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Math tripos part III at Cambridge.

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Main Question or Discussion Point

I recently applied to Cambridge for a MASt in Applied Mathematics, which falls under the curriculum of part III of the math tripos. I was wondering if anybody else has applied for or completed this course? If you have, would you mind giving a summary of your academic background? I'd like something to compare myself to so as to better gauge my chances of receiving an offer. Also if anybody has received an offer would you mind posting when it was received?

Just to give you an outline of my background: I'm a senior at large state school( top 30 for physics, top 40ish for math) majoring in math and physics. My GPA is 3.94 over all, a 4.00 in math and a 3.98 in physics.

I've completed all the standard undergraduate courses for both majors as well as a graduate level course in partial differential equations.

My recommendation letters should be fairly good. One of the professors thinks very very highly of me but is younger and not particularly well known, while the other is a little more reserved with praise in general but has excellent mathematical genealogy and is reasonably well known in his field.

I spent one summer at Fermilab near Chicago working on a neutrino oscillation experiment. Not sure if that will be to my advantage as it wasn't theory oriented. I also attended a Math REU in harmonic analysis. I proved a fair amount of new results and wrote up a paper with two other guys but it wont be published for at least 3 or so months.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
pasmith
Homework Helper
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I recently applied to Cambridge for a MASt in Applied Mathematics, which falls under the curriculum of part III of the math tripos. I was wondering if anybody else has applied for or completed this course? If you have, would you mind giving a summary of your academic background? I'd like something to compare myself to so as to better gauge my chances of receiving an offer. Also if anybody has received an offer would you mind posting when it was received?

Just to give you an outline of my background: I'm a senior at large state school( top 30 for physics, top 40ish for math) majoring in math and physics. My GPA is 3.94 over all, a 4.00 in math and a 3.98 in physics.
Part III admissions discriminate in favour Cambridge undergraduates who obtain a First in Part II (for whom admission is automatic), and then Cambridge undergraduates who obtained a 2:1 in Part II mathematics or a First in physics. As regards non-Cambridge graduates, the unofficial guide has this to say:

Only reasonably able and hard-working students are likely to profit from Part III. The Departments normally require First Class Honours from students coming from other British universities. If you come from outside the British system we have to rely on your referees’ opinions but as a rough guide for you and them, you should be able to profit from Part III if you are in the top 10% of mathematicians graduating in your country and you are prepared to work very hard.
I did do Part III about 10 years ago having obtained a First in Part II, so my personal experience of the Part III admissions process will not assist you.

It is in any event worth looking at the course descriptions and past papers (and examples sheets) for Part II to see what background is likely to be assumed. Bear in mind that although there are upwards of 30 courses in Part II, candidates will typically prepare no more than six for examination and will by this stage be specializing either in pure mathematics or in applied mathematics/theoretical physics. You should concentrate on those listed as prerequisites for http://www.maths.cam.ac.uk/postgrad/mathiii/courseguide/2014-15/ [Broken] which interest you.
 
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Thanks for the response. I gave the prerequisite part II courses a look and I seem to meet the requirements for the Part III courses I'm interested in taking (QFT, Gen Relativity, Differential Geometry, PDEs and Functional Analysis). Do you know how many lectures are given per week in a typical Part II course?
 
  • #4
pasmith
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Thanks for the response. I gave the prerequisite part II courses a look and I seem to meet the requirements for the Part III courses I'm interested in taking (QFT, Gen Relativity, Differential Geometry, PDEs and Functional Analysis). Do you know how many lectures are given per week in a typical Part II course?
Part II courses are either 16 lectures or 24 lectures. Terms are 8 weeks, so that is 2 lectures per week or 3 lectures per week respectively.
 

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