Profile Evaluation

Forum for the GRE subject test in mathematics.
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nicole2
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Nov 21, 2019 6:58 pm

Profile Evaluation

Post by nicole2 » Thu Nov 21, 2019 7:10 pm

Hey everyone, I wanted to get some second opinion about the strength of my profile and which programs I would get into.

Undergrad Institution: Middle sized state school. Not known outside of region.
Major(s): Mathematics
Minor(s): Computer Science
GPA: 4.00/4.00
Type of Student: Domestic White Female

GRE Revised General Test:
Q: 168 (89%)
V: 167 (93%)
W: 5.5 (91%)
GRE Subject Test in Mathematics:
M: 500 (I think 25%)

Program Applying: All Pure Math PhD

Research Experience: 1 REU and honors senior thesis
Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Deans lists, 'best undergraduate student in the department' award.
Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Work as a tutor, math club president.
Any Miscellaneous Points that Might Help: Senior thesis adviser is from Cornell.
Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I was a mathematical education and switched to math major last year. We have a masters program but not a doctorate. My adviser's letter should be very strong.

Applying to Where: (Color use here is welcome)
Harvard
Princeton
MIT
Yale
Brown
Cornell
Stanford
NYU
Chicago
Carnegie Mellon
UW Madison
Minnesota
UCLA
UCB
UIUC
UIC

My adviser told me that I should be able to get into about half of these programs. So, which schools should I remove on this list to save myself on unnecessary fees? The deadlines are approaching I need to apply soon.

Help and feedback would be appreciated! :D

nicole2
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Nov 21, 2019 6:58 pm

Re: Profile Evaluation

Post by nicole2 » Wed Dec 04, 2019 6:45 pm

Can someone provide me with some honest insight and advice?

Integreat
Posts: 42
Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2018 11:29 pm

Re: Profile Evaluation

Post by Integreat » Wed Dec 04, 2019 7:17 pm

I think this really depends on what area you want to go into. I'd probably only consider the following if I were you:

Brown, Cornell, NYU, Carnegie Mellon, UW Madison, Minnesota, UIUC, UIC

But that's just based on the info you've provided. Again, depending on what area you like, you should adjust this accordingly.

PhilippMainlander
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:44 pm

Re: Profile Evaluation

Post by PhilippMainlander » Wed Dec 04, 2019 7:35 pm

You have a lot of really really good schools on that list. I'm not saying you shouldn't apply to them, you should if you have the money, but also understand that people with better 'objective' stats than you have trouble getting into those schools. You should perhaps add more schools lower on the US news ranking(not an objective measure) unless you are adamant about going to those programs you have listed.

jimmy
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2018 10:00 am

Re: Profile Evaluation

Post by jimmy » Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:52 pm

Since your school is relatively unknown, the rigor of your courses may be questioned. Also, your mGRE score may be too low for schools you are applying for, which doesn't help. With this list, it's very likely you end up getting into nowhere. You should apply very broadly by adding some schools outside of top 50.

nicole2
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Nov 21, 2019 6:58 pm

Re: Profile Evaluation

Post by nicole2 » Thu Dec 05, 2019 2:08 am

hmmmm my advisor told me even though my scores and profile is weak I have a high chance of getting into at least 1 of them because I am a female so she told me I don't have to any 'safety schools'. What safety schools do you guys suggest, I want to do combinatorics or geometry.

