Feeling discouraged about grad school

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efwuemxheciuqem
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2021 11:44 pm

Feeling discouraged about grad school

Post by efwuemxheciuqem » Tue Feb 09, 2021 11:50 pm

I've been reading some posts on this forum and they're pretty terrifying. It seems like virtually every person posting here has better stats / letters / research experience than I do. I don't think I'm a bad student by any means, but I'm no superstar. I really enjoy math; I just feel as though there's no place in the mathematical community for me. I feel like I'm not good enough to do math.

I think I could probably get into grad school somewhere, but what next? I would have almost no chance of finding a tenure-track job. What happens to all the math PhDs who never land tenure-track positions? Where do they end up?

Why bother applying to grad school when I know I'm not the best of the best?

williamcjj
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2018 6:46 pm

Re: Feeling discouraged about grad school

Post by williamcjj » Wed Feb 10, 2021 12:02 am

bro don't. We do math because we enjoy it, the rest doesn't really matter. Talented or not, prestigious school or not, most don't find tenure track, but the beauty of mathematics is that it is such a challenging and all encompassing degree (especially a Ph.D) that you can land pretty much any job you want (with some extra work devoted to gaining industry related skills but after completing a Ph.D in math i guarantee you nothing will be as hard). Believe in yourself and stay pure (math) :)

saucy_marmalade
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Oct 03, 2020 12:18 am

Re: Feeling discouraged about grad school

Post by saucy_marmalade » Wed Feb 10, 2021 2:54 am

I recommend reading this article: https://terrytao.wordpress.com/career- ... -do-maths/.
Also remember that even the most impressive people are not some omnipotent mathematical beings, but are just people too; they make mistakes and get lucky sometimes. Even just having a unique perspective sometimes can make a bigger difference than pure technical skill.
I hope you do feel welcome in the math community 8) :D !

2eurokebab
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2020 8:27 pm

Re: Feeling discouraged about grad school

Post by 2eurokebab » Wed Feb 10, 2021 9:04 am

The whole idea of 'the best of the best' is wildly misrepresentative. It isn't a linear scale of ability. The skills and talents of the 'best algebraist' may be very different than the innate or leanred skills of a number theorist for example.
Like the poster above mentioned, you may not be the most prolific, but having unique conceptualization and insight into a certiain domain may produce a result that even more 'prolific' mathematicians may not always achieve. How do you assess the value of such a unique insight?

And even then, we may not all stumble upon profound results and that may be due to a myriad of factors, whether external (the theorems or applications needed to reach a result in a certain domain have not yet been introduced) or internal. But that's alright. If you're good enough to go to grad school, it's anyone's guess what you might achieve later.

Good luck!

cohomonoid
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2021 9:52 am

Re: Feeling discouraged about grad school

Post by cohomonoid » Wed Feb 10, 2021 10:20 am

Remember that Terry Tao and Charles Fefferman are total freaks, even among mathematicians. Most mathematicians are just people who really like math and are *reasonably* good at it. They spend a lot of time in their sub-sub-disciplines of interest, and develop specialized intuition and techniques, and make small but meaningful contributions to the state of knowledge. 99.9% of mathematicians are not world-class superstar geniuses, and at least to me the career sounded lot more appealing when I realized I probably wasn't either, and didn't need to be to do useful work and be a productive member of the community and teach etc.

I think as long as you can hack it through your PhD, and you like doing math, including new math, and talking to others about math, then there's a place for you as long as you accept that you aren't going to be a superstar.

pkzrd
Posts: 55
Joined: Fri Sep 11, 2020 8:43 pm

Re: Feeling discouraged about grad school

Post by pkzrd » Wed Feb 10, 2021 11:35 am

Here's my personal take -

It really depends on what exactly you're aiming for - a tenure track at an R1 school, or liberal art/smaller R2/community colleges. R1 jobs are obviously going to be extremely competitive, usually it's hundreds if not thousands of applicants for one single spot of tenure track position, in which is not even guaranteed that you will get tenure if you do get the job. (at my university this number is almost always 4 digits) In fact majority of people getting Ph.D in math from schools like MIT and Harvard don't end up in R1 schools but in R2/R3/liberal arts/community colleges and the industry (see math genealogy for reference to look if they have any descendants).

