Fall 2020 - Decision Making Thread

Forum for the GRE subject test in mathematics.
Cyclicduck
Posts: 78
Joined: Sun Apr 14, 2019 9:55 pm

Re: Fall 2020 - Decision Making Thread

Post by Cyclicduck » Wed Feb 19, 2020 7:42 pm

laplacian wrote:
Mon Feb 17, 2020 3:36 am
Guys, what's up with the 9 months stipend? What do they expect us to do in summers?
Who the hell would want to still stay on campus after 9 months a year? Seriously, people rarely do this even in undergrad...

lucasmiranda
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Nov 28, 2019 2:18 pm

Re: Fall 2020 - Decision Making Thread

Post by lucasmiranda » Wed Feb 19, 2020 8:11 pm

Cyclicduck wrote:
Wed Feb 19, 2020 7:42 pm
laplacian wrote:
Mon Feb 17, 2020 3:36 am
Guys, what's up with the 9 months stipend? What do they expect us to do in summers?
Who the hell would want to still stay on campus after 9 months a year? Seriously, people rarely do this even in undergrad...
International students often stay on campus since going home can be pretty expensive...

nicole2
Posts: 100
Joined: Thu Nov 21, 2019 6:58 pm

Re: Fall 2020 - Decision Making Thread

Post by nicole2 » Thu Feb 20, 2020 3:11 am

lucasmiranda wrote:
Wed Feb 19, 2020 8:11 pm
Cyclicduck wrote:
Wed Feb 19, 2020 7:42 pm
laplacian wrote:
Mon Feb 17, 2020 3:36 am
Guys, what's up with the 9 months stipend? What do they expect us to do in summers?
Who the hell would want to still stay on campus after 9 months a year? Seriously, people rarely do this even in undergrad...
International students often stay on campus since going home can be pretty expensive...
If you're from the east coast and heading to the west coast for phd, flights are quite expensive in the summer too.

I'm so NOT looking forward to moving. I drive a coupe, there's no way all my crap will fit in the car.

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

Re: Fall 2020 - Decision Making Thread

Post by Cyclicduck » Thu Feb 20, 2020 5:17 am

lucasmiranda wrote:
Wed Feb 19, 2020 8:11 pm
Cyclicduck wrote:
Wed Feb 19, 2020 7:42 pm
laplacian wrote:
Mon Feb 17, 2020 3:36 am
Guys, what's up with the 9 months stipend? What do they expect us to do in summers?
Who the hell would want to still stay on campus after 9 months a year? Seriously, people rarely do this even in undergrad...
International students often stay on campus since going home can be pretty expensive...
Who said anything about going home? (Not that you shouldn't) There are a million workshops, conferences, projects, internships, etc. you could be doing over the summer that's harder to do during the school year...

ponchan
Posts: 124
Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2018 6:30 pm

Re: Fall 2020 - Decision Making Thread

Post by ponchan » Thu Feb 20, 2020 10:21 am

Cyclicduck wrote:
Thu Feb 20, 2020 5:17 am
lucasmiranda wrote:
Wed Feb 19, 2020 8:11 pm
Cyclicduck wrote:
Wed Feb 19, 2020 7:42 pm


Who the hell would want to still stay on campus after 9 months a year? Seriously, people rarely do this even in undergrad...
International students often stay on campus since going home can be pretty expensive...
Who said anything about going home? (Not that you shouldn't) There are a million workshops, conferences, projects, internships, etc. you could be doing over the summer that's harder to do during the school year...
Huh? The point made was that 9 months isn’t full year support. You still need to pay rent for 3 more months of the year. Going to conferences and workshops is great, but it doesn’t pay your bills for 3 months.

MathParent
Posts: 80
Joined: Wed Nov 06, 2019 8:32 pm

Re: Fall 2020 - Decision Making Thread

Post by MathParent » Thu Feb 20, 2020 10:31 am

Cyclicduck wrote:
Wed Feb 19, 2020 7:42 pm
laplacian wrote:
Mon Feb 17, 2020 3:36 am
Guys, what's up with the 9 months stipend? What do they expect us to do in summers?
Who the hell would want to still stay on campus after 9 months a year? Seriously, people rarely do this even in undergrad...
When I was doing my PhD (in 1990), I did stay on campus without ever leaving. That allowed to get more papers published, more research done, etc. With fewer distractions like teaching.

