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University of Utah

Posted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 11:35 am
by ttwttw05
This year, i applied 10 grad school and the only one school, university of utah, gave me an admission.

But I am not sure that whether u of u is good or not.

I just applied to u of u from the data 'US News rank '30''.

But after then, i realized that except US News, u of u has low rank between 50-100.

So i want to know u of u is good enough for me.

p.s. I didn't decide my major yet. but i am thinking about majoring math biology , image processing , or analysis(numerical or p.d.e. or functional analysis)

Re: University of Utah

Posted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 11:49 am
by mathfreak
University of Utah is in AMS group 1. So, I think it should be very good though I'm not completely sure about it.

http://www.ams.org/profession/data/annual-survey/group_i

Re: University of Utah

Posted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 1:31 pm
by math_applicant
I hear that university of Utah has a very strong (top) research group in algebraic geometry, stronger than some top 10 programs in math in this particular field, so you might want to take that into consideration.

Re: University of Utah

Posted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 1:50 pm
by mathfreak
math_applicant wrote:I hear that university of Utah has a very strong (top) research group in algebraic geometry, stronger than some top 10 programs in math in this particular field, so you might want to take that into consideration.


Yes, University of Utah has some of the best algebraic geometers including Christopher Hacon.

Re: University of Utah

Posted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 4:00 pm
by tikalora
I've heard from my advisor that U of U is great for biomath

Re: University of Utah

Posted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 6:55 pm
by AcidThinking
mathfreak wrote:University of Utah is in AMS group 1. So, I think it should be very good though I'm not completely sure about it.

http://www.ams.org/profession/data/annual-survey/group_i



The AMS grouping relies on the 1995 NRC ranking which is pretty old.

The following is a much more recent (2010) NRC ranking:

http://www.happyschoolsblog.com/mathematics-rankings/

So Utah is placed in the 56th position. That's not extremely bad. It's ok. Still pretty decent. If you can work with a very good advisor there then you're going to be OK.

Re: University of Utah

Posted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 7:04 pm
by Legendre
mathfreak wrote:University of Utah is in AMS group 1. So, I think it should be very good though I'm not completely sure about it.

http://www.ams.org/profession/data/annual-survey/group_i


This is based on very old data: "1995 NRC Study".

Re: University of Utah

Posted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 7:06 pm
by Legendre
AcidThinking wrote: The AMS grouping relies on the 1995 NRC ranking which is pretty old.

The following is a much more recent (2010) NRC ranking:

http://www.happyschoolsblog.com/mathematics-rankings/

So Utah is placed in the 56th position. That's not extremely bad. It's ok. Still pretty decent. If you can work with a very good advisor there then you're going to be OK.


I find that ranking quite suspicious since Penn State and Wisconsin Madison are ranked above UCLA, Cornell and Caltech.

Re: University of Utah

Posted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 7:06 pm
by torelli
One red flag in this updated list is that Michigan State University (among others) ranks higher than the University of Chicago, so take that updated list with a huge grain of salt...

Re: University of Utah

Posted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 7:22 pm
by AcidThinking
What's wrong with that? I don't get it. Just because it is the social norm to think of Chicago as better than MSU, then this ranking is flawed?

A ranking is just that: a ranking. It reflects what statistical studies have shown. In no way does it mean that MSU is better in everything than Chicago, you should look at the details and ask yourself how they arrived to this result instead of throwing the baby with the bathwater.

Re: University of Utah

Posted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 7:46 pm
by torelli
But you see it is flawed. If you care for the details behind data collection check this 2010 blog post:

http://quomodocumque.wordpress.com/2010 ... hrough-15/

Here are some relevant comments made by senior mathematicians:

Here’s a possible explanation for why the University of Chicago was only #21. From the full data, you can see they counted postdocs (Dickson instructors) as faculty. In particular, they counted 66 faculty of which only 54% are tenured (roughly matching the 32 permament faculty listed on their webpage). So this increases the denominator in all the faculty related things, and they did poorly in publications per faculty (99 of 125), though decent in cites per pub (21 of 125). Also the portion of faculty with grant support was low (58% or 62 of 125) but their award level was decent (21 of 125).