On the other hand, I think it's a good idea to use the time during a Ph.D to figure out if a research mathematician career is really for you - or you are content with simply teaching with minimal amount of research. Being a research mathematician is hard work, you are not simply given instructions to follow like a medical doctor, but you have to constantly pump out new research publications (at the same time teach classes, fulfill bureaucratic duties like admissions lol). Without the correct motivation it's pretty difficult, a good comparison would be - money can only can you so far as a motivation to become a medical doctor.

Sometimes when I'm doing these baby research I ask myself the question "do I really LOVE math?" I do think one have to LOVE math to enjoy a fulfilling/happy life being a research mathematician (and be capable of getting tenure). Ironically, many IMO gold medalists at my school graduate (with a bachelors degree) and end up working at private equity or banks.

idmasterz
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Mar 06, 2020 11:38 am

Re: Feeling discouraged about grad school

Post by idmasterz » Thu Feb 11, 2021 1:45 am

Hi!

One of the reasons I want to do grad school is because the kinds of skills that you develop, like having to read difficult maths, while absorbing the information usually in the form of doing problems, and having to produce something new, are super useful in anything that you might choose to do later on. So while the path might perhaps seem rather bleak in that there are many other people that are very good at maths, perhaps adopting the view point that ultimately you are there because:

a) you love it,
b) you're going to improve yourself in lots of different ways,
c) you're young, so still have the creative juices flowing,

then you may end up with a more optimistic outlook. And if by the end of it, you don't want to be a research mathematician, then fine, you can apply the skills to do other things, so in my opinion, it's a win. Otherwise, it's also a win.

Of course, grad school is very tough, as one of the professors that I applied to had warned me about. So if you are ready to take on the challenge, and get into a place where you have funding (so that you don't end out of it in massive debt), then personally, I see grad school as ultimately a win haha.

M2000
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2020 7:57 pm

Re: Feeling discouraged about grad school

Post by M2000 » Fri Feb 12, 2021 11:58 pm

efwuemxheciuqem wrote:
Tue Feb 09, 2021 11:50 pm
I've been reading some posts on this forum and they're pretty terrifying. It seems like virtually every person posting here has better stats / letters / research experience than I do. I don't think I'm a bad student by any means, but I'm no superstar. I really enjoy math; I just feel as though there's no place in the mathematical community for me. I feel like I'm not good enough to do math.

I think I could probably get into grad school somewhere, but what next? I would have almost no chance of finding a tenure-track job. What happens to all the math PhDs who never land tenure-track positions? Where do they end up?

Why bother applying to grad school when I know I'm not the best of the best?
my opinion fit mostly in line with #williamcjj #cohomonoid and #pkzrd

before college I was one of the most promising student in my hs, which is top 10 in the us; when I started college I felt like a normal average kid among the bunch; after taking some grad math courses and interacting with Ph.D students I felt like a bottom performer. At times I felt inferior and useless. however, what helped with my inferiority complex is that I tried to be realistic. I found comparing myself to others or doing excessive career planning did more harm than good to my mental health; I try to focus on the problem at hand and not overthink things as there are just too many unknown variables. Competition is good, but when it is gets too intense between us it becomes toxicity. I'm sure some might disagree, but I think acting with the mindset of getting better chance at tenureship is just too much and it deffies the purpose of being a mathematician.

Most of the Ph.D graduates at my school end up outside of top25 math programs. It's not where you end up that matters.

pizzakun
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2020 1:27 am

Re: Feeling discouraged about grad school

Post by pizzakun » Sat Feb 13, 2021 1:38 am

M2000 wrote:
Fri Feb 12, 2021 11:58 pm
my opinion fit mostly in line with #williamcjj #cohomonoid and #pkzrd

before college I was one of the most promising student in my hs, which is top 10 in the us; when I started college I felt like a normal average kid among the bunch; after taking some grad math courses and interacting with Ph.D students I felt like a bottom performer. At times I felt inferior and useless. however, what helped with my inferiority complex is that I tried to be realistic. I found comparing myself to others or doing excessive career planning did more harm than good to my mental health; I try to focus on the problem at hand and not overthink things as there are just too many unknown variables. Competition is good, but when it is gets too intense between us it becomes toxicity. I'm sure some might disagree, but I think acting with the mindset of getting better chance at tenureship is just too much and it deffies the purpose of being a mathematician.