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

Re: Fall 2020 - Decision Making Thread

Post by Cyclicduck » Thu Feb 20, 2020 2:13 pm

ponchan wrote:
Thu Feb 20, 2020 10:21 am
Cyclicduck wrote:
Thu Feb 20, 2020 5:17 am
lucasmiranda wrote:
Wed Feb 19, 2020 8:11 pm


International students often stay on campus since going home can be pretty expensive...
Who said anything about going home? (Not that you shouldn't) There are a million workshops, conferences, projects, internships, etc. you could be doing over the summer that's harder to do during the school year...
Huh? The point made was that 9 months isn’t full year support. You still need to pay rent for 3 more months of the year. Going to conferences and workshops is great, but it doesn’t pay your bills for 3 months.
No...even as an undergrad it's easy to get 3 months with paid housing through conferences, workshops, camps, etc. even with a salary...there is an overabundance of such opportunities, the question is which ones to choose. I mean, it's your choice to stay on campus if you want, but if you aren't supported, it's probably not a very good idea.

CE123
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat May 18, 2019 7:14 pm

Re: Fall 2020 - Decision Making Thread

Post by CE123 » Thu Feb 20, 2020 2:23 pm

.
Last edited by CE123 on Wed Feb 26, 2020 8:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

ponchan
Posts: 124
Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2018 6:30 pm

Re: Fall 2020 - Decision Making Thread

Post by ponchan » Thu Feb 20, 2020 2:28 pm

Cyclicduck wrote:
Thu Feb 20, 2020 2:13 pm
ponchan wrote:
Thu Feb 20, 2020 10:21 am
Cyclicduck wrote:
Thu Feb 20, 2020 5:17 am


Who said anything about going home? (Not that you shouldn't) There are a million workshops, conferences, projects, internships, etc. you could be doing over the summer that's harder to do during the school year...
Huh? The point made was that 9 months isn’t full year support. You still need to pay rent for 3 more months of the year. Going to conferences and workshops is great, but it doesn’t pay your bills for 3 months.


No...even as an undergrad it's easy to get 3 months with paid housing through conferences, workshops, camps, etc. even with a salary...there is an overabundance of such opportunities, the question is which ones to choose. I mean, it's your choice to stay on campus if you want, but if you aren't supported, it's probably not a very good idea.
Conferences may pay for your travel and a place to stay locally, but you still need to pay for rent back home. Leases are typically a year, meaning you will still need to pay for 3 months of rent.

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

Re: Fall 2020 - Decision Making Thread

Post by Cyclicduck » Thu Feb 20, 2020 5:14 pm

ponchan wrote:
Thu Feb 20, 2020 2:28 pm
Cyclicduck wrote:
Thu Feb 20, 2020 2:13 pm
ponchan wrote:
Thu Feb 20, 2020 10:21 am


Huh? The point made was that 9 months isn’t full year support. You still need to pay rent for 3 more months of the year. Going to conferences and workshops is great, but it doesn’t pay your bills for 3 months.


No...even as an undergrad it's easy to get 3 months with paid housing through conferences, workshops, camps, etc. even with a salary...there is an overabundance of such opportunities, the question is which ones to choose. I mean, it's your choice to stay on campus if you want, but if you aren't supported, it's probably not a very good idea.
Conferences may pay for your travel and a place to stay locally, but you still need to pay for rent back home. Leases are typically a year, meaning you will still need to pay for 3 months of rent.


Most university housing I've seen have fall, spring, and summer leases separate. Anyways you should be able to sublet if you're paying for the whole year.

KYotodo
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2018 1:54 am

Re: Fall 2020 - Decision Making Thread

Post by KYotodo » Fri Feb 21, 2020 11:19 pm

Hi there. I'm receiving emails from programs persuading me accept their offer, and I don't know how to answer it. Is it rude to just ignore it and I will pay for it? Or should I reply them saying I need more time to decide because I'm waiting for other offers? How do you answer those emails?

Plus, does anyone know about UMass? How good is their GA program?

