PhD in AI + Physics/Fluid Dynamics: Manchester or Cambridge? Watch

GandalfTheG
Badges: 3
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 2 months ago
#1
So I wish to study AI, for many obvious reasons. I'm finishing up my MPhys now (Exeter), and have had interviews from both Manchester and Cambridge. Both supervisors would like to make me an offer, it's looking positive. I've not received either offer yet. I'm preemptively asking this question to give me more time to make an informed decision. If you lot could help inform me, that would be great.

The Manchester project aims to effectively create an AI Physicist. Absolutely mind blowing project, and one that I was considering aiming towards years before I saw it advertised. If humanity is good enough at theoretical physics, or maybe maths, it could possibly solve all other areas of knowledge. If humanity is good enough at AI, and we can build an AI theoretical physicist far surpassing our own capabilities... Unreal. I would have 3 supervisors at Manchester, 2 in Comp Sci and one in Physics. I get on with the main AI supervisor incredibly well, and we've had many discussions. It is very important to me that I learn the tools of the AI trade, and learn some pure mathematics (such as Logic) along the way. At Manchester this is guaranteed, and I have a clear direction already. The PhD is in Computer Science, although of course PhD titles are less relevant. Me and my GF are tight, it's not boring yet even 4 years in. She's soon doing a PhD in Theoretical Physics at Manchester (after turning down Cambridge quite recently), and a good friend of mine lives near Manchester also.

So, Cambridge. The PhD is in Engineering, specifically attempting to use AI to predict Fluid Dynamics. I've only had a single interview with the main supervisor, but he seems very amicable so far. He is a very big name in Fluid Dynamics and has been heavily funded by Rolls Royce for years, but has no Machine Learning/AI experience. He is eager to get into it. He has a contact in the Alan Turing Institute that he assures I will have a lot of contact with, to guide me in terms of the AI, and I have been previously interested in the Turing Institute before. Fluid Dynamics is relevant and important. Especially as global warming, nuclear fusion and aeronautical engineering progress. I also really like chaotic dynamics. I live very near Cambridge, in Essex, an hour away. Many close old friends, and new friends and family live there also. It would be very comfortable to move back into the area. Additionally, my mother and grandmother are both very unwell, and I would like to be in the region to help out when things get worse.

In summary, I wish to study AI for the coming storm:

Manchester:
- Perfect passion project (AI Theoretical Physicist)
- Perfect supervisor(s)
- GF studies there and we have a good thing going, plus a good mate
- Guaranteed to end up in AI

Cambridge:
- Perfect useful project (AI applied to Fluid Dynamics)
- Great supervisor (too early to tell but we vibe well)
- Old friends, my closest group of people, and family very accessible
- Might end up in Fluid Dynamics or AI
- Turing Institute and Rolls Royce

I've put this under "Educational debate", because "Postgraduate applications" seems a step behind me. Thanks for any help <3
0
reply
Reality Check
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#2
Report 2 months ago
#2
(Original post by GandalfTheG)
So I wish to study AI, for many obvious reasons. I'm finishing up my MPhys now (Exeter), and have had interviews from both Manchester and Cambridge. Both supervisors would like to make me an offer, it's looking positive. I've not received either offer yet. I'm preemptively asking this question to give me more time to make an informed decision. If you lot could help inform me, that would be great.

The Manchester project aims to effectively create an AI Physicist. Absolutely mind blowing project, and one that I was considering aiming towards years before I saw it advertised. If humanity is good enough at theoretical physics, or maybe maths, it could possibly solve all other areas of knowledge. If humanity is good enough at AI, and we can build an AI theoretical physicist far surpassing our own capabilities... Unreal. I would have 3 supervisors at Manchester, 2 in Comp Sci and one in Physics. I get on with the main AI supervisor incredibly well, and we've had many discussions. It is very important to me that I learn the tools of the AI trade, and learn some pure mathematics (such as Logic) along the way. At Manchester this is guaranteed, and I have a clear direction already. The PhD is in Computer Science, although of course PhD titles are less relevant. Me and my GF are tight, it's not boring yet even 4 years in. She's soon doing a PhD in Theoretical Physics at Manchester (after turning down Cambridge quite recently), and a good friend of mine lives near Manchester also.

