Apply or not to apply?

Forum for the GRE subject test in mathematics.
aran1234
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2015 8:08 am

Apply or not to apply?

Postby aran1234 » Fri Feb 20, 2015 8:51 am

I'm new to this website, so I'd apologize if what I'm posting isn't relevant. I'm currently a sophomore, but since I already took essentially all the upper-level math and physics classes in my school (small LAC), I'm considering to graduate after my third year. I'm currently at Math in Moscow and taking Riemann Surfaces, Commutative/Homological Algebras, Homology and Cohomology, and Complex Analysis. I understand that graduating a year early is always discouraged, but since I have nothing to do anymore in this school and don't want to pay expensive tuition (60 k!) for that, I'm seriously considering this option. Could you give me any advice regarding which PhD programs I should aim for based on the following information? If I have no chance for any well-respected PhD programs, should I rather apply to any Masters programs?

Undergrad Institution: Top 20 LAC
Major(s): Mathematics
Minor(s): X
GPA: about 3.75 (major)/3.7 (overall)
Type of Student: International, Male, Asian

GRE Revised General Test: not yet taken (but I believe my verbal score will be low, just like many int'l Asian students)
Q: (%)
V: (%)
W: (%)
GRE Subject Test in Mathematics:
M: 890

Program Applying: Pure Math

Research Experience: 1 REU (I have another REU in this coming summer, and I hope I can publish a paper from that work.)
Awards/Honors/Recognitions: getting 41 in Putnam (2013)
Pertinent Activities or Jobs: currently attending Math in Moscow
Any Miscellaneous Points that Might Help: I took several reading courses to study category theory, differential geometry, and statistical physics at graduate-level.
Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Until the last semester I have taken abstract algebra, rep theory, experimental mathematics, advanced set theory and logic, and field/Galois theory as well as QM, statistical mechanics, and EM.
Last edited by aran1234 on Fri Feb 20, 2015 10:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

deekin
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2013 8:36 pm

Re: Apply or not to apply?

Postby deekin » Fri Feb 20, 2015 10:21 am

Maybe consider staying at Math in Moscow for longer? I know at HSE you have lots of options of what to take and could probably start taking their graduate level coursework, a lot of which is offered in English. Just a thought.

aran1234
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2015 8:08 am

Re: Apply or not to apply?

Postby aran1234 » Fri Feb 20, 2015 10:33 am

deekin wrote:Maybe consider staying at Math in Moscow for longer? I know at HSE you have lots of options of what to take and could probably start taking their graduate level coursework, a lot of which is offered in English. Just a thought.


Thanks for your reply :D I can stay here in the next semester (3rd year fall semester) as well, but my school doesn't allow me to stay here longer than that. So, I won't have anything to do after that.

deekin
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2013 8:36 pm

Re: Apply or not to apply?

Postby deekin » Fri Feb 20, 2015 10:53 am

Hmm, in that case, I have no idea. What do your professors back home say?

aran1234
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2015 8:08 am

Re: Apply or not to apply?

Postby aran1234 » Fri Feb 20, 2015 11:09 am

They did neither discourage nor encourage my plan, since they haven't seen many students who had the same situation as mine. I should probably change my plan depending on the result of my application. For example, I can apply to both Masters (mainly British 1-year MSc programs) and PhD programs, and then I can choose whatever path after seeing my result.

MathCat
Posts: 140
Joined: Thu Oct 23, 2014 12:17 am

Re: Apply or not to apply?

Postby MathCat » Fri Feb 20, 2015 1:46 pm

Since your tuition is really high, and you have taken all the courses you can (and it sounds like you are quite advanced), I think graduating early is a good idea. It doesn't seem worth another 60k to stay! If it was free, I would advise you to stay and seek out research opportunities and more reading courses, but an extra 60k of debt is not worth that.

If you have good LORs, I think your application is very strong. I think you should be able to get into a top 20 school if the bits we can't see are good (LOR, SOP, etc.). I would also point out that there are funded 1 year MSc. programs in Canada. Most of the British programs would not fund you. The University of Toronto is a good school and has a 1 year MSc. The University of Waterloo also offers such a program, although the school is lower ranked (still amongst the best in Canada, but not part of 'the big three' = UBC (in Vancouver), Toronto, and McGill).

aran1234
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2015 8:08 am

Re: Apply or not to apply?

Postby aran1234 » Fri Feb 20, 2015 2:21 pm

Thanks for your suggestion :D I hope I will get nice LORs. Actually, I was just looking at some Canadian programs, such as those of Toronto and Waterloo. I'm glad to know the difference between them, since I like to be funded! So, I will primarily apply to Canadian schools as well as a few prestigious British MSc and some such American PhD programs in hope that a miracle would occur to me.

ntttchd
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2016 9:54 am

Re: Apply or not to apply?

Postby ntttchd » Thu Feb 18, 2016 2:42 am

Ok this is weird. I was in math in Moscow program that same semester and I don't recall any "Asian male" from a "top 20 LAC" who's a sophomore at that time and was in those classes and has taken category theory/Riemannian geometry and stuff before. Do you mind letting me know who you are?




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