Thanks!

fluffball
Posts: 28
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2019 4:06 pm

Re: Fall 2020 - Decision Making Thread

Post by fluffball » Fri Feb 21, 2020 11:30 pm

KYotodo wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 11:19 pm
Hi there. I'm receiving emails from programs persuading me accept their offer, and I don't know how to answer it. Is it rude to just ignore it and I will pay for it? Or should I reply them saying I need more time to decide because I'm waiting for other offers? How do you answer those emails?
What? Of course it's rude to ignore them, both to the program and to anyone on the waitlist. If you know you won't be attending because you have a better offer, decline promptly. If you are serious about attending a program but are waiting to hear from a higher-choice one, find out what the story is at the higher-choice school and give the lower-choice school a timeframe. Treat them the way you would want to be treated yourself.

KYotodo
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2018 1:54 am

Re: Fall 2020 - Decision Making Thread

Post by KYotodo » Sat Feb 22, 2020 4:53 am

fluffball wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 11:30 pm
KYotodo wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 11:19 pm
Hi there. I'm receiving emails from programs persuading me accept their offer, and I don't know how to answer it. Is it rude to just ignore it and I will pay for it? Or should I reply them saying I need more time to decide because I'm waiting for other offers? How do you answer those emails?
What? Of course it's rude to ignore them, both to the program and to anyone on the waitlist. If you know you won't be attending because you have a better offer, decline promptly. If you are serious about attending a program but are waiting to hear from a higher-choice one, find out what the story is at the higher-choice school and give the lower-choice school a timeframe. Treat them the way you would want to be treated yourself.
Thank you!

analysister
Posts: 33
Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2019 2:36 pm

Re: Fall 2020 - Decision Making Thread

Post by analysister » Wed Feb 26, 2020 11:55 am

Visit season is beginning. Does anyone have advice on things to look out for or good questions to ask current graduate students or potential advisors?

ponchan
Posts: 124
Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2018 6:30 pm

Re: Fall 2020 - Decision Making Thread

Post by ponchan » Wed Feb 26, 2020 12:30 pm

analysister wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 11:55 am
Visit season is beginning. Does anyone have advice on things to look out for or good questions to ask current graduate students or potential advisors?
Where do people go after graduating? How often to graduates get NSF postdocs?

Are there active student led research seminars? Seminars in general?

How heavy are the teaching responsibilities? (Might want to ask current students this)

For advisors: are you taking on more students?

EricAndre
Posts: 80
Joined: Thu Feb 06, 2020 7:40 pm

Re: Fall 2020 - Decision Making Thread

Post by EricAndre » Wed Feb 26, 2020 4:26 pm

Can you judge the merit of an advisor based on his h-index?

ponchan
Posts: 124
Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2018 6:30 pm

Re: Fall 2020 - Decision Making Thread

Post by ponchan » Wed Feb 26, 2020 5:03 pm

EricAndre wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 4:26 pm
Can you judge the merit of an advisor based on his h-index?
No, unless it’s extraordinarily low. Peter Scholze only has like 300 and something citations. This is especially true for people who tend to finish off large problems. A lot of papers in inventiones only have a handful of citations.

EricAndre
Posts: 80
Joined: Thu Feb 06, 2020 7:40 pm

Re: Fall 2020 - Decision Making Thread

Post by EricAndre » Wed Feb 26, 2020 5:04 pm

ponchan wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 5:03 pm
EricAndre wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 4:26 pm
Can you judge the merit of an advisor based on his h-index?
No, unless it’s extraordinarily low. Peter Scholze only has like 300 and something citations. This is especially true for people who tend to finish off large problems. A lot of papers in inventiones only have a handful of citations.
How do you tell how prestigious a journal is? How much prestigious journals does the advisor need to be considered good? Very confusing, lol.

EricAndre
Posts: 80
Joined: Thu Feb 06, 2020 7:40 pm

Re: Fall 2020 - Decision Making Thread

Post by EricAndre » Wed Feb 26, 2020 5:18 pm

Anyone else feel bad visiting a school(paid visit), but then knowing that you would instantly decline the school if given an offer at another school. It just seems so wrong, lol.

