Languages for Mathematics

Forum for the GRE subject test in mathematics.
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Cophysneurec
Posts: 17
Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2020 12:57 am

Languages for Mathematics

Post by Cophysneurec » Mon Jan 04, 2021 6:39 pm

What are the most important languages to know for mathematical research? Does it vary by subfield? If so, I'm most curious about network theory and optimal control theory.

I currently know french/english and a bit of spanish. Would it be worth improving my spanish or learning another language before starting my PhD? Do admissions committees favor applicants who are multi-lingual?

emmynoether126
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2021 1:54 pm

Re: Languages for Mathematics

Post by emmynoether126 » Tue Jan 05, 2021 12:18 pm

A lot of grad schools with language requirements specify French, German, and/or Russian as the languages they want math students to know (usually for reading articles for research). I have seen a few grad schools with options of Chinese or Spanish. The most important research language (besides English) does depend on specialization, though.

Note that a lot of schools do not have language requirements. Schools may or may not favor an applicant who has experience with another language. I would guess that it is somewhat common among applicants (particularly international ones) to know a language besides English.

UniformlyDivergent
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2020 2:32 pm

Re: Languages for Mathematics

Post by UniformlyDivergent » Fri Jan 15, 2021 8:09 pm

emmynoether126 wrote:
Tue Jan 05, 2021 12:18 pm
A lot of grad schools with language requirements specify French, German, and/or Russian as the languages they want math students to know (usually for reading articles for research). I have seen a few grad schools with options of Chinese or Spanish. The most important research language (besides English) does depend on specialization, though.

Note that a lot of schools do not have language requirements. Schools may or may not favor an applicant who has experience with another language. I would guess that it is somewhat common among applicants (particularly international ones) to know a language besides English.
Example of the above, University of Indiana at Bloomington (from what I've read) requires English profficiency and reading profficiency of one of Russian, German, French or Chinese (Mandarin) for its Mathematics PhD.



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