Assessing the strength of a department in a particular field

Forum for the GRE subject test in mathematics.
math_applicant
Posts: 157
Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2012 12:15 pm

Assessing the strength of a department in a particular field

Postby math_applicant » Mon Mar 11, 2013 11:19 am

Rankings aside, how do you guys assess the quality/strength of a certain department in your field of interest ? In particular, how do you compare the strengths of 2 departments in a certain field ?

To make my question more concrete, I am trying to optimize the potential of doing quality research work and the prospect of a career afterwards. So for example, the amount of funding, the beauty of the place and other such factors don't really count towards my question.

I face the particular difficulty of lack of an advisor familiar with schools in the US and lack of advanced knowledge in my field of interest (obviously), so I can't directly infer quality by looking at publications. Also, in other disciplines, one can look at things like impact factor of the faculty and the journals they publish in, but this approach falls short in Math since many people publish preprints. I try also to look at faculty awards, where their collaborators work, invitations to international congress of mathematicians, AMS fellows nominations, etc. If there is a more straightforward way, I don't want to reinvent the wheel.

Manyfolds
Posts: 53
Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:22 pm

Re: Assessing the strength of a department in a particular field

Postby Manyfolds » Mon Mar 11, 2013 12:12 pm

This is a great question, and one that I'm wondering about myself. If you don't mind me asking, which departments and which fields are you considering?

marco
Posts: 263
Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2012 2:27 am

Re: Assessing the strength of a department in a particular field

Postby marco » Mon Mar 11, 2013 12:24 pm

I for one am looking at departments who are strong in Applied Mathematics.

math_applicant
Posts: 157
Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2012 12:15 pm

Re: Assessing the strength of a department in a particular field

Postby math_applicant » Mon Mar 11, 2013 12:35 pm

My field is Algebraic geometry (Moduli problems). I am currently looking at Ohio State uni , Berlin Mathematical school, Stony brook, and Toronto (haven't heard from the latter 2 yet).




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