Auditing a course. Is it helpful for application?

Forum for the GRE subject test in mathematics.
sabq
Posts: 31
Joined: Fri Mar 08, 2013 10:59 pm

Auditing a course. Is it helpful for application?

Postby sabq » Fri Apr 12, 2013 4:21 pm

Hello!

As I mentioned in another post, I only applied to one program and got rejected from it this year :( .

I come from a physics background and so as far as math his concerned, I took the standard calculus sequence, linear algebra, differential equations, and an upper division linear algebra course (textbook "Linear Algebra Done right" an awesome book!). In addition, I took two "mathematical methods" course as an undergrad which include special functions and PDEs.

I would like to move to switch to applied math. Although I have all the prerequisites to get to the program, I feel that I can be more competitive if I take some pure math courses this year. However, I don't want to spend $$ on tuition!

Anybody knows if auditing courses is taken seriously by graduate schools?

Also, is programming considered a plus in applied math graduate programs?

Thanks in advance!

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

Re: Auditing a course. Is it helpful for application?

Postby Legendre » Sat Apr 13, 2013 12:03 pm

1. No. Unless you received official grades or the university officially knowledge your participation for the course.

2. Programming is a plus only if you can prove you can do it. E.g. a certificate, a formal course or a research project.

abstruse
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2012 3:57 am

Re: Auditing a course. Is it helpful for application?

Postby abstruse » Sat Apr 13, 2013 1:59 pm

Legendre wrote:1. No. Unless you received official grades or the university officially knowledge your participation for the course.

2. Programming is a plus only if you can prove you can do it. E.g. a certificate, a formal course or a research project.


I couldn't disagree more, I've audited several classes that I mentioned in my SOP--to my benefit I was told.

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

Re: Auditing a course. Is it helpful for application?

Postby Legendre » Sat Apr 13, 2013 5:15 pm

abstruse wrote:I couldn't disagree more, I've audited several classes that I mentioned in my SOP--to my benefit I was told.


The problem is that anyone can claim they audited a bunch of classes. There is no way to prove that the student wasn't lying or if the student actually paid attention to the classes.

IMHO while it would be nice to state on your SOP, it is unlikely to be of significant value since there is no way to verify these claims.

sabq
Posts: 31
Joined: Fri Mar 08, 2013 10:59 pm

Re: Auditing a course. Is it helpful for application?

Postby sabq » Sat Apr 13, 2013 6:24 pm

Legendre wrote:
abstruse wrote:I couldn't disagree more, I've audited several classes that I mentioned in my SOP--to my benefit I was told.


The problem is that anyone can claim they audited a bunch of classes. There is no way to prove that the student wasn't lying or if the student actually paid attention to the classes.

IMHO while it would be nice to state on your SOP, it is unlikely to be of significant value since there is no way to verify these claims.


Thanks to both of you for your input. Yes, I realize that it is not as valuable as taking a course the formal/traditional way, but, it is better than nothing.

By the way, are there online courses that one can enroll in and take over the summer (for free)? The thing for me is that I must have new 'stuff' in my application in order to enhance my chances for next year.

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

Re: Auditing a course. Is it helpful for application?

Postby Legendre » Sun Apr 14, 2013 10:45 am

sabq wrote:Thanks to both of you for your input. Yes, I realize that it is not as valuable as taking a course the formal/traditional way, but, it is better than nothing.

By the way, are there online courses that one can enroll in and take over the summer (for free)? The thing for me is that I must have new 'stuff' in my application in order to enhance my chances for next year.


You should try your best to get research experience. In fact, you should have started finding research experience months ago in preparation for re-application (and to improve your research skills if your application was successful).

Auditing a bunch of courses is pretty much equal to nothing simply because there is no proof that you actually audited them.

sabq
Posts: 31
Joined: Fri Mar 08, 2013 10:59 pm

Re: Auditing a course. Is it helpful for application?

Postby sabq » Sun Apr 14, 2013 12:17 pm

Well, with whom do I do research? I have already graduated. Doing research on my own is probably like auditing courses, isn't it?

I found the site coursera.org where one can enroll in courses online, do homework and exams, and at the end get a certificate from the professor. I have just enrolled in a seven-week course called "Mathematical Biostatistics Boot Camp" by Prof. Brian Caffo from Johns Hopkins University. I will see how it goes.

cooltrainer
Posts: 57
Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2013 11:50 pm

Re: Auditing a course. Is it helpful for application?

Postby cooltrainer » Sun Apr 14, 2013 12:54 pm

sabq wrote:Hello!


Anybody knows if auditing courses is taken seriously by graduate schools?





You can ask the professor(s) to write an evaluation of your performance in the class. You can also make a copy of your tests/quizzes/homework/etc. I have been sitting in a lot of classes at another university because my university does not even have analysis classes. I think it worked for me because I was waitlisted at an Ivy school and accepted two good programs with full funding.

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

Re: Auditing a course. Is it helpful for application?

Postby Legendre » Sun Apr 14, 2013 7:00 pm

sabq wrote:Well, with whom do I do research? I have already graduated. Doing research on my own is probably like auditing courses, isn't it?


Do research with professors or postdocs.

http://academia.stackexchange.com/quest ... /8127#8127




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