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Then why would someone say their graduates are better trained than me and/or graduates from other universities.

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Then why would someone say their graduates are better trained than me and/or graduates from other universities.

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budala said:

Then why would someone say their graduates are better trained than me and/or graduates from other universities.

Course syllabus is as accurate at depicting the quality of education that you get as much as a book cover conveys accurately the content of a book.

How about looking at a citaton index and figure out (i) how many published papers come out of the department (ii) how many citations are made out of those papers (iii) the amount of research funds spent per year, etc.?

Now, having said that, I'm one of those people who believe that one can get a decent, if not as good, of an

Zz.

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Office_Shredder

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budala said:Then why would someone say their graduates are better trained than me and/or graduates from other universities.

To cite one example, their graduates don't waste a day reading other schools' course syllabi

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That was one of the most pointless comments I've ever had the misfortune to read.Office_Shredder said:To cite one example, their graduates don't waste a day reading other schools' course syllabi

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their graduates don't waste a day reading other schools' course syllabi

Got to know who your competition is...;)

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budala said:

Then why would someone say their graduates are better trained than me and/or graduates from other universities.

you control your own destiny, you control your own life, nothing else. don't worry about what everyone else is doing, stick to your own plan and you'll do fine.

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In fact, the class was mainly about linear algebra, Fourier Analysis, Quternions, and Matrix Algebra.

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ZapperZ said:Course syllabus is as accurate at depicting the quality of education that you get as much as a book cover conveys accurately the content of a book.

How about looking at a citaton index and figure out (i) how many published papers come out of the department (ii) how many citations are made out of those papers (iii) the amount of research funds spent per year, etc.?

Now, having said that, I'm one of those people who believe that one can get a decent, if not as good, of anundergraduateeducation at other non-brand name universities. However, going about this simply by looking at course syllabus will not give you much indication of anything.

Zz.

Generally for undergrad school, if the syllabi of the smaller lesser (and cheaper) school is identical to the larger prestigious school and the profs at both unis cover everything on the syllabus (which I suppose some profs do not) then it seems like there is no significant difference. Even at the "lesser" school, at the ugrad level the profs (who are still experts in their fields) are still definitely qualified to teach the courses, and might be better at teaching than the big MIT prof....also, at the smaller uni the profs are more focused on teaching, and less on research.....not to mention at the smaller university you're sitting in a classroom with no more than 20 students in the courses every takes, and many courses have 3-5 students. Also, no ugrad classes at the smaller university are taught by TAs.

For ugrad, I feel, and many other people feel (such as profs) think that going to a smaller (and often less prestigious) uni with much more personalized attention is the best choice for ugrad school. However, grad school is a completely different story.

Also, the prof has a much closer eye on your progress in a small uni setting and in that sense you are being scritinized more closely and you performance is being evaluated and corrected more readily.

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And while this is important, I'm not sure if it is worth paying extra tens of thousands of dollars.

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SpiffyKavu said:

And while this is important, I'm not sure if it is worth paying extra tens of thousands of dollars.

You can do an REU at another university during the summers, and with personalized attention and professors that know you well (since you were in a couple of their 5 student classes) they really push hard to get you into one.

And you can talk with profs at other universities also. You are mainly paying for you lecture time.

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budala said:

Then why would someone say their graduates are better trained than me and/or graduates from other universities.

Hi Budala, this general question of "big school" versus "small school" for undergrad has been brought up a couple of times in this forum (I've commented on a few of them). For some background I went to a 'big name school', so you'll probably want to normalize my statements against my background. That being said, I've graduated don't feel any need to validate my undergrad institution. :tongue2:

Pithy comments aside, you shouldn't think too much about what university you are currently enrolled in versus other universities. There are plenty of students in big name schools who end up doing poorly and there are plenty of students in smalls chools who do very well. Just because a student goes to one school or another it doesn't say anything about their potential as a gradaute student.

(As a side note, I do believe there is a correlation between the 'prestige' of one's undergrad school with one's performance in high school. But once you're in college, nobody cares how you did in high school.)

I was just wondering, then why do these universities charge significantly more and find it somewhat unfair how their undergraduate degree's have such a prestige attached to their names, yet its misleading.

