Profile Eval: I just quit my job...

Forum for the GRE subject test in mathematics.
jedi3189
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2017 6:59 am

Profile Eval: I just quit my job...

Postby jedi3189 » Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:39 am

Hey so long story short I was working a fairly prestigious derivs trading job on Wallstreet, hated it, and ended up leaving to look for something more quantitative. I'm still looking but getting a Phd has always been a dream of mine and I'm starting to put some real thought into applying. Here's my app as it stands now:

Demographic: DWM 26
Program: Math, Applied Math, OR (I honestly love all three and am open to being a bit flexible if it'd get me into a better program. Something focused around probability or machine learning would be ideal)

Undergrad Institution: Top 50 US Private School
Major: Bsc Mathematics, Premed (2 semesters Bio, Chem, Orgo, Physics + Labs)
GPA: 3.63 , 3.80 Math

Undergrad Institution: Ivy
Major: Math/Stats/Comp Sci
GPA: 3.90
Notes: I took 10 courses for credit as a non-degree student. Math-ey courses include: PDE, Real Analysis II, Honors Complex Variables, Intro Prob, Intro Stat, Stochastic Processes (Masters Level + Phd level)

Graduate Institution: (Same) Ivy
Major: Financial Engineering/Operations Research
GPA: 3.73
Notes: Got a B in a data analysis class and a B in an Advanced topics class :? . Otherwise good and probably get a decent letter out of it. Heavy into stochastic calculus. Decent bit of optimization and machine learning.

Research: One REU but no paper really. We tackled a problem together as a sort of consulting gig (hence the funding). Master's thesis + Master's independent study both with write ups but nothing further. I did develop and write a paper in my spare time this past year on a Quassi Newton Method. Not sure what I should do with this. If it's not original I didn't intend to copy anyone. I've tested it in python and it's extremely effective.

General: M: 167, R + W I don't remember but mid 160's
Subject: I'd have the next 6 months to prepare for this pretty much full time. I'm cautiously optimistic. Always been a good test taker and generally have a pretty strong understanding of calc and analysis has always been my strong point. Guessing 75% is a reasonable goal, the higher obviously the better.

I'm also considering enrolling in Courant's Msc Math and starting over the summer while I apply. This would be expensive but possible for me. I'd love feedback on whether or not people thing it'd be worth it. I'm guessing I could nail down 3-4 A's in their program before applications go out and maybe score a letter from someone if I'm strategic.

I'm shooting for decent schools. I don't think I have a shot at top places but UWash would be awesome if that's within reach. Guessing my sweet spot would be schools a little less competitive. I have a serious girlfriend so my options are limited to places that wouldn't be miserable to live. She works in tech so CA is a top choice but Seattle or NYC would would as well. Recommendations extremely welcome

I'm rambling but I'd really love a little guidance if anyone has some to give. It'd be a major commitment for me to go down this road but it's also something I've dreamed about for a long time. That said if my prospects are terrible and I'm only going to put myself into massive debt to end up at some mediocre school in the middle of nowhere I might consider taking a more quant focused finance job.

nothing
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Mar 26, 2017 1:58 am

Re: Profile Eval: I just quit my job...

Postby nothing » Sun Mar 26, 2017 2:11 am

I think the most important factor is the LORs (pubs don't count much, even if you have A* pubs). You need a mid rank program so that you are good enough (probably the best or 2nd best student in class ) to get a solid LOR. It's hard to do so at NYU so i don't think attending NYU's master program is a wise choice. UW is more reasonable. You can also consider the master program of Wisconsin, madison. It's a decent program and you will have really high chance to be nominated to be a PhD student if you pass the qual exams within 2 years. There are also small schools ( but very good ) like Kent State and Miami. Such schools will give you TAship so it's worth considering.

qawsedrf123
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2017 12:54 am

Re: Profile Eval: I just quit my job...

Postby qawsedrf123 » Sun Mar 26, 2017 3:48 pm

nothing wrote:I think the most important factor is the LORs (pubs don't count much, even if you have A* pubs). You need a mid rank program so that you are good enough (probably the best or 2nd best student in class ) to get a solid LOR. It's hard to do so at NYU so i don't think attending NYU's master program is a wise choice. UW is more reasonable. You can also consider the master program of Wisconsin, madison. It's a decent program and you will have really high chance to be nominated to be a PhD student if you pass the qual exams within 2 years. There are also small schools ( but very good ) like Kent State and Miami. Such schools will give you TAship so it's worth considering.


But NYU is not a mid rank program, it's one of the best in the world...

comp_numb
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2016 2:18 pm

Re: Profile Eval: I just quit my job...

Postby comp_numb » Mon Mar 27, 2017 5:52 pm

nothing wrote:I think the most important factor is the LORs (pubs don't count much, even if you have A* pubs). You need a mid rank program so that you are good enough (probably the best or 2nd best student in class ) to get a solid LOR. It's hard to do so at NYU so i don't think attending NYU's master program is a wise choice. UW is more reasonable. You can also consider the master program of Wisconsin, madison. It's a decent program and you will have really high chance to be nominated to be a PhD student if you pass the qual exams within 2 years. There are also small schools ( but very good ) like Kent State and Miami. Such schools will give you TAship so it's worth considering.


I have one question: Does Kent state or Miami provide TAship for masters? If they do, is it just for domestic candidates?

eulerphi
Posts: 17
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2016 12:45 pm

Re: Profile Eval: I just quit my job...

Postby eulerphi » Tue Mar 28, 2017 8:48 am

I think you have a strong profile. If you do get 70%+ on the MGRE you would be competitive basically anywhere, especially given your work experience.

I applied fall 2017, but also was set on ending up in a city. I would suggest checking out some of the Boston schools (MIT, Harvard, Boston University), Georgia Tech, and UT Austin, in addition to UW and NYU.

BU has a good stats program if you are interested in ML. Georgia Tech has really good applied sciences all around, including optimization, ML, OR, scientific computing, etc. I really like Boston as a city, and I found Atlanta to be very nice as well. I think UW is in reach for you (I got in and I think you have a stronger profile than me). NYU Courant is one of the top applied math programs in the US too.

It seems like your financial situation is pretty good, but I would advise against paying for school. All PhD programs should offer funding through teaching and tuition waivers. If you have extra money you can perhaps avoid teaching, but there is no point to pay for courses. Even if you got some masters courses it is possible that you would have to retake them when starting at a different PhD program.

In my opinion if you can do well on the MGRE it will demonstrate that you are still up to date with your mathematical skills. Your GPAs are a bit low, but I think you can make up for this with parts of your profile. Your work experience/masters will demonstrate research ability and I imagine you should have no problem getting strong letters from people in your masters program or current job.

nothing
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Mar 26, 2017 1:58 am

Re: Profile Eval: I just quit my job...

Postby nothing » Tue Mar 28, 2017 12:55 pm

Kent State and Miami do have TAship for international students but they require a speaking score of at least 24 if I recall correctly. Maxim Kontsevich ( a Fields medalist) is currently at Miami.

mjc89
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Mar 13, 2017 10:51 am

Re: Profile Eval: I just quit my job...

Postby mjc89 » Thu Mar 30, 2017 9:43 am

Maxim Kontsevich is at the University of Miami, not Miami University, which is the program that offers a funded, terminal MS.




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