Most of the Ph.D graduates at my school end up outside of top25 math programs. It's not where you end up that matters.
These. +1

We do math because we enjoy it not because we want to get a stable job and dominate our competition. We are not investment bankers. As long as your motivation is genuine who cares where you end up at. Most doctoral graduates here end up getting tenure tracks at R2/R3 instead of R1 and some even in the industry. As long you're happy and real, life is good.

Dragan
Posts: 23
Joined: Wed Dec 25, 2019 11:13 pm

Re: Feeling discouraged about grad school

Post by Dragan » Sat Feb 13, 2021 2:51 am

M2000 wrote:
Fri Feb 12, 2021 11:58 pm
efwuemxheciuqem wrote:
Tue Feb 09, 2021 11:50 pm
I've been reading some posts on this forum and they're pretty terrifying. It seems like virtually every person posting here has better stats / letters / research experience than I do. I don't think I'm a bad student by any means, but I'm no superstar. I really enjoy math; I just feel as though there's no place in the mathematical community for me. I feel like I'm not good enough to do math.

I think I could probably get into grad school somewhere, but what next? I would have almost no chance of finding a tenure-track job. What happens to all the math PhDs who never land tenure-track positions? Where do they end up?

Why bother applying to grad school when I know I'm not the best of the best?
my opinion fit mostly in line with #williamcjj #cohomonoid and #pkzrd

before college I was one of the most promising student in my hs, which is top 10 in the us; when I started college I felt like a normal average kid among the bunch; after taking some grad math courses and interacting with Ph.D students I felt like a bottom performer. At times I felt inferior and useless. however, what helped with my inferiority complex is that I tried to be realistic. I found comparing myself to others or doing excessive career planning did more harm than good to my mental health; I try to focus on the problem at hand and not overthink things as there are just too many unknown variables. Competition is good, but when it is gets too intense between us it becomes toxicity. I'm sure some might disagree, but I think acting with the mindset of getting better chance at tenureship is just too much and it deffies the purpose of being a mathematician.

Most of the Ph.D graduates at my school end up outside of top25 math programs. It's not where you end up that matters.
holy cow. you (with your impressive profile) say that you had an inferiority complex :D. That's really helping me...

confused.graduate
Posts: 40
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2020 5:26 am

Re: Feeling discouraged about grad school

Post by confused.graduate » Sat Feb 13, 2021 2:56 am

pizzakun wrote:
Sat Feb 13, 2021 1:38 am
M2000 wrote:
Fri Feb 12, 2021 11:58 pm
my opinion fit mostly in line with #williamcjj #cohomonoid and #pkzrd

before college I was one of the most promising student in my hs, which is top 10 in the us; when I started college I felt like a normal average kid among the bunch; after taking some grad math courses and interacting with Ph.D students I felt like a bottom performer. At times I felt inferior and useless. however, what helped with my inferiority complex is that I tried to be realistic. I found comparing myself to others or doing excessive career planning did more harm than good to my mental health; I try to focus on the problem at hand and not overthink things as there are just too many unknown variables. Competition is good, but when it is gets too intense between us it becomes toxicity. I'm sure some might disagree, but I think acting with the mindset of getting better chance at tenureship is just too much and it deffies the purpose of being a mathematician.

Most of the Ph.D graduates at my school end up outside of top25 math programs. It's not where you end up that matters.
These. +1

We do math because we enjoy it not because we want to get a stable job and dominate our competition. We are not investment bankers. As long as your motivation is genuine who cares where you end up at. Most doctoral graduates here end up getting tenure tracks at R2/R3 instead of R1 and some even in the industry. As long you're happy and real, life is good.
Please. It's easy to claim moral high ground when you guys are all from Ivies and going to Ivies with Putnam honorable mentions and IMOs. You guys are the ones that are like guaranteed tenure tracks.