So, Cambridge. The PhD is in Engineering, specifically attempting to use AI to predict Fluid Dynamics. I've only had a single interview with the main supervisor, but he seems very amicable so far. He is a very big name in Fluid Dynamics and has been heavily funded by Rolls Royce for years, but has no Machine Learning/AI experience. He is eager to get into it. He has a contact in the Alan Turing Institute that he assures I will have a lot of contact with, to guide me in terms of the AI, and I have been previously interested in the Turing Institute before. Fluid Dynamics is relevant and important. Especially as global warming, nuclear fusion and aeronautical engineering progress. I also really like chaotic dynamics. I live very near Cambridge, in Essex, an hour away. Many close old friends, and new friends and family live there also. It would be very comfortable to move back into the area. Additionally, my mother and grandmother are both very unwell, and I would like to be in the region to help out when things get worse.

In summary, I wish to study AI for the coming storm:

Manchester:
- Perfect passion project (AI Theoretical Physicist)
- Perfect supervisor(s)
- GF studies there and we have a good thing going, plus a good mate
- Guaranteed to end up in AI

Cambridge:
- Perfect useful project (AI applied to Fluid Dynamics)
- Great supervisor (too early to tell but we vibe well)
- Old friends, my closest group of people, and family very accessible
- Might end up in Fluid Dynamics or AI
- Turing Institute and Rolls Royce

I've put this under "Educational debate", because "Postgraduate applications" seems a step behind me. Thanks for any help <3
For me, this is a no-brainer. You've described Manchester as 'perfect supervisor' and 'perfect passion project'. This is the one. You go where the PI/group is the best one for your interests, which clearly is Manchester in your case.
2
reply
mnot
Badges: 18
Rep:
?
#3
Report 2 months ago
#3
(Original post by GandalfTheG)
So I wish to study AI, for many obvious reasons. I'm finishing up my MPhys now (Exeter), and have had interviews from both Manchester and Cambridge. Both supervisors would like to make me an offer, it's looking positive. I've not received either offer yet. I'm preemptively asking this question to give me more time to make an informed decision. If you lot could help inform me, that would be great.

The Manchester project aims to effectively create an AI Physicist. Absolutely mind blowing project, and one that I was considering aiming towards years before I saw it advertised. If humanity is good enough at theoretical physics, or maybe maths, it could possibly solve all other areas of knowledge. If humanity is good enough at AI, and we can build an AI theoretical physicist far surpassing our own capabilities... Unreal. I would have 3 supervisors at Manchester, 2 in Comp Sci and one in Physics. I get on with the main AI supervisor incredibly well, and we've had many discussions. It is very important to me that I learn the tools of the AI trade, and learn some pure mathematics (such as Logic) along the way. At Manchester this is guaranteed, and I have a clear direction already. The PhD is in Computer Science, although of course PhD titles are less relevant. Me and my GF are tight, it's not boring yet even 4 years in. She's soon doing a PhD in Theoretical Physics at Manchester (after turning down Cambridge quite recently), and a good friend of mine lives near Manchester also.

So, Cambridge. The PhD is in Engineering, specifically attempting to use AI to predict Fluid Dynamics. I've only had a single interview with the main supervisor, but he seems very amicable so far. He is a very big name in Fluid Dynamics and has been heavily funded by Rolls Royce for years, but has no Machine Learning/AI experience. He is eager to get into it. He has a contact in the Alan Turing Institute that he assures I will have a lot of contact with, to guide me in terms of the AI, and I have been previously interested in the Turing Institute before. Fluid Dynamics is relevant and important. Especially as global warming, nuclear fusion and aeronautical engineering progress. I also really like chaotic dynamics. I live very near Cambridge, in Essex, an hour away. Many close old friends, and new friends and family live there also. It would be very comfortable to move back into the area. Additionally, my mother and grandmother are both very unwell, and I would like to be in the region to help out when things get worse.

