School list evaluation for 2021 applicant

Forum for the GRE subject test in mathematics.
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greatBallsOfFire
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Dec 08, 2019 3:14 am

School list evaluation for 2021 applicant

Post by greatBallsOfFire » Mon Dec 09, 2019 10:40 pm

:D
Last edited by greatBallsOfFire on Sat Dec 21, 2019 12:19 am, edited 2 times in total.

nakayama
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2018 10:16 pm

Re: School list evaluation for 2021 applicant

Post by nakayama » Tue Dec 10, 2019 12:21 am

I'm also doing the same - taking a year gap. Applications do ask why if you do and what you've done in that period. I think you have a very valid reason to do so.

HarmonicDog
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2019 2:30 pm

Re: School list evaluation for 2021 applicant

Post by HarmonicDog » Tue Dec 10, 2019 2:26 am

Your profile looks great. I hope you can get in all the places :D

Big_Fish
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2019 2:38 pm

Re: School list evaluation for 2021 applicant

Post by Big_Fish » Fri Dec 13, 2019 2:13 am

How in the world were you able to take 20 GRAD COURSES by the time you graduate!?!?! :O

internationalting
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2018 4:15 pm

Re: School list evaluation for 2021 applicant

Post by internationalting » Fri Dec 13, 2019 12:59 pm

:D
Last edited by internationalting on Sat Dec 21, 2019 12:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

lambert
Posts: 65
Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:41 am

Re: School list evaluation for 2021 applicant

Post by lambert » Sun Dec 15, 2019 5:59 pm

^ You forgot to log out of your other account before making your comment. You'd expect someone with "20 grad classes" would be less dumb than that.

So this profile is probably bullshit. It's probably for the better, sounds like the usual undergrad overachievers who burn out in grad school

mishania1996
Posts: 87
Joined: Sun Sep 03, 2017 5:06 pm

Re: School list evaluation for 2021 applicant

Post by mishania1996 » Mon Dec 16, 2019 10:23 am

lambert wrote:
Sun Dec 15, 2019 5:59 pm
^ You forgot to log out of your other account before making your comment. You'd expect someone with "20 grad classes" would be less dumb than that.

So this profile is probably bullshit. It's probably for the better, sounds like the usual undergrad overachievers who burn out in grad school
Why so mean? I could totally believe that there are more then one person getting 20 grad classes. I knew myself two students with 15 grad classes, so I don't think that 20 classes would be impossible.

Cyclicduck
Posts: 78
Joined: Sun Apr 14, 2019 9:55 pm

Re: School list evaluation for 2021 applicant

Post by Cyclicduck » Mon Dec 16, 2019 5:33 pm

To make the obviously explicit even more explicit, the OP is a fake because his response is from a different account whose other post is a completely different profile from last year created to produce the same effect.
internationalting wrote:
Fri Dec 13, 2019 12:59 pm
I knew a decent amount of analysis, algebra, complex analysis and topology before starting, so during freshman year I was officially enrolled in those classes and did the problem sets, midterms, finals for those, but largely attended lectures for introductory graduate sequences (didn’t do that many problems for those though). After that I did 4 grad classes a semester during sophomore and junior years. This year doing 2 a semester, hence 4*4+2*2=20.

PhilippMainlander
Posts: 50
Joined: Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:44 pm

Re: School list evaluation for 2021 applicant

Post by PhilippMainlander » Mon Dec 16, 2019 8:53 pm

Cyclicduck wrote:
Mon Dec 16, 2019 5:33 pm
To make the obviously explicit even more explicit, the OP is a fake because his response is from a different account whose other post is a completely different profile from last year created to produce the same effect.
internationalting wrote:
Fri Dec 13, 2019 12:59 pm
I knew a decent amount of analysis, algebra, complex analysis and topology before starting, so during freshman year I was officially enrolled in those classes and did the problem sets, midterms, finals for those, but largely attended lectures for introductory graduate sequences (didn’t do that many problems for those though). After that I did 4 grad classes a semester during sophomore and junior years. This year doing 2 a semester, hence 4*4+2*2=20.

I wonder how many profiles on this forum are fake. All it takes is one mentally ill person and a VPN to create a bunch of fake posts to skew the data given here. I would reckon the intersection between mentally ill people and mathematiciaans is quite high.