pkzrd
Posts: 55
Joined: Fri Sep 11, 2020 8:43 pm

Re: Feeling discouraged about grad school

Post by pkzrd » Sat Feb 13, 2021 3:04 am

confused.graduate wrote:
Sat Feb 13, 2021 2:56 am
pizzakun wrote:
Sat Feb 13, 2021 1:38 am
M2000 wrote:
Fri Feb 12, 2021 11:58 pm
my opinion fit mostly in line with #williamcjj #cohomonoid and #pkzrd

before college I was one of the most promising student in my hs, which is top 10 in the us; when I started college I felt like a normal average kid among the bunch; after taking some grad math courses and interacting with Ph.D students I felt like a bottom performer. At times I felt inferior and useless. however, what helped with my inferiority complex is that I tried to be realistic. I found comparing myself to others or doing excessive career planning did more harm than good to my mental health; I try to focus on the problem at hand and not overthink things as there are just too many unknown variables. Competition is good, but when it is gets too intense between us it becomes toxicity. I'm sure some might disagree, but I think acting with the mindset of getting better chance at tenureship is just too much and it deffies the purpose of being a mathematician.

Most of the Ph.D graduates at my school end up outside of top25 math programs. It's not where you end up that matters.
These. +1

We do math because we enjoy it not because we want to get a stable job and dominate our competition. We are not investment bankers. As long as your motivation is genuine who cares where you end up at. Most doctoral graduates here end up getting tenure tracks at R2/R3 instead of R1 and some even in the industry. As long you're happy and real, life is good.
Please. It's easy to claim moral high ground when you guys are all from Ivies and going to Ivies with Putnam honorable mentions and IMOs. You guys are the ones that are like guaranteed tenure tracks.
If you think having any Putnam honorable mentions (or IMO medals) guarantees us tenure or that we are on the top of the food chain then you're wrong. As a matter of fact, I constantly feel inferior to my colleagues the same way M2000 mentioned - you don't have to believe me of course, but >75% of undergraduates at my math department have Putnam honorable mentions and probably >50% have at least one IMO medal. We are simply speaking from experience and conveying with others how to cope with feeling inferior and discouraged from our Math-God-like peers.

Outside of my department I constantly get praised by others, family friends or friends back in my country saying how impressive my resume is but deep down I feel like it's laughable. There is a reason why inferior complex is a huge problem especialyl in top schools.

adder
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2019 11:55 pm

Re: Feeling discouraged about grad school

Post by adder » Sat Feb 13, 2021 3:08 am

I don't know if the other replies are intentionally avoiding the point but your concerns are entirely valid. It's easy to tell other people to just do what they enjoy when you were lucky enough to do your undergrad at an elite school or have had access to advanced math since you were in high school. For people who weren't so lucky, or got started with math later than others, it truly does seem like there's no chance of getting a job doing math (R1 or otherwise). This isn't entirely the case, but you have to work substantially harder than the folks coming from Harvard/MIT to get the same outcomes. This involves making blatantly career-oriented moves, but it's worth it in the end if you really want to stay in math.

Sorry if that was overly negative. As the other posters said, there are many other opportunities you can pursue with a Ph.D in math, and you should absolutely do it just for the enjoyment. But the statement that "there's a place for everyone in math" is unfortunately far from being true in the long run, and you should plan around that.

bxbdhdj
Posts: 32
Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2020 2:00 pm

Re: Feeling discouraged about grad school

Post by bxbdhdj » Sat Feb 13, 2021 3:13 am

pkzrd wrote:
Sat Feb 13, 2021 3:04 am
confused.graduate wrote:
Sat Feb 13, 2021 2:56 am
pizzakun wrote:
Sat Feb 13, 2021 1:38 am


These. +1

We do math because we enjoy it not because we want to get a stable job and dominate our competition. We are not investment bankers. As long as your motivation is genuine who cares where you end up at. Most doctoral graduates here end up getting tenure tracks at R2/R3 instead of R1 and some even in the industry. As long you're happy and real, life is good.
Please. It's easy to claim moral high ground when you guys are all from Ivies and going to Ivies with Putnam honorable mentions and IMOs. You guys are the ones that are like guaranteed tenure tracks.
If you think having any Putnam honorable mentions (or IMO medals) guarantees us tenure or that we are on the top of the food chain then you're wrong. As a matter of fact, I constantly feel inferior to my colleagues the same way M2000 mentioned - you don't have to believe me of course, but >75% of undergraduates at my math department have Putnam honorable mentions and probably >50% have at least one IMO medal. We are simply speaking from experience and conveying with others how to cope with feeling inferior and discouraged from our Math-God-like peers.

