2018 Prospective Applicant's Mathematical Physics Profile

Forum for the GRE subject test in mathematics.
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2018 Prospective Applicant's Mathematical Physics Profile

Post by Junaid456 » Thu Mar 23, 2017 8:16 pm


I'll be looking to apply to math graduate programs in the US next year (2018). I'll be looking to specialize in mathematical physics. The problem is, I am an Economics and Mathematics major who started studying physics and mathematics from my 2nd year onward. I got into it very late, and given that I want to do mathematical physics (naively, both math and physics!), I am unsure whether I am prepared for it; or will I get accepted to top-middle tier colleges.

Here's a post in spirit of posts in the threads in the "Applicants Profile, Year XYZ." This is my profile as of now.

Undergrad Institution: International (Pakistan)
Major(s): Economics and Mathematics
Minor(s): Physics (12 courses, won't be offered a minor on paper as I didn't take a few freshman year courses but took the advanced versions)
GPA: ~3.84.
Type of Student: Domestic International, Male

GRE Revised General Test: I still have to take the test.
Q: N/A
V: N/A
W: N/A

Grades: A's in all 7-8 math classes, including an A-; 8/9 A's in all physics classes uptil now. I am enrolled in 3 more classes in my last term.

Programs Applying (Intended): Master's programs and PhD's in Mathematical Physics. Primarily, I may want to use a master's to prove myself before trying to get into more exclusive programs for PhD.

Research Experience: Worked on a quantum physics paper in the summer before senior year; the paper is up on arXiv.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Dean's List

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: TA since sophomore year. I have TA-ed 2 courses in the economics department; three courses in the mathematics department (set theory and real analysis 1, twice) and one course in the physics department (mechanics).

Any Miscellaneous Points that Might Help: Studied a bit of QFT with a professor in summer of junior year.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Studying material with a math professor outside of class. For example, I am trying to do multivariable analysis with an instructor right now. The plan is to continue studying more math outside of class during my year off.

Given this is my profile at the end of my senior year and I wish to apply in a year's time (next cycle), it'd be great if someone, especially who has experience applying recently, ball park my stats and help me guide/aim for appropriate mathematical physics programs.

Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Apr 17, 2017 11:16 pm

Re: 2018 Prospective Applicant's Mathematical Physics Profile

Post by sergioyapa » Mon Apr 17, 2017 11:18 pm

$$\vec{F}=\dot{\vec{p}} \quad \hat{H}|\Psi\rangle=i\hbar\frac{\partial}{\partial t}|\Psi\rangle \quad E=m_{0} c^2 \quad \nabla \times \vec{E}=-\frac{\partial \vec{B}}{\partial t} \quad S=k_{B} \log{\Omega} \quad \lambda=\frac{h}{p} \quad (i \eth-m)\psi = 0 \quad G_{\mu\nu} = \frac{8\pi G}{c^4} T_{\mu\nu}$$
$$\sigma_{x} \sigma_{p} \ge \frac{\hbar}{2} \quad E=\hbar\omega \quad \frac{\partial^2 u}{\partial t^2} = c^2 \nabla^2 u \quad \delta S \ge 0 \quad \frac{d}{dt}\left( \frac{\partial L}{\partial \dot{q}} \right) = \left( \frac{\partial L}{\partial q} \right) \quad \gamma \rightarrow e^\textrm{-} + \, e^\textrm{+} \quad A=\frac{dN}{dt} \quad \vec{j}=\sigma \vec{E} \quad \begin{array} &\{q,H\} \\ \{p,H\} \end{array}$$

I know this is from physics, but may be helpful. Good luck everyone in your future endeavors! :)

:idea: Education and Information:
  • Undergrad Institution: Most prestigious University in my country - Unknown at international level
  • Major(s): Physics
  • Minor(s): Physics
  • GPA in Major: 76/100 (3.04/4.0)
  • Overall GPA: 70/100 (2.90/4.0) - University with really low GPAs
  • Length of Degree: 4 years
  • Position in Class: Top - Near Top
  • Type of Student: International, Male, Latino, Minority
:idea: GRE Scores : Revised
  • Q: 158 (70%) :P
  • V: 150 (47%) :P
  • W: 3.5 (42%) :P
  • P: 610 (31%) on September, 720 (%55) on October (great improvement for not studying a lot during that month lol :P)
:idea: TOEFL Total: 94 (R: 23, L: 26, S: 23, W: 22)

