Picking a Program?

Forum for the GRE subject test in mathematics.
kailun
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Dec 17, 2013 2:30 pm

Picking a Program?

Postby kailun » Fri Mar 28, 2014 5:34 pm

Hey guys!

I am trying to figure out which program I want to attend so that the schools have the chance to offer my spot to someone else. I've narrowed it down to two choices and wanted to hear any advice that you guys could give me! Both programs are for applied math, but one program is ranked much higher than the other, but I don't know who I would want to conduct research with. My other program though gave me a fellowship, and I really like the professor that I'd likely work with. I'm working on making a pro and con list and have tried the "imagine you are going to one school and see how you feel" trick already as well.

Thanks and good luck to all of you!

Ryker
Posts: 74
Joined: Mon Jul 08, 2013 11:27 pm

Re: Picking a Program?

Postby Ryker » Fri Mar 28, 2014 8:34 pm

Is it between Brown and UNC Chapel Hill? You really think Brown is ranked that much higher? I guess in applied math, but I wasn't sure whether you were talking about maths in general. Other than that, I don't know, that's always a tough choice. Do you just not know who to go with, but there are plenty of good options? Or is it that there's no one in particular that does what you'd like to do?

kailun
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Dec 17, 2013 2:30 pm

Re: Picking a Program?

Postby kailun » Fri Mar 28, 2014 9:34 pm

Yeah, it is between Brown and UNC. I guess from what I read on the internet it made it seem like Brown was ranked much more highly in applied math than UNC, but I am honestly don't know if that is actually true or not :oops: . At UNC, I have a professor who I am interested in working with him, but I am not sure if my research interests will change once I take grad level courses. At Brown, I don't have a professor that I am as interested to work in. When I went up to visit, I met with only a few faculty members and only one's research interested me, and not nearly as much as the person at UNC. But it seems like at Brown you can go in without an advisor in mind...

Thanks for the response, Ryker!

Edit: I guess I should also add that I am not 100% certain what direction I want to pursue with my research. I mostly want to take more courses and see what direction that takes me in for research.

dasgut
Posts: 250
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2010 12:20 am

Re: Picking a Program?

Postby dasgut » Tue Apr 01, 2014 10:54 pm

Hey! I figured I'd chime in. Sorry, I'm so late to post.

kailun wrote: At UNC, I have a professor who I am interested in working with him, but I am not sure if my research interests will change once I take grad level courses..


This I think is a VERY important part of your post. You probably don't want to pick a school just because one professor is really interested in you. What happens if they change schools? Will they take you with them? What if you don't mesh personality-wise when you're doing research? How good are the jobs that said professor gets for his or her students?* What happens if you change research interests? These are all big questions. There's a lot of risk involved in these aspects specifically if you're committed to a single professor from the go.

If you're uncertain of what you want then it's probably advisable to go to the best school you've got an offer provided it has faculty in all the areas you're interested in AND their faculty on the whole tends to get their students good jobs. I have friends at a few name-brand schools with sink or swim atmospheres. Sure, if you're there and you're a star then life is great. If you're not a star, however, then you've probably wasted five years of your life in a really shitty environment just to get a piece of paper with a university name on it that'll impress people at cocktail parties. That being said I'd suspect Brown has a pretty collegial friendly environment.

Regardless, you've got two kick ass programs to chose from so I'm sure it'll work out either way :)
*For example, Dilip Madan is a huge name in math fin, but he appears to be pretty mediocre at getting his students good academic jobs.




Return to “Mathematics GRE Forum: The GRE Subject Test in Mathematics”



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests