A Ph.D in Mathematics is the most difficult to achieve?

  • Thread starter flyingpig
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  • #26
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So many PHds lol U r MAD!
 
  • #27
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And if your research makes it past peer review, people will take it seriously (but they won't if it doesn't).
Depends on the field. Also electronic networks are radically changing peer review. You don't need a Ph.D. to do research. You do need time and money.

But as a PhD candidate in physics, I may be a little biased. But everyone else is right - your plan is not feasible. Very few institutions will consider accepting you for a second PhD, much less a fifth.
And there is really no point. Once you have Ph.D. research skills and you get curious about something else, then you just travel to conferences, buy books from Amazon, subscribe to papers, and start thinking.
 
  • #28
f95toli
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That was my point. I can research a topic all day long if I won't without a Ph.D. However, would anyone take me seriously? Maybe...but probably not...Hence, I would really "need" a Ph.D to do research.

CS
The "trick" is to gradually move over to a new field. Usually by applying methods you learn in the the first field to a problem in the second, Once you've established a reputation in the second field you can then go on and do something unrelated.

Last week I went to a talk by a professor at UCL (I think, it might have been Imperial). She started her career analysing the structure of metals, moved into microscopy and from that to using an environmental SEM. Environmental SEMs are very useful for to studying biological samples so that was a natural next step. That in turned lead to work on the texture of yogurt (I am not kidding) which as it happens has similar properties to some proteins found in the brain. Now she is doing research on Alzheimer's disease.
 
  • #29
eri
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I am taking AP courses and planning to do summer courses every year in university.
OK. Most colleges accept AP courses for credit (some don't, but will usually not make you retake it) so that might save you from taking a few intro courses if you do well on the AP tests. But it won't save you much time, and it may only get you out of 1-2 courses per major (and you're looking at 5 majors). Summer courses won't help much - you can't take too many at a time - and keep you from spending your summers doing research in your field, which is much more important for grad school than picking up a few extra credits.

Have you thought about anything else we said?
 
  • #30
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Just that it takes a long time.....and I should give up on the five Ph.Ds...

Do yuo think I should just go for a Higher Doctorate in England for Physics and Mathematics?
 
  • #31
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Just that it takes a long time.....and I should give up on the five Ph.Ds...

Do yuo think I should just go for a Higher Doctorate in England for Physics and Mathematics?
I think you really need to focus here. Ask yourself "Self, why the hell do you want 5 PhD's?"

I am assuming that you are in High School? Just chill out a little, do your best in your courses and see what you enjoy.

Whatever you like the most/are most interested in most do your undergrad in. Then maybe when you are in your 3rd year or so start thinking about grad school.

It's nice to see you are so enthusiastic about science, but you might want to just 'go with the flow' for a little while.
 
  • #32
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I don't think I can make it to even university.
 
  • #35
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so this thread was a joke or what?
 
  • #36
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flyingpig;

Do you understand that each branch of science has hundreds of distinct subareas? Saying you want a doctorate in mathematics is not really that precise...

Also, I think you might want to come to terms with the difference between a PHD and a masters. You can certainly get tons of masters at a couple of years a pop if you want, and you can certainly apply what you learn in those programs to your research, however; unless you are the next Ed Witten, multiple PhDs is kind of silly.
 
  • #37
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Why? Aren't Masters just intermediate levels? Are you saying there is actually no difference between a Masters and a Ph.D other than the name?
 
  • #38
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What? He said that getting multiple masters was doable (because masters is mostly coursework), and that getting multiple phds is not feasible.
 
  • #39
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^But, I want a Ph.D. I just don't want a degree, I want knowledge!
 
  • #40
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however; unless you are the next Ed Witten, multiple PhDs is kind of silly.
And even if you are the next Ed Witten, you need to realize that Ed Witten has only one Ph.D.
 
  • #41
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Is this true? I want a Ph.D in Physics, Mathematics, and perhaps Chemistry. Biology (if that exists) and Psychology if I have the time
You can't, you won't, and even if you did you would be worthless in all the fields.
 
  • #42
PhD's are about a**-tonnes of work for slave level wages, not brilliance and intellect. The only reason someone would put themselves through more than one would be for bragging rights. However, that person would almost certainly be extremely unsuccessful in their first field (since they spent the first 4-7 years of their post-grad life pursuing a PhD in another discipline) so would really have spent 8-14 years with nothing to show their peers.

