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Choosing post grad programme (Arithmetic Combinatorics or Algebraic Number Theory)

  1. Aug 24, 2010 #1
    Dear all,

    I am attending a taught postgrad programme starting next October. I can not decide whether to take the Algebraic Number Theory or the (additive/arithmetic) Combinatorics modules. My choice will determine my PhD route, so it is a choice of career rather than just a choice of courses.

    I am really interested in Combinatorics more than ANT. However, some of my professors are advising me to go for the ANT option because they claim that anybody can catch up with Combinatorics later in his life and because ANT is more challenging and respectable in the mathematical society these days. One should mention that my department has mostly Analysts and Alg. Numb. theorists in it (no one specializing in Combinatorics here :D).

    The aforementioned courses are almost mutually exclusive (in the sense that registering the Combinatorics courses will rule out most of the ANT courses due to lectures overlapping and vice versa.) Thus, I have to take a crisp decision.

    What do you think I should do?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 25, 2010 #2


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    Re: Choosing post grad programme (Arithmetic Combinatorics or Algebraic Number Theory

    One argument for taking ANT is that your department has a number of them on staff (so probably better courses, more research opportunities, more people to discuss your research with and/or collaborate with).
  4. Aug 25, 2010 #3
    Re: Choosing post grad programme (Arithmetic Combinatorics or Algebraic Number Theory

    I should have said that I am taking the programme in another school (another continent, to be precise :smile:). At any rate, there are very renowned mathematicians there working in both ANT and combinatorics (not simultaneously).

    I mentioned that my department has a number of staff specializing on ANT so as not to be told to ask my current professors and also to give a reason for their preference of ANT (it is their specialty after all.)

    I do not know where I will be able to do research after getting my PhD, but I think I can always find a healthy community of combinatorists or algebraic number theorists.
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