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Best Places to Recieve a Degree (Maths) From?

  1. Jun 20, 2005 #1
    Me and some friends were talking today and thought that perhaps the best places to recieve a maths degree from are Princeton and Trinity College Cambridge, I was wondering what your thoughts were - we couldn't think of many other plaes with the same standards and rapor.

  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 21, 2005 #2

  4. Jun 22, 2005 #3
    Princeton and Cambridge are definitely top 5 in the world
  5. Jun 22, 2005 #4
    Harvard, MIT, Waterloo and U Chicago aren't too shabby either.
  6. Jun 22, 2005 #5
    waterloo, mm uft and ubc are prolly top3 in canada(don't know if ucal/ua would place above them).
    I figured Caltech/MIT/Maryland/CMU-UPITTS...maybe thats for cs though.
  7. Jun 23, 2005 #6


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    I don't think it matters too much, if you find a place that has what you are interested in, and has an advisor you can connect with. If you go to harvard but are not as strong as they expect, it is worse for you rather than better. It may help you find a job to have Harvard after your name, but it won't help you get tenure if you can't do anything on your own.

    different schools allow different lengths of time, so you need one that allows you as much as you need. I went to Utah and it worked out well for me, but I was a little anxious when they told me in Fall of my third year that it was finish or get out at the end of the year. I had trouble finishing and really was not quite finished. i could have used a 4th year but they would not give it to me.
  8. Jun 23, 2005 #7
    3 yrs for a BSC,Msc?
  9. Jun 23, 2005 #8
    why do you Americans always think that your universities are top notch ?

    Have you ever considered that universities outside the US may be of the same level as these socalled Ivy league schools ?

    I mean, if you look at the survey of the PISA-organization (check out my journal for the actual texts), American high school students do not perform very well when it comes to math aptitude. Countries like Belgium and Singapore have scores that belong to the very world-top. Please, this is not an attempt to be nationalistic from my part.

    If high school students score that bad on math and physics when compared to the rest of the world and these universities only accept the top students, then by deduction there would not be to many American students in your own Ivy league schools.

    Besides, i have a cousin who studied at the same university as i did (university of Ghent in Belgium) and he did a physics phd at Stanford. Well, he said things are very much the same here, that is all. It certainly is not that difficult as some of you always like to proclaim. Many countries have academic standards that exceed those of the US.

    Just my opinion

  10. Jun 23, 2005 #9
    mathwonk - what was their rationale for giving you a maximum of three years for your degree (was it a masters or phd?)
  11. Jun 23, 2005 #10
    The key there is top students. Yes on average our students might do worse than in Singapore and Belgium but I would bet our top 1% match up just as well as other countries top 1%. And for the top 1%, the standardized test scores aren't going to mean much.
  12. Jun 23, 2005 #11
    That's a new one on me. I never heard of anything like that before. You guys have Oxford and that's nothing to sneeze at. We have more people and land so it makes our population larger so if there is something to your claim then it'd be for that reason. However I think it has much to do with what I refer to as the snob effect in that the more people here who go to ivy leauge schools think their better than everyone else just because they go to an ivy leauge college.

  13. Jun 23, 2005 #12
    Marlon :why do you Americans always think that your universities are top notch ?"
    how do you get that from all the posts?
  14. Jun 23, 2005 #13
    My point exactly

  15. Jun 23, 2005 #14
    I bet you that he *didn't* get it from posts in here. Its a common speculation that the 'top' notch universities are in the UK and US. People little relise that such comments are inane, and not within context of whatever subjects you do. While it *is* true US/UK universities are among the top, most undergraduate programs, as many experts in this forum have said, will not involve the use of full facilities that these universities possess, meaning whether or not princton or (in marlons instance) ghent, undergraduate programs have little/no difference, other than individual teachers that suck/rock.
  16. Jun 23, 2005 #15
    true but there are some teachers you jsut wanna work with...that lead to that school being rated over others: CMU-UPITTS, bard ermentrout, carson chow well also the neural nets people like touretzky and the psych/cs people from both schools...
  17. Jun 23, 2005 #16


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    i was given only 2-3 years for a PhD because I already had a masters.

    As to ivy league schools, and american schools in general, cropping up in my own conversation, it is strictly ignorance on my part.

    I am not as familiar with top schools elsewhere. Moreover, top schools in the US admit lots of students who prepare elsewhere.

    I may of course be wrong, but it is often thoguht here in the US that the high school system lags the world but the university system leads.

    That is still only an average statement, and not intended at all to ignore the many absolutely top level individual universities throughout the world.

    galileo e.g. is at leiden, an outstanding university in holland, with a tradition that is to my knowledge unmatched in the US. It is a porivilege even to witness a PhD oral there in a room with portarits of former scholars, and witness the high standards still in force. There are many other examples, and the famous british universities are still taken as synonyms for excellence in the US.

    Anyone familiar with mathematics knows very well of the tradition of the universities in moscow and the steklov institute.

    Moreover the statement about us universities standing out as a whole, may be going out of date as they admit more american trained high school students, ans as high school training in the us continues to decline. At least our own university system in my state has visibly declined in standards, since the 1960's, as it strains to accomodate more poorly trained students, and more americans in the new chauvinistic environment.

    now i've offended the americans. but i apologize. i am as always speaking forpm very partial knowledge and much less partial ignorance.
  18. Jun 23, 2005 #17


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    note too the original poster set as criteria both high standards and high "raport". few people would accuse harvard faculty and administrators of having high rapport with its students.

    so he was looking for a place that was simulataneously of good quality academically and one that reached out to the students in an accepting way, i believe.

    at the undergraduate level, i have always heard good things about univ of chicago in that way: top standards, and hard work helping students reach them.

    to be honest, marlon and pete, you seem to be reacting to a "snob effect" that was not expressed by anyone here.
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2005
  19. Jun 23, 2005 #18
    Hey everyone thank you for your ideas - we were just wondering about it!

    I think we shortlisted, Warrick (UK), Trinity College Cambridge (UK - and #1!), MIT, Princeton and Chicago.

  20. Jun 23, 2005 #19
    There are also many european universities you might want to consider.
  21. Jun 23, 2005 #20
    yes, how about one of the oldest universities in the world : the university of Leuven in Belgium. Or the university of Ghent where they have one of the leading labs on molecular and bioligical genetics. If you do not believe me, go check out the latest issue of Nature and look for the university of Ghent, it will speak for itself.

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