Outside of my department I constantly get praised by others, family friends or friends back in my country saying how impressive my resume is but deep down I feel like it's laughable. There is a reason why inferior complex is a huge problem especialyl in top schools.
Thanks for sharing how it is like in those top math programs. I'm from an OK (non-ivy but prestigious in math) private school and I personally have not met many people with IMO medals or putnam honorable mention in my department. But I know such people exist and I know I am way behind them in terms of talents and math capacity. But I feel the same way as M2000 does. When I am focusing on my own study and research, it does not matter what other people are like. All I need to do is to crack the problems on hand and learn new stuff presented to me. It makes me feel worthwhile and I enjoy it. Of course, the job market is incredibly intense as other posters are saying. Even a PhD from Princeton will in no way guarantee a tenure position mostwhere. But I am happy that I feel the same way as some other posters from prestigious schools. I believe that is just the right way to get involved in mathematics. Not only caring about how to compete and excel other math students, because it is almost impossible.
Last edited by bxbdhdj on Sat Feb 13, 2021 3:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

confused.graduate
Posts: 40
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2020 5:26 am

Re: Feeling discouraged about grad school

Post by confused.graduate » Sat Feb 13, 2021 3:15 am

adder wrote:
Sat Feb 13, 2021 3:08 am
I don't know if the other replies are intentionally avoiding the point but your concerns are entirely valid. It's easy to tell other people to just do what they enjoy when you were lucky enough to do your undergrad at an elite school or have had access to advanced math since you were in high school. For people who weren't so lucky, or got started with math later than others, it truly does seem like there's no chance of getting a job doing math (R1 or otherwise). This isn't entirely the case, but you have to work substantially harder than the folks coming from Harvard/MIT to get the same outcomes. This involves making blatantly career-oriented moves, but it's worth it in the end if you really want to stay in math.

Sorry if that was overly negative. As the other posters said, there are many other opportunities you can pursue with a Ph.D in math, and you should absolutely do it just for the enjoyment. But the statement that "there's a place for everyone in math" is unfortunately far from being true in the long run, and you should plan around that.
Exactly! These Ivy people probably will all know each down the road and anyone outside of the elite schools don't have a snowball's chance in the sun's core unless we prove the Goldbach's or something. Most of R1 jobs are 90% filled by these people are most if not R2/R3 are also filled by these people. What chances do the rest of us have? IT's easy for them to claim "just enjoy and stop overthinking" when they are in a muuuuuuch better position than we are.

lee_34
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2021 2:34 am

Re: Feeling discouraged about grad school

Post by lee_34 » Sat Feb 13, 2021 3:18 am

confused.graduate wrote:
Sat Feb 13, 2021 2:56 am
pizzakun wrote:
Sat Feb 13, 2021 1:38 am
M2000 wrote:
Fri Feb 12, 2021 11:58 pm
my opinion fit mostly in line with #williamcjj #cohomonoid and #pkzrd

before college I was one of the most promising student in my hs, which is top 10 in the us; when I started college I felt like a normal average kid among the bunch; after taking some grad math courses and interacting with Ph.D students I felt like a bottom performer. At times I felt inferior and useless. however, what helped with my inferiority complex is that I tried to be realistic. I found comparing myself to others or doing excessive career planning did more harm than good to my mental health; I try to focus on the problem at hand and not overthink things as there are just too many unknown variables. Competition is good, but when it is gets too intense between us it becomes toxicity. I'm sure some might disagree, but I think acting with the mindset of getting better chance at tenureship is just too much and it deffies the purpose of being a mathematician.

Most of the Ph.D graduates at my school end up outside of top25 math programs. It's not where you end up that matters.
These. +1

We do math because we enjoy it not because we want to get a stable job and dominate our competition. We are not investment bankers. As long as your motivation is genuine who cares where you end up at. Most doctoral graduates here end up getting tenure tracks at R2/R3 instead of R1 and some even in the industry. As long you're happy and real, life is good.
Please. It's easy to claim moral high ground when you guys are all from Ivies and going to Ivies with Putnam honorable mentions and IMOs. You guys are the ones that are like guaranteed tenure tracks.

