need some suggestions

Forum for the GRE subject test in mathematics.
lxm1117
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Apr 21, 2010 9:37 pm

need some suggestions

Postby lxm1117 » Mon Jun 07, 2010 9:31 pm

Dear all

Currently I am a Ph.D student in Hearing Science, doing research in physiological signal processings related to auditory perception. I have an idea recently about going for another Ph.D after finishing the current one. The second one I'd like to pursue is theoretical neuroscience, which is put under Applied Math division, since it's mainly about computational modelling of neural representations. Though I am not a math major, I personally believe the two research areas match well. However, I heard people say that it's hard to be offered with a second Ph.D because most likely one of them will be wasted. I actually consider the both are useful, because one is more experiment based while the other is theoretical related. Neuroscience itself is very interdisciplinary. What I plan to do is to study the same issue just from different aspects. I am not sure if this argument looks strong enough.

Another concern is that I am not a math major. I was a Biomedical Engineering major in undergrad. I took several math courses in Math&Physics department before. Now plan to take several graduate level math courses including matrix theory and statistics sequence. Also will for sure take the Math subject test. I don't know if this disadvantage would be less weighted if I do well in Subject test to show that I have the necessarily needed math background.

Someone says what matters is the research ability and matching of research areas. On the other hand, they say it's hard to get offered a second Ph.D. I don't mind spending years for another degree. Actually, I would be excited about it since theoretical neuroscience is the area I have dreamed to learn about. And I know lots of researchers change their research areas from what they did in Ph.D.

I am looking forward to hear suggestions! Thanks a lot!

mrb
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 7:58 pm

Re: need some suggestions

Postby mrb » Tue Jun 08, 2010 5:23 pm

You really should talk to your current professors and professors in your prospective field about this. People in this forum are mostly prospective grad students in pure math, and some in applied math. In other words, nobody here knows anything about what you're asking.

That said, I'll tell you something anyway: The reason people are discouraged from getting two PhDs is because it doesn't make any sense to do so. If you believe the things you would learn in getting the theoretical neuroscience PhD are relevant to your current research, well, then make the case to your current department that you should be taking classes in that field and making contact with professors there. If you can't make a strong case for that, then maybe that's because that field really isn't related to what you're doing now.

Saying that "one is more experiment based while the other is theoretical related" to me makes more of a case why you should not try to do both these fields.

If what you really want to be doing is theoretical neuroscience, then it would make sense to confront that issue now, and possibly switch programs, even if that's a hassle. Don't get a PhD in a field you don't want to work in.

Your light math background would certainly be a problem if you were looking to go into pure math; for theoretical neuroscience, I don't know, but it's probably fine.

lxm1117
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Apr 21, 2010 9:37 pm

Re: need some suggestions

Postby lxm1117 » Tue Jun 08, 2010 9:04 pm

mrb wrote:You really should talk to your current professors and professors in your prospective field about this. People in this forum are mostly prospective grad students in pure math, and some in applied math. In other words, nobody here knows anything about what you're asking.

That said, I'll tell you something anyway: The reason people are discouraged from getting two PhDs is because it doesn't make any sense to do so. If you believe the things you would learn in getting the theoretical neuroscience PhD are relevant to your current research, well, then make the case to your current department that you should be taking classes in that field and making contact with professors there. If you can't make a strong case for that, then maybe that's because that field really isn't related to what you're doing now.

Saying that "one is more experiment based while the other is theoretical related" to me makes more of a case why you should not try to do both these fields.

If what you really want to be doing is theoretical neuroscience, then it would make sense to confront that issue now, and possibly switch programs, even if that's a hassle. Don't get a PhD in a field you don't want to work in.

Your light math background would certainly be a problem if you were looking to go into pure math; for theoretical neuroscience, I don't know, but it's probably fine.


Thanks a lot for your reply and your suggestions. I might reconsider it. I actually thought about it for almost half year. well. I need to talk with the prospective professor and see how it goes.

Fari
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun May 23, 2010 12:27 am

Re: need some suggestions

Postby Fari » Tue Jun 08, 2010 11:36 pm

I am very puzzle about GRE Exam. I got 11 percentile in GRE MATH SUBJECT. Please help me how can I get higher score? Is "Cracking the GRE Mathematics Subject Test, 4th Edition" is differ from Cracking the GRE Mathematics Subject Test, 3rd Edition. SHould I purchase it??




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