ThrowawayName
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Feb 21, 2020 1:31 pm

Re: Fall 2020 - Decision Making Thread

Post by ThrowawayName » Wed Feb 26, 2020 5:27 pm

EricAndre wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 5:04 pm
ponchan wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 5:03 pm
EricAndre wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 4:26 pm
Can you judge the merit of an advisor based on his h-index?
No, unless it’s extraordinarily low. Peter Scholze only has like 300 and something citations. This is especially true for people who tend to finish off large problems. A lot of papers in inventiones only have a handful of citations.
How do you tell how prestigious a journal is? How much prestigious journals does the advisor need to be considered good? Very confusing, lol.
There's a website that ranks Journals (SJR I think). If the journal is Q1 then it's top tier. Lower means "not as great", doesn't necessarily mean terrible. I can't say anything for the second one, my professors have given me different advice about choosing advisors.

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

Re: Fall 2020 - Decision Making Thread

Post by Cyclicduck » Wed Feb 26, 2020 5:51 pm

EricAndre wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 4:26 pm
Can you judge the merit of an advisor based on his h-index?
Alain Connes wrote:I think the number of quotations is a very
very strange measure. If you look at citations in mathematics then it doesn’t
make sense because there are very hard papers which very few people have
read, and in fact there is really an inverse correlation between the difficulty
of a paper and the number of people who actually read it, let alone quote it.
Peter Scholze wrote:I know some very good
people who, by the time they had established themselves
as a leading mathematician, still had an h-index of maybe
two.

fluffball
Posts: 28
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2019 4:06 pm

Re: Fall 2020 - Decision Making Thread

Post by fluffball » Wed Feb 26, 2020 8:41 pm

😂 😂 😂
I'd be amazed if any mathematician with tenure at an R1 even knew what an h-index was, unless they served on some university committee or some grad student explained it to them.

EricAndre
Posts: 80
Joined: Thu Feb 06, 2020 7:40 pm

Re: Fall 2020 - Decision Making Thread

Post by EricAndre » Wed Feb 26, 2020 9:10 pm

fluffball wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 8:41 pm
😂 😂 😂
I'd be amazed if any mathematician with tenure at an R1 even knew what an h-index was, unless they served on some university committee or some grad student explained it to them.
apparently its a metric for professor promotion and hiring of tenure track assistant professor at some places. So its somewhat important.

scrubm8
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2020 12:07 pm

Re: Fall 2020 - Decision Making Thread

Post by scrubm8 » Thu Feb 27, 2020 10:29 am

EricAndre wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 5:18 pm
Anyone else feel bad visiting a school(paid visit), but then knowing that you would instantly decline the school if given an offer at another school. It just seems so wrong, lol.
Honestly, no. There's always a possibility that you hate any school you visit, so if pre-visit you would be happy with any of the schools, you should just visit them all.

analysister
Posts: 33
Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2019 2:36 pm

Re: Fall 2020 - Decision Making Thread

Post by analysister » Thu Feb 27, 2020 12:29 pm

scrubm8 wrote:
Thu Feb 27, 2020 10:29 am
EricAndre wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 5:18 pm
Anyone else feel bad visiting a school(paid visit), but then knowing that you would instantly decline the school if given an offer at another school. It just seems so wrong, lol.
Honestly, no. There's always a possibility that you hate any school you visit, so if pre-visit you would be happy with any of the schools, you should just visit them all.
^^^^^

You need to be able to make the best decision possible no matter what happens. I hope you do get into a dream school, but that isn't always the case so you need to be prepared to make the most informed decision based on your options.

The only time it is awkward is if you get accepted to said dream school between when you plan your visit and when it actually happens, because you still have to follow through, but that isn't anybodies fault.

EricAndre
Posts: 80
Joined: Thu Feb 06, 2020 7:40 pm

Re: Fall 2020 - Decision Making Thread

Post by EricAndre » Thu Feb 27, 2020 12:39 pm

analysister wrote:
Thu Feb 27, 2020 12:29 pm
scrubm8 wrote:
Thu Feb 27, 2020 10:29 am
EricAndre wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 5:18 pm
Anyone else feel bad visiting a school(paid visit), but then knowing that you would instantly decline the school if given an offer at another school. It just seems so wrong, lol.
Honestly, no. There's always a possibility that you hate any school you visit, so if pre-visit you would be happy with any of the schools, you should just visit them all.
^^^^^

You need to be able to make the best decision possible no matter what happens. I hope you do get into a dream school, but that isn't always the case so you need to be prepared to make the most informed decision based on your options.

