1. Not finding help here? Sign up for a free 30min tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Programs Realistic Math PhD Advice

  1. Nov 18, 2008 #1
    Well, let me start with a bit of background info. My transcript is an absolute mess, I have dropped out twice (one withdrawal, and one semester of all F's). So basically I am finishing a 4 year degree in 5. Since my whole dropout phase I have been at 3 schools total, a community college, a local state university, and now I back at my original school, a well respected (top 15) school finishing up a pure math degree.

    My GPA here is pretty poor, due to 16 hours of F's (all one semester). In terms of core coursework, things aren't so bad but still a bit spotty.

    A: Analysis 1, Algebra 1, Probability, Topology, Linear Algebra, Vector Calc
    B: Algebra 2, Knot Theory, Number Theory, Diff Eq
    C: Complex Analysis

    This semester I am probably gonna get an A in Analysis 2 (measure & integration, hilbert spaces), A or B in an "applied linear algebra" class (mainly spectral theorem and applications to problems of physics) and a C in a numerical methods class.

    I'm really lazy when it comes to some classes, if it doesn't interest me I have a bad habit of just not doing the work. That's a pretty gaping character flaw of mine. However, when I am interested in something I'm pretty dedicated to it, I think I would find phd level mathematics rewarding and would even be pretty good at it (relatively speaking... not a superstar but able to do good work).

    Next semester I'm gonna take the undergrad PDE and Diff Geometry courses, and I'll probably get A's in both of those.

    I missed the GRE deadline so I'm gonna apply next fall, but I expect I should have a pretty good score. So with the above mentioned grades, and 3 mediocre reference letters ("he was a top student in my class but I don't know much about the guy"), what sort of school should I be shooting for? I hope to be able to continue some independent studies this summer (if I manage to land a job somewhere around here) with a professor on topics in analysis & geometry, so it's possible that I could get at least one interesting letter.

    If anyone read this far, I'd appreciate some advice. I'm probably gonna go talk with a professor about this same issue to see what he has to say.

  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 18, 2008 #2

    Vanadium 50

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor
    2015 Award

    This is a Big Red Flag. This will make life as a graduate student extraordinarily difficult, as you will almost certainly have to learn things that don't immediately interest you.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?

Similar Discussions: Realistic Math PhD Advice
  1. Advice on maths (Replies: 2)