I could do it, if I wanted to.

wujinya1
Posts: 34
Joined: Wed Mar 20, 2019 6:59 pm

Re: School list evaluation for 2021 applicant

Post by wujinya1 » Tue Dec 17, 2019 12:05 am

PhilippMainlander wrote:
Mon Dec 16, 2019 8:53 pm
Cyclicduck wrote:
Mon Dec 16, 2019 5:33 pm
To make the obviously explicit even more explicit, the OP is a fake because his response is from a different account whose other post is a completely different profile from last year created to produce the same effect.
internationalting wrote:
Fri Dec 13, 2019 12:59 pm
I knew a decent amount of analysis, algebra, complex analysis and topology before starting, so during freshman year I was officially enrolled in those classes and did the problem sets, midterms, finals for those, but largely attended lectures for introductory graduate sequences (didn’t do that many problems for those though). After that I did 4 grad classes a semester during sophomore and junior years. This year doing 2 a semester, hence 4*4+2*2=20.

I wonder how many profiles on this forum are fake. All it takes is one mentally ill person and a VPN to create a bunch of fake posts to skew the data given here. I would reckon the intersection between mentally ill people and mathematiciaans is quite high.

I could do it, if I wanted to.
You should realize that even if none of these are fake, the information on this website is still extremely biased.

mathmcspirit
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2019 2:15 pm

Re: School list evaluation for 2021 applicant

Post by mathmcspirit » Tue Dec 17, 2019 12:49 am

PhilippMainlander wrote:
Mon Dec 16, 2019 8:53 pm
Cyclicduck wrote:
Mon Dec 16, 2019 5:33 pm
To make the obviously explicit even more explicit, the OP is a fake because his response is from a different account whose other post is a completely different profile from last year created to produce the same effect.
internationalting wrote:
Fri Dec 13, 2019 12:59 pm
I knew a decent amount of analysis, algebra, complex analysis and topology before starting, so during freshman year I was officially enrolled in those classes and did the problem sets, midterms, finals for those, but largely attended lectures for introductory graduate sequences (didn’t do that many problems for those though). After that I did 4 grad classes a semester during sophomore and junior years. This year doing 2 a semester, hence 4*4+2*2=20.

I wonder how many profiles on this forum are fake. All it takes is one mentally ill person and a VPN to create a bunch of fake posts to skew the data given here. I would reckon the intersection between mentally ill people and mathematiciaans is quite high.

I could do it, if I wanted to.
This point can certainly be made without conflating that type of behavior with mental illness! Just a thought to be conscious about retrenching stigma that is still pretty harmful to those of us in the community that suffer from mental illness and would rather not be typecast as abnormally violent or unpredictable :)

mishania1996
Posts: 87
Joined: Sun Sep 03, 2017 5:06 pm

Re: School list evaluation for 2021 applicant

Post by mishania1996 » Tue Dec 17, 2019 8:59 am

PhilippMainlander wrote:
Mon Dec 16, 2019 8:53 pm

I would reckon the intersection between mentally ill people and mathematiciaans is quite high.

I could do it, if I wanted to.
I really would like a reference here. And by the reference I don't want examples rather statistics or medical arguments linking quality of being mentally ill and the quality of being mathematically talented. As far as I know that is a pure bullshit which is exaggerated by movies.

lambert
Posts: 65
Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:41 am

Re: School list evaluation for 2021 applicant

Post by lambert » Wed Dec 18, 2019 7:13 am

mishania1996 wrote:
Mon Dec 16, 2019 10:23 am
lambert wrote:
Sun Dec 15, 2019 5:59 pm
^ You forgot to log out of your other account before making your comment. You'd expect someone with "20 grad classes" would be less dumb than that.