The only time it is awkward is if you get accepted to said dream school between when you plan your visit and when it actually happens, because you still have to follow through, but that isn't anybodies fault.
Yeah, you right.

ponchan
Posts: 124
Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2018 6:30 pm

Re: Fall 2020 - Decision Making Thread

Post by ponchan » Thu Feb 27, 2020 2:06 pm

EricAndre wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 5:18 pm
Anyone else feel bad visiting a school(paid visit), but then knowing that you would instantly decline the school if given an offer at another school. It just seems so wrong, lol.
It’s only a shitty thing to do if you are almost positive you won’t go there (say you have better offers). It would be a waste of their time, resources, money, and someone else could have benefited from the visit. But the situation you’ve described isn’t the same thing. So there’s nothing wrong with visiting.

peoplesjw
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Aug 05, 2019 12:59 am

Re: Fall 2020 - Decision Making Thread

Post by peoplesjw » Mon Mar 09, 2020 7:08 pm

analysister wrote:
Thu Feb 27, 2020 12:29 pm
scrubm8 wrote:
Thu Feb 27, 2020 10:29 am
EricAndre wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 5:18 pm
Anyone else feel bad visiting a school(paid visit), but then knowing that you would instantly decline the school if given an offer at another school. It just seems so wrong, lol.
Honestly, no. There's always a possibility that you hate any school you visit, so if pre-visit you would be happy with any of the schools, you should just visit them all.
^^^^^

You need to be able to make the best decision possible no matter what happens. I hope you do get into a dream school, but that isn't always the case so you need to be prepared to make the most informed decision based on your options.

The only time it is awkward is if you get accepted to said dream school between when you plan your visit and when it actually happens, because you still have to follow through, but that isn't anybodies fault.
This actually leads into my question. This is related my current predicament. Today received an offer from one of my top choices and their visiting day is the same as I am already scheduled to visit a safety. Is it bad form to cancel? I will just pay the plane ticket, but I don’t want to be rude. Also, I feel like I have no choice. It is a couple weeks out.

ponchan
Posts: 124
Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2018 6:30 pm

Re: Fall 2020 - Decision Making Thread

Post by ponchan » Mon Mar 09, 2020 8:47 pm

peoplesjw wrote:
Mon Mar 09, 2020 7:08 pm
analysister wrote:
Thu Feb 27, 2020 12:29 pm
scrubm8 wrote:
Thu Feb 27, 2020 10:29 am


Honestly, no. There's always a possibility that you hate any school you visit, so if pre-visit you would be happy with any of the schools, you should just visit them all.
^^^^^

You need to be able to make the best decision possible no matter what happens. I hope you do get into a dream school, but that isn't always the case so you need to be prepared to make the most informed decision based on your options.

The only time it is awkward is if you get accepted to said dream school between when you plan your visit and when it actually happens, because you still have to follow through, but that isn't anybodies fault.
This actually leads into my question. This is related my current predicament. Today received an offer from one of my top choices and their visiting day is the same as I am already scheduled to visit a safety. Is it bad form to cancel? I will just pay the plane ticket, but I don’t want to be rude. Also, I feel like I have no choice. It is a couple weeks out.
No, absolutely cancel. They'll remember your "rudeness" for about 5 minutes. You'll remember this decision much longer.

Devilbob
Posts: 25
Joined: Mon Feb 10, 2020 1:27 am

Re: Fall 2020 - Decision Making Thread

Post by Devilbob » Tue Mar 10, 2020 5:13 pm

So Coronavirus is really making this decision much harder than it already was. I'm at 2 open house events cancelled due to virus concerns, and I'm expecting more. Digital open houses really aren't a substitute for the in person event. Any ideas on how to get a better sense of a campus / program without actually visiting it?

ponchan
Posts: 124
Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2018 6:30 pm

Re: Fall 2020 - Decision Making Thread

Post by ponchan » Tue Mar 10, 2020 5:18 pm

Devilbob wrote:
Tue Mar 10, 2020 5:13 pm
So Coronavirus is really making this decision much harder than it already was. I'm at 2 open house events cancelled due to virus concerns, and I'm expecting more. Digital open houses really aren't a substitute for the in person event. Any ideas on how to get a better sense of a campus / program without actually visiting it?
Yeah, I feel like if a school postpones their open house, then they should also pushback their April 15 deadline.

karlweierstrass
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Feb 27, 2020 1:15 pm

Re: Fall 2020 - Decision Making Thread

Post by karlweierstrass » Tue Mar 10, 2020 6:48 pm

Do you guys think Chinese (and now by extension Italian, etc. where Corona virus had led to quarantine) who have offers from the US and other parts of world can be denied visa?