:idea: Research Experience:
  • 2 years as research assistant (RA) during my bachelor's degree.
  • 2 published articles in a national level peer-reviewed physics journal (top physics journal in my country).
:idea: Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
  • Gold medal (1st place), inter-regional physics olympiad. (High School)
  • World Robot Olympiad team captain, 2nd place at regionals, 3rd place at nationals. (High School)
  • Dean's List all semesters of junior and senior years. (Undergraduate)
  • Best physics graduation project of 2016, Summa Cum Laude. (Undergraduate)
  • Several times invited jury, by academic merits, for evaluating and hiring TAs or RAs. (Undergraduate)
  • Best academic performance in several of my undergraduate courses. (Undergraduate)
:idea: Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
  • 1 year as research assistant (RA) for the Laboratory of Mesoscopic Physics, interdisciplinary research project.
  • 1 year as research seminarist for the Nonlinear Dynamics Group, nonlinear cosmology research project (graduation project).
  • 1 year as teaching assistant (TA) of Physics II at undergraduate level, covering waves, thermodynamics, and hydrodynamics.
  • 1 year as research assistant (RA) for the Complex Systems Group, international medical physics research project.
:idea: Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:
  • Won some championships at the college, city-level, and national-level at 3 different sports.
  • I am also a professional chef. It's always good to have someone who cooks around lol.
:idea: Special Bonus Points:
  • Amazing letters of recommendation, one sent by the best physicist working in my country.
  • My graduation project was one of the first researches in cosmology in my country and the first to deal with the inflaton field.
  • Applied with minority status. Besides being latino, I come from an underdeveloped country underrepresented in physics.
  • Wrote a great Statement of Purpose, one different for each application, a lot of work.
  • Contacted with some Professors via email after submitting my applications.
  • I have many years of volunteering work in my background.
:idea: Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
  • I am 23 years old, quite young for pursuing a Ph.D.
  • I come from an underrepresented country in physics, specially in cosmology.
  • I have a wide range of knowledge in software and programming that is useful for physics.
:idea: Applied to Where:

I applied to 25 universities, all of them were Ph.D. programs. :P

Updated as of April 17, 2017


:mrgreen: University of Arizona - Physics - Cosmology (Feb. 09: Unofficial acceptance, email sent by Professor Rozo; Feb. 14: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email + $18k/9 month TA + $3.5k-7.5k/summer + $2k/month Premium Health Insurance) This was my 1st response and 1st acceptance!!! Can you believe that?...no suffering for me. This one was on my top 3, dream came true! I cried from happiness!. I love it because UA has excellent Physics Ph.D. program (specially in astrophysics and cosmology), renowned faculty, good reputation, great campus, nice weather, Tucson is cheap, is ranked #1 in sexiest girls, and even the colors of UA are great!. Professor Rozo, who is an awesome cosmologist, was extremely nice with me after acceptance and hope him to be my advisor. Thanks UA!!! BEAR DOWN!!! :mrgreen:


:arrow: UCONN - Physics – Cosmology (Feb. 14: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via website, Feb. 15: Official offer for Ph.D via email + $11.5k Half Predoctoral Fellowship + $11.5k/9 month TA) :D This was my 2nd response and 2nd acceptance!!! I was very lucky. Very nice research in physics (specially in time), beautiful campus, but doesn't have as good reputation as UA, so I declined the offer. Thanks UCONN!!!
:arrow: Oklahoma - Physics - Cosmology (Mar. 09: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email + declined before an official offer was made) :D I was contacted to know if I was still interested before the official offer was made. I decided to go to UA, so I declined the offer. Thanks OU!!!


:| Ohio State - Physics – Cosmology (Mar. 15: Waitlisted via email) :) It is great to be waitlisted by such a great program, this was on my top 3. Told them to keep me out of waitlist because I had already accepted UA offer, but still got a rejection letter on Apr. 11.
:| U Wyoming - Physics - Research Interest (Apr. 01: Waitlisted via email) :lol: I was announced that I had been waitlisted along with the rejection email on Apr. 01. This was an ultra top safety University...well at least now I know I won't be eaten by a bear.


