Graduate Student Voices
Here is what current graduate students have to say about studying at Boston University:
At BU physics, I’ve juggled teaching and coursework, gone advisor-hunting, admired academic heroes giving colloquia and struggled with stubborn error-ridden code that turns out, there was an extra semicolon in the nineteenth line. In short, I’ve figured out how to be a grad student, just about the time when I have to stop being one. But I’ve also learned that coffee machine small-talk can be surprisingly therapeutic, a hungry physicist will scent and locate free food 3 floors away, defying front-office staff is not for the faint-hearted, Nobel-prize winners can be quite chatty, and that every physics department needs a fairy godmother (you know who you are).
Although grad school is challenging, I’ve always found support during rough times. Being actively involved with the graduate council and women in physics for most of my PhD, I’ve seen the department evolve into a vibrant, responsive place that cares about its students, not merely as students but as people. The students form a very important part of this community, and I particularly enjoy our departmental socials, chatting with fellow grad students over ice cream in the summer or beer in the winter (no undergrads!), and a recent addition to the social calendar, the student-run Christmas skit.
Over the past 5 years, Boston University has been my academic home, where I’ve found mentorship and support, growing from a tentative graduate student to a researcher. I chose to study here for the academic community, specifically at BU and more generally in Boston, and the freedom to collaborate with other departments to do non-traditional physics. As a researcher in the physics of living systems with interests in cognitive psychology, physics education research and microbiome statistics, I’ve been able to take advantage of the interdisciplinary freedom BU Physics offered me. On the brink of graduation, I’m lucky enough to have truly enjoyed my years in grad school; I’m glad I got to be here. As I leave, I can only say - So Long, and Thanks for All the Coffee.
Manuel Buen Abad Najar:
During my graduate studies at Boston University, I've worked on high energy physics, phenomenology and cosmology. With the world-class faculty here, I've studied fascinating subjects such as dark matter. I have developed new models and explored their observational consequences through direct and indirect detection experiments, and the LHC. I also have researched its effects on cosmology. Currently, I am working with an even newer and exciting model of dark matter.
Boston University is a wonderful place to become a physicist. It has the right balance of freedom and responsibility for a graduate student. Studying at Boston University guarantees a bright future in the developing field of physics.