Does this mean their offers can be rescinded?

analysister
Posts: 33
Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2019 2:36 pm

Re: Fall 2020 - Decision Making Thread

Post by analysister » Tue Mar 10, 2020 7:11 pm

ponchan wrote:
Tue Mar 10, 2020 5:18 pm
Devilbob wrote:
Tue Mar 10, 2020 5:13 pm
So Coronavirus is really making this decision much harder than it already was. I'm at 2 open house events cancelled due to virus concerns, and I'm expecting more. Digital open houses really aren't a substitute for the in person event. Any ideas on how to get a better sense of a campus / program without actually visiting it?
Yeah, I feel like if a school postpones their open house, then they should also pushback their April 15 deadline.
Unfortunately, I do not think that most schools are pushing them back, but cancelling all together. Right now, we do not have a predictable timeline for the spread or containment of Coronavirus in the US, so it is impossible to say when to push it back until.

But I 100% agree, I have had two visits thus far and they both changed the way I saw the schools. For me being there in person is really important because it seems like the only way to accurately access the environment of a department. If you're someone who is going to choose purely based on the math then I guess you're okay, but I am definitely not one of those people.

At this point I have no clue how I am going to make my decision, I can't image attending a program I didn't visit first.

Devilbob
Posts: 25
Joined: Mon Feb 10, 2020 1:27 am

Re: Fall 2020 - Decision Making Thread

Post by Devilbob » Thu Mar 12, 2020 12:59 am

I think it's increasingly likely that if an open house event has not already occurred, it is going to be cancelled. I'm at 4 of my open houses being cancelled so far.

ponchan
Posts: 124
Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2018 6:30 pm

Re: Fall 2020 - Decision Making Thread

Post by ponchan » Thu Mar 12, 2020 9:58 am

It doesn’t seem like the virus situation will get better in the near future. I wonder if programs will be more willing to defer start dates by a semester (or year). Not that this is such a great solution.

lucasmiranda
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Nov 28, 2019 2:18 pm

Re: Fall 2020 - Decision Making Thread

Post by lucasmiranda » Thu Mar 12, 2020 10:46 am

ponchan wrote:
Thu Mar 12, 2020 9:58 am
It doesn’t seem like the virus situation will get better in the near future. I wonder if programs will be more willing to defer start dates by a semester (or year). Not that this is such a great solution.

If the spread of the disease is contained like they did in China, I don’t think there’s any need for deferring start dates. What will probably happen is that this last term will be carried out with online classes and assignments but we will probably be in a better situation by September.

Of course, this is just speculative and things can get a lot worse. If that’s the case, we will have greater things to worry about.

Integreat
Posts: 85
Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2018 11:29 pm

Re: Fall 2020 - Decision Making Thread

Post by Integreat » Thu Mar 12, 2020 11:29 am

UT Austin just cancelled their open house, and I expect Stony Brook to follow suit. Northwestern cancelled their group events, but we can still meet faculty in person.

At this point, I hope they postpone our decision deadline. I find it incredibly hard to choose where I will live for the next 5 years without seeing the place in person...

EricAndre
Posts: 80
Joined: Thu Feb 06, 2020 7:40 pm

Re: Fall 2020 - Decision Making Thread

Post by EricAndre » Thu Mar 12, 2020 11:32 am

I don't get why everyone is complaining about open house being canceled. Intl students have to make the same choice without visits.

https://academia.stackexchange.com/ques ... admissions

Integreat
Posts: 85
Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2018 11:29 pm

Re: Fall 2020 - Decision Making Thread

Post by Integreat » Thu Mar 12, 2020 11:38 am

EricAndre wrote:
Thu Mar 12, 2020 11:32 am
I don't get why everyone is complaining about open house being canceled. Intl students have to make the same choice without visits.

https://academia.stackexchange.com/ques ... admissions
This is a fair point.
I can’t say for others, but I have certain disabilities which make it essential for me to choose a good place to live. I can only gauge that based off being there in person.

