Applied Math Programs

Forum for the GRE subject test in mathematics.
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khongbietdeptrai
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Apr 01, 2020 2:38 am

Applied Math Programs

Post by khongbietdeptrai » Wed Apr 01, 2020 2:49 am

What are the top applied math programs? As I see in a post in the admission results thread Princeton PACM is "regarded" higher than Brown DAM and NYU Courant, but in the US News Rankings in Applied Math https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-sc ... s-rankings NYU Courant is ranked 1st and Brown DAM is ranked 4th while Princeton PACM is ranked 7th. Is the information in the post just the poster's preference or the general reflection of the selectivity of the programs?
GREmlin wrote:
Tue Feb 18, 2020 3:03 pm
Undergrad Institution: Big time public school with a sexy math program
Major(s): Math
Minor(s): CS
GPA: 3.7
Type of Student: DWM

GRE Revised General Test:
Who cares
GRE Subject Test in Mathematics:
Good not great


Program Applying: Applied Math PhD

Research Experience: lots and lots
Awards/Honors/Recognitions: nothing special
Pertinent Activities or Jobs: funded research during my gap year
Any Miscellaneous Points that Might Help: lots of grad classes
Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: graduated last year

Applying to Where: (Color use here is welcome)

omgomgomgomgomgomg tier
Princeton PACM - Accepted!!!

omgomgomg tier
Brown - Rejected
NYU Courant - Rejected

omgomg tier
Northwestern ESAM - Accepted!
UChicago CAM - Waitlist
Washington - Unfunded Masters
Maryland AMSC - Accepted!

omg tier
Minnesota -
Colorado - Accepted!

Schauder
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Feb 29, 2020 1:40 am

Re: Applied Math Programs

Post by Schauder » Wed Apr 01, 2020 11:58 am

You shouldn't take the rankings too seriously. They're all very good schools and faculty fits matters much more than prestige when deciding what school to attend.

GREmlin
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Feb 18, 2020 2:44 pm

Re: Applied Math Programs

Post by GREmlin » Wed Apr 01, 2020 12:10 pm

It was mostly a personal choice, but the US news rankings are especially bad for applied math (they dont even list half the schools). NYU is definitely regarded as the top applied math school but my advice to you would just be to follow your heart

Lisztrachmaninovfan
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2019 7:30 pm

Re: Applied Math Programs

Post by Lisztrachmaninovfan » Thu Apr 02, 2020 1:34 am

GREmlin wrote:
Wed Apr 01, 2020 12:10 pm
It was mostly a personal choice, but the US news rankings are especially bad for applied math (they dont even list half the schools). NYU is definitely regarded as the top applied math school but my advice to you would just be to follow your heart
Isn't UCLA a close competitor with Courant? I've usually thought of them as being roughly equal (but of course, better in certain subcategories of Applied Math).

But yeah, I 100% agree that the US News rankings are pretty bad for Applied Math. Some fantastic programs like Northwestern ESAM and Yale aren't even on there, while there are a few on there which are a questionably high (at least from what I've heard).

khongbietdeptrai
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Apr 01, 2020 2:38 am

Re: Applied Math Programs

Post by khongbietdeptrai » Thu Apr 02, 2020 3:05 am

Lisztrachmaninovfan wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 1:34 am
GREmlin wrote:
Wed Apr 01, 2020 12:10 pm
It was mostly a personal choice, but the US news rankings are especially bad for applied math (they dont even list half the schools). NYU is definitely regarded as the top applied math school but my advice to you would just be to follow your heart
Isn't UCLA a close competitor with Courant? I've usually thought of them as being roughly equal (but of course, better in certain subcategories of Applied Math).

But yeah, I 100% agree that the US News rankings are pretty bad for Applied Math. Some fantastic programs like Northwestern ESAM and Yale aren't even on there, while there are a few on there which are a questionably high (at least from what I've heard).
So NYU and UCLA are the two top schools in applied math? How are Princeton and Brown compared to them? For example Princeton is usually regarded as (one of) the very top school in pure math, but does this guarantee a (near) top spot for its PACM program? I also have heard from people that MIT applied math is very strong given MIT's unquestionably strength in STEM.

