[advice] applied math, Brown?

Forum for the GRE subject test in mathematics.
harmonic
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:13 pm

[advice] applied math, Brown?

Postby harmonic » Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:58 pm

Hi all,

First, I'd like to thank everyone here for all the helpful information that even a lurker can benefit from.

I've been fortunate enough to get an acceptance letter from DAM @ Brown (that list of rejections on grad cafe was a bloodbath! ) -- the only school I got accepted to.

My question is: how good is Brown? I've seen the rankings, it's high for applied, but what's going on there currently? How are the profs? How easily can I work with someone in pure math? What are Brown's specialties? Who are the really good researchers in applied math? Specifically, I am interested in Fourier / harmonic analysis, Lie theory, geometry, topology and PDEs, in so far as these can be applied to real-world problems and numerical analysis.

I'm asking because I have the potential of getting a one year master's and applying again, this time with a better GRE score and a possibly more focused area of research, numerical methods with Lie groups and invariantization. I've been told I can get into any school I want if I play my cards right -- I've been looking particularly at MIT and Princeton's ACM.

I have to say I still don't know wtf I want to do. Brown looks like a good place but maybe it wouldn't be a bad idea to stay at my home institution, pick up some more knowledge and then target specific researchers to do really good things with them.

Does anyone have any insight? I'll appreciate any comments.

Legendre
Posts: 217
Joined: Wed Jun 03, 2009 1:05 am

Re: [advice] applied math, Brown?

Postby Legendre » Wed Feb 20, 2013 5:31 am

I think it is silly to turn down a highly competitive school like Brown to do a masters.

mindreader
Posts: 90
Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2012 11:12 am

Re: [advice] applied math, Brown?

Postby mindreader » Wed Feb 20, 2013 5:43 am

Legendre wrote:I think it is silly to turn down a highly competitive school like Brown to do a masters.


I think the masters program he is referring to is the Part III of the mathematical tripos at Cambridge. Since you have a lot of background about UK schools Legendre, what are the merits of attending such a program? Is it prestigious and highly regarded?

I have been informed that memorization is the key to success in this program. I might be mistaken...

mindreader
Posts: 90
Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2012 11:12 am

Re: [advice] applied math, Brown?

Postby mindreader » Wed Feb 20, 2013 5:48 am

although congrats to you harmonic for a job well done! getting into brown DAM is tougher than what I expected. :)

I am just curious, may I know what your profile is like...? if you attended a top university, won some prestigious awards (like olympiads, Putnam, research etc.), took many graduate courses, published papers, TAed many courses, etc.?

Legendre
Posts: 217
Joined: Wed Jun 03, 2009 1:05 am

Re: [advice] applied math, Brown?

Postby Legendre » Wed Feb 20, 2013 8:01 am

mindreader wrote:
Legendre wrote:I think it is silly to turn down a highly competitive school like Brown to do a masters.


I think the masters program he is referring to is the Part III of the mathematical tripos at Cambridge. Since you have a lot of background about UK schools Legendre, what are the merits of attending such a program? Is it prestigious and highly regarded?

I have been informed that memorization is the key to success in this program. I might be mistaken...


If I am not wrong, you seat for written exams in Part III and so memorization is the key. Also, most people who do very well are those who already have a lot of background in the subjects they take.

In my humble opinion it is totally not worth it to give up a Brown PhD offer to go for Part III. In fact, most people in the Part III are those looking to go to prestigious places like Brown. Many end up at places that are far less competitive/prestigious even after MSc at Oxbridge, so I really wonder what can be gained from doing this.

Furthermore, by the time you re-apply, you would have just started your MSc and not have any results, recommendations or research work that will improve your profile.

mindreader wrote:although congrats to you harmonic for a job well done! getting into brown DAM is tougher than what I expected. :)

I am just curious, may I know what your profile is like...? if you attended a top university, won some prestigious awards (like olympiads, Putnam, research etc.), took many graduate courses, published papers, TAed many courses, etc.?


Yes congrats, and I would to know more about your profile too - so I can better improve myself for next year's application. :cry:

mindreader
Posts: 90
Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2012 11:12 am

Re: [advice] applied math, Brown?

Postby mindreader » Wed Feb 20, 2013 8:13 am

mindreader wrote:although congrats to you harmonic for a job well done! getting into brown DAM is tougher than what I expected. :)

I am just curious, may I know what your profile is like...? if you attended a top university, won some prestigious awards (like olympiads, Putnam, research etc.), took many graduate courses, published papers, TAed many courses, etc.?


