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!