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Where should I apply for my undergrad in math?

  1. Jun 13, 2010 #1
    I am a bit confused as to where I should apply for my undergrad. I know I definitely want to do pure mathematics, and I am looking at schools in the US (I am not from there). I do physics, math and further math at my high school as well as some personal work in my free time.... what I want to know is what school will give me the best foundation for graduate work and research? I know alot of people say harvard, princeton and other 'brand name' schools for math like that.. but is that really where I will get the best education and exposure?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 14, 2010 #2
    Well, I think the school I'm at, Rice University, has an outstanding and underappreciated mathematics program for undergraduates. For graduate students I'd say it's good but not incredible, but for undergraduates it's nearly perfect.

    There is a big variety of courses, all of which are pretty challenging. The professors are just as nice as they could be, and they're good teachers, too. They're all very passionate about teaching. The department is small, which means you'll get tons of personal attention--last semester I did a research seminar in knot theory that consisted of me, two other undergraduates, and the professor, who is a researcher in knot theory and topology. The grading is hard enough to push you to your limit but never unfair.

    Plus Rice has the Honor code, which means at least half your tests will be take-home and maybe even open-book. Of course, that means the problems will be correspondingly harder, and you will be under the obligation to follow the Honor code--punishments for violations are extremely harsh. But it's definitely worth it. It adds a lot of pleasure and freedom to the education process without sacrificing any of its integrity.
     
  4. Jun 14, 2010 #3
    hey man thanks alot. I have heard of rice university, I will definitely look into it!
     
  5. Jun 15, 2010 #4

    thrill3rnit3

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    I was wondering too of good math undergrad schools apart from the household names.
     
  6. Jun 15, 2010 #5
    <<want to know is what school will give me the best foundation for graduate work and research? I know alot of people say harvard, princeton and other 'brand name' schools for math like that.. but is that really where I will get the best education and exposure?>>

    I mean, Harvard and Princeton contain some of the leading scholars in the field of number theory. It's hard to find a better place for studying that subject if you're insanely hardcore about it. They also tend to have very strong grad students in general, as the programs are competitive and exceptionally regarded.

    But lots of schools have great programs. Go to any Ivy League school and you'll find a great one. MIT, Stanford, U.Chicago, Berkeley, U. Michigan, UCLA, NYU are some non-Ivy schools which have absolutely terrific programs. Carnegie Mellon is a wonderful place if you are interested in logic, and their computer science school adds color to things.
     
  7. Jun 15, 2010 #6
    Well... I go to University of Oregon, and in terms of public schools their math research department is 12th (I think) in the nation. Here's a list of the top public and private math research universities ranked by the American Mathematical Society: http://www.ams.org/profession/data/annual-survey/group_i
     
  8. Jun 16, 2010 #7

    thrill3rnit3

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    I think this is for graduate studies.
     
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