It's of paramount importance to find an advisor that you have a good working relationship with. This will not only provide a more pleasant time at UCSD, but it can have numerous other secondary benefits as well (for instance, it may open up a number of opportunities for you). The general timeline for working with an advisor is roughly as follows:

1st year: Mainly focus on classes, but also contact professors to see what they're working on. There is a seminar offered in Winter Quarter (affectionately known as "the Pizza seminar") where professors come and talk about their research. TAKE THIS SEMINAR.

2nd & 3rd year: You should start research during these years and hopefully lock into a successful working relationship. Changing groups can be done and isn't as difficult as you think.

4th years+: Graduate.

A list of the current professors and their students is listed in the Family Tree.

General Advice:

  1. Working relationships vary greatly between professors - find one that works for you. There is a spectrum between advisors who are completely hands on, and those that are completely hands-off. Each has its benefits.
  2. Getting funded is also something you should think about. If you're thinking about theory, you likely won't get funded often for your research and you'll end up having to teach. Here is a resource to help you find funding for your research: Fellowships and Grants.
  3. Any issues with advisors should be handled immediately. Contacts to help you in this respect are: Physics Grad Council, Graduate Student Association, physics staff (i.e. Sharmila, Catherine, etc.)
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