Contacting supervisor prior to application?

Forum for the GRE subject test in mathematics.
jsmith
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2015 3:45 pm

Contacting supervisor prior to application?

Postby jsmith » Sun Oct 25, 2015 3:49 pm

Hi all,

Is it advisable for a math PhD program in the US to contact a potential supervisor prior to your application?
I ask this mainly b/c I do not yet know exactly what area of mathematics I would like to do research in.
The only thing I know now is that I want to do research in algebra, but then of course most departments have numerous people working in algebra and hence it seems a bit random if I would write one of them beforehand.

Is this common to do or do you just send your application and figure out a supervisor in the first year?

Thanks a lot!

p-adic
Posts: 96
Joined: Fri Mar 27, 2015 6:42 pm

Re: Contacting supervisor prior to application?

Postby p-adic » Sun Oct 25, 2015 4:13 pm

Don't do it unless you really know your interests. If you just sort of like algebra over analysis, not much good will come of it.

Maybe you can find some of their papers online and you'll find them interesting though.

AMGMScrub
Posts: 51
Joined: Thu May 28, 2015 3:20 am

Re: Contacting supervisor prior to application?

Postby AMGMScrub » Thu Oct 29, 2015 2:26 am

From what I know about schools in the US, you don't find your advisors in the first year (it certainly can happen). Correct me if I'm wrong, but you normally pass Quals and then you get to figure out your advisor. This normally happens at the end of the 2nd year.

p-adic
Posts: 96
Joined: Fri Mar 27, 2015 6:42 pm

Re: Contacting supervisor prior to application?

Postby p-adic » Thu Oct 29, 2015 11:49 am

This is true, but it doesn't mean you can't attend seminars or work on small research projects with potential advisors before passing some of your quals.

But having strong research match can help you get in.




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