Math PhD college recommendations

Forum for the GRE subject test in mathematics.
fierydemon
Posts: 39
Joined: Sat Sep 14, 2013 11:57 pm

Math PhD college recommendations

Postby fierydemon » Thu Nov 27, 2014 2:12 am

I'm an engineering undergrad with low CGPA, trying to get a Math PhD position in the US. My college is top 5 in India.

Mathematics GRE Score- 820/990 (83 percentile).
1. Currently working under Professor Kapil Hari Paranjape on Algebraic Geometry for 6 months.
2. Completed the Visiting Students' Research Program at TIFR, Mumbai. I worked on Commutative Algebra under Professor S Subramaniam.
3. Bronze medal- Singapore Math Olympiad (Senior section) and Honourable mention (Open section). I availed a $60,000 scholarship to attend higher secondary school in Singapore.
4. Summer internship at ISI, Kolkata on Ring Theory.
5. Blog on algebra/topology/set theory. Link: http://www.cozilikethinking.wordpress.com I have original proofs of Hilbert's Basis Theorem, Eisenstein's criterion (slight generalization), amongst others.
6. Special project in Algebraic Topology (following Hatcher's book)
7. Edit Commutative Algebra notes for a Masters' student in Berlin School of Mathematics
8. Extensive questions/answers on math.stackexchange.com. Around 2500 credit points.

Could someone suggest colleges that I could apply to? I'd appreciate realistic suggestions. I am aiming as low as 150-200

fierydemon
Posts: 39
Joined: Sat Sep 14, 2013 11:57 pm

Re: Math PhD college recommendations

Postby fierydemon » Sun Nov 30, 2014 6:52 am

Could someone kindly recommend colleges that are likely to accept me? Like I said, I have no dreams of making it to any big names. Thank you.

Mathwhiz25
Posts: 42
Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2014 3:36 am

Re: Math PhD college recommendations

Postby Mathwhiz25 » Sun Nov 30, 2014 1:45 pm

People can't really tell you which universities you should apply to and which ones are likely to accept you. There are no uniform criteria that every university use. I have been using search engines to see what universities are offering. If I am interested, I would apply to their program and hope that I am accepted. Some people with very high qualifications are still not accepted by some universities.

pyfgcr
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2014 1:32 pm

Re: Math PhD college recommendations

Postby pyfgcr » Sun Nov 30, 2014 1:51 pm

Are you hoping to keep working in algebraic geometry? There are many good algebraic geometers and algebraic geometry groups at places that aren't among the usual elite schools, though I don't know the places ranked 150-200 very well. Off the top of my head, you can consider schools like Stony Brook, Notre Dame, Utah, Georgia, WUSTL, Illinois-Chicago, UCSD, Texas A&M, Rutgers, Colorado, Colorado State, Boston College, Northeastern, Idaho, Missouri (of course some of these are very competetive) There are also places strong in commutative algebra that are worth looking at, e.g. Kansas, Kansas State, and Nebraska -- these I don't know much about. These are just places from which I happen to know grad students, far from a comprehensive list! You really have to dig around on faculty lists, I think.

You should also see what places Paranjape suggests! He is somewhat known internationally, at least among algebraic geometers, and will be a familiar name on a recommendation letter. Maybe there is somewhere in the range you want where he has a contact.

bobn
Posts: 61
Joined: Thu Nov 12, 2009 2:59 am

Re: Math PhD college recommendations

Postby bobn » Mon Dec 01, 2014 5:28 pm

Aim TIFR. If you can get recos from Dipendra, Rajan (and Kapil ofcourse) Go to Harvard.

Else, what is your area of interest? Your GRE score is low. What about your GPA? If Kapil writes a decent letter for you, you can get into Caltech. Ask Kapil about which schools he thinks best for you. He is the right person. (If your GRE score is high 90's, with good letter from Kapil and Subramaniam you can get into 2-3 of Top 15). Try to retake test if you can.

fierydemon
Posts: 39
Joined: Sat Sep 14, 2013 11:57 pm

Re: Math PhD college recommendations

Postby fierydemon » Tue Dec 02, 2014 12:36 pm

@Bobn- I don't think it works like that. Even if I do aim for TIFR, and should I also procure letters from Dipendra and Kapil, that does not guarantee me a seat in Harvard. A good reco from Kapil does not get me into Caltech either.

India has lots of stalwarts in various fields, all with lots of contacts and influence. Kapil has visited Caltech some times. There are professors who have been visiting faculty at Harvard. That in itself doesn't amount to much. IF you have an awesome profile and good publications, their recommendations may help you get in. That is about it.

I am a mechanical engineering student from BITS Pilani. My CGPA as of now is 6.39/10. I know Mechanical engineers from IIT Kharagpur with a mich better CGPA, original proofs of important theorems, 95 percentile subject GRE score, etc, who could not get into the shadiest of places in the US or Europe.

Getting a PhD position is a lot more difficult than you're making it out to be, I think.

bobn
Posts: 61
Joined: Thu Nov 12, 2009 2:59 am

Re: Math PhD college recommendations

Postby bobn » Tue Dec 02, 2014 1:34 pm

>>should I also procure letters from Dipendra and Kapil, that does not guarantee me a seat in Harvard.

That does. (don't exclude Rajan).

fierydemon
Posts: 39
Joined: Sat Sep 14, 2013 11:57 pm

Re: Math PhD college recommendations

Postby fierydemon » Tue Dec 02, 2014 1:48 pm

@Bobn- Could I please know your credentials? Are you a current PhD student? Are you at TIFR? I do not need any personal details. It is just that sweeping statements become more credible once the person making them can genuinely claim to know more than the readers.

bobn
Posts: 61
Joined: Thu Nov 12, 2009 2:59 am

Re: Math PhD college recommendations

Postby bobn » Tue Dec 02, 2014 1:56 pm

edited...
Last edited by bobn on Fri Dec 05, 2014 8:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

fierydemon
Posts: 39
Joined: Sat Sep 14, 2013 11:57 pm

Re: Math PhD college recommendations

Postby fierydemon » Tue Dec 02, 2014 11:14 pm

Haha. Well....not much to say after that. Which institute in India are you from? Don't feel obliged to reply if you're not comfortable about revealing any details.




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