But you did raise a decent question asking how big name universities can justify their tuition relative to smaller schools with, as you note, nearly identical curricula. Here are my thoughts:

1)

2)

3)

4)

5)

6)

Anyway, does all this mean that a big name school is better than a small school? Certainly not. Everyone has to find the undergraduate experience that is right for him/herself. It may not be bad to have an eye on other schools to make sure you're competitive with their students (I felt very similarly about another big -Tech school, even though I went to a big-name school), but don't obsess over it.

I understand that it can be really frustrating when big-name schools get the 'reputation' for having the best students, especially when you yourself are working hard at being one of the best students yourself. However, you must take these statements in stride and know that some of the best students do come out of smaller schools. Even if the second coming of Ed Witten graduated from No-Name University, people will still say Harvard/MIT/etc. are the best schools with the best students (warranted or otherwise).

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Office_Shredder said:To cite one example, their graduates don't waste a day reading other schools' course syllabi

Now, I got to say that THAT was a good one!

:!!) :rofl:

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ok i looked at harvards course desriptions and they are very miodest, i do not fault you for not realizing how advanced they are from the descriptions, but the first thing you should notice when you go to harvards website is the names of the professors offering the cousres. many f them are fields medalists. this is just unheard of most places.

i can assure when a FIELDS MEDALIST GIVES A COUSRE it is not the same cousre you get from a nudge like me at a state university.

and look at the desriptions of the grad cousres. at harvard the best undergrads always take several grad courses. in fact even i started in a grad course as a freshman at harvard.

this is the desription of the basic grad diff geom and complex courses at harvard:

Mathematics 213a. Complex Analysis

Catalog Number: 1621

Curtis T. McMullen

Half course (fall term). M., W., F., at 12. EXAM GROUP: 5

Fundamentals of complex analysis, and further topics such as elliptic functions, canonical products, conformal mapping, extremal length, harmonic measure and capacity.

Prerequisite: Basic complex analysis, topology of covering spaces, differential forms.

Mathematics 213b. Advanced Complex Analysis

Catalog Number: 2641

Curtis T. McMullen

Half course (spring term). Tu., Th., 10–11:30. EXAM GROUP: 12, 13

Fundamentals of Riemann surfaces. Topics may include sheaves and cohomology, potential theory, uniformization, and moduli.

Prerequisite: Mathematics 213a.

mcmullen is a fields medalist.

Mathematics 230ar. Differential Geometry

Catalog Number: 0372

Shing-Tung Yau

Half course (fall term). M., W., F., at 2. EXAM GROUP: 7

Elements of differential geometry: Riemannian geometry, symplectic and Kaehler geometry, Geodesics, Riemann curvature, Darboux’s theorem, moment maps and symplectic quotients, complex and Kaehler manifolds, Dolbeault and de Rham cohomology.

Mathematics 230br. Differential Geometry

Catalog Number: 0504

Ilia Zharkov

Half course (spring term). M., W., F., at 12. EXAM GROUP: 5

A continuation of Mathematics 230ar. Topics in global Riemannian geometry: Ricci curvature and volume comparison; sectional curvature and distance comparison; Toponogov’s theorem and applications; sphere theorems; Gromov’s betti number bounds; Gromov-Hausdorff convergence; Cheeger’s finiteness theorem, and convergence theorems.

Prerequisite: Mathematics 135.

these guys are also giants. i assure you these courses are on a higher level than those almost anywhere else. go sit in on one sometime and see for yourself.

of course maybe you are at berkeley or ihes, but if you are at georgia tech or univ of washington, or even michigan, or illinois, i am guessing your course is probably not on this level. for one thing the students are not on this level.

but i could be wrong.

i can assure when a FIELDS MEDALIST GIVES A COUSRE it is not the same cousre you get from a nudge like me at a state university.

and look at the desriptions of the grad cousres. at harvard the best undergrads always take several grad courses. in fact even i started in a grad course as a freshman at harvard.

this is the desription of the basic grad diff geom and complex courses at harvard:

Mathematics 213a. Complex Analysis

Catalog Number: 1621

Curtis T. McMullen

Half course (fall term). M., W., F., at 12. EXAM GROUP: 5

Fundamentals of complex analysis, and further topics such as elliptic functions, canonical products, conformal mapping, extremal length, harmonic measure and capacity.

Prerequisite: Basic complex analysis, topology of covering spaces, differential forms.