So this profile is probably bullshit. It's probably for the better, sounds like the usual undergrad overachievers who burn out in grad school
Why so mean? I could totally believe that there are more then one person getting 20 grad classes. I knew myself two students with 15 grad classes, so I don't think that 20 classes would be impossible.
Well the definition of 'grad course' varies depending on whom you ask, and not all graduate courses are created equal. At 20 legit grad courses it all starts sounding too good to be true, and at the risk of being mean I have seen hyperadvanced people burn out in grad school (or heard such stories from professors) once they realize that quoting Hartshorne on the spot doesn't make them good researchers. Even people who used to run impressive math blogs in their undergrad seemed to kind of vanish and not produce any research other than their thesis, and gifted people who actually followed through and became top mathematicians (e.g. A. Mathew) are indeed a rarity.

mishania1996
Posts: 87
Joined: Sun Sep 03, 2017 5:06 pm

Re: School list evaluation for 2021 applicant

Post by mishania1996 » Wed Dec 18, 2019 11:15 am

lambert wrote:
Wed Dec 18, 2019 7:13 am
mishania1996 wrote:
Mon Dec 16, 2019 10:23 am
lambert wrote:
Sun Dec 15, 2019 5:59 pm
^ You forgot to log out of your other account before making your comment. You'd expect someone with "20 grad classes" would be less dumb than that.

So this profile is probably bullshit. It's probably for the better, sounds like the usual undergrad overachievers who burn out in grad school
Why so mean? I could totally believe that there are more then one person getting 20 grad classes. I knew myself two students with 15 grad classes, so I don't think that 20 classes would be impossible.
Well the definition of 'grad course' varies depending on whom you ask, and not all graduate courses are created equal. At 20 legit grad courses it all starts sounding too good to be true, and at the risk of being mean I have seen hyperadvanced people burn out in grad school (or heard such stories from professors) once they realize that quoting Hartshorne on the spot doesn't make them good researchers. Even people who used to run impressive math blogs in their undergrad seemed to kind of vanish and not produce any research other than their thesis, and gifted people who actually followed through and became top mathematicians (e.g. A. Mathew) are indeed a rarity.
I don't see how it gives you a carte blanche to call people dumb and liar

MathParent
Posts: 81
Joined: Wed Nov 06, 2019 8:32 pm

Re: School list evaluation for 2021 applicant

Post by MathParent » Wed Dec 18, 2019 1:22 pm

mishania1996 wrote:
Wed Dec 18, 2019 11:15 am
lambert wrote:
Wed Dec 18, 2019 7:13 am

Well the definition of 'grad course' varies depending on whom you ask, and not all graduate courses are created equal. At 20 legit grad courses it all starts sounding too good to be true, and at the risk of being mean I have seen hyperadvanced people burn out in grad school (or heard such stories from professors) once they realize that quoting Hartshorne on the spot doesn't make them good researchers. Even people who used to run impressive math blogs in their undergrad seemed to kind of vanish and not produce any research other than their thesis, and gifted people who actually followed through and became top mathematicians (e.g. A. Mathew) are indeed a rarity.
I don't see how it gives you a carte blanche to call people dumb and liar
Let's look at this peacefully, without calling names. Let's assume the profile is true. Here is where I am loosing the logic of it. Please hear me out.
Every undegrad program has graduation requirements. Let's take Pure Math at UC Berkeley. The requirements are:

<<<<<<<<<<
LOWER-DIVISION REQUIRED COURSES
Mathematics 1A Calculus
Mathematics 1B Calculus
Mathematics 53 Multivariable Calculus
Mathematics 54 Linear Algebra & Differential Equations
Mathematics 55 Discrete Mathematics

UPPER-DIVISION REQUIRED COURSES
Mathematics 104 Introduction to Analysis
Mathematics 110 Linear Algebra
Mathematics 113 Introduction to Abstract Algebra
Mathematics 185 Introduction to Complex Analysis

TWO SEMI-ELECTIVES
Choose one course from two of the following three areas:
Computing: Math 124 Programming for Mathematical Applications or Math 128A Numerical Analysis
Geometry: Math 130 Classical Geometries, Math 140 Metric Differential Geometry, Math 141 Elementary Differential Topology, Math 142 Elementary Algebraic Topology, or Math 143 Elementary Algebraic Geometry
Logic and Foundations: Math 125A Intro to Logic, Math 135 Intro to Theory of Sets, Math 136 Incompleteness and Undecidability

TWO ELECTIVES

In addition to this, there are seven of the (useless) 7-breadths requirements, which cannot be substituted by SATs, APs, and dual enrollment stuff.
>>>>>>>>

Please bear with me.
If the kid comes from high school, where he, let's say, took a dozen of AP tests and will have a lot of "unit" credits, and did dual enrollments, so that all those low division math courses are out of the way. The kid will still be left with 8 upper division Math courses to take, and 7 general requirements (7-breadths). And NO, they will not allow you to skip those and take grad courses *instead*. So you have to do these 15 courses, and say, you can do it in three semesters, 5 courses per semester. Fine. After that - you fulfilled all requirements for graduation with BA from UC Berkeley (assuming your APs and DE give you enough units, which is easily accomplish-able).

