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Fall 2008 Grad Applications

  1. Feb 2, 2008 #1
    Since every other message board has it, why not us?

    So what schools did you apply to and which ones did you get into?

    I applied to the following Math graduate programs:
    Baruch Financial Math Masters
    Carnegie Mellon Computational Finance Masters

    I did not hear back from any of them. I'm hoping to get into my "bottom 5" (Rutgers, UPENN, Duke, UCSD, Texas) and any one of my mega reach schools (Harvard-Cornell).

    I'm suprised none of my friends have heard from Princeton since they had a December 1st deadline for the Math PhD program!

    To be honest, I do not expect admission from any of the programs, but we'll see what happens. I'm sitting on eggshells until then!
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2008
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 2, 2008 #2
    Wow. You want in NYU so bad you applied twice!
  4. Feb 2, 2008 #3
    haha, oops, fixed it :-p
  5. Feb 2, 2008 #4
    The grad maths department at Rutgers is very good! Although the graduate lounge is always occupied by the financial maths students.. haha...

    They usually response in late march. Take your time to wait and enjoy the rest of your undergrad
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2008
  6. Feb 2, 2008 #5
    It's impossible to enjoy your last semester when you're waiting for grad school decisions. Impossible.
  7. Feb 2, 2008 #6
    That is an impressive list.
  8. Feb 2, 2008 #7
    That's also a lot of money!
  9. Feb 2, 2008 #8


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    Good luck, i hope everything works out for you, mate.
  10. Feb 2, 2008 #9
    Waiting to hear from:-

    Michigan State
    Ohio State
    Stony Brook

    have also applied to the elementary particle physics program at Munich... (IMPRS)
  11. Feb 2, 2008 #10
    Yeah but I doubt I'll get into any of those schools. I choose my school list to reflect my interest in geometry (differential geometry, geometric analysis, ricci flows, geometry of PDEs) and mathematical physics (mostly how geometry is used in quantum field theories, general relativity and possibly grand unified theories like string theory).

    From my research on grad schools I believe that the better schools for math-physics are: Harvard, MIT, Berkeley, Columbia, Yale (even though it is small, there are some good people for representation theory and they have a general relativity guy), UPENN, Duke (really really impressed me with the emphasis they place on geometry and physics), Texas, Rutgers (seems to have a great quantum department).

    For geometry, it is the usual suspects. Stanford in particular sticks out with just the sheer percentage of professors who research geometry. However, again Duke really impressed me with their faculty and they even have a geometry/physics track for PhD. I cannot tell you how exciting it is to see a math PhD program list General Relativity as a regularly offered graduate course.

    And I would like to give some advice for potential grad applicants:
    1) Do not judge a program squarely based on it's overall rankings. Columbia is lower ranked than Berkeley, but if you want to study Ricci flows, it is one of THE places to be. Likewise, UC-San Diego has an excellent geometric analyst in Chow.
    2) Do apply to a wide array of schools. I applied to Yale, which is a smaller department but I also applied to Berkeley, Texas, Rutgers, etc. which all have very big faculty (all also happen to be public, which is another thing to keep in mind). Harvard has a 15 member senior faculty but it also only admits 8-10 students a year, so you get to interact with top notch faculty.
    3) I tried to make sure each school had at least 4-5 faculty members that I would have no qualms doing a thesis under, at least material wise. This way I have a sizeable pool of possible thesis advisors and I can choose which one I mesh the best with.
    4) I also applied to a school in an area that isn't necessarily as appealing, but I kept the option open. Considering most applications cost $60-70 for the fee, $15 for extra GRE scores and $10 to send a transcript, you figure at most $100 to keep an option open.

