Has anyone been to Urbana-Champaign?

Forum for the GRE subject test in mathematics.
FreddieBiddleBooty
Posts: 120
Joined: Sat Oct 28, 2017 5:38 pm

Has anyone been to Urbana-Champaign?

Postby FreddieBiddleBooty » Sun Mar 25, 2018 6:15 pm

If so, how do you like the city? The school? Weather?
Last edited by FreddieBiddleBooty on Mon Mar 26, 2018 2:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

Rise
Posts: 73
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2016 6:48 pm

Re: Has anyone been to Urbana-Champaign?

Postby Rise » Sun Mar 25, 2018 8:52 pm

I'm in Champaign, IL right now. I'm doing a late visitor's day to UIUC because of a schedule conflict.

The city is a comfortable college town. There's currently a lot of snow and ice on the sidewalks, which makes it a bit difficult to share a sidewalk with other people. Food is about the same price and quality as most other college towns. I had breakfast at Kung Fu BBQ, and lunch at Potbelly. There is a LOT of Asian restaurants, and I would even say the density is higher than on the West Coast.

Getting here was a pain in the ass. The regional airport, CMI, doesn't seem to service a lot of areas and flights are expensive there. I got here by flying to ORD and then taking a 1hour train to Chicago Union ($5), and then another 2hour train South ($22).

As for the school, the architecture is really beautiful and I like the layout of the main quad. I'm planning to tour the math department tomorrow, and I can update then.

FreddieBiddleBooty
Posts: 120
Joined: Sat Oct 28, 2017 5:38 pm

Re: Has anyone been to Urbana-Champaign?

Postby FreddieBiddleBooty » Sun Mar 25, 2018 9:22 pm

Rise wrote:I'm in Champaign, IL right now. I'm doing a late visitor's day to UIUC because of a schedule conflict.

The city is a comfortable college town. There's currently a lot of snow and ice on the sidewalks, which makes it a bit difficult to share a sidewalk with other people. Food is about the same price and quality as most other college towns. I had breakfast at Kung Fu BBQ, and lunch at Potbelly. There is a LOT of Asian restaurants, and I would even say the density is higher than on the West Coast.

Getting here was a pain in the ass. The regional airport, CMI, doesn't seem to service a lot of areas and flights are expensive there. I got here by flying to ORD and then taking a 1hour train to Chicago Union ($5), and then another 2hour train South ($22).

As for the school, the architecture is really beautiful and I like the layout of the main quad. I'm planning to tour the math department tomorrow, and I can update then.


Very helpful, thanks Rise. Keep me updated please.

kayiilu
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Jul 30, 2017 5:08 pm

Re: Has anyone been to Urbana-Champaign?

Postby kayiilu » Mon Mar 26, 2018 12:24 am

I studied my undergraduate at UIUC. I love the school! I used to not like the area when I was studying there, because I am from a big city, and I felt that the area was a little boring with a small-town feel. But now that I left, I actually miss it a lot! And there are actually tons of things to do there. (It is like a mini-city full of students)

To get there, the most convenient way is to: Arrive at ORD airport in Chicago, and then take a bus from ORD to Champaign.
A good bus option is Peoria Charter: https://peoriacharter.com/schedule.php?tt=OW
(Note: Try to avoid Illini Shuttle- it has a very bad reputation among the UIUC community...)
Some common choice of destination stops in the area would be Altgeld Hall, which is the Mathematics Department building. Or Illinois Terminal, which is a bus terminal where you can find buses to wherever you want in the town. But it really depends on where your accommodation is in the area, to decide which destination stop you want.

In the area, I have some food options recommendation based on personal preference:
(PS: lot of restaurants and bars and clubs are located on Green Street, which is the busiest street for the student population. )
- Black Dog Smoke & Ale House: Very tasty barbecue food, and a very famous place in the Champaign-Urbana area. Check out the menu at: http://www.blackdogsmoke.com/
- Meatheads: A nice hamburger place! It is a little far from the main campus area though, but buses would reach there. https://www.meatheadsburgers.com/menus/
- Farren's Pub & Eatery: Very tasty place for hamburger too! It is located in downtown Champaign, so it is a nice walk to explore the area too. http://www.farrenspub.com/
- The Himalayan Chimney: Excellent Indian food! Also in downtown Champaign! https://www.thehimalayanchimney.com/
- Pho Cafe Thai Kitchen on Green Street: It is decent food with affordable price.
- Xinh Xinh Cafe at a farther away place (can reach by bus) has very good Vietnamese food with very affordable price!
- There are many bubble tea & Ice cream places on Green Street too. If you like to try some bubble tea, Taipei Cafe, Latea and Teamoji are some good options! Cocomero is a good place too.
- Korean food: I love Babplus! The place is very clean, and serve very good korean food. http://babpluskorean.com/40130
- Korean food: the Soup Kitchen on Green kitchen is also a good option.
- Japanese food: Ozu Ramen is an excellent place if you like ramen! Also Sakanaya restaurant is good too (but a little pricey)
- Chinese food: Unfortunately, as a Chinese international student, I am very picky at Chinese food offered in the US.. LOL Haha so I don't recommend any of the restaurants there...
- Bars & Clubs: Brothers Bar & Grill and Legends are two nice bars for chilling and chatting! Joe's brewery is more of a clubbing place for dancing! They are all full of students since they are all on Green street. In downtown Champaign, there is a bar called Blind Pig Brewery, which is also super nice.