**Now comes the question.** Why would anyone be still sitting there, for another 5 semesters, taking additional 20 grad courses (4 per semester), if they can take their BA degree and simply go to the next step, i.e. the graduate school?

**What's the point** of taking all those grad courses as an undegrad, instead of simply moving on, and taking whatever you want while being a grad student (and your tuition paid, and working as TA/RA/GSI or whatever)? Why would you prefer being listed as an undegrad, instead of having a better contact with professors (as a grad student, you WILL have a better contact with professors), doing research, publishing papers? What's the point of sitting in undegrad and doing 20 grad courses, can someone enlighten me please?

(Yes, I am assuming that math programs at top schools are similar, requirements-wise, and using Berkeley here as an example only).

mathmcspirit
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2019 2:15 pm

Re: School list evaluation for 2021 applicant

Post by mathmcspirit » Wed Dec 18, 2019 2:20 pm

MathParent wrote:
Wed Dec 18, 2019 1:22 pm
mishania1996 wrote:
Wed Dec 18, 2019 11:15 am
lambert wrote:
Wed Dec 18, 2019 7:13 am

Well the definition of 'grad course' varies depending on whom you ask, and not all graduate courses are created equal. At 20 legit grad courses it all starts sounding too good to be true, and at the risk of being mean I have seen hyperadvanced people burn out in grad school (or heard such stories from professors) once they realize that quoting Hartshorne on the spot doesn't make them good researchers. Even people who used to run impressive math blogs in their undergrad seemed to kind of vanish and not produce any research other than their thesis, and gifted people who actually followed through and became top mathematicians (e.g. A. Mathew) are indeed a rarity.
I don't see how it gives you a carte blanche to call people dumb and liar
Let's look at this peacefully, without calling names. Let's assume the profile is true. Here is where I am loosing the logic of it. Please hear me out.
Every undegrad program has graduation requirements. Let's take Pure Math at UC Berkeley. The requirements are:

<<<<<<<<<<
LOWER-DIVISION REQUIRED COURSES
Mathematics 1A Calculus
Mathematics 1B Calculus
Mathematics 53 Multivariable Calculus
Mathematics 54 Linear Algebra & Differential Equations
Mathematics 55 Discrete Mathematics

UPPER-DIVISION REQUIRED COURSES
Mathematics 104 Introduction to Analysis
Mathematics 110 Linear Algebra
Mathematics 113 Introduction to Abstract Algebra
Mathematics 185 Introduction to Complex Analysis

TWO SEMI-ELECTIVES
Choose one course from two of the following three areas:
Computing: Math 124 Programming for Mathematical Applications or Math 128A Numerical Analysis
Geometry: Math 130 Classical Geometries, Math 140 Metric Differential Geometry, Math 141 Elementary Differential Topology, Math 142 Elementary Algebraic Topology, or Math 143 Elementary Algebraic Geometry
Logic and Foundations: Math 125A Intro to Logic, Math 135 Intro to Theory of Sets, Math 136 Incompleteness and Undecidability

TWO ELECTIVES

In addition to this, there are seven of the (useless) 7-breadths requirements, which cannot be substituted by SATs, APs, and dual enrollment stuff.
>>>>>>>>

Please bear with me.
If the kid comes from high school, where he, let's say, took a dozen of AP tests and will have a lot of "unit" credits, and did dual enrollments, so that all those low division math courses are out of the way. The kid will still be left with 8 upper division Math courses to take, and 7 general requirements (7-breadths). And NO, they will not allow you to skip those and take grad courses *instead*. So you have to do these 15 courses, and say, you can do it in three semesters, 5 courses per semester. Fine. After that - you fulfilled all requirements for graduation with BA from UC Berkeley (assuming your APs and DE give you enough units, which is easily accomplish-able).

