What do some our alumni say about their education at HMC?

Matt McAdams (’92)

I very frequently thank my good fortune in having gone to HMC. I managed to learn a whole bunch of physics despite my best efforts to the contrary. :-) When I got to grad school I realized how good my undergrad classes had been. I think the biggest selling point for your department is the opportunity to do research and write a senior thesis working one-on-one with a faculty member. At _ _ _ _ _ _ _, undergrads get pawned off on us grad students, who assign the undergrads some boring grunt work--like build this circuit or do this computer simulation. At Mudd the physics research opportunities are much more intimate and enriching. It's pretty good experience for doing research in any field.
Jan. 1, 1997

Nate Cook (’95)


My Mudd education has been indispensable for this job. My attitude towards science has been the single most important strength, and I know that my years at Harvey Mudd contributed positively and greatly to that attitude.

Jan. 1, 1997

Brian Baxley (’72)

I see physics as a "liberal" education in technology. It prepares one to understand much of modern technology, and in the sense that a liberal education prepares one for life but not for a specific role in life, physics gives one access to the world (should I say the universe?) in a general way that goes beyond preparation for research or an academic or industrial career. The physics curriculum develops curiosity, observation, reasoning, mathematical analysis, verbal and written discourse, etc., and these can be applied to writing, teaching, business, engineering, research, diplomacy - to any endeavor.
Jan. 1, 1997

Ben Noviello (’84)

I use my physics knowledge to allow me to quickly grasp the underlying principles of whatever problem I am dealing with, allowing me to gain a working knowledge without getting bogged down in the details. It is this ability to be something of a jack-of-all trades (or a technical general practitioner as I prefer to think of it) that makes me valuable to the employer. Physics is the ideal background for this. In fact, as one goes up the management chain of this company, one finds that it is physics-heavy, as these are the people who have the ability to grasp the underlying concepts of a problem- which is what I think physics is all about. Hold the line when it comes to those things that traditionally make HMC great. That I was taught in small classes entirely by English-speaking PhD's who actually had office hours and didn't treat us an annoyance stands in stark contrast to the undergraduate experience of most of my peers.
Jan. 1, 1997