There are always activities to do in the area too. Also, if you would like to go to some musical/theatrical performance in your visit, you can visit the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts to see their latest events: https://krannertcenter.com/

The university is great. Like other big state universities with lots of students, it has a lot of diversity and a lot of resources for everything that you could think of. The mathematics department is excellent too. There are a lot of super nice professors who really care about students, and would take extra steps to help students. Of course, as there are a lot of students there, you need to take the initiatives to seek out the resources/ help there when you need them. There are also *a lot* of student organizations and activities.

One thing that I feel a little sad about is that UIUC has not been managing its finance well in the past years. And graduate students were affected by this. Earlier this semester, there was a protest going on in UIUC, as the GEO was striving to gain a new contract for the graduate students in the university. The protest was successful, and now the graduate students have a contract with better terms. More details on this issue can be found on the UIUC GEO's facebook posts: https://www.facebook.com/uigeo/

Lastly, maybe you can check out this video of UIUC campus taken by a drone, UIUC From the Sky: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lXbFu91a0t4


All the above are just my personal opinions!

Hope it helps and hope you have a great time visiting the area!

(Orange and blue is the UIUC color btw)

djysyed
Posts: 266
Joined: Sat Oct 28, 2017 9:59 pm

Re: Has anyone been to Urbana-Champaign?

Postby djysyed » Mon Mar 26, 2018 12:33 am

I've been to UIUC's campus quite a few times in high school because of math competitions. The main quad and buildings near the quad are beautiful. All of the students have a tremendous amount of school spirit so you can feel the positive energy radiating from them. As kayiilu mentioned above, Green Street is a really great place with a variety of restaurants, bars, etc.
Last edited by djysyed on Mon Mar 26, 2018 9:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

FreddieBiddleBooty
Posts: 120
Joined: Sat Oct 28, 2017 5:38 pm

Re: Has anyone been to Urbana-Champaign?

Postby FreddieBiddleBooty » Mon Mar 26, 2018 2:10 am

kayiilu wrote:I studied my undergraduate at UIUC. I love the school! I used to not like the area when I was studying there, because I am from a big city, and I felt that the area was a little boring with a small-town feel. But now that I left, I actually miss it a lot! And there are actually tons of things to do there. (It is like a mini-city full of students)

To get there, the most convenient way is to: Arrive at ORD airport in Chicago, and then take a bus from ORD to Champaign.
A good bus option is Peoria Charter: https://peoriacharter.com/schedule.php?tt=OW
(Note: Try to avoid Illini Shuttle- it has a very bad reputation among the UIUC community...)
Some common choice of destination stops in the area would be Altgeld Hall, which is the Mathematics Department building. Or Illinois Terminal, which is a bus terminal where you can find buses to wherever you want in the town. But it really depends on where your accommodation is in the area, to decide which destination stop you want.

In the area, I have some food options recommendation based on personal preference:
(PS: lot of restaurants and bars and clubs are located on Green Street, which is the busiest street for the student population. )
- Black Dog Smoke & Ale House: Very tasty barbecue food, and a very famous place in the Champaign-Urbana area. Check out the menu at: http://www.blackdogsmoke.com/
- Meatheads: A nice hamburger place! It is a little far from the main campus area though, but buses would reach there. https://www.meatheadsburgers.com/menus/
- Farren's Pub & Eatery: Very tasty place for hamburger too! It is located in downtown Champaign, so it is a nice walk to explore the area too. http://www.farrenspub.com/
- The Himalayan Chimney: Excellent Indian food! Also in downtown Champaign! https://www.thehimalayanchimney.com/
- Pho Cafe Thai Kitchen on Green Street: It is decent food with affordable price.
- Xinh Xinh Cafe at a farther away place (can reach by bus) has very good Vietnamese food with very affordable price!
- There are many bubble tea & Ice cream places on Green Street too. If you like to try some bubble tea, Taipei Cafe, Latea and Teamoji are some good options! Cocomero is a good place too.
- Korean food: I love Babplus! The place is very clean, and serve very good korean food. http://babpluskorean.com/40130
- Korean food: the Soup Kitchen on Green kitchen is also a good option.
- Japanese food: Ozu Ramen is an excellent place if you like ramen! Also Sakanaya restaurant is good too (but a little pricey)
- Chinese food: Unfortunately, as a Chinese international student, I am very picky at Chinese food offered in the US.. LOL Haha so I don't recommend any of the restaurants there...
- Bars & Clubs: Brothers Bar & Grill and Legends are two nice bars for chilling and chatting! Joe's brewery is more of a clubbing place for dancing! They are all full of students since they are all on Green street. In downtown Champaign, there is a bar called Blind Pig Brewery, which is also super nice.