    If I could apply all over again I would:
    1) Apply to "realistic" reach schools. I know reach schools are supposed to be unrealistic, but I don't think I have a shot at the top 6 (Harvard, MIT, Berkeley, Stanford, Princeton, Chicago). I would probably apply to 1-2 super reaches, 2-3 reaches, 2-3 comfortable admits and 2 safety schools. My list does not really have any safety schools, even the lowest schools are top 25 ranked and ranked top 10 in specific research areas. I might very well end up not getting into any PhD program.
    2) Write a better grad school essay. My statement of purpose was not so great. I stated what I wanted to study in grad school, but they were all rushed because I wanted to get my applications in so early, which did nothing since some of my recommenders took so long to send in letters.
    3) Definitely study more for the GRE and the GRE subject. I thought I could take an honors thesis on an open problem, an independent study in general relativity, an independent study in topology, a course on measure theory, a seminar on geometry of physics, write all my grad school essays AND study for the GRE and the GRE subject exams. Big mistake. I have a great GPA, good letters but a terrible GRE score. It is the one blotch on my application and it might potentially hold me back from a better school. If I could do it again, I would have set aside 2-3 months during the summer of my sophomore year and studied regularly (nothing crazy) for the GRE and have taken itduring the fall of my Junior year, allowing me to completely focus on upper-upper division math courses, grad courses, independent studying, an honors thesis, etc. during my Junior and Senior years, the most crucial years in the grad school application.

    Yes math is about working hard and being a good mathematician, but getting into grad school is not 100% about being the best math student. You have to be on your heels and be able to stay on top of deadlines as well as being able to convey what kind of math student you are, on paper.

    As I type this, I am going insane waiting on grad decisions.
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2008
  12. Feb 3, 2008 #11
    haha, I'd go insane if I tried to apply to that many schools. I applied to six schools for a PhD in electrical engineering (I'm interested in molecular and organic electronics).

    Penn State
    Arizona State

    They are not ranked in any particular order. I'd probably be happy at any of those schools. I've heard from ASU already. They invited me out to their engineering graduate student open house and they're paying all travel expenses. They said I would know whether I am accepted 2 weeks before the event, so I take the invitation to the open house as like an informal acceptance...I know it doesn't mean I can be 100% sure I will be admitted though.
  13. Feb 3, 2008 #12
    I'm really surprised you didn't apply to Stony Brook given your research interest.
  14. Feb 3, 2008 #13
    I know, I actually wasn't familiar with Stony Brook's research at the time I applied. I researched schools pretty heavily too, which is the sad part.

    edit: I assume that was directed toward me...
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2008
  15. Feb 3, 2008 #14
    I want to study Algebraic Geometry: Algebraic Curves and possibly Teichmuller Theory

    University of Southern California
    two masters programs: Boston College, Wake Forest University.

    So, basically, my aim was to get into a school with strong emphasis in Geometry and specifically Algebraic Geometry with at least a decent overall rating. I listened to a professor that knows me best and his advice very carefully and took it. I originally was going to apply to Berkeley and Brown, and some lower schools overall such as Chapel-Hill and Washington University. I cut these four schools out of my list. Then I realized that all of my schools are basically the same overall and that I do not have any super-safe schools. As I didn't want to go to place like University of Oklahoma (or in other words a school that I wasn't really excited about for the Ph.D.) So, I applied to two masters programs (didn't want to stay at my school either for I am tired of it), as ultimate safety schools (BC and WFU do not have ph.d. programs so there is support for the masters degree). As it turns out, I got accepted to the highest ranked school on my list and now I feel as if I should have applied to something higher up.

    Feb 1st: acceptance to UIUC
  16. Feb 3, 2008 #15
    Hey eastside, congrats on UIUC, I wanted to apply there but for some reason I just didn't but I really do like that school and that faculty.
  17. Feb 3, 2008 #16
    Some factors that may have lead to acceptance is that UIUC is very big school (no word yet on finances so they could be expecting just to let me in and have me pay for it), I wrote my personal essay specifically for UIUC mentioning people I wanted to work with and specific things about their department, and my letter writers. I will know more about how I compared to others when I hear from schools like Duke and Rice who let in very few people a year. But, it seems early for a decision at any rate and for that reason I am expecting to receive support from UIUC.
  18. Feb 3, 2008 #17
    Hey, JasonJo. Thanks. Yeah Illinois was basically my first choice.
  19. Feb 3, 2008 #18
    Have fun at Altgeld. :-)
  20. Feb 3, 2008 #19
    Altgeld is the math building? I have seen a picture of it; it looks nice. Of course, I go to school in this circular building built in the 60s that my school is going to tear down in a few years because it has not been kept up, so almost anything is better than that.
  21. Feb 3, 2008 #20


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    Congratulationg for the acceptance on UIUC!. It is a fine school, at least from what i've seen.
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