Multiple PhD's are something that they say in TV shows and movies when they want to make the character sound "smart" so I could understand how you might think 4 PhD's is awesome. Unfortunately, the people responsible from these statements no absolutely nothing about science or academia. We're lucky if the average TV writer got an english degree from a no name liberal arts college. If you talk to people in academia and tell them you have multiple PhD's they're not going to go "ooooh" or "wow they're going to cock an eyebrow and probably think you're a little silly. Though that's not to say there aren't perfectly successful people with 2 PhD's but for those people the choice of 2 PhD's was almost always brought upon by a life crisis and a complete change in direction and interest, not 2 PhD's > 1 PhD.
 
  • #43
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Also once you have a Ph.D., you probably are better off getting a Law, MD, MFE, or MBA since these will let you do things that you can't with a Ph.D. (like cut people open).

I know someone with a Ph.D., Ph.D., MD, MBA. Got the first Ph.D. in biology. Decided to get an MD (which allows her to cut people open) and got a research MD which had a Ph.D. tossed in for free. Then decided that she needed some business experience to work with biotech firms and got a working MBA.
 
  • #44
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In terms of knowledge, would someone who has a Masters in Physics have the same knowledge as someone who has a Ph.D in Physics?
 
  • #45
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In terms of knowledge, would someone who has a Masters in Physics have the same knowledge as someone who has a Ph.D in Physics?
Depends on the type of knowledge. In terms of "book learning" the answer is probably yes, since you get all your coursework done in the first two years. In terms of "doing learning" the answer is definitely not.

Basically it's not hard to follow a recipe and someone with a masters has probably memorized the same number of recipes as someone with a Ph.D. But the Ph.D. can write a new cookbook with recipes no one has invented yet.
 
  • #46
In terms of knowledge, would someone who has a Masters in Physics have the same knowledge as someone who has a Ph.D in Physics?
Well I'm in my masters and I already have enough courses for not only my master but also my PhD. So all I'd really have to do is research and my comps for the PhD no "new" knowledge required. Though I'm a glutton for punishment so I'll probably take a tonne more courses in PhD as well (though they would by no means be necessary for my degree)
 
  • #47
Who here has a PHd in Math? How was it seen at your uni, in terms of difficulty, and compared to other sciences? Who has two PHds? Was math the tougher one?
 
  • #48
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Bottom line:

If you want to learn everything, getting 40 masters will work....

So will getting one or two and reading a lot of technical works on your own. It's called being an 'autodidact'. I want to learn quite a bit about different areas of science, but my main interest lies between math and computer science (sort of mathematical logic and proof theory/automated reasoning, but also in pure math I enjoy algebra and algebraic geometry). I also think physics is neat. Guess what I can do? Go read a book for free and not shell out money for a masters program that will not give me any additional benefit.

If you want to add to the knowledge base and solve interesting problems, 1 PhD will do you. I guarantee you will not exhaust the field, the subfield, or the couple of sub-sub-sub-fields that you will be carrying out most of your research in.
 
  • #49
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If you want to learn everything, getting 40 masters will work....
Wrong. This will teach you a little bit about everything. People who stick to one subject for their entire lives are learning more about it each day and still don't even know everything about that one subject. That's why we do research.
 
  • #50
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Wrong. This will teach you a little bit about everything. People who stick to one subject for their entire lives are learning more about it each day and still don't even know everything about that one subject. That's why we do research.
Alright. I guess I assumed it would be taken to be within reasonable bounds when I said 'everything', or that it would be ignored altogether, being that is was a a side comment leading up to my main point. Of course you won't know everything, it's impossible to do so. He just clearly has a drive to learn a lot about a wide variety of sciences, and I think that multiple masters would essentially give him what he thinks he wants; a lot of knowledge over a broad variety of topics. My point was that he will not gain anything more out of doing several masters compared to doing one or two masters and just committing himself to regular self study. In fact, he would save money doing the later.
FlyingPig,
Perhaps you could enlighten us as to what you think you will gain by getting all of these PhDs? What are your interests? Is it that you feel like you can't pick one over the other? If so, a triple major might sort that out if you really want to put in the work. If you do well with that you will probably find there to be many areas of intersection where you can pursue topics that fall under all, or at least most, of your interests at once. You might also want to consider applied mathematics. You could do mathematical physics, mathematical biology, mathematical chemistry, etc. All of those lie in the domain of the applied mathematician.
 

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