Next week, I’m going to start a new job. It’s a nice, fellowship position in a prestigious university, and even comes with a little seed money to get me started.
The thing is, the research group is in a field, which not exactly at right angles to my previous work, is still quite different. So the head of the group suggested I work through some textbooks and recommended me a few.
And man is it hard. It’s been only five or six years since I last had to take a formal class in quantum mechanics, but so much of the graduate level textbook on laser cooling sent me searching for my quantum mechanics book that I decided I needed to refresh that before getting into that too much.
It’s maybe a comment on how (in)applicable undergraduate education is after the final exam. Here I am, in academia, and I find that all that knowledge I studied and stored has completely atrophied from lack of use. I can only imagine how it is for someone who went out into the big world.
How would I change it? It’s a point I’m going to have to think for a bit — in time for another post.