:!: UNC-Chapel Hill - Physics - Cosmology (Feb. 17: Rejected via website) :? First rejection...didn't hurt, but I can't understand why.
:!: Brown - Physics - Cosmology (Feb. 22: Rejected via email; Feb. 22: Rejected via website) :? Offer to apply MS, no Ivy League for me.
:!: Northeastern - Physics – Complex Networks (Feb. 23: Rejected via website) :shock: This was my top safety university.
:!: Vanderbilt - Astrophysics - Cosmology (Mar. 03: Rejected via website) :roll: Well...thought I would make it.
:!: Penn State - Physics - Cosmology (Mar. 09: Rejected via email) :wink: Great university and my top application, I expected this.
:!: NYU - Physics - Cosmology (Mar. 15: Rejected via email) :? Great cosmology group, I am happy of not having to live at NY though.
:!: Notre Dame - Physics - Astrophysics (Mar. 17: Rejected via website) :roll: Well...beautiful campus though.
:!: NCSU - Physics - Astrophysics (Mar. 28: Rejected via website) :shock: Safety university, cosmology is way better than astrophysics.
:!: Utah State - Physics - Field Theory (Mar. 28: Rejected via email) :shock: Another safety university but very small, that makes it harder.
:!: Minnesota - Astrophysics - Cosmology (Mar. 29: Rejected via website) :? This was a very nice program, but still wasn't in my top.
:!: UMass - Amherst - Physics - Fundamental Interactions (Apr. 07: Rejected via website) :? I thought I would be at least waitlisted.
:!: Purdue - Physics - Cosmology (Apr. 10: Rejected via website) :wink: This was expected, but I don't care.


:?: Rensselaer PI - Physics - Research Interest (Apr. 17: No response, neither by email nor website) :? Applied on Dec. 30. I paid!.
:?: UC Riverside - Physics - Research Interest (Apr. 17: No response, neither by email nor website) :? Applied on Jan. 03. My answer?
:?: Pittsburgh - Physics - Cosmology (Apr. 17: No response, neither by email nor website) :? Applied on Jan. 14. Dammit!.
:?: Arizona State - Physics - Cosmology (Apr. 17: No response, neither by email nor website) :? Applied on Jan. 29. My new rival!.
:?: UW-Milwaukee - Physics - Cosmology (Apr. 17: No response, neither by email nor website) :? Applied on Jan. 30. Answer!.


:x Michigan State - Physics - Research Interest (Dec. 27: Tried to apply) :evil: Lost my TOEFL and GREs scores. They didn't care.
:x SUNY-Buffalo - Physics - Cosmology (Dec. 27: Tried to apply) :evil: Lost my General GRE scores and told me to send them again.
:x FSU - Physics - Research Interest (Jan. 15: Tried to apply) :evil: Didn't accepted my official transcripts (sent from another continent).

I am extremely happy about how things went, I was able to enter to one of my top 3 dream universities. I was very lucky that I was accepted in my first two responses, I didn't had to deal with the stress and anxiety of the first rejection. I am also glad that I didn't had to choose between two of my top 3 universities, I consider myself extremely blessed for this. If I had to do the process over again I would do it with a little more of time, specially being an international student. The truth is that, for international applicants, this is a very hard, exhausting, and quite expensive process, so be aware of that if you are considering to apply to the USA. I would like to thank my sisters, who obtained their Ph.D.s in important universities in the USA (UIUC & UW-Madison), and who helped me a lot for my application process. I hope my experience will help you through this process, wish you success, and my advice for new applicants is: "Apply with all your effort or do not apply, but do not just try."

$$\vec{F}=\dot{\vec{p}} \quad \hat{H}|\Psi\rangle=i\hbar\frac{\partial}{\partial t}|\Psi\rangle \quad E=m_{0} c^2 \quad \nabla \times \vec{E}=-\frac{\partial \vec{B}}{\partial t} \quad S=k_{B} \log{\Omega} \quad \lambda=\frac{h}{p} \quad (i \eth-m)\psi = 0 \quad G_{\mu\nu} = \frac{8\pi G}{c^4} T_{\mu\nu}$$
$$\sigma_{x} \sigma_{p} \ge \frac{\hbar}{2} \quad E=\hbar\omega \quad \frac{\partial^2 u}{\partial t^2} = c^2 \nabla^2 u \quad \delta S \ge 0 \quad \frac{d}{dt}\left( \frac{\partial L}{\partial \dot{q}} \right) = \left( \frac{\partial L}{\partial q} \right) \quad \gamma \rightarrow e^\textrm{-} + \, e^\textrm{+} \quad A=\frac{dN}{dt} \quad \vec{j}=\sigma \vec{E} \quad \begin{array} &\{q,H\} \\ \{p,H\} \end{array}$$

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