Hi, may I ask for help on Final School Selection

Forum for the GRE subject test in mathematics.
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Hi, may I ask for help on Final School Selection

Post by yeonK » Sat Dec 07, 2019 12:44 am

Hello everyone,

I am currently a 2nd semester Master's student in a four-semester program, (So I will not finish my degree if I get admission for 2020)
and would like to get some help for the final school selection from people who are much more knowledgeable than I am.

I was originally planning to apply next year fall, but I changed my mind during the summer.
So I do not have any publication like master's thesis going on.
I was originally not a math nor physics -nor something computational) major student,
but I became more and more fond of math, so now I want to pursue career in math, or related field.

I want to start my phd program next year, but I would like to know if some of the schools are completely nonsense.
I may consider not applying to those, where my application document will be screened out in the very beginning of the process.
So here's my profile:

Undergrad Institution: Foreign (Well known in Asia, Top 3 in the country)
Major(s): Business, Mathematics
GPA: 4.0/4.0 (4.29/4.3)

Grad Institution: Same as the undergrad.
Major(s): Mathematics
GPA: 4.0/4.0 (4.3/4.3)

Type of Student: International, Asian, Female

Due to limited preparation time, I took each of the following exams only once, with short prep time.
(For each TOEFL, and IELTS, I could only prepare for a week, and a day, while taking three grad courses and a seminar this semester.
I am sure I;d be able to score much higher if I had more prep time, or took more than once. but well I guess it's fine as long as it's over the min.)

GRE Revised General Test: 331 (Aug 23.2019)
Q: 169 (95%)
V: 162 (90%)
W: 4.5 (81%)

GRE Subject Test in Mathematics: (Oct 26. 2019)
M: 910 (96%)
(* Also, first exam: September exam was cancelled this year in Korea :( and did not even think of taking it till August, so had no chance on April either.)

TOEFL Score: 111 (R 30 / L 29 / W 28 / S 24) (Sep 22. 2019)
IELTS Score: 8.0 (R 9.0 / L 8.5 / W 7.5 / S 7.0) (Nov 26. 2019)

* Program Applying: Math / Applied Math / Operations Research

* Research Experience:
1) Senior year for business-somewhat financial engineering- in business class.
It was the second to last semester of undergrad, and at that point, I was still thinking of only pursuing Operations Research.
The research topic was related to enhancing the performance of investment strategy based on Markowitz Portfolio Selection Model, and some other applied models.
Done on Python language. (I did not take any programming courses, but just self-taught while performing the research.)

2) Senior year summer break & last semester of undergrad in applied math lab of my school
It was on parameter estimation through modelling & simulation, applied to the spread of infectious disease. I learned MATLAB from the seniors in the lab, performed research successfully and gave a poster presentation.

* Awards/Honors/Recognition:
Semester Undergraduate Scholarships (merit based) several times / Semester Academic Awards except for 2 semesters / Private merit based Scholarships during undergrad (tuition + @) & this year, as a master's student / Master's Student Scholarships (merit based, for newly admitted students, tuition fully covered) / Silver Prize in National Math Olympiad for undergrads (in non math major tier: for students in other natural science/engineering/med/etc majors) / Graduation with highest distinction (was a valedictorian for the department)

* Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Tutoring in Undergrad (Analysis 1) in senior year, Private Tutoring this summer (on single/multi var. calculus)

* Any Miscellaneous Points that Might Help:
- Have been in reading group since master's program (for about a year.) and at there, we covered Stein's Singular Integrals and differentiability of functions, Evans' PDE, and some others.

* Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:

- Interested in analysis, pde, and optimization.

- I don't know if it will help, but I have studied diverse fields (majored French in high school; obtained DELF B2/B1, then majored Business till sophomore in college) / And I could not take much math courses the last year, as I had to fulfill business graduation requirement. But I have been trying to catch up with the missing holes.

- Took almost 170 credits during undergrad, so this might reflect my curiosity on many things. / 17 upper level math courses.

- Spent two semesters in one of the ivy leagues (famous for math / one of the schools I'm applying to),
and scored 3.89/4.0 (took 8 courses, all majors)

- Thankfully, there were five supportive professors; three from my school(two math, one business), and two from the visiting school.
Two of the three home institute professors would be from my research advisers.
With the business professor, whom I have known since sophomore, I took two courses, and aced them. I did not take any courses with the other professor though. She is super nice, but we only met in the senior year since the research in summer.
With one of the math professors from my school, I took two upper level courses, and one grad course. (analysis 1, fourier analysis, and grad real analysis.) I took the first rigorous math course with this math professor, and I do not know if he is well-known in US, but he is the professor that I admire the most.
I really liked the professors from the visiting school, (they were all very nice and their classes were super helpful and fun) but I am not sure if the letters would be very strong, as I have never done research with them. Their courses were all upper-level ones though, and did an ok job. (not like acing though: It was only my second, and third semester of math studies, after long wandering) Also, they saw me grow, and I liked them so I asked for the letters anyways. Thankfully, they kindly agreed to write them. I heard that they are both famous. (only recently)

* So.. Applying to Where?: (all Phd)

<Wishing for my dream to come true>
- UCLA, Math
- UC Berkeley, Math
- Harvard, Applied Mathematics (SEAS)
: I did not do enough research on this school before asking for the rec. letters, but I realized that they are focused on physics/biology/or cs, most of which I lack background. (took only two college physics courses, and nothing from biology or cs)
Before, I just looked their courses tab, and thought it would be somewhat relevant to what I studied before. But now, I am confused.
- MIT, Operations Research
- CALTECH, CMS (Applied Math)
- Princeton, ORFE (focused on Operations Research)
- Stanford, Operations Research
- Columbia, Applied Mathematics (SEAS)
- Yale, Operations Management
- Cornell, Operations Research
- Michigan, Math
- Chicago, Math / Applied Math
- NYU, Math
- Brown, Applied Math
- UPenn, Math

<Also very high, and good schools>
- Wisconsin, Math
- Maryland, Math
- Purdue, Math
- Duke, Math
- Georgia Tech, Math
- Washington, Math

- none (at least till now)
- I also think I need some safety schools, but I am indecisive.

I have already started the application forms for all the listed schools above, and I am tailoring SOPs for each school.
But while doing research on the main research field of each school, I found out that some were (for example, harvard;;;;;) too focused on the applied matters like ee, physics, or cs. So I am even thinking of withdrawing the application. If someone could give some helpful advice on decisions like this, it would be very much appreciated.
Wish all of you have a happy weekend and good luck with the application process!!

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