In summary, I wish to study AI for the coming storm:

Manchester:
- Perfect passion project (AI Theoretical Physicist)
- Perfect supervisor(s)
- GF studies there and we have a good thing going, plus a good mate
- Guaranteed to end up in AI

Cambridge:
- Perfect useful project (AI applied to Fluid Dynamics)
- Great supervisor (too early to tell but we vibe well)
- Old friends, my closest group of people, and family very accessible
- Might end up in Fluid Dynamics or AI
- Turing Institute and Rolls Royce

I've put this under "Educational debate", because "Postgraduate applications" seems a step behind me. Thanks for any help <3
I would disconnect the individual phd's and what do you want to do after it? What is your ideal plan A; after completing the PhD, which Uni will best enable to get you there. It sounds like this is Manchester, but making a list of potential careers and picking which uni/project is best suited to them might be an idea. Manchester also sounds like everything else in your life might be there. Either way good luck.

I don't know too much specifically about AI/machine learning. But i've met a few CFD researchers with RR and they've always been very impressive, i'm assuming the AI in fluid dynamics is about improving core CFD code as RR develop their own code rather than use ansys/starCCM etc, if so that stuff is super awesome. Great position to be in!
1
reply
GandalfTheG
Badges: 3
Rep:
?
#4
Report Thread starter 2 months ago
#4
Even a no-brainer when considering family, friends, global warming etc.? Your answer indeed covers the "educational debate". Thanks

(Original post by Reality Check)
For me, this is a no-brainer. You've described Manchester as 'perfect supervisor' and 'perfect passion project'. This is the one. You go where the PI/group is the best one for your interests, which clearly is Manchester in your case.
0
reply
GandalfTheG
Badges: 3
Rep:
?
#5
Report Thread starter 2 months ago
#5
Thank you for the rapid response. Are you familiar with CFD research/industry personally?
(Original post by mnot)
I would disconnect the individual phd's and what do you want to do after it? What is your ideal plan A; after completing the PhD, which Uni will best enable to get you there. It sounds like this is Manchester, but making a list of potential careers and picking which uni/project is best suited to them might be an idea. Manchester also sounds like everything else in your life might be there. Either way good luck.

I don't know too much specifically about AI/machine learning. But i've met a few CFD researchers with RR and they've always been very impressive, i'm assuming the AI in fluid dynamics is about improving core CFD code as RR develop their own code rather than use ansys/starCCM etc, if so that stuff is super awesome. Great position to be in!
0
reply
Reality Check
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#6
Report 2 months ago
#6
(Original post by GandalfTheG)
Even a no-brainer when considering family, friends, global warming etc.? Your answer indeed covers the "educational debate". Thanks
For me, yes. It's the overriding factor as far as I would be concerned.
0
reply
mnot
Badges: 18
Rep:
?
#7
Report 2 months ago
#7
(Original post by GandalfTheG)
Thank you for the rapid response. Are you familiar with CFD research/industry personally?
I am familiar with CFD research/comercial use but not in any great depth.
Im did a little bit of CFD on my undergrad degree as part of a fluid mechanics module.

Currently i am completing an MSc where i am studying CFD in depth and the main lecturers are CFD code researchers (working with RR), and some of the lecturers also work at RR and come in to deliver a lectures. Im also about to start a PhD next year where people in my research group do CFD (but i will not be).

I've just met a few people in academia and RR due to my course, i have no actual commercial/research experience in the area.
Last edited by mnot; 2 months ago
0
reply
ltsmith
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#8
Report 2 months ago
#8
these are both fully funded right?
0
reply
Emiely
Badges: 5
Rep:
?
#9
Report 2 months ago
#9
Cambridge
Posted on the TSR App. Download from Apple or Google Play
0
reply
GandalfTheG
Badges: 3
Rep:
?
#10
Report Thread starter 2 months ago
#10
Ahh, well thanks for the advice. What PhD?
(Original post by mnot)
I am familiar with CFD research/comercial use but not in any great depth.
Im did a little bit of CFD on my undergrad degree as part of a fluid mechanics module.

