Axel Cortés Cubero is a fourth-year Ph.D. student in the Physics Program at the Graduate Center. His research areas include theoretical high energy and nuclear physics. He has worked with integrable quantum field theories, quantum chromodynamics, and nonperturbative approaches to gauge theories.
I received my AGEP funding at the start of my second year of study. This was great news, as this is the time when we are all trying to find the right advisors. Having some funding of my own gave me the freedom to look for the professor that was the best fit for me because of our similar research interests, and not because he was the one with the most money. I am now in my fourth year in the graduate program, and thanks to AGEP, I have been able to do research and publish papers in exactly the kind of physics I always wanted to do. It is a tough world for the physicist who is motivated by curiosity, who just wants to find out how stuff works, for the fun of it. There are not many opportunities for physicists whose research is fundamental and will not be immediately applied towards new technologies, curing cancer, flying cars, and things like that. AGEP allows me to study theoretical nuclear physics without the pressure of having to build personal rocket packs for everyone right away.