2018 applicant pool is the strongest?

Forum for the GRE subject test in mathematics.
iamgoudan
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2015 10:55 pm

2018 applicant pool is the strongest?

Postby iamgoudan » Thu Apr 05, 2018 3:11 pm

Hi everyone, I'd like to discuss the applicant pool this year. Either on the internet or the people around, quite a lot of people said it is the strongest they've ever seen in the past few years, here are some questions I am interested:
1) Do you really agree with that by your own experience?
2) If yes, how come such a result? the smart ones just born in the same year(s)?
3) Is it a general phenomenon, which means for all schools? Otherwise, does it just happen for some top schools? In the second case, it might be good for applicant for second tiers schools, since the applicants just become more confident for more reachable schools?

Any ideas of you?

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

Re: 2018 applicant pool is the strongest?

Postby FreddieBiddleBooty » Thu Apr 05, 2018 3:26 pm

iamgoudan wrote:Hi everyone, I'd like to discuss the applicant pool this year. Either on the internet or the people around, quite a lot of people said it is the strongest they've ever seen in the past few years, here are some questions I am interested:
1) Do you really agree with that by your own experience?
2) If yes, how come such a result? the smart ones just born in the same year(s)?
3) Is it a general phenomenon, which means for all schools? Otherwise, does it just happen for some top schools? In the second case, it might be good for applicant for second tiers schools, since the applicants just become more confident for more reachable schools?

Any ideas of you?


On paper I don't really see a difference looking at past years on this website. But someone would have to gather all the data and weight it somehow and compare it to 2018 data. But test scores, gpa, and a published paper is not all that makes a strong candidate. There are also rec letters, personal statement, etc. I can't see an obvious way of gathering that data.

Perhaps, due to more and more mathematical discoveries, REU programs (I think REUs are actually a recent thing), the internet, and education changing, more is expected from math students, and now a days maybe they know more. I'm just guessing.

Rise
Posts: 71
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2016 6:48 pm

Re: 2018 applicant pool is the strongest?

Postby Rise » Thu Apr 05, 2018 4:10 pm

This is not a rigorous proof, but the population of undergraduate math majors at every university I’ve visited, my home institution, and my girlfriend’s home institution has at least doubled in the past four years. UCSD’s has quadrupled to over 2400, which is presumably the largest in the United States.

So I think it is competitive this year, and getting harder every year.

iamgoudan
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2015 10:55 pm

Re: 2018 applicant pool is the strongest?

Postby iamgoudan » Thu Apr 05, 2018 4:27 pm

Rise wrote:This is not a rigorous proof, but the population of undergraduate math majors at every university I’ve visited, my home institution, and my girlfriend’s home institution has at least doubled in the past four years. UCSD’s has quadrupled to over 2400, which is presumably the largest in the United States.

So I think it is competitive this year, and getting harder every year.

The population of undergraduate has increased, how about the admission of graduate? I am international, do not know well such data.

blahquaker
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:36 am

Re: 2018 applicant pool is the strongest?

Postby blahquaker » Thu Apr 05, 2018 6:35 pm

The idea that you should/must do graduate courses and research as an undergrad is still relatively new and has been building significantly over the last 10 years. Students are having to do more and more to distinguish themselves as this becomes more "normal".

The truth is that there are still hundreds of schools in the US that don't even offer graduate classes. It will be tough for those math departments to justify their existence if this trend continues.

6sand7s
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:07 pm

Re: 2018 applicant pool is the strongest?

Postby 6sand7s » Fri Apr 06, 2018 3:14 pm

FreddieBiddleBooty wrote:Perhaps, due to more and more mathematical discoveries, REU programs (I think REUs are actually a recent thing), the internet, and education changing, more is expected from math students, and now a days maybe they know more. I'm just guessing.


The first math REUs were done about 30 years ago. It used to be a handful, and of course it's many more now.

Another factor might be that there are more and more journals for undergrads to publish in, greater access to research with arXiv, etc. But I don't think that explains such a supposedly big increase in quality of undergraduate mathematicians.

djysyed
Posts: 222
Joined: Sat Oct 28, 2017 9:59 pm

Re: 2018 applicant pool is the strongest?

Postby djysyed » Sat Apr 07, 2018 4:39 pm

Rise wrote:UCSD’s has quadrupled to over 2400, which is presumably the largest in the United States.


I feel like this has a lot to do with the sudden growth of Data Science in California.

qqq15
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2017 12:28 am

Re: 2018 applicant pool is the strongest?

Postby qqq15 » Sun Apr 08, 2018 11:23 pm

iamgoudan wrote:Hi everyone, I'd like to discuss the applicant pool this year. Either on the internet or the people around, quite a lot of people said it is the strongest they've ever seen in the past few years, here are some questions I am interested:
1) Do you really agree with that by your own experience?
2) If yes, how come such a result? the smart ones just born in the same year(s)?
3) Is it a general phenomenon, which means for all schools? Otherwise, does it just happen for some top schools? In the second case, it might be good for applicant for second tiers schools, since the applicants just become more confident for more reachable schools?

Any ideas of you?


I think in the rejection letter, most schools tend to say that in order to make you feel better. Following this, every year's applicant pool is the strongest...

ErdosJr
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Feb 02, 2018 7:40 am

Re: 2018 applicant pool is the strongest?

Postby ErdosJr » Tue Apr 10, 2018 7:44 pm

Rise wrote:This is not a rigorous proof, but the population of undergraduate math majors at every university I’ve visited, my home institution, and my girlfriend’s home institution has at least doubled in the past four years. UCSD’s has quadrupled to over 2400, which is presumably the largest in the United States.

So I think it is competitive this year, and getting harder every year.


This is mostly due to the Computer Science Major being impacted at most UC's. So students who don't get into that major, end up trying to get into the Math/CS joint major. This has inflated the shit out of the math department at UC's who offer this kind of joint degree. Very few of these students actually want to pursue a Pure Math PhD.




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