Decision time - genuine suggestions welcome

Forum for the GRE subject test in mathematics.
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dharmeshg
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Dec 01, 2020 12:53 pm

Decision time - genuine suggestions welcome

Post by dharmeshg » Thu Mar 25, 2021 8:24 am

hi,

I have a 3 yr undergrad from one of the top international universities.

I want to specialize in Probability and want to do a Ph.D. (for sure) and eventually post-doc too.

Here are the choices that I have narrowed down from a list of offers and would like to ask for serious recommendations:

1) OMMS - Oxford Masters in Mathematics Sciences - 1-year
Pros: Oxford brand and Masters degree in a year
Doubts: almost no funding (still ok) + not sure if doing 1-year masters strengthen my application when I apply for Ph.D. in Dec21/Jan22?

2) University of British Columbia (MS) - 2 year
Pros: Full funding + chance to work with prof that I would like + Canada nice place to leave and seems to be a good pgm
Doubts: Not sure if this enhances my chance to get in a better Ph.D. program in 2023 and doing masters is going to help me

3) CMU - PhD
Pros: Get right in the Ph.D. program + Probability program seems to be good but not sure
Doubts: Am I academically ready for Ph.D. now or need to spend 1-2 yrs for Masters? maybe I get a better Ph.D. pgm in 2022/2023? (Stanford/MIT/Chicago/Unv Washington)?

waiting for MaST/Cambridge and Univ Michigan/Wisconsin/UCSD (not sure of this pgm in Probability or funding as compared to UBC)

appreciate any thoughts from experience !!!

thanks,

contingent
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2021 2:30 pm

Re: Decision time - genuine suggestions welcome

Post by contingent » Thu Mar 25, 2021 12:19 pm

CMU PhD is a no-brainer. CMU is one of the best discrete/computational/probabilistic math schools in the world. Sure, wait for your other schools so you can weigh your options. But as far as doing a MS and then applying all over again, won't you then just be out $60k+? There's no guarantee you would get in again. Why risk it? Carpe diem. CMU all the way

anynonymous_ferret
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2021 2:27 pm

Re: Decision time - genuine suggestions welcome

Post by anynonymous_ferret » Thu Mar 25, 2021 12:54 pm

I disagree with the previous poster. You have done a 3 year undergrad, there is no need to rush into anything at this point. I would like to point out that many top programs do not take students who have only done 3 years (even though it is technically possible, I don't believe it happens much in practice). The fact that you got into CMU (a competitive program) this year (a more-competitive-than-usual year) indicates to me that you may have more success in PhD applications after a 4th (and potentially 5th) year.

That being said, the best place to take this sort of advice is in your department, with potential supervisors, members of adcomms, etc... so take any advice on this forum (incl. mine) with a grain of salt.

Finally, I don't know anything about CMU. Oxford's OMMS is very well respected however it will not be a massive plus for admissions as you won't have Oxford recs or even a transcript in time for admissions. UBC is a very nice university and Vancouver is an amazing place to live (speaking from experience). If there is a group you are interested in there and you have full funding, I wouldn't dismiss it.

Good luck!

notaiscrim
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat Feb 22, 2020 3:25 pm

Re: Decision time - genuine suggestions welcome

Post by notaiscrim » Thu Mar 25, 2021 2:08 pm

I'm an undergraduate at CMU, so I can answer some of the questions you might have (though am not specializing in probability). Would you have the chance to do your Ph.D. at Oxford/UBC afterward?

Silvernuts
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2021 11:45 pm

Re: Decision time - genuine suggestions welcome

Post by Silvernuts » Thu Mar 25, 2021 2:21 pm

It depends on what kind of probabiltiies you want to explore in your PhD program. If you do not have a precise answer for that, I would recommend doing a master before going to PhD program. Your master programs look all good to me since there are amazing ppl, as far as I know, doing old-fashioned probability at UBC as well as Oxford. CMU program has nice faculty working on discrete probability which puts more weight on its application to computer science, but it is not necessarily suitable program for you. That being said, you will have a better PhD experience if you know what you want to do with probability, and your profile looks good to me that re-applying again might end up getting you somewhere better.

dharmeshg
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Dec 01, 2020 12:53 pm

Re: Decision time - genuine suggestions welcome

Post by dharmeshg » Thu Mar 25, 2021 2:46 pm

contingent wrote:
Thu Mar 25, 2021 12:19 pm
CMU PhD is a no-brainer. CMU is one of the best discrete/computational/probabilistic math schools in the world. Sure, wait for your other schools so you can weigh your options. But as far as doing a MS and then applying all over again, won't you then just be out $60k+? There's no guarantee you would get in again. Why risk it? Carpe diem. CMU all the way
thanks for the reply. UBC is a funded Masters.

dharmeshg
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Dec 01, 2020 12:53 pm

Re: Decision time - genuine suggestions welcome

Post by dharmeshg » Thu Mar 25, 2021 2:47 pm

anynonymous_ferret wrote:
Thu Mar 25, 2021 12:54 pm
I disagree with the previous poster. You have done a 3 year undergrad, there is no need to rush into anything at this point. I would like to point out that many top programs do not take students who have only done 3 years (even though it is technically possible, I don't believe it happens much in practice). The fact that you got into CMU (a competitive program) this year (a more-competitive-than-usual year) indicates to me that you may have more success in PhD applications after a 4th (and potentially 5th) year.

That being said, the best place to take this sort of advice is in your department, with potential supervisors, members of adcomms, etc... so take any advice on this forum (incl. mine) with a grain of salt.