I think that the reason why the US News rankings are pretty bad for applied math (as you guys said) is because it's difficult to compare the applied math programs when every school has their own points of view of what "applied math" is, for instance Princeton and MIT regard discrete math and combinatorics as applied math while the rest regard them as pure math. However, do the US News rankings reflect the general selectivity of the programs, like it is harder to get into NYU (1st) than Brown (4th) than Princeton (7th)? Is there any information on the acceptance rates of these programs?

Lisztrachmaninovfan
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2019 7:30 pm

Re: Applied Math Programs

Post by Lisztrachmaninovfan » Thu Apr 02, 2020 4:10 pm

khongbietdeptrai wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 3:05 am
Lisztrachmaninovfan wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 1:34 am
GREmlin wrote:
Wed Apr 01, 2020 12:10 pm
It was mostly a personal choice, but the US news rankings are especially bad for applied math (they dont even list half the schools). NYU is definitely regarded as the top applied math school but my advice to you would just be to follow your heart
Isn't UCLA a close competitor with Courant? I've usually thought of them as being roughly equal (but of course, better in certain subcategories of Applied Math).

But yeah, I 100% agree that the US News rankings are pretty bad for Applied Math. Some fantastic programs like Northwestern ESAM and Yale aren't even on there, while there are a few on there which are a questionably high (at least from what I've heard).
So NYU and UCLA are the two top schools in applied math? How are Princeton and Brown compared to them? For example Princeton is usually regarded as (one of) the very top school in pure math, but does this guarantee a (near) top spot for its PACM program? I also have heard from people that MIT applied math is very strong given MIT's unquestionably strength in STEM.

I think that the reason why the US News rankings are pretty bad for applied math (as you guys said) is because it's difficult to compare the applied math programs when every school has their own points of view of what "applied math" is, for instance Princeton and MIT regard discrete math and combinatorics as applied math while the rest regard them as pure math. However, do the US News rankings reflect the general selectivity of the programs, like it is harder to get into NYU (1st) than Brown (4th) than Princeton (7th)? Is there any information on the acceptance rates of these programs?
Oh no, I'm not saying that those are the only top schools in applied math at all. I just don't know that much about Brown and Princeton's programs, except that they too are very high. I think that it's near-impossible to say which program(s) is (or are) the so-called top program because there are too many factors involved. Certainly though, while Princeton certainly has a top Applied math program as well, I don't think that a top school in pure math implies a top applied math one at all, and vice-versa. (I'm sure that we can think of some examples, and I don't want to bring any up because I don't want to make people here feel bad.) After all, at some schools, as you probably already know, the pure and applied/computational math departments are completely or mostly separated, so there's hardly any reason why they will be of the same rank (even if they could be).

And yeah, another issue with US News ranking is it appears to be done based off of what other professors know is best. Hence, it is expected that smaller programs will immediately be at a disadvantage for various reasons, such as the fact they have less professors (so, less likely you'll know about the program), less likely interaction with other programs and institutions, etc. Plus, indeed, as you have said, there are differing views on what's considered "applied math," as well as different rankings for different topics. For instance, CMU does not really have research opportunities in number theory or differential geometry, but their department in Mathematical Sciences has outstanding work being done in applied analysis (PDEs, calculus of variations), optimization, combinatorics, logic, and (not surprisingly) other mathematical topics adjacent to computer science.

I will certainly tell you that US News rankings do not appear to reflect the prestige nor selectivity of these programs. UMich is in the top 10 of these rankings, but has had an acceptance rate between 15% and 30% in the past few years. Meanwhile, the Applied Math programs at Yale and Northwestern both have had acceptance rates below 15% (the information is public), and as far as I know, there are outstanding, highly-influential researchers in both programs, but they aren't even on the US News rankings list. Certainly, these trends also appear to align with the relative prestige of these respective schools. Although, one could argue that the acceptance rates and prestige do not align too well with the quality of and opportunities available in a given program.



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