Cyclicduck
Posts: 23
Joined: Sun Apr 14, 2019 9:55 pm

Re: Profile Evaluation

Post by Cyclicduck » Thu Dec 05, 2019 9:46 am

University of Minnesota - Twin cities has a strong combinatorics program, including combinatorial algebraic geometry.

ponchan
Posts: 82
Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2018 6:30 pm

Re: Profile Evaluation

Post by ponchan » Thu Dec 05, 2019 10:19 am

All of the schools you've listed are extremely competitive, even for people with great mGRE scores, graduate coursework from top universities, and publications. Ask yourself this: If none accept you, would you be ok with waiting another year and reapplying to schools, perhaps after retaking the mGRE? If not, seriously consider applying to schools in the 50-150 range. Also, I am a bit confused by what you consider a "safety school". Safety might mean beyond 125 or so, not 35. With your current list, I'd say UIC and Minnesota are a reach and the others are "beyond reach". Even as a female, without (grad) coursework from a well-known university, you'd need a much higher mGRE score. I think your professor is doing you a disservice. You can look at the US News list, google the departments, and see which ones have people in the areas you're interested in. You should also look through the wealth of data on this site; the results of students from previous years can tell you what sort of schools people with your background have been accepted to. If you are interested in combinatorics, another obvious choice would be Michigan State (Bruce Sagan), which certainly is not a safety, but is reasonable. Emory has a great combinatorics program and doesn't even accept the mGRE. Again, still a competitive program, but you wouldn't be penalized for a low mGRE score. You might check out Syracuse as well.

jimmy
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2018 10:00 am

Re: Profile Evaluation

Post by jimmy » Thu Dec 05, 2019 11:58 am

With your current profile, your chances of getting into Minnesota is almost nil, and I wouldn't waste money applying to schools above Minnesota. You should know that even as a female the competition is stiff, and no one gets in because he/she is lucky. The only school that you may have a shot at in your list is UIC.

PhilippMainlander
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:44 pm

Re: Profile Evaluation

Post by PhilippMainlander » Thu Dec 05, 2019 12:57 pm

OP. You should listen to your advisor, but you should inform yourself by looking at the admissions thread and TheGradCafe.com. No one here can tell you where you can get in and what your chances are. Everyone here at best can guess, and their guesses could be totally wrong or maybe right? if you want to form an objective opinion then you are going to have to look at TheGradCafe.com and the acceptances threads. Everyone here is as lost and clueless as you.

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=4555

Start here, use the search function and type the schools' names and judge for yourself.

temporaryacct
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2019 12:23 am

Re: Profile Evaluation

Post by temporaryacct » Thu Dec 05, 2019 4:03 pm

You should ask your advisor what she's basing her experiences off of. Does she know of any people from your school with similar profiles in the last few years? What are their results?

If she's basing her judgments on old information it may be outdated. More and more extremely qualified women are applying these days so standards have been rising.

She may or may not be justified. It all depends on what information she's using to draw her conclusions.

I think many schools have been de-emphasizing GRE scores so I wouldn't say any of those schools are unreasonable. However, I think your list is a bit top heavy and would be for anyone, but if you feel confident and those are the schools you're most interested in more power to you! Just remember, higher ranked schools aren't necessarily better fits for everyone.

nicole2
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Nov 21, 2019 6:58 pm

Re: Profile Evaluation

Post by nicole2 » Sat Dec 07, 2019 3:31 am

My advisor said my profile is strong and by applying to top 20 programs at least one of them will accept me.

I have taken two semesters of advanced calculus and modern algebra. I am also getting a honors degree with a written thesis. My GPA is 4.0. She said there is no need to apply to inferior schools because I deserve better, also easier to get in because I am female. She said it's a luck game apply to top 20 basically guarantees at least 1 acceptance because what are the chances getting denied by 20 out of 20? Probability = 0. :lol:

yeonK
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Dec 06, 2019 11:25 pm

Re: Profile Evaluation

Post by yeonK » Sat Dec 07, 2019 3:46 am

nicole2 wrote:
Sat Dec 07, 2019 3:31 am
My advisor said my profile is strong and by applying to top 20 programs at least one of them will accept me.