Yes congrats, and I would to know more about your profile too - so I can better improve myself for next year's application. :cry:[/quote]

if at least one school accepts you, you will proceed with it, right? i mean i am amazed by your dedication should you go for it a 3rd time

harmonic
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:13 pm

Re: [advice] applied math, Brown?

Postby harmonic » Wed Feb 20, 2013 12:14 pm

hi all,

thanks for all the positive and encouraging comments. I'm indeed lucky to have gotten in. I should also correct myself in saying I can get into any school I want -- that's nonsense -- at best, I have a reasonable shot.

I am at a top institution in my country, not the UK, in a strong math program. If I stayed for my master's, I would be doing specific research with a specific person who is known in his field -- though how well-known, I don't know. The purpose of this would be specifically to get a publication.

For those wanting to know about my profile, here it is:
I had low subject GRE (740 math) [I was sick the two weeks before and was on antibiotics during the exam], which I've been told kept me out of a lot of schools.
I have no putnam, no competitions. I've never been into that stuff.
On the other hand, I have a near-perfect GPA, started taking grad courses in geometry and topology in my second year, three scholarships which cover my tuition, have spoken at several conferences, and have written two articles for undergrad magazines. I have a joint publication in preparation and I've written about a dozen small documents on various topics ranging from compact operators on hilbert spaces, to harmonic function theory, to spectral theory and Riemannian manifolds. I also got a stipend to teach a few tutorials in measure theory for one of my supervisors' classes. I've worked at the school's math help centre for two years now and graded, lots of private tutoring.

I think what really did it was research experience. I've gotten two REU-type scholarships and I stuck with them, so about eight months of research at a time on a single project. Most importantly, I impressed a prof who got his PhD at Brown during my summer work: I worked consistently, independently, found my own resources / papers / books to read from, was always ready to present ideas, and from the 2 projects I have nearly 100 pages of personal work.


I've heard Brown is very good from everyone, but again I have to visit first. What are my options for talking to profs and checking their research?

mindreader
Posts: 90
Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2012 11:12 am

Re: [advice] applied math, Brown?

Postby mindreader » Wed Feb 20, 2013 1:14 pm

harmonic wrote:hi all,

thanks for all the positive and encouraging comments. I'm indeed lucky to have gotten in. I should also correct myself in saying I can get into any school I want -- that's nonsense -- at best, I have a reasonable shot.

I am at a top institution in my country, not the UK, in a strong math program. If I stayed for my master's, I would be doing specific research with a specific person who is known in his field -- though how well-known, I don't know. The purpose of this would be specifically to get a publication.

For those wanting to know about my profile, here it is:
I had low subject GRE (740 math) [I was sick the two weeks before and was on antibiotics during the exam], which I've been told kept me out of a lot of schools.
I have no putnam, no competitions. I've never been into that stuff.
On the other hand, I have a near-perfect GPA, started taking grad courses in geometry and topology in my second year, three scholarships which cover my tuition, have spoken at several conferences, and have written two articles for undergrad magazines. I have a joint publication in preparation and I've written about a dozen small documents on various topics ranging from compact operators on hilbert spaces, to harmonic function theory, to spectral theory and Riemannian manifolds. I also got a stipend to teach a few tutorials in measure theory for one of my supervisors' classes. I've worked at the school's math help centre for two years now and graded, lots of private tutoring.

I think what really did it was research experience. I've gotten two REU-type scholarships and I stuck with them, so about eight months of research at a time on a single project. Most importantly, I impressed a prof who got his PhD at Brown during my summer work: I worked consistently, independently, found my own resources / papers / books to read from, was always ready to present ideas, and from the 2 projects I have nearly 100 pages of personal work.


I've heard Brown is very good from everyone, but again I have to visit first. What are my options for talking to profs and checking their research?


This profile is simply divine. best of luck in making your decisions!

Legendre
Posts: 217
Joined: Wed Jun 03, 2009 1:05 am

Re: [advice] applied math, Brown?

Postby Legendre » Wed Feb 20, 2013 4:09 pm

mindreader wrote:
harmonic wrote:hi all,
This profile is simply divine. best of luck in making your decisions!


Yep, an amazing profile. All those research experience were definitely the deciding factor (on top of grades + scholarships).

Now I understand why you are hesitant to jump at the Brown admit. And I can see why doing more research with well known faculty would improve your chances.

Have you spoken to your professors about this? Perhaps they can offer some advice on whether Brown is a good place for you.




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