MathCat wrote:If you haven't already, you should ask about attrition rates (how many people don't finish the program) and also job placements of graduates. Are they getting the kinds of jobs you want? Are 50% of their students dropping out?
Also, definitely try to correspond with lots of students at both places. It sounds like you didn't get to visit, so try to get as much of a sense of the department as you can by talking to lots of people. Research fit is not the only factor! Some places are much friendlier and supportive of their students than others. I've heard some bad things about Yale in that regard, but it was second hand and the person was there 15 years ago, so take it with a grain of salt.
joga wrote:Things to consider
(a) only 2 geometers
(b) very small student in take - was 3 last year
(c) pretty Strong for representation theory and categorification
(a) a lot of geometers and topologists
(b) good intake 10-12
(c) well represented in geometry
(a) I think by far amongst the best places for algebraic geometry broadly in america.
(b) great intake
(c) geometry is in their name.
now if u are an incoming student with broad interests, u should seriously not bother with yale. by prestige michigan is way ahead over upenn which i feel is better than yale. broad interests go to michigan. u are doing yourself the best career choice.
i am pretty much in ur situation. u can see my profile addition. would go to yale only if i am hell bent of working with goncharov on Mulitiple zeta values, and mixed tate motives and periods ( i was genuinely considering).
u should put ur interests in the page, and your undergrad thesis and masters thesis topics if any. that will help us make better suggestions
Incognito wrote:Hi, I've applied for the PhD program in pure mathematics beginning in the upcoming fall term. I've been lucky enough to receive funded offers from Michigan and Penn as well as a waitlisting at Yale. I have been trying to decide where I should go for a long time now. My interests are quite broad and mostly in geometry and topology. I've had email exchanges with professors at Michigan and Penn and was very happy with both exchanges in terms of how I got along with them and what reading they recommended. From the department websites, Michigan seems to have a significantly larger department than both Penn and Yale. All three places have professors with whom I would love to work though my currently (this could change with more information) favourite possible advisor/project combination is at Michigan. I've had contact with graduate students at Michigan and was happy with what they said about the place and program but have not had contact with graduate students at Penn yet.
Suppose that I receive an offer also from Yale. Given everything, it seems to me that of the three places, Michigan is where I should go, however I do not feel certain about this just yet. I am certainly affected by the prestige associated purely to the names Yale and Penn, which I feel is almost certainly superficial of me but I'm also wondering whether the general, non-program specific, prestige is there for a reason, could imply positive things about their programs and so shouldn't be ignored?
Any pertinent information comparing the programs at Michigan, Penn and Yale and any thoughts at all on where I should attend will be greatly appreciated.
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