**Now comes the question.** Why would anyone be still sitting there, for another 5 semesters, taking additional 20 grad courses (4 per semester), if they can take their BA degree and simply go to the next step, i.e. the graduate school?

**What's the point** of taking all those grad courses as an undegrad, instead of simply moving on, and taking whatever you want while being a grad student (and your tuition paid, and working as TA/RA/GSI or whatever)? Why would you prefer being listed as an undegrad, instead of having a better contact with professors (as a grad student, you WILL have a better contact with professors), doing research, publishing papers? What's the point of sitting in undegrad and doing 20 grad courses, can someone enlighten me please?

(Yes, I am assuming that math programs at top schools are similar, requirements-wise, and using Berkeley here as an example only).
I agree with your point, but specifics don't pan out. You can get grad courses in the same areas approved for all the undergrad requirements at Berkeley with some faculty approval, so while that would be very unlikely to know coming in to undergrad and the seven course breadths are unavoidable, it is in theory possible to avoid taking any undergraduate courses. I would assume if you're on good terms with a faculty advisor, you'd be in good shape.

MathParent
Posts: 81
Joined: Wed Nov 06, 2019 8:32 pm

Re: School list evaluation for 2021 applicant

Post by MathParent » Wed Dec 18, 2019 2:46 pm

mathmcspirit wrote:
Wed Dec 18, 2019 2:20 pm
I agree with your point, but specifics don't pan out. You can get grad courses in the same areas approved for all the undergrad requirements at Berkeley with some faculty approval, so while that would be very unlikely to know coming in to undergrad and the seven course breadths are unavoidable, it is in theory possible to avoid taking any undergraduate courses. I would assume if you're on good terms with a faculty advisor, you'd be in good shape.
I sorta know the Berkeley courses, both grad and undegrad. I can assure you, it is not possible to substitute EACH undegrad course from the requirements with a grad course that is "bigger and better" - enough bigger and enough encompassing the undergrad course, so that a professor will allow you to take that graduate course **as a credit instead of the required undegraduate course**.

Possible or not, it doesn't address my question. If an advanced kid is coming, with enough AP/DE courses taken (and self study), that he can show the proof to cover the low-divisions, he will have to either have DEs enough to cover the upper division, or will have to show to the prof he knows it, in order to go into grad course. When a kid is coming (from high school), he hardly knows ANY professors there, and professors do not have any interest of sitting and basically giving him an exam, in, say Complex Analysis, - to make sure he can go into a graduate Complex Analysis course. (and then, in every other upper division course). So, kid is NOT going to get "an exam on the spot" - so the only way to prove that he is worthy of a grad course in the same Complex Analysis - is to show that he took it as a DE. By extrapolation, we have that the incoming kid should have not only low division math covered in AP/DE, but also ALL upper division covered in DE. Fine. Why didn't he simply get a BA/BS degree from the institution where he **already took ALL required upper division math courses**?

Do you see my argument?

My points:
* Professors are NOT going to give him tests on the spot, and he will be forced to take at least upper division math classes at *Berkeley* (substitute any other good school here).
* After he takes all upper division required courses, he can walk away with BS/BA from *Berkeley* (substitute any other good school here).

Question:
What the heck is he still doing at *Berkeley* (substitute any other good school here), taking 20 grad courses, when he already can walk away with BA/BS degree????

bark_muffalo
Posts: 58
Joined: Sat Apr 06, 2019 6:56 pm

Re: School list evaluation for 2021 applicant

Post by bark_muffalo » Wed Dec 18, 2019 4:05 pm

I agree with earlier posters, it's uncalled for to call people names. However, why are people still debating whether or not OP is a fake account? They posted a reply to the original post from a different account, which has been active on this site since 2018, has equally dubious credentials, and, contrary to the OP, claims to represent a user who got their degree in the U.K. Folks, if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it's a duck.

Honestly, I feel bad for OP more than anything else. I assume they're looking for some sense of self-worth.

chrisps1992
Posts: 136
Joined: Sat Jul 22, 2017 6:17 pm

Re: School list evaluation for 2021 applicant

Post by chrisps1992 » Wed Dec 18, 2019 4:47 pm

bark_muffalo wrote:
Wed Dec 18, 2019 4:05 pm
I agree with earlier posters, it's uncalled for to call people names. However, why are people still debating whether or not OP is a fake account? They posted a reply to the original post from a different account, which has been active on this site since 2018, has equally dubious credentials, and, contrary to the OP, claims to represent a user who got their degree in the U.K. Folks, if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it's a duck.