Not sure why confused.graduate keeps attacking people in this forum when they are not trying to be rude. I saw saw her accused at least people.

bxbdhdj
Posts: 32
Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2020 2:00 pm

Re: Feeling discouraged about grad school

Post by bxbdhdj » Sat Feb 13, 2021 3:18 am

confused.graduate wrote:
Sat Feb 13, 2021 3:15 am
adder wrote:
Sat Feb 13, 2021 3:08 am
I don't know if the other replies are intentionally avoiding the point but your concerns are entirely valid. It's easy to tell other people to just do what they enjoy when you were lucky enough to do your undergrad at an elite school or have had access to advanced math since you were in high school. For people who weren't so lucky, or got started with math later than others, it truly does seem like there's no chance of getting a job doing math (R1 or otherwise). This isn't entirely the case, but you have to work substantially harder than the folks coming from Harvard/MIT to get the same outcomes. This involves making blatantly career-oriented moves, but it's worth it in the end if you really want to stay in math.

Sorry if that was overly negative. As the other posters said, there are many other opportunities you can pursue with a Ph.D in math, and you should absolutely do it just for the enjoyment. But the statement that "there's a place for everyone in math" is unfortunately far from being true in the long run, and you should plan around that.
Exactly! These Ivy people probably will all know each down the road and anyone outside of the elite schools don't have a snowball's chance in the sun's core unless we prove the Goldbach's or something. Most of R1 jobs are 90% filled by these people are most if not R2/R3 are also filled by these people. What chances do the rest of us have? IT's easy for them to claim "just enjoy and stop overthinking" when they are in a muuuuuuch better position than we are.
I agree with you. But we have to accept the fact that most of us are just ordinary people. I think as long as we are enjoying doing math, we should try our best to stick to it. And if we don't like it, we still have good chances to quit and go to the industry if we want to. So I think what they are saying is just not worry too much since it will not help. Math is tough. There are always people better than you..

lee_34
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2021 2:34 am

Re: Feeling discouraged about grad school

Post by lee_34 » Sat Feb 13, 2021 3:19 am

lee_34 wrote:
Sat Feb 13, 2021 3:18 am
confused.graduate wrote:
Sat Feb 13, 2021 2:56 am
pizzakun wrote:
Sat Feb 13, 2021 1:38 am


These. +1

We do math because we enjoy it not because we want to get a stable job and dominate our competition. We are not investment bankers. As long as your motivation is genuine who cares where you end up at. Most doctoral graduates here end up getting tenure tracks at R2/R3 instead of R1 and some even in the industry. As long you're happy and real, life is good.
Please. It's easy to claim moral high ground when you guys are all from Ivies and going to Ivies with Putnam honorable mentions and IMOs. You guys are the ones that are like guaranteed tenure tracks.

Not sure why confused.graduate keeps attacking people in this forum when they are not trying to be rude. I saw saw her accused at least 2 people.

pkzrd
Posts: 55
Joined: Fri Sep 11, 2020 8:43 pm

Re: Feeling discouraged about grad school

Post by pkzrd » Sat Feb 13, 2021 3:24 am

I apologize if my comments seems all high and mighty. I'm just trying to make the point that we will only end up in a world of hurt if we are to constantly compare ourselves with others.

Because there are always people that are better, many more, even for us. Look at the result from 2019 Putnam, you will probably see a school name that appeared like 50 times. Well that's where I am at, and I can tell you half of these people have IMO medals, and that's why I'm not lying when I say I feel like I'm a loser at times and I am one of the worse students at my department. If I constantly compare myself with my peers then I would have lost my mind long time ago.

confused.graduate
Posts: 40
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2020 5:26 am

Re: Feeling discouraged about grad school

Post by confused.graduate » Sat Feb 13, 2021 3:38 am

lee_34 wrote:
Sat Feb 13, 2021 3:18 am
confused.graduate wrote:
Sat Feb 13, 2021 2:56 am
pizzakun wrote:
Sat Feb 13, 2021 1:38 am


These. +1

We do math because we enjoy it not because we want to get a stable job and dominate our competition. We are not investment bankers. As long as your motivation is genuine who cares where you end up at. Most doctoral graduates here end up getting tenure tracks at R2/R3 instead of R1 and some even in the industry. As long you're happy and real, life is good.
Please. It's easy to claim moral high ground when you guys are all from Ivies and going to Ivies with Putnam honorable mentions and IMOs. You guys are the ones that are like guaranteed tenure tracks.