Currently i am completing an MSc where i am studying CFD in depth and the main lecturers are CFD code researchers (working with RR), and some of the lecturers also work at RR and come in to deliver a lectures. Im also about to start a PhD next year where people in my research group do CFD (but i will not be).

I've just met a few people in academia and RR due to my course, i have no actual commercial/research experience in the area.
0
reply
GandalfTheG
Badges: 3
Rep:
?
#11
Report Thread starter 2 months ago
#11
(Original post by ltsmith)
these are both fully funded right?
Yes, obviously nothing is secured yet, but I believe they would be
0
reply
Doones
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#12
Report 2 months ago
#12
(Original post by GandalfTheG)
I've put this under "Educational debate", because "Postgraduate applications" seems a step behind me. Thanks for any help <3
It's not "Educational Debate" because that's for "debate and discussion about the UK education system (NOT for application queries OR for advice on practical issues to do with student life)".

So I've moved it to university life with a link from Postgrad.
0
reply
GandalfTheG
Badges: 3
Rep:
?
#13
Report Thread starter 2 months ago
#13
Ahh, my bad, am new here, cheers
(Original post by Doones)
It's not "Educational Debate" because that's for "debate and discussion about the UK education system (NOT for application queries OR for advice on practical issues to do with student life)".

So I've moved it to university life with a link from Postgrad.
0
reply
XOR_
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#14
Report 2 months ago
#14
Ooo tough choice - I think the supervisor and research direction is more important than the institution (past a certain point ). Either way, you end up in AI and can make above average wages (if that's something important to you) but I think with Cambridge you might not enjoy the process as much.
Last edited by XOR_; 2 months ago
0
reply
Doones
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#15
Report 2 months ago
#15
(Original post by GandalfTheG)
Ahh, my bad, am new here, cheers
No worries at all

And, as always, Reality Check has answered the question at hand :yep:
Last edited by Doones; 2 months ago
0
reply
mnot
Badges: 18
Rep:
?
#16
Report 2 months ago
#16
(Original post by GandalfTheG)
Ahh, well thanks for the advice. What PhD?
Not CFD or AI related at all, i guess my 'subject area' is systems/mechanical engineering i'll be looking at computational analysis and optimization of hybrid powertrain systems.
0
reply
GandalfTheG
Badges: 3
Rep:
?
#17
Report Thread starter 2 months ago
#17
(Original post by mnot)
Not CFD or AI related at all, i guess my 'subject area' is systems/mechanical engineering i'll be looking at computational analysis and optimization of hybrid powertrain systems.
Sounds very useful indeed... good luck!
1
reply
GandalfTheG
Badges: 3
Rep:
?
#18
Report Thread starter 1 week ago
#18
Update: I chose Cambridge in the end. Reasons.
1
reply
Quick-use
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#19
Report 1 week ago
#19
(Original post by GandalfTheG)
Update: I chose Cambridge in the end. Reasons.
What were your reasons?

I just read the comments etc and genuinely thought Manchester was the one for you.
1
reply
David B
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#20
Report 1 week ago
#20
(Original post by GandalfTheG)
Update: I chose Cambridge in the end. Reasons.
I am also curious as to your reasons. But good luck nevertheless.
1
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

University open days

  • Bournemouth University
    Clearing Open Day Undergraduate
    Wed, 31 Jul '19
  • Staffordshire University
    Postgraduate open event - Stoke-on-Trent campus Postgraduate
    Wed, 7 Aug '19
  • University of Derby
    Foundation Open Event Further education
    Wed, 7 Aug '19

Are you tempted to change your firm university choice on A-level results day?

Yes, I'll try and go to a uni higher up the league tables (161)
17.75%
Yes, there is a uni that I prefer and I'll fit in better (78)
8.6%
No I am happy with my course choice (540)
59.54%
I'm using Clearing when I have my exam results (128)
14.11%

Watched Threads

View All