Honestly, I feel bad for OP more than anything else. I assume they're looking for some sense of self-worth.
I will end up like OP when all my applications get rejected :cry:

lambert
Posts: 65
Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:41 am

Re: School list evaluation for 2021 applicant

Post by lambert » Wed Dec 18, 2019 4:56 pm

mishania1996 wrote:
Wed Dec 18, 2019 11:15 am
lambert wrote:
Wed Dec 18, 2019 7:13 am
mishania1996 wrote:
Mon Dec 16, 2019 10:23 am


Why so mean? I could totally believe that there are more then one person getting 20 grad classes. I knew myself two students with 15 grad classes, so I don't think that 20 classes would be impossible.
Well the definition of 'grad course' varies depending on whom you ask, and not all graduate courses are created equal. At 20 legit grad courses it all starts sounding too good to be true, and at the risk of being mean I have seen hyperadvanced people burn out in grad school (or heard such stories from professors) once they realize that quoting Hartshorne on the spot doesn't make them good researchers. Even people who used to run impressive math blogs in their undergrad seemed to kind of vanish and not produce any research other than their thesis, and gifted people who actually followed through and became top mathematicians (e.g. A. Mathew) are indeed a rarity.
I don't see how it gives you a carte blanche to call people dumb and liar
Oh thats your issue. Original poster is clearly lying, or in some dubious i-am-actually-using-my-older-brother's-account situation. Next

mathmcspirit
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2019 2:15 pm

Re: School list evaluation for 2021 applicant

Post by mathmcspirit » Wed Dec 18, 2019 8:51 pm

MathParent wrote:
Wed Dec 18, 2019 2:46 pm
mathmcspirit wrote:
Wed Dec 18, 2019 2:20 pm
I agree with your point, but specifics don't pan out. You can get grad courses in the same areas approved for all the undergrad requirements at Berkeley with some faculty approval, so while that would be very unlikely to know coming in to undergrad and the seven course breadths are unavoidable, it is in theory possible to avoid taking any undergraduate courses. I would assume if you're on good terms with a faculty advisor, you'd be in good shape.
I sorta know the Berkeley courses, both grad and undegrad. I can assure you, it is not possible to substitute EACH undegrad course from the requirements with a grad course that is "bigger and better" - enough bigger and enough encompassing the undergrad course, so that a professor will allow you to take that graduate course **as a credit instead of the required undegraduate course**.

Possible or not, it doesn't address my question. If an advanced kid is coming, with enough AP/DE courses taken (and self study), that he can show the proof to cover the low-divisions, he will have to either have DEs enough to cover the upper division, or will have to show to the prof he knows it, in order to go into grad course. When a kid is coming (from high school), he hardly knows ANY professors there, and professors do not have any interest of sitting and basically giving him an exam, in, say Complex Analysis, - to make sure he can go into a graduate Complex Analysis course. (and then, in every other upper division course). So, kid is NOT going to get "an exam on the spot" - so the only way to prove that he is worthy of a grad course in the same Complex Analysis - is to show that he took it as a DE. By extrapolation, we have that the incoming kid should have not only low division math covered in AP/DE, but also ALL upper division covered in DE. Fine. Why didn't he simply get a BA/BS degree from the institution where he **already took ALL required upper division math courses**?

Do you see my argument?

My points:
* Professors are NOT going to give him tests on the spot, and he will be forced to take at least upper division math classes at *Berkeley* (substitute any other good school here).
* After he takes all upper division required courses, he can walk away with BS/BA from *Berkeley* (substitute any other good school here).

Question:
What the heck is he still doing at *Berkeley* (substitute any other good school here), taking 20 grad courses, when he already can walk away with BA/BS degree????
For the record, I don't think OP did this, but I do think it makes no sense to dismiss this as an implausible undergraduate path. First, OP says they took undergraduate classes their first year while they were like auditing grad courses and stuff. If they already knew this material as well as they claim, then they could take many at a time with little workload and basically sit for exams at the end. At Berkeley at least, many graduate classes have few formal requirements for undergraduates to enroll, and often instructor approval could be as simple as an email saying "I've done all the problems in X." Berkeley I think is considered much more strict in terms of adherence to requirements than most places (big school, exceptions are a logistical nightmare) so the fact that one could reasonably do it at Berk means it could most likely be done anywhere else.