Not sure why confused.graduate keeps attacking people in this forum when they are not trying to be rude. I saw saw her accused at least people.
Are my points not valid? Why are you judging me on my direct way of expressing opinion? Ahhh I see you must be one of those Ivy elites!

nicole3
Posts: 35
Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2021 10:28 am

Re: Feeling discouraged about grad school

Post by nicole3 » Sat Feb 13, 2021 1:32 pm

lee_34 wrote:
Sat Feb 13, 2021 3:18 am
confused.graduate wrote:
Sat Feb 13, 2021 2:56 am
pizzakun wrote:
Sat Feb 13, 2021 1:38 am


These. +1

We do math because we enjoy it not because we want to get a stable job and dominate our competition. We are not investment bankers. As long as your motivation is genuine who cares where you end up at. Most doctoral graduates here end up getting tenure tracks at R2/R3 instead of R1 and some even in the industry. As long you're happy and real, life is good.
Please. It's easy to claim moral high ground when you guys are all from Ivies and going to Ivies with Putnam honorable mentions and IMOs. You guys are the ones that are like guaranteed tenure tracks.

Not sure why confused.graduate keeps attacking people in this forum when they are not trying to be rude. I saw saw her accused at least people.
Be careful with confused.graduate... her posts are very toxic (for reference, see this link... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LOZuxwVk7TU) and if you are a man who has success in math, be even more careful!

lee_34
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2021 2:34 am

Re: Feeling discouraged about grad school

Post by lee_34 » Sat Feb 13, 2021 1:58 pm

confused.graduate wrote:
Sat Feb 13, 2021 3:38 am
lee_34 wrote:
Sat Feb 13, 2021 3:18 am
confused.graduate wrote:
Sat Feb 13, 2021 2:56 am


Please. It's easy to claim moral high ground when you guys are all from Ivies and going to Ivies with Putnam honorable mentions and IMOs. You guys are the ones that are like guaranteed tenure tracks.

Not sure why confused.graduate keeps attacking people in this forum when they are not trying to be rude. I saw saw her accused at least people.
Are my points not valid? Why are you judging me on my direct way of expressing opinion? Ahhh I see you must be one of those Ivy elites!


I am a female going to a school whose ranking is below 100 for math. But there is a reason why people got to Ivy League because they work super hard and they deserve to go there

lee_34
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2021 2:34 am

Re: Feeling discouraged about grad school

Post by lee_34 » Sat Feb 13, 2021 2:08 pm

nicole3 wrote:
Sat Feb 13, 2021 1:32 pm
lee_34 wrote:
Sat Feb 13, 2021 3:18 am
confused.graduate wrote:
Sat Feb 13, 2021 2:56 am


Please. It's easy to claim moral high ground when you guys are all from Ivies and going to Ivies with Putnam honorable mentions and IMOs. You guys are the ones that are like guaranteed tenure tracks.

Not sure why confused.graduate keeps attacking people in this forum when they are not trying to be rude. I saw saw her accused at least people.
Be careful with confused.graduate... her posts are very toxic (for reference, see this link... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LOZuxwVk7TU) and if you are a man who has success in math, be even more careful!

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

idmasterz
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Mar 06, 2020 11:38 am

Re: Feeling discouraged about grad school

Post by idmasterz » Sun Feb 14, 2021 9:53 am

adder wrote:
Sat Feb 13, 2021 3:08 am
I don't know if the other replies are intentionally avoiding the point but your concerns are entirely valid. It's easy to tell other people to just do what they enjoy when you were lucky enough to do your undergrad at an elite school or have had access to advanced math since you were in high school. For people who weren't so lucky, or got started with math later than others, it truly does seem like there's no chance of getting a job doing math (R1 or otherwise). This isn't entirely the case, but you have to work substantially harder than the folks coming from Harvard/MIT to get the same outcomes. This involves making blatantly career-oriented moves, but it's worth it in the end if you really want to stay in math.

Sorry if that was overly negative. As the other posters said, there are many other opportunities you can pursue with a Ph.D in math, and you should absolutely do it just for the enjoyment. But the statement that "there's a place for everyone in math" is unfortunately far from being true in the long run, and you should plan around that.
That was kind of my point, just in case it might be misinterpretted. After grad school, if you dont get a good like post doc position and things, or found grad school super difficult, then you can do something else. Still good to try it out, so I think grad school is worth it, and if ur lucky that it goes well, then life's gonna be sweet, assuming everything else falls into place!



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