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Do I need to specify research area for application

Posted: Thu Apr 30, 2020 7:23 pm
by bxbdhdj
Hi. I am a junior applying next term. I am wondering how specified do I need to state my personal research interest during application. In particular, I maintain a wide range of interest: algebraic geometry, geometric analysis, PDE/fluids. So I am a little concerned with how should I address my mixed interest in SOP. Also I don't quite have a particular strength in those areas. I tried to have a taste of everything but did not go in-depth with a particular one.

Re: Do I need to specify research area for application

Posted: Fri May 08, 2020 12:25 pm
by complexcat
bxbdhdj wrote:
Thu Apr 30, 2020 7:23 pm
Hi. I am a junior applying next term. I am wondering how specified do I need to state my personal research interest during application. In particular, I maintain a wide range of interest: algebraic geometry, geometric analysis, PDE/fluids. So I am a little concerned with how should I address my mixed interest in SOP. Also I don't quite have a particular strength in those areas. I tried to have a taste of everything but did not go in-depth with a particular one.
I personally would only write about interests that could be supported as a research area at that school by professors working in those areas. There isn't an obvious choice in my mind for writing with depth versus breadth. You should think about what the purpose is of expressing your mathematical interests:
-demonstrating desire/motivation to do a PhD
-demonstrating that the school would be a good fit for you
-etc.
Which strategy best meets those goals for you?

Re: Do I need to specify research area for application

Posted: Sat May 09, 2020 9:59 am
by mlpwas100
bxbdhdj wrote:
Thu Apr 30, 2020 7:23 pm
Hi. I am a junior applying next term. I am wondering how specified do I need to state my personal research interest during application. In particular, I maintain a wide range of interest: algebraic geometry, geometric analysis, PDE/fluids. So I am a little concerned with how should I address my mixed interest in SOP. Also I don't quite have a particular strength in those areas. I tried to have a taste of everything but did not go in-depth with a particular one.
For me, I used my interest areas to guide my school and faculty search. In my SOP, I talked about my lack of research experience, but mentioned specific experiences that have been instrumental to my choice of interests. Once I made my varying interests clear, I made sure to mention specific faculty members whose research interests matched at least one of my interests.