Finally, I don't know anything about CMU. Oxford's OMMS is very well respected however it will not be a massive plus for admissions as you won't have Oxford recs or even a transcript in time for admissions. UBC is a very nice university and Vancouver is an amazing place to live (speaking from experience). If there is a group you are interested in there and you have full funding, I wouldn't dismiss it.

Good luck!
Thanks for the candid reply. I am talking to my current and potential advisors also. This forum is to get a wider perspective and I am glad we have people like you providing good suggestions. thanks again.

dharmeshg
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Dec 01, 2020 12:53 pm

Re: Decision time - genuine suggestions welcome

Post by dharmeshg » Thu Mar 25, 2021 2:48 pm

notaiscrim wrote:
Thu Mar 25, 2021 2:08 pm
I'm an undergraduate at CMU, so I can answer some of the questions you might have (though am not specializing in probability). Would you have the chance to do your Ph.D. at Oxford/UBC afterward?
I am not sure about Oxford but UBC advisors did mention that if I continue to do good - I can go for a Ph.D. there.

dharmeshg
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Dec 01, 2020 12:53 pm

Re: Decision time - genuine suggestions welcome

Post by dharmeshg » Thu Mar 25, 2021 2:48 pm

Silvernuts wrote:
Thu Mar 25, 2021 2:21 pm
It depends on what kind of probabiltiies you want to explore in your PhD program. If you do not have a precise answer for that, I would recommend doing a master before going to PhD program. Your master programs look all good to me since there are amazing ppl, as far as I know, doing old-fashioned probability at UBC as well as Oxford. CMU program has nice faculty working on discrete probability which puts more weight on its application to computer science, but it is not necessarily suitable program for you. That being said, you will have a better PhD experience if you know what you want to do with probability, and your profile looks good to me that re-applying again might end up getting you somewhere better.
Thanks for your suggestions. highly appreciated.

dharmeshg
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Dec 01, 2020 12:53 pm

Re: Decision time - genuine suggestions welcome

Post by dharmeshg » Fri Mar 26, 2021 11:42 am

thanks for these suggestions. any other thoughts?

AnatolyBabakov
Posts: 23
Joined: Wed Nov 11, 2020 8:59 am

Re: Decision time - genuine suggestions welcome

Post by AnatolyBabakov » Sat Mar 27, 2021 4:29 pm

Hello!
Even though CMU has an amazing faculty in discrete probability one thing that you should keep in mind is that a few of them are affiliated with the ACO group. So it might be difficult to get in touch with said faculty members unless you are admitted to the particular program.
So possibly make sure that the ones you are interested in working with are actually accepting students outside of it.

Good luck and congrats on the offers !! And if I am not mistaken I might actually know what institution you are from ! XD

dharmeshg
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Dec 01, 2020 12:53 pm

Re: Decision time - genuine suggestions welcome

Post by dharmeshg » Sun Mar 28, 2021 7:56 am

AnatolyBabakov wrote:
Sat Mar 27, 2021 4:29 pm
Hello!
Even though CMU has an amazing faculty in discrete probability one thing that you should keep in mind is that a few of them are affiliated with the ACO group. So it might be difficult to get in touch with said faculty members unless you are admitted to the particular program.
So possibly make sure that the ones you are interested in working with are actually accepting students outside of it.

Good luck and congrats on the offers !! And if I am not mistaken I might actually know what institution you are from ! XD

thanks a lot. I have been admitted to Ph.D. for mathematical sciences (including ACO and PAL) - not sure how this works though. I believe I need to chose during/after around qualifying exam times?

AnatolyBabakov
Posts: 23
Joined: Wed Nov 11, 2020 8:59 am

Re: Decision time - genuine suggestions welcome

Post by AnatolyBabakov » Tue Mar 30, 2021 6:45 pm

dharmeshg wrote:
Sun Mar 28, 2021 7:56 am
AnatolyBabakov wrote:
Sat Mar 27, 2021 4:29 pm
Hello!
Even though CMU has an amazing faculty in discrete probability one thing that you should keep in mind is that a few of them are affiliated with the ACO group. So it might be difficult to get in touch with said faculty members unless you are admitted to the particular program.
So possibly make sure that the ones you are interested in working with are actually accepting students outside of it.

Good luck and congrats on the offers !! And if I am not mistaken I might actually know what institution you are from! XD

thanks a lot. I have been admitted to Ph.D. for mathematical sciences (including ACO and PAL) - not sure how this works though. I believe I need to chose during/after around qualifying exam times?
Well, if that is the case I do think you might wanna give this another thought. Their ACO program is absolutely amazing.
(Also I am sure you have already figured out all these but anyway ) If you are not clear about something then I suppose you could reach out to a few of the current grad students or possibly some profs etc (They are usually super cooperative ).

dharmeshg
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Dec 01, 2020 12:53 pm

Re: Decision time - genuine suggestions welcome

Post by dharmeshg » Wed Mar 31, 2021 2:10 am

AnatolyBabakov wrote:
Tue Mar 30, 2021 6:45 pm
dharmeshg wrote:
Sun Mar 28, 2021 7:56 am
AnatolyBabakov wrote:
Sat Mar 27, 2021 4:29 pm
Hello!
Even though CMU has an amazing faculty in discrete probability one thing that you should keep in mind is that a few of them are affiliated with the ACO group. So it might be difficult to get in touch with said faculty members unless you are admitted to the particular program.
So possibly make sure that the ones you are interested in working with are actually accepting students outside of it.

Good luck and congrats on the offers !