djysyed wrote:The claims made by the poster were rather outrageous and misleading. I brought up this post to different graduate students because I wanted to know EVERYTHING about what happened. Of course some of them were willing to answer my questions as much as they could and all of their stories matched up. If you want an answer because you attended the Purdue visit weekend, feel free to message me and I'll tell you everything i've heard.

The poster seemed to bring up the issue of gossip among the graduate students and professors. Based on what I've seen at my campus and other campuses, mathematicians talk about everything. If a relatively big professor (AMS Fellow) decides to move from university Y to university Z, almost every mathematician (including graduate students) in the same field of mathematics will likely hear about it. If a professor is rough on one of his students, quite a few students and professors, including those from other universities, will likely hear about it. Mathematics is a very collaborative field and, as a result, everyone will talk to everyone.

Edit: Yes I like this place since they really do a great job of maintaining the happiness of graduate students and have a lot of funding for pretty much anything. I may be a bit biased since the professors I am closest to at my school are always writing papers with Purdue students/professors and visit quite often.

I spent far more time at Purdue than you have, so if you'll allow me, I'll give you my two cents. Although, I suppose if you decide to attend Purdue, you'll–-statistically speaking--spend more time obtaining a PhD than I spent as a student there, if we are strictly talking graduation averages from the mathematics department. Want to fact check me? Email Shannon Cassidy--who is very kind and helpful, and whose email you may find on the math dept website--and ask for graduation averages corresponding to year and advisor. For the sake of my own identity I would rather not provide too much information about myself because the department was not very kind to me overall. I spent about 6 years at Purdue. But I will try to allow any readers of my response to check this out for themselves so that they are not simply putting their trust into an arbitrary forum post online (as the previous Purdue poster attempted to do prior to being shut down).

With all due respect, you do not have any authority to state the other post was both "outrageous" and "misleading." Firstly, simply out of common sense. Do you really think you're going to encounter significant dissent amongst students who volunteered to showcase their own graduate program? Do you really think you're going to find representative answers from asking around during a short visit when there are over 160 graduate students in Purdue's math department? You can find the number of students on math {dot} Purdue {dot} edu, under the People dropdown menu select graduate students, and simply perform a page search with "@purdue.edu". Even talking to, say, 30 graduate students about said post is not going to give you a well-rounded idea of how all one hundred sixty students feel about the department. Perhaps you do not remember, but the original poster mentioned they did not often interact with people at the department (and there is a handful of these kinds of students, sadly), so you likely never had the opportunity to meet them. This part I suppose you'll either have to disbelieve or take on faith. Or you could carry some healthy skepticism that, in fact, there are actually quite a few graduate students in the department, and talking with a small fraction of them won't do much for you.

There was a student who left because they felt that other students in the department treated him differently because of his race. This person left after their first year in the graduate program. You can take this information however you would like to take it; but also, what incentive do I have to share this information, other than to dissuade people from attending a troubled institution? If you want a "more legitimate" criticism, look at Edray Goins' article in the NYTimes, or look at his post in the Inclusion / Exclusion section on the AMS blog. Both of these may be found by a Google (or DuckDuckGo if that's more your style) search.

It is sad to see your justification for gossip. I do not believe what you said really refutes what the original poster had in mind, either. Obviously as humans we all gossip. But I believe what the original poster was referring to was the fact that the graduate students within the department behave like high school students, form cliques, and gossip amongst those cliques about other students. Yes, I am biased, because I was frequently the target of some of these conversations. I have overheard people speak about others academic capabilities, as well as their personal traits. This is not very welcoming for some, as you may imagine. There is much more that I could talk about, but at this point my post has become long enough and I anticipate that it will be flagged and removed.

Again, with all due respect, perhaps Purdue math is right for you. Many people find it a great place to do their undergraduate and/or PhD. During my ~6 years there, I met far more people who enjoyed Purdue at various levels (students, professors, staff, visitors, etc) than who did not. That being said, shame on you for discounting other students' experiences. Unfortunately that is commonplace at Purdue.