Advice to an Undergraduate

Forum for the GRE subject test in mathematics.
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Advice to an Undergraduate

Post by davhem7 » Fri Mar 19, 2021 7:46 pm

Last edited by davhem7 on Tue Mar 30, 2021 12:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2021 1:56 pm

Re: Advice to an Undergraduate

Post by iliketopology » Sat Mar 20, 2021 5:04 pm

I mean it sounds like you're setting your self up pretty great, which is awesome. As far as the purely academic side of it goes, it sounds like you're on top of it and can't do too much more. I'm sure you're familiar with REUs, so look into those for the coming summers. You said that you have some research stuff going/planned, but it could be beneficial to make connections with people at another university too. You never know the one random connection that could end up being a deciding factor in an application down the line.

Another really important piece of a phd application is of course your letters of recommendation. It's probably best if they are from people you have done research with, and preferably tenured members of wherever they work. This is maybe obvious, but you want to have a personal connection with those letter writes besides just a purely professional one.

Also, I don't want this to come off the wrong way, but humility is important. It sounds like you're fairly advanced for where you are in your academic career, and that can rub some people the wrong way. It's a balance between wanting to bring the attention to yourself so that your strength is recognized but also not pissing people off.

Best of luck, it honestly sounds like you're doing great!

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Re: Advice to an Undergraduate

Post by lebesgueboy98 » Sun Mar 21, 2021 12:48 pm

davhem7 wrote:
Fri Mar 19, 2021 7:46 pm
Undergrad Institution: Regional university in Michigan, with masters program
Major(s): Mathematics
GPA: 3.88 out of 4.00 (Math 3.91)
First-year student atm, going to graduate with masters and bachelors in 2023
Type of Student: Domestic White Male

GRE General Test: Haven't yet taken, but practices have gone well.

GRE Subject Test in Mathematics: Haven't yet taken, but practices have gone well.

Program: Pure Math

Research Experience: Started research at my university into geometric group theory my junior year of high school but that got put on hold senior year and now it is about to be submitted for publication. This summer I am working with a few professors on an interesting project involving tangent algebras of loops. I am also working on writing (or translating) up a research paper with some theorems with prover9. I will probably get at least about 5+ papers published before I graduate.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Received research scholarships, full-tuition presidential scholarship, and valedictorian in HS.

Pertinent Jobs: Tutor at the university in classes I've taken.

Any Miscellaneous Points that Might Help: I have taken one graduate class in teichmuller theory (I took the undergraduate version of 3 classes but audited the graduate version) and am currently in a graduate ring theory class. I plan to take two per semester my 2nd and 3rd year which will then finish my master's. I finished the math major requirements in HS. Editor of our undergraduate research journal, part of things like student leadership and honors orgs, etc. I go to and present at our seminars and have presented at the JMM and plan to do more in the future. I will also be taking exam FM and exam P soon for a fallback in case pure math doesn't work out, I was going to finish them in HS, but covid said no to that haha.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Very close with the whole department, good letters of rec. I am a board member of a prominent disability rights organization and very involved with a lot of volunteer things like that in general.

My question is, what more do I need to do to get a decent chance at a good phd program?
I grew up in a rural area and dropped out of HS for 2 years (but then finished HS in 2 years) so this whole world of academia is confusing but luckily the math isn't haha.
Nobody cares that you were a valedictorian in HS, avoid using that in any graduate/REU applications. Otherwise, looks fine to me!

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