Devilbob
Posts: 25
Joined: Mon Feb 10, 2020 1:27 am

Re: Fall 2020 - Decision Making Thread

Post by Devilbob » Thu Mar 12, 2020 2:19 pm

The open houses being cancelled is a huge deal for those making decisions. Yes, international students have to deal with this much more often, but it's more that they're just generally screwed over by the US grad school system. As an analogy: "I don't understand why people would be so upset about losing an arm when there are people who are born without them" doesn't really track, either.

We're committing 4-7 years of our lives to living within a small (at some schools *very* small) community in one particular city. Who those people are, and what that city is like, are going to have a huge impact on your life, for positive or negative. Don't underestimate that. The open houses were also the easiest way to get a sense of the potential advisors at a given school, by talking with current graduate students. This, again, is unbelievably important to your success as a graduate student. Most of the horror stories you'll hear from people who drop out of their PhD program can be traced to a poor fit between student and advisor.

So, that all said, here is the strategy I've developed:
i. Reach out to the grad advisors to find current grad students to speak with. I particularly want to talk with students whose interests and research are similar to my own. During those conversations, I ask the following questions:

1. What are the relevant professors like as advisors? Ask about anyone you'd have any interest in working with, and ask if there are any other professors that you should be considering. Try to get a sense of, for example, how hands on / hands off they are, what the work / life balance is like for current students, do they have access to grant money or other additional funding, what are they like as people, more broadly are their current grad students happy, are they likely to retire or leave soon, are they alright with you doing things like internships in the summer, etc.
2. How does the stipend compare with the cost of living? Are there any fairly reliable additional sources of funding?
3. What is the teaching workload like? How likely are you to be able to get semesters off teaching to focus on research?
4. What is the culture of the department like? Are people cooperative, are they social, are they friendly, laid back, etc?
5. What are the placements like for grad students leaving the program? This also connects with the professor-specific questions, as it can vary from professor to professor
6. What is the city like? What's its overall "vibe"? What are the people like? What kinds of things are there to do? Where do the grad students tend to live? Any particular hazards or things to be aware of? Etc.
7. Open-ended. I usually say something like "Is there anything else I should know, positive or negative, about (school) or (city)?"

ii. Step i. will probably give you a sense of some faculty that you might work well with (as well as of some that you probably won't work well with). Reach out to those professors, and ask to speak with them. I'm still developing this part of the process, so I can't give quite an orderly list yet. But I can give one question you absolutely must ask:

1. Are you accepting new students in the near term? (This is critical. Some professors may be thinking of leaving soon, or only sparingly take on new students. If a professor you were hoping to work with simply isn't taking new students, that will be important to your decision)

iii. Get a sense of potential cohort: Still in development
iv. Get a sense of city: Still in development

InnerFunctionalIty
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Feb 08, 2020 2:34 pm

Re: Fall 2020 - Decision Making Thread

Post by InnerFunctionalIty » Mon Mar 23, 2020 12:09 am

Does anyone have informed decisions on Penn State vs. U Maryland? What are their strengths/weaknesses? My primary interest right now is functional analysis, particularly operator algebras and it seems Penn State is better for this. However I am not dead set on this and could certainly see myself changing to a number of other things. U Maryland seems to be a bit more prestigious but I’m not sure if it’s enough to matter. Thanks!

turanturan
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2020 10:18 am

Re: Fall 2020 - Decision Making Thread

Post by turanturan » Mon Mar 23, 2020 10:22 am

Hi everybody. I'm having a tough decision trying to decide between the following schools for Applied Math:
-Yale
-Carnegie Mellon
-University of Maryland
-UC Davis
-Northwestern

Anybody have any helpful insight or words of advice about these programs? It's been really hard, because I can't even visit these schools because of COVID-19.

Junaid456
Posts: 188
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:55 pm

Re: Fall 2020 - Decision Making Thread

Post by Junaid456 » Mon Mar 23, 2020 1:28 pm

turanturan wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 10:22 am
Hi everybody. I'm having a tough decision trying to decide between the following schools for Applied Math:
-Yale
-Carnegie Mellon
-University of Maryland
-UC Davis
-Northwestern

Anybody have any helpful insight or words of advice about these programs? It's been really hard, because I can't even visit these schools because of COVID-19.
Congrats! I’m deciding between Maryland and UC Davis as well. It’s a tough call. We can talk more in the chat if you’d like to do so.

