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Getting into a top math program.

 
 
Reply Sat 22 Jan, 2011 06:39 am
I have a BS in math from a top university. My gpa is not so good, because I almost always study my own interest, and read philosophy. Now, after 4 years out of college. I took 2 courses in econ. I want to get into a top ph.d program in pure math. I score high( 99% above) on all general gre, math gre, physics gre, and c.s gre. What do I need to do?

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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 1,988 • Replies: 7
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fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 22 Jan, 2011 12:58 pm
@TuringEquivalent,
I don't how it operates in the US but in the UK, Ph.D's are not usually obtained by "a program" (that is usually confined to some Masters degrees) but by research supervised by a member of staff who shares the student's academic interests. Graduate students are free to attend any courses they wish, or may be directed towards some by the supervisor. Thus interests may be "kindled" by the supervisor or "farmed out" by him as a sub component of his own research. The status of the Ph.D. often depends on the reputation of the academic who agrees to be the external referee for the thesis. If it were me in the UK, I would find out who was specializing in what fields, pick what looked interesting, and make a direct approach via their departmental secretary.
JPB
 
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Reply Sat 22 Jan, 2011 01:01 pm
@TuringEquivalent,
define "not so good". If it's under a 3.0 you'll probably have to show some suitable work experience that demonstrates that you apply yourself well, even with the high test scores.
TuringEquivalent
 
  1  
Reply Sat 22 Jan, 2011 05:48 pm
@JPB,
JPB wrote:

define "not so good". If it's under a 3.0 you'll probably have to show some suitable work experience that demonstrates that you apply yourself well, even with the high test scores.


My general gpa is 2. 9 because I took over 250 units. I took hard classes in philosophy, math, cs, and physics, because I active search for hard classes to see what I am made of. Never had much interest after the first 3 weeks, and retreat back to my interest, and reading philosophy.

My specific gpa( math) is 3. 13, I took beyond the minimum course load. After the first 3 weeks, I study my own interest, and read philosophy.

I score pretty high in tests, because I like to self-study. It realize the best way to find a job where people give me money to study is by becoming a research prof. This is what I will do.

What can I do to get into to top phd programs? Should I go for some masters degree first, and jump to a top school for PHD?
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TuringEquivalent
 
  1  
Reply Sat 22 Jan, 2011 05:59 pm
@fresco,
fresco wrote:

I don't how it operates in the US but in the UK, Ph.D's are not usually obtained by "a program" (that is usually confined to some Masters degrees) but by research supervised by a member of staff who shares the student's academic interests. Graduate students are free to attend any courses they wish, or may be directed towards some by the supervisor. Thus interests may be "kindled" by the supervisor or "farmed out" by him as a sub component of his own research. The status of the Ph.D. often depends on the reputation of the academic who agrees to be the external referee for the thesis. If it were me in the UK, I would find out who was specializing in what fields, pick what looked interesting, and make a direct approach via their departmental secretary.


Right, I don 't have good rec, and grades, but I do have good test scores. I can also write a convincing PS. What do you think about me getting into a top MS program at a T20? After my MS research, convince the programs at top schools to accept me. My goal is to do research, and academic debates to further some field.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 23 Jan, 2011 01:48 am
@TuringEquivalent,
I would suggest it would be useful to obtain an extra "piece of paper" to back up your application like The Miller Analogies Test which is used by many US universities to assess the probability of graduate success. Armed with a good score on that, it may simply be a case of passing an interview.
High Seas
 
  1  
Reply Sun 23 Jan, 2011 06:58 am
@TuringEquivalent,
TuringEquivalent wrote:

I have a BS in math from a top university. ...

The obvious place to start is at your alma mater. Some schools feel it's better for their undergrads to go to another school for their PhD - no reflection on the students' abilities is implied - but at least they should be able to direct you with admissions requirements and introductions to other top PhD programs.
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High Seas
 
  1  
Reply Sun 23 Jan, 2011 07:37 am
@fresco,
That may be generally helpful but in addition graduate study specifying only "pure mathematics" is somewhat vague. Several fields qualify:
Quote:
Pure Mathematics Fields

* Algebra & Algebraic Geometry
* Algebraic Topology
* Analysis & PDEs
* Geometry
* Mathematical Logic & Foundations
* Number Theory
* Probability & Statistics
* Representation Theory

That's only a list from a single school - other top universities would have different lists and offers for TA / research positions.
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