Mathematics 213b. Advanced Complex Analysis

Catalog Number: 2641

Curtis T. McMullen

Half course (spring term). Tu., Th., 10–11:30. EXAM GROUP: 12, 13

Fundamentals of Riemann surfaces. Topics may include sheaves and cohomology, potential theory, uniformization, and moduli.

Prerequisite: Mathematics 213a.

mcmullen is a fields medalist.

Mathematics 230ar. Differential Geometry

Catalog Number: 0372

Shing-Tung Yau

Half course (fall term). M., W., F., at 2. EXAM GROUP: 7

Elements of differential geometry: Riemannian geometry, symplectic and Kaehler geometry, Geodesics, Riemann curvature, Darboux’s theorem, moment maps and symplectic quotients, complex and Kaehler manifolds, Dolbeault and de Rham cohomology.

Mathematics 230br. Differential Geometry

Catalog Number: 0504

Ilia Zharkov

Half course (spring term). M., W., F., at 12. EXAM GROUP: 5

A continuation of Mathematics 230ar. Topics in global Riemannian geometry: Ricci curvature and volume comparison; sectional curvature and distance comparison; Toponogov’s theorem and applications; sphere theorems; Gromov’s betti number bounds; Gromov-Hausdorff convergence; Cheeger’s finiteness theorem, and convergence theorems.

Prerequisite: Mathematics 135.

these guys are also giants. i assure you these courses are on a higher level than those almost anywhere else. go sit in on one sometime and see for yourself.

of course maybe you are at berkeley or ihes, but if you are at georgia tech or univ of washington, or even michigan, or illinois, i am guessing your course is probably not on this level. for one thing the students are not on this level.

but i could be wrong.

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I said this to say that and I'm quoting from his book (with some translation) :

"In the mean time there was no scientific barrier in my life, but there was something more important that had appeared, it was the type of science itself ,the science that I have learned in the University of Pennsylvania was all the way different from the kind of science that I found at berkeley.

The University of Pennsylvania has earned it's reputation from the effort of certain research groups that work under great professors, and there is a small number of these groups here in Pennsylvania.

But Berkley has allowed me to log in into a new and extreme kind of science leading to new and extreme scientific discoveries"

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mathwonk

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in my case going to these top schools gave me a lot of help and advantages, without which i personally would likely not have reached the goals i did, but many of the more talented and accomplished people at my school went elsewhere.

i.e. going to top schools can help you, but the best people may outperform you even without those advantages. these people do usually wind up eventually at the top schools however. i.e. it is not so exclusively the top schools that produce the best scholars, but they do recruit them after they become visible.

take a recent fields medalist: curt mcmullen. he went to williams college but then took a phd at harvard, and after winning the fields medal was recruited back to harvard where he is now.

there are many such cases.

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mathwonk said:in fact even i started in a grad course as a freshman at harvard.

you took a graduate course during your freshman year of undergrad?? wow, what course?

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In my dorm was a 15 year old genius named Eddie Ross, who was taking the Loomis and Sternberg math course (taught then out of Apostol's analysis book by Sternberg) while i was taking the "Spivak" course, taught then out of Courant, by John Tate.

I did not continue though in math 280, as the requirement was for me to read his entire undergraduate logic book the first week, and I only made it through half of it before getting tired and stopping. So the prof said I knew some but not all the prerecs and could decide for myself what to do, so I bailed. After that though the undergrad course was pretty boring.

There were several other kids there taking grad courses as undergrads, indeed that was normal. Such as Spencer Bloch, Jeff Cheeger, John Mather. Those guys are all famous mathematicians now.

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Harvard's program I don't find equal and/or more appealing than the programs at The University of Toronto or University of Waterloo, Ontario.

http://www.deas.harvard.edu/press/FactBrochure.pdf [Broken]

http://www.deas.harvard.edu/press/FactBrochure.pdf [Broken]

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nikola-tesla said:Harvard's program I don't find equal and/or more appealing than the programs at The University of Toronto or University of Waterloo, Ontario.

http://www.deas.harvard.edu/press/FactBrochure.pdf [Broken]

Harvard's engineering program is nothing spectacular though....you're comparing a school known most for its engineering to a school that is really not that good for engineering. A better comparison to U of T would be MIT, for instance.

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leright, I am sure you are right, thank you very much.

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