An interesting twist on Nathan’s observation on Dickson instructors at Chicago:
at Yale 100% of the faculty reported is tenured faculty. I.e. the Gibbs instructors
were not counted at all.

So while Chicago counted all of it’s non-tenured faculty as faculty, Yale did not.
And apparently the rules for self reporting this information were vague enough
and the people sorting the data knew little enough that the disparity was simply
allowed and not correction was made for it.

Does make one wonder how many other poor judgement calls were made in
the course of designing and implementing the survey.


A more general comment on the data: as has already been noted, it seems that the way faculty is counted is completely unsystematic. Both Chicago’s and Harvard’s counts seem to include non-tenure line terminal positions (Dicksons and BPs). Northwestern’s count seems to include non research faculty. Some other counts seem to include just the tenure-line faculty. Given the obvious difference this can make to things like publications, citations, and grants per faculty, this seems to be a fairly fundamental flaw in the data collection.


All I'm trying to say here is that the OP shouldn't base his decision on the updated NRC list, or any ranking for that matter.

Re: University of Utah

Posted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 12:47 am
by mathfreak
University of Chicago has one of the best of faculties in the world. It's one of the world's leading centre for research in Langlands' pogram. Ngô Bảo Châu (Fields Medal 2010) and Vladmir Drinfeld (Fields Medal 1990) are both professors in University of Chicago.

But I think OP shouldn't base his decision just based on ranking. A department may be weak in one field of mathematics but can be very strong in some other field. Rankings won't show that. I think the best option is to check how strong is the department in your fields of interest.

Re: University of Utah

Posted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 5:35 am
by math_applicant
mathfreak wrote:I think the best option is to check how strong is the department in your fields of interest.

Do you mind sharing your input on how one can do that ?

Re: University of Utah

Posted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 7:23 am
by Legendre
math_applicant wrote:
mathfreak wrote:I think the best option is to check how strong is the department in your fields of interest.

Do you mind sharing your input on how one can do that ?


Yes, I would like to know too. I guess two possibilities are:

1) See how many of the faculty are doing research in that field, and if they have a center/group that specializes in it.

2) State your research interests clearly and truthfully in your statement and CV. IMHO admissions would have thought about whether the department can support your interests before making you an offer. Also, you can ask the faculty whether your interests will be well supported (I asked the director of graduate admissions at one school about that, and their future plans for the department).

Re: University of Utah

Posted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 8:58 am
by lowdt
It's one of the best schools for geometric group theory. Otherwise, I hear it's okay.

Re: University of Utah

Posted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 10:06 am
by ttwttw05
Thank you, all of above for replying my post.

I actually never thought about majoring algebraic geometry.

Cuz it seems so hard to study. Even though i got all A+ in abstract algebra related courses, i am not sure whether i can do it well or not.

As you guys replied above, it is not a bad choice to get my Ph.d. at u of u.
(Actually, i don't want to spend another one year to prepare the grad school)- it is the main reason.

From now on, I will try to find who is the best adviser for me.

Is there any criterion to find out who is good for adviser?

p.s. I find out a web site relating applied math, http://www.sci.utah.edu/ have you heard about SCI in utah?

Re: University of Utah

Posted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 11:10 am
by mathfreak
math_applicant wrote:
mathfreak wrote:I think the best option is to check how strong is the department in your fields of interest.

Do you mind sharing your input on how one can do that ?


Here are few things I would try

1. Get some expert opinion. Consult people who are knowledgeable about your field of interest.

2. As Legendre has already pointed, the number of faculty members working in a particular field is a very rough indicator of how strong that department is in that field. What is much more important is the quality of the research output from the department. Find out who whether they are among the top researchers in that field. Where are they publishing their work? Who are their collaborators? Under whom did they get their phds from.

3. Find out what how many students have already done phd in that field from the department and what are they currently doing now.

Re: University of Utah

Posted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 11:14 am
by mathfreak
ttwttw05 wrote:From now on, I will try to find who is the best adviser for me.

Is there any criterion to find out who is good for adviser?



A good advisor is generally the one who is a good researcher (though this is not always true). Also, one should check out what his previous phd students are doing now.