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

Ralph Castain (’76)

Eaton Corporation
Probably the most useful part of my education has been its broad nature, and that's where HMC has contributed the most. I have to pull in a wide variety of areas, and am continually surprised at the lack of breadth I find in those educated at the larger state universities. I guess HMC provides a wider education than you realize as you go through it.
Jan. 1, 1997

Ken Lorell (’65)

Hine design
So what do I think about a physics education some 30+ years after graduation? Would I do it all over again? There's absolutely no question in my mind. For anyone entering virtually any of the engineering or science disciplines, with maybe the exception of organic chemistry, an undergraduate physics education is invaluable. I went on to the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at the Stanford School of Engineering for my Ph.D., and my HMC physics degree was a major advantage in practically every class I took and in my thesis research. In addition, in my years as a technical contributor, having the breadth and depth that a physics degree provides made me much more versatile than my colleagues who studied some branch of engineering. I was able to apply basic concepts from E and M, dynamics, optics, and even basic nuclear physics / relativity theory / quantum mechanics to solving problems and inventing new techniques. The ability to understand physical phenomena and apply basic principals to analysis and problem solving is directly related to the solid foundation that I got as a physics major. The colleague with whom I had my most successful collaboration, by the way, has a Ph.D. in physics (with engineering subjects, from the Sorbonne) and my former boss has a degree in Engineering Physics from Cornell---just indications of how a physics degree is a key building block to a successful technical career.
Jan. 1, 1997

Stan Love (’87)

NASA
I credit the solid general physics education I got at HMC for my ability to do good work in such a wide variety of disciplines. That general education has also allowed me to change career paths several times, and to land a good permanent job during a time when the field of my Ph.D. work (astronomy and planetary science) has few positions to offer.
Jan. 1, 1997

Justin Stege (’92)

UCSD
I'm currently finishing my PhD in Biology here at UCSD. This was a big change from physics and I am not directly doing much physics related research. However, I think my physics training was very important. I learned how to be a clear, critical, scientific thinker which has served me well here. Having a physics background in no way hindered my applications to biology graduate schools. I think most schools considered it an advantage. The field of biology is becoming much more analytical and the perspective I have with a physics background is quite useful. Now that I am looking for a job, I think having a background in both physics and biology will help a lot.
Jan. 1, 1997