Bill Atkinson
Theoretical and Computational Simulations of Quantum Materials

Why graduate studies?

Why do an MSc?

  • An MSc is a chance to find out if you like research.
  • It is a chance to develop professional skills that will help you find a satisfying career.
    • The Materials Science graduate program emphasizes development of transferrable skills;
    • An MSc sets you apart from other job candidates.
  • It is a chance to make a meaningful contribution and publish your work in a scientific journal.
  • It is a first step towards a PhD.

Why do a PhD?

  • A PhD is a chance for people who are passionate about physics research to explore new ideas and perform cutting-edge research.  PhD students are expected to take a leadership role in their research, and will be global experts in their field by the time they have graduated.

Why Trent?

  • Physics has an unfortunate history of gatekeeping.  The traditional model is that graduate school is a filter for promoting geniuses into faculty positions.  This hasn't served women, Indigenous, LGBTQ+, or other underrepresented students particularly well.  In truth, only about 10% of physics PhD students obtain faculty jobs, and the graduate school model needs to change to acknowledge this.  My focus is on helping students from all backgrounds develop the skills they need to succeed in their chosen profession after graduation.