physics so that’s why I am looking for physics research projects to work on.