There are always activities to do in the area too. Also, if you would like to go to some musical/theatrical performance in your visit, you can visit the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts to see their latest events: https://krannertcenter.com/

The university is great. Like other big state universities with lots of students, it has a lot of diversity and a lot of resources for everything that you could think of. The mathematics department is excellent too. There are a lot of super nice professors who really care about students, and would take extra steps to help students. Of course, as there are a lot of students there, you need to take the initiatives to seek out the resources/ help there when you need them. There are also *a lot* of student organizations and activities.

One thing that I feel a little sad about is that UIUC has not been managing its finance well in the past years. And graduate students were affected by this. Earlier this semester, there was a protest going on in UIUC, as the GEO was striving to gain a new contract for the graduate students in the university. The protest was successful, and now the graduate students have a contract with better terms. More details on this issue can be found on the UIUC GEO's facebook posts: https://www.facebook.com/uigeo/

Lastly, maybe you can check out this video of UIUC campus taken by a drone, UIUC From the Sky: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lXbFu91a0t4


All the above are just my personal opinions!

Hope it helps and hope you have a great time visiting the area!

(Orange and blue is the UIUC color btw)


Gosh this is a great answer! Thanks so much :-).

Rise
Posts: 73
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2016 6:48 pm

Re: Has anyone been to Urbana-Champaign?

Postby Rise » Mon Mar 26, 2018 6:28 pm

FreddieBiddleBooty wrote:
Very helpful, thanks Rise. Keep me updated please.


I played pool with some grad students and met with professors Patrick Allen and Henry Ford to learn more about their research and the program. The department is huge, and while I only talked to number theorists, I'm sure there's a person for most mainstream math fields here. In fact, all of the faculty, staff, and grad students are spread out over three buildings. Professors here seem very willing to work with graduate students, and they told me about a lot of regional Midwest conferences and opportunities for collaboration.

There are around 160 graduate students for the PhD program, which means you will have to compete for office space and advisors. Students here seem happy at least.

FreddieBiddleBooty
Posts: 120
Joined: Sat Oct 28, 2017 5:38 pm

Re: Has anyone been to Urbana-Champaign?

Postby FreddieBiddleBooty » Mon Mar 26, 2018 7:00 pm

Rise wrote:
FreddieBiddleBooty wrote:
Very helpful, thanks Rise. Keep me updated please.


I played pool with some grad students and met with professors Patrick Allen and Henry Ford to learn more about their research and the program. The department is huge, and while I only talked to number theorists, I'm sure there's a person for most mainstream math fields here. In fact, all of the faculty, staff, and grad students are spread out over three buildings. Professors here seem very willing to work with graduate students, and they told me about a lot of regional Midwest conferences and opportunities for collaboration.

There are around 160 graduate students for the PhD program, which means you will have to compete for office space and advisors. Students here seem happy at least.


I am an aspiring number theorist actually. Did you meet Scott Ahlgren?

Rise
Posts: 73
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2016 6:48 pm

Re: Has anyone been to Urbana-Champaign?

Postby Rise » Mon Mar 26, 2018 8:17 pm

FreddieBiddleBooty wrote:
Rise wrote:
FreddieBiddleBooty wrote:
Very helpful, thanks Rise. Keep me updated please.


I played pool with some grad students and met with professors Patrick Allen and Henry Ford to learn more about their research and the program. The department is huge, and while I only talked to number theorists, I'm sure there's a person for most mainstream math fields here. In fact, all of the faculty, staff, and grad students are spread out over three buildings. Professors here seem very willing to work with graduate students, and they told me about a lot of regional Midwest conferences and opportunities for collaboration.

There are around 160 graduate students for the PhD program, which means you will have to compete for office space and advisors. Students here seem happy at least.


I am an aspiring number theorist actually. Did you meet Scott Ahlgren?


I was only able to meet Allen and Ford today unfortunately.

FreddieBiddleBooty
Posts: 120
Joined: Sat Oct 28, 2017 5:38 pm

Re: Has anyone been to Urbana-Champaign?

Postby FreddieBiddleBooty » Mon Mar 26, 2018 10:51 pm

Rise wrote:I was only able to meet Allen and Ford today unfortunately.


Ah, okay! Thanks again for sharing your experience. Unfortunately I don't have the money to visit. Then again, I am only waitlisted and may not (probably won't) get in. Regardless, this post has been very helpful.

starlord37
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2018 12:27 pm

Re: Has anyone been to Urbana-Champaign?

Postby starlord37 » Tue Mar 27, 2018 4:39 am

djysyed wrote:I've been to UIUC's campus quite a few times in high school because of math competitions. The main quad and buildings near the quad are beautiful. All of the students have a tremendous amount of school spirit so you can feel the positive energy radiating from them. As kayiilu mentioned above, Green Street is a really great place with a variety of restaurants, bars, etc.


ICTM?

UIUC is one of the prettiest campuses I've been on, and I love the area, lots of places to go for food, and the math dept is nice.




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