ThrowawayName
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Feb 21, 2020 1:31 pm

Re: Fall 2020 - Decision Making Thread

Post by ThrowawayName » Mon Mar 23, 2020 3:22 pm

turanturan wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 10:22 am
Hi everybody. I'm having a tough decision trying to decide between the following schools for Applied Math:
-Yale
-Carnegie Mellon
-University of Maryland
-UC Davis
-Northwestern

Anybody have any helpful insight or words of advice about these programs? It's been really hard, because I can't even visit these schools because of COVID-19.
Advisers matter more than the school, look up the research at those places and see which place has the most people who match your research interest and their relative prestige. If you give your specific interest other people might be able to tell you what places are good for it. I would say that if you want probability CMU and Northwestern would be your top choice.

Junaid456
Posts: 188
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:55 pm

Re: Fall 2020 - Decision Making Thread

Post by Junaid456 » Mon Mar 23, 2020 4:50 pm

ThrowawayName wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 3:22 pm
turanturan wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 10:22 am
Hi everybody. I'm having a tough decision trying to decide between the following schools for Applied Math:
-Yale
-Carnegie Mellon
-University of Maryland
-UC Davis
-Northwestern

Anybody have any helpful insight or words of advice about these programs? It's been really hard, because I can't even visit these schools because of COVID-19.
Advisers matter more than the school, look up the research at those places and see which place has the most people who match your research interest and their relative prestige. If you give your specific interest other people might be able to tell you what places are good for it. I would say that if you want probability CMU and Northwestern would be your top choice.
Agreed. Northwestern is great for probability. I don't know much about CMU. A lot of good probability groups are housed in top 20 schools more or less of Stats and Math. But these were hard to crack for an intl. applicant like myself.

I'm also interested in probability (more from an applied side) and computation. Davis is great for discrete probability, but Maryland for Stochastic PDE etc. Both schools offer options to work in optimization, computation etc. via their CS department and various centers. I think qualifying exam structure is a big decision for me. At Maryland, you have to pass 1 qual and the rest can be courses, so you can effectively get the quals out of the way and still learn a lot of new things via courses. At UC Davis, though, their quals are focused more on traditional areas of applied math (applied analysis, classical applied math) and 1 year would be spent working on these quals.

I'm still, however, torn between these schools but I am as of yet favoring Maryland a bit more, even though I really like Davis' program as well.

ThrowawayName
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Feb 21, 2020 1:31 pm

Re: Fall 2020 - Decision Making Thread

Post by ThrowawayName » Mon Mar 23, 2020 6:17 pm

Junaid456 wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 4:50 pm
ThrowawayName wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 3:22 pm
turanturan wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 10:22 am
Hi everybody. I'm having a tough decision trying to decide between the following schools for Applied Math:
-Yale
-Carnegie Mellon
-University of Maryland
-UC Davis
-Northwestern

Anybody have any helpful insight or words of advice about these programs? It's been really hard, because I can't even visit these schools because of COVID-19.
Advisers matter more than the school, look up the research at those places and see which place has the most people who match your research interest and their relative prestige. If you give your specific interest other people might be able to tell you what places are good for it. I would say that if you want probability CMU and Northwestern would be your top choice.
Agreed. Northwestern is great for probability. I don't know much about CMU. A lot of good probability groups are housed in top 20 schools more or less of Stats and Math. But these were hard to crack for an intl. applicant like myself.

I'm also interested in probability (more from an applied side) and computation. Davis is great for discrete probability, but Maryland for Stochastic PDE etc. Both schools offer options to work in optimization, computation etc. via their CS department and various centers. I think qualifying exam structure is a big decision for me. At Maryland, you have to pass 1 qual and the rest can be courses, so you can effectively get the quals out of the way and still learn a lot of new things via courses. At UC Davis, though, their quals are focused more on traditional areas of applied math (applied analysis, classical applied math) and 1 year would be spent working on these quals.

I'm still, however, torn between these schools but I am as of yet favoring Maryland a bit more, even though I really like Davis' program as well.
Steven E Shreve is at CMU. He's aged but doesn't look like he's retiring soon.

temporaryacct
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2019 12:23 am

Re: Fall 2020 - Decision Making Thread

Post by temporaryacct » Tue Mar 31, 2020 7:31 pm

[deleted]



Post Reply