Status: rising senior
School: unknown liberal arts college in TX - went there for great pre-med reputation, aced pre-med classes but ended up changing paths halfway through as I realized I definitely preferred logical thinking to memorization
Major: math (w/honors)
GPA: 3.99 (4.00 major)
Classes: Cal I/II - S (AP credit)
Cal III - A+
Lin Alg - A+
Real Analysis - A+
Abstract Algebra - summer 2010 independent study (for no credit, unfortunately; my school was not offering alg. until after I graduated)
Complex Analysis - Fall
Number Theory - Fall
Topology - Spring
Diff Eq - Spring
GRE General: 690V/720Q
GRE Subject: September
Honors Thesis: circle packing (starts in fall)
Research interests: unsure; my school doesn't offer math research experiences until senior year, though analysis and algebra both are really interesting/fun
Pros: have been to math conference, made contacts in circle packing field at Texas Tech, University of Tennessee-Knoxville; good rec letter from the one math professor I have had for classes so far
Cons: small, unknown school; small math department; have only taken classes from one math professor (I didn't mean for it to happen like that, it just did since there are only 3 in the department). Have a pretty good rec from my old bio research instructor I could use.
Schools to which I'm applying:
Reaches: UT-Austin, Duke, Rice
Matches: Boston University, Texas Tech, University of Georgia, UOregon, UTennessee-Knoxville, Florida State, Temple University
Safeties(?): Texas Tech, Portland State
Concerns/questions: is it worth it to retake the GRE? I know I can do better if I just get my timing down right; I ended up not having enough time to finish the quant. section and had to guess on around 7 questions toward the end of the section. That said, I've heard it might look bad to retake the test. I've also got the GRE subject test to worry about, and I'm doing an independent study over the summer as well, so time is an issue.
I've been looking at grad school web pages for application requirements, and a couple of the schools I want to apply to say something like "if you don't have at least 2 semesters of real analysis and 2 semesters of abstract algebra, it would be very difficult to get in". My undergrad institution only offers one semester of reals/algebra - would this keep me out of my reaches or even some of my matches?
Should I just focus in on schools big in circle packing, even though I'm not yet sure how much I like it?