UVA versus UC Santa Cruz, any thoughts?

Forum for the GRE subject test in mathematics.
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UVA versus UC Santa Cruz, any thoughts?

Postby elephants » Wed Apr 06, 2016 1:15 am

I recently got two offers, one from the University of Virginia and the other from UC Santa Cruz and am trying to decide between the two before the April 15th deadline. Generally I am interested in algebra (mostly representation theory) and algebraic topology/geometry. It seems that UVA may have a slightly stronger program, though I plan to retake the GRE and transfer eventually from whether I end up. With this in mind, does anyone have any thoughts on which school would be a wiser decision? For example, if I'd rather eventually go to UC Berkeley than say, Columbia, would it be smarter to stay on the West Coast? Another thing for me is that I feel I'm much more the type of person that can fit into Santa Cruz culturally, though if the academics at UVA far exceed those at UCSC (particularly in representation theory/ topology), then I'd rather go there. Any feedback would be welcome!

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Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2016 8:08 pm

Re: UVA versus UC Santa Cruz, any thoughts?

Postby mathematics » Wed Apr 06, 2016 8:19 pm

I attend UVA as an undergraduate (second year, currently). I've enjoyed my time here-- I've started to move into upper level courses and I plan to take graduate level courses next year. The faculty here are good, and I think that the department is strongest in algebra. It seems to me that the plurality of professors here are algebraists, and it also seems that the strongest graduate course offerings are in algebra (analysis courses seem more sporadic). The department is fairly small; according to the website, there are about 50 graduate students.

You also brought up the school's culture. Charlottesville is a vibrant city, although perhaps not as scenic as Santa Cruz. Feel free to ask anything about UVa and its math department!

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