U of A

Forum for the GRE subject test in mathematics.
marco
Posts: 263
Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2012 2:27 am

U of A

Postby marco » Sun Mar 24, 2013 5:48 pm

I have gotten into the Mathematics PhD program at University of Arizona.
Lately I have been checking the U of A out and it looks pretty awesome. I have gotten in touch with
a potential advisor and his research seems to be exactly what I would like to be doing.
Moreover, University of Arizona seems to be a very good place to be doing research in Applied Math, it has been ranked #17 (tied with Cornell) by USNews and as high as #5 by NRC (ahead of Caltech for example).
I would just like to know what are your thoughts about U of A in general?
Would you consider it a top school in Applied Math? Has anyone visited the math department?
What is the atmosphere like?

Any information would be greatly appreciated.

farmhouse
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Mar 21, 2013 11:10 pm

Re: U of A

Postby farmhouse » Sun Mar 24, 2013 6:12 pm

I visited U of A (applied program) and I really liked it. I think it is one of my top choices right now. The atmosphere was friendly, and it seems like the pure and applied programs interact a fair amount. It was mentioned that some pure math students do research with an applied flair. Feel free to PM me if you have specific questions.

dangxing
Posts: 92
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:37 am

Re: U of A

Postby dangxing » Sun Mar 24, 2013 8:47 pm

Ranking is not that good. Cornell is absolutely much better

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

Re: U of A

Postby marco » Mon Mar 25, 2013 1:35 am

In ranking the pure math department is not that good but Im talking about the rankings of the Applied Math program.

dangxing
Posts: 92
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:37 am

Re: U of A

Postby dangxing » Mon Mar 25, 2013 1:53 am

marco wrote:In ranking the pure math department is not that good but Im talking about the rankings of the Applied Math program.


Cornell's Applied math is very very good

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

Re: U of A

Postby Legendre » Mon Mar 25, 2013 7:41 am

IMHO that ranking is unreliable. University of Minnesota is ranked higher than Stanford, Princeton, Cornell, Chicago, Washington, CMU...which is odd.

I suppose it also depends on what you want to do. If you want to do applied graph theory - Cornell is THE place (Steve Strogatz et al!). If you want to do algorithms - CMU IMHO. Applied maths in economics - Chicago IMHO.

I concur that Cornell > Uni of Arizona.

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

Re: U of A

Postby marco » Mon Mar 25, 2013 10:47 am

Yeah, I was not saying that Cornell and Arizona were the same, just that according to USNews they were ranked equally.
I would probably be doing Applied Stochastic Analysis to Biology an area where I think U of A is good at though.
Thanks for your input guys.

viqule
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2013 1:59 am

Re: U of A

Postby viqule » Mon Mar 25, 2013 11:17 am

In a personal sense, the rankings hold a lot less weight. If you get into anything that is considered top 40, and employers know the program's name, that is all you really need. Plenty of your Professors have went to a wide array of institutions, some 2nd tier and below, and made it to that university because they like what they were learning and were great at it. There is no doubt that landing anywhere with an overall strong program will provide the same cultivation.

In reality, what matters most is being somewhere where you feel comfortable living and experiencing grad life for 4-5 years. In 20 years, you aren't going to reflect on grad school by, "X school was ranked #Y"; you are going to say, "X school was a great experience (or terrible, hopefully not!) where I learned a lot of valuable material, made close friends I still talk to, and took the connections available from the program to get where I am today." Being at a couple different grad schools (granted, for different material) for the past few years has taught me that even if a program is ranked as "the top", it rarely is the best university for a graduate school education. You might have more research opportunities, but they often are not always in your field. Likewise, the top institutions are often less worried about pedagogy as they are research, which often leave unnecessary holes in a lesson. After all, our PhD is most likely going to be based after our dissertation advisor's own work anyway, so why not find ones which actually will make us better learners and researchers?

If Arizona appears to be a very strong school aesthetically, and you believe that it will make you happy for the next 4-5 years (student-wise, location-wise, friendliness of the department, classes and research that interest you, etc), then it is far and away a better choice than a school that gives you less-than-stellar vibes over their program. This is 4-5 years of your life, and there is no reason you shouldn't be happy during it.

dangxing
Posts: 92
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:37 am

Re: U of A

Postby dangxing » Tue Mar 26, 2013 1:42 pm

I am sorry I guess I misunderstand the question before. I asked some professors similar questions before. My point is that the professor told me such ranking is totally not trustful. You can't evaluate a program depending just on ranking. The best thing to do is to ask some professors in the certain areas I guess.

voronoi
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Feb 21, 2013 12:43 pm

Re: U of A

Postby voronoi » Thu Mar 28, 2013 11:21 am

Legendre wrote:IMHO that ranking is unreliable. University of Minnesota is ranked higher than Stanford, Princeton, Cornell, Chicago, Washington, CMU...which is odd.

I suppose it also depends on what you want to do. If you want to do applied graph theory - Cornell is THE place (Steve Strogatz et al!). If you want to do algorithms - CMU IMHO. Applied maths in economics - Chicago IMHO.

I concur that Cornell > Uni of Arizona.


For myself, I don't count that much on the rankings either, and I agree that overall, Cornell CAM is better than U of A applied math. However, University of Minnesota does deserve some recognition here. I don't know about pure math, but for applied math, UMN has one of the most well-respected programs out there in the US. Out of the schools you mentioned, I think only Princeton has an edge over UMN. Cornell is on the same par, and UMN is better than Stanford, Chicago (not that good for applied math), Washington (I assume Uni of Washington), and definitely CMU. If you look at some of the faculty at CMU, a lot of them went to UMN for their Ph.Ds.

Regarding applied graph theory, another place worth mentioning is U Michigan. Mark Newman is there.

jananadew
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Apr 07, 2013 2:21 pm

Re: U of A

Postby jananadew » Sun Apr 07, 2013 2:37 pm

I'm attempting to make a decision about U of A as well- I've been accepted there with funding, and waitlisted for funding at UNC Chapel Hill and UC Boulder. Anyone have a sense about how U of A compares to those programs (For applied math)?

MathFreaked
Posts: 48
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2013 8:49 pm

Re: U of A

Postby MathFreaked » Sun Apr 07, 2013 7:49 pm

jananadew wrote:I'm attempting to make a decision about U of A as well- I've been accepted there with funding, and waitlisted for funding at UNC Chapel Hill and UC Boulder. Anyone have a sense about how U of A compares to those programs (For applied math)?


When did you hear back from the applied math program about funding? Sorry I can't really answer your question.

jananadew
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Apr 07, 2013 2:21 pm

Re: U of A

Postby jananadew » Thu Apr 11, 2013 10:30 pm

MathFreaked wrote:When did you hear back from the applied math program about funding? Sorry I can't really answer your question.


Last month. I've gotten a funding offer from Boulder now as well, so the decision's gotten a bit harder >_<.




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