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Number Theory at Yale?

Posted: Mon Dec 20, 2010 8:35 am
by logaritym
Hello! I'm not sure if this is the right place to ask the question, but I'll be glad if someone answers to me.
I already prepared my application and payed $40 for TOEFL+GRE, but when checked at the Mathematics department at Yale, I didn't recognize almost any Number Theory experts there. In one of the recommendation letters my tutor has written that NT is my field of interest, so I have to know if it's worth it to pay $100 more for the application fee or not.
Thank you in advance!

Re: Number Theory at Yale?

Posted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 12:34 am
by enork
If you're interested in number theory and there's no number theory at Yale, why do you want to go there? If number theory is just one of your interests (or is no longer your interest) and you're interested in other things they do at Yale, then by all means apply. It's ok to change your field of interest, although if that's the case you should mention it in your SoP. Yale won't reject you because you once liked number theory, but they might be curious why you're applying (as I am).

Re: Number Theory at Yale?

Posted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 4:48 am
by logaritym
Well, my professor told me that he has written that my wish is to study Number Theory. I like analysis too, but it will be a little bit confusing if my Statement of Purpose contradicts to his Recommendation Letter. Also, as far as I know, it's very important to choose a specific field of interest when applying for PhD.

P.P.I want to apply to as many universities as possible and Yale is one of the top choices.

Re: Number Theory at Yale?

Posted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 12:02 pm
by owlpride
I have gotten the opposite advice: I was advised not to present myself too narrowly but rather as someone with a lot of experience in a specific area but an open mind about trying other things. I should not be more specific than "geometry and topology" as my proposed research field.

I suspect that it is a double-edged sword. If there is a faculty member at the target school who would support your application, being specific is good. Otherwise being too specific might get your application kicked out due to department politics.

As far as your Yale application is concerned, can you acknowledge your interest or background in number theory (so not to contradict your letters) while saying that you are equally drawn to pure analysis?

If Yale is one of your top choices, you should definitely give it a shot. Admission to Yale is a crap shot either way because their entering class is so small.

Re: Number Theory at Yale?

Posted: Wed Dec 22, 2010 6:04 am
by logaritym
I have attended many courses (mostly in analysis - complex and functional), but right now in my Statement of Purpose I've written that I want to continue my research in Number Theory. I see several solutions here:
1.Send an e-mail to the math department of Yale, asking them if there is some research group in Number Theory there.
2.Change my statement of purpose.
3.Just forget about the $40 spent for TOEFL and GRE results, because in either way the chances for Yale are minimal.
Which of them is the most appropriate?
Thank you again!

Re: Number Theory at Yale?

Posted: Wed Dec 22, 2010 8:17 am
by aaaaa
As far as I can tell (which is not much), Yale is into representation theory. I am very interested in number theory, and when I looked at their site in August, the only links they had were to things like TA tips, .tex files for theses, etc. When it comes to information about their graduate program and research interests, absolutely no content. I e-mailed the person it said to e-mail twice back in August and never got a response. It'd be a reach for me anyway, and I'm not giving them $100 or $90 or whatever the application fee is just to get rejected.