To your bigger question. I think many of us applying for highly competitive programs could've graduated with minimum requirements with at least a semester to spare. The question as to why OP didn't is the same as it is for us, if more stark in this case, and the answers are just as varied. Sometimes people want the "college experience," like the classes being offered at their university, or have friends they don't want to leave after just a year or two. I think the biggest common response you'd get is you look more competitive the more you do before grad school. Whether that holds merit or not, that is the presumption most people I know operate under. We are all insecure about how we will stack up compared to other applicants since there seems to always be someone who has done more research or taken more graduate classes. Especially if tuition is not a barrier to staying in undergrad for someone, someone doing what OP has (or hasn't) done sounds very logical to me.

jhill42
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Jul 27, 2019 3:23 pm

Re: School list evaluation for 2021 applicant

Post by jhill42 » Thu Dec 19, 2019 7:31 pm

MathParent wrote:
Wed Dec 18, 2019 2:46 pm
mathmcspirit wrote:
Wed Dec 18, 2019 2:20 pm
I agree with your point, but specifics don't pan out. You can get grad courses in the same areas approved for all the undergrad requirements at Berkeley with some faculty approval, so while that would be very unlikely to know coming in to undergrad and the seven course breadths are unavoidable, it is in theory possible to avoid taking any undergraduate courses. I would assume if you're on good terms with a faculty advisor, you'd be in good shape.
I sorta know the Berkeley courses, both grad and undegrad. I can assure you, it is not possible to substitute EACH undegrad course from the requirements with a grad course that is "bigger and better" - enough bigger and enough encompassing the undergrad course, so that a professor will allow you to take that graduate course **as a credit instead of the required undegraduate course**.

Possible or not, it doesn't address my question. If an advanced kid is coming, with enough AP/DE courses taken (and self study), that he can show the proof to cover the low-divisions, he will have to either have DEs enough to cover the upper division, or will have to show to the prof he knows it, in order to go into grad course. When a kid is coming (from high school), he hardly knows ANY professors there, and professors do not have any interest of sitting and basically giving him an exam, in, say Complex Analysis, - to make sure he can go into a graduate Complex Analysis course. (and then, in every other upper division course). So, kid is NOT going to get "an exam on the spot" - so the only way to prove that he is worthy of a grad course in the same Complex Analysis - is to show that he took it as a DE. By extrapolation, we have that the incoming kid should have not only low division math covered in AP/DE, but also ALL upper division covered in DE. Fine. Why didn't he simply get a BA/BS degree from the institution where he **already took ALL required upper division math courses**?

Do you see my argument?

My points:
* Professors are NOT going to give him tests on the spot, and he will be forced to take at least upper division math classes at *Berkeley* (substitute any other good school here).
* After he takes all upper division required courses, he can walk away with BS/BA from *Berkeley* (substitute any other good school here).

Question:
What the heck is he still doing at *Berkeley* (substitute any other good school here), taking 20 grad courses, when he already can walk away with BA/BS degree????
I agree with your second point but sorta disagree with your first. I'm actually currently an undergrad at Berkeley, so here's my perspective. These are the courses I've taken: https://imgur.com/a/je9KZM8
6 graduate courses in first three semesters, so I could finish my breadths during next semester and next summer while adding 2 more, and then take 3 per semester until Spring 2022. That would equal 20 graduate courses. You are right that complex analysis actually is probably the most unnatural to get credit for through a graduate course (however, it could be done fairly easily since Berkeley's Math 205 is sometimes taught as like the undergrad complex analysis but faster and deeper), but luckily I took that in high school. However, another point you make is that you need to prove to the professor that you can go into these courses. At Berkeley this is not true at all. Nobody will stop you at all from enrolling in graduate courses: I did my first semester without talking to anyone about it. I have since gotten permission to use those to fulfill degree requirements, which is actually extremely easy to do at Berkeley for all of the requirements.