I have taken two semesters of advanced calculus and modern algebra. I am also getting a honors degree with a written thesis. My GPA is 4.0. She said there is no need to apply to inferior schools because I deserve better, also easier to get in because I am female. She said it's a luck game apply to top 20 basically guarantees at least 1 acceptance because what are the chances getting denied by 20 out of 20? Probability = 0. :lol:
Well, I see that you have worked hard during your undergrad,
and it's impressive that you are finishing your thesis when you graduate. congrats for that.
But, I think it is still not a zero probability.
If the events are independent, and even if you suppose that the probability of getting a rejection is at most 90%, you still have more than 10 % probability of getting all rejected, which I think, is not negligible.
Also, no one can guarantee one's probability of getting admission from such good schools.
There are many competitive applicants all over the world.
Good luck with your application anyways.

ps. I hope you are not someone who hates female applicants, pretending to be someone else. We call such people "intelligent anti-fan" in my country.

ponchan
Posts: 82
Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2018 6:30 pm

Re: Profile Evaluation

Post by ponchan » Sat Dec 07, 2019 11:01 am

nicole2 wrote:
Sat Dec 07, 2019 3:31 am
My advisor said my profile is strong and by applying to top 20 programs at least one of them will accept me.

I have taken two semesters of advanced calculus and modern algebra. I am also getting a honors degree with a written thesis. My GPA is 4.0. She said there is no need to apply to inferior schools because I deserve better, also easier to get in because I am female. She said it's a luck game apply to top 20 basically guarantees at least 1 acceptance because what are the chances getting denied by 20 out of 20? Probability = 0. :lol:
Again, what information is she basing this on? Previous students from your program who have a similar profile? It seems you have taken the bare minimum to be accepted to any program, let alone a top 20. Have you met any grad students from places like MIT, Princeton or Harvard? Many of them have been taking graduate level coursework since high school. I'm not saying this to discourage you from applying to grad school; but you asked for advice. If there is concrete evidence from your advisor that you're not sharing with us, then perhaps we're missing something. Otherwise, you're interested in math, right? Then that means you're interested in things like proof and data. Well, this website and grad cafe have lots of data -- archiving acceptance outcomes of students over the last decade -- so that you may draw a conclusion yourself.

Saying you "deserve better" gives me pause. Are you interested in math or are you interested in telling people you go to a fancy school? If it's the latter, perhaps you should interrogate your motivations for wanting to go to grad school in the first place. People who do good work, regardless of the school they're at, will get job offers. There's evidence of this! And people who do mediocre work at top schools will be forced to leave academia (or, if they can't pass qualifying exams, will be kicked out of their programs). But putting blind faith in someone who says you will get accepted to a top 20 school, without knowing her reasoning, doesn't seem like a good idea. Good luck!

jimmy
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2018 10:00 am

Re: Profile Evaluation

Post by jimmy » Sat Dec 07, 2019 11:23 am

nicole2 wrote:
Sat Dec 07, 2019 3:31 am
My advisor said my profile is strong and by applying to top 20 programs at least one of them will accept me.

I have taken two semesters of advanced calculus and modern algebra. I am also getting a honors degree with a written thesis. My GPA is 4.0. She said there is no need to apply to inferior schools because I deserve better, also easier to get in because I am female. She said it's a luck game apply to top 20 basically guarantees at least 1 acceptance because what are the chances getting denied by 20 out of 20? Probability = 0. :lol:
I am not saying this to discourage you but unfortunately there is a quite high probability that you get rejected by all top 20 programs, even top 50 programs. Have you taken grad level analysis and algebra? You have the bare minimum background for math phd. As a Statistics PhD applicant from a well-known Canadian school, I have more coursework than you do. I have functional analysis/measure theory under my belt and am planning on taking a harmonic analysis course next term. All of my friends who got into top 20 Statistics PhD have similar background as mine. They all have strong gpa, grad level coursework, multiple research experiences and >80% mGRE and still got rejected by a lot of programs. My supervisor told me the competition was very stiff and even with my background she still suggested me apply to some schools ranked around 50 just to be safe. With that said, I am gonna assume math PhD demands more grad level coursework and your math background is not even sufficient for many Statistics PhD programs. This, along with your 500 (14th percentile) mGRE score, make your admissions to top 50 programs very unlikely.



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