I do strongly agree that there's probably no point to taking that many graduate courses or even sticking around for the full four years. When I've talked to professors about what to do after this semester they've all said to just focus on doing independent reading/research and that there's not that much of a point to take a bunch of classes anymore.

jhill42
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Jul 27, 2019 3:23 pm

Re: School list evaluation for 2021 applicant

Post by jhill42 » Thu Dec 19, 2019 7:43 pm

mathmcspirit wrote:
Wed Dec 18, 2019 8:51 pm
MathParent wrote:
Wed Dec 18, 2019 2:46 pm
mathmcspirit wrote:
Wed Dec 18, 2019 2:20 pm
I agree with your point, but specifics don't pan out. You can get grad courses in the same areas approved for all the undergrad requirements at Berkeley with some faculty approval, so while that would be very unlikely to know coming in to undergrad and the seven course breadths are unavoidable, it is in theory possible to avoid taking any undergraduate courses. I would assume if you're on good terms with a faculty advisor, you'd be in good shape.
I sorta know the Berkeley courses, both grad and undegrad. I can assure you, it is not possible to substitute EACH undegrad course from the requirements with a grad course that is "bigger and better" - enough bigger and enough encompassing the undergrad course, so that a professor will allow you to take that graduate course **as a credit instead of the required undegraduate course**.

Possible or not, it doesn't address my question. If an advanced kid is coming, with enough AP/DE courses taken (and self study), that he can show the proof to cover the low-divisions, he will have to either have DEs enough to cover the upper division, or will have to show to the prof he knows it, in order to go into grad course. When a kid is coming (from high school), he hardly knows ANY professors there, and professors do not have any interest of sitting and basically giving him an exam, in, say Complex Analysis, - to make sure he can go into a graduate Complex Analysis course. (and then, in every other upper division course). So, kid is NOT going to get "an exam on the spot" - so the only way to prove that he is worthy of a grad course in the same Complex Analysis - is to show that he took it as a DE. By extrapolation, we have that the incoming kid should have not only low division math covered in AP/DE, but also ALL upper division covered in DE. Fine. Why didn't he simply get a BA/BS degree from the institution where he **already took ALL required upper division math courses**?

Do you see my argument?

My points:
* Professors are NOT going to give him tests on the spot, and he will be forced to take at least upper division math classes at *Berkeley* (substitute any other good school here).
* After he takes all upper division required courses, he can walk away with BS/BA from *Berkeley* (substitute any other good school here).

Question:
What the heck is he still doing at *Berkeley* (substitute any other good school here), taking 20 grad courses, when he already can walk away with BA/BS degree????
For the record, I don't think OP did this, but I do think it makes no sense to dismiss this as an implausible undergraduate path. First, OP says they took undergraduate classes their first year while they were like auditing grad courses and stuff. If they already knew this material as well as they claim, then they could take many at a time with little workload and basically sit for exams at the end. At Berkeley at least, many graduate classes have few formal requirements for undergraduates to enroll, and often instructor approval could be as simple as an email saying "I've done all the problems in X." Berkeley I think is considered much more strict in terms of adherence to requirements than most places (big school, exceptions are a logistical nightmare) so the fact that one could reasonably do it at Berk means it could most likely be done anywhere else.

To your bigger question. I think many of us applying for highly competitive programs could've graduated with minimum requirements with at least a semester to spare. The question as to why OP didn't is the same as it is for us, if more stark in this case, and the answers are just as varied. Sometimes people want the "college experience," like the classes being offered at their university, or have friends they don't want to leave after just a year or two. I think the biggest common response you'd get is you look more competitive the more you do before grad school. Whether that holds merit or not, that is the presumption most people I know operate under. We are all insecure about how we will stack up compared to other applicants since there seems to always be someone who has done more research or taken more graduate classes. Especially if tuition is not a barrier to staying in undergrad for someone, someone doing what OP has (or hasn't) done sounds very logical to me.
See my above post. The approval needed at Berkeley is actually less, in that there is no approval needed! You just sign up :D
I find it pretty unlikely that someone at Berkeley would stay around to take that many. Most of the people here who are taking graduate courses super early either switch to just doing independent reading/research their last few years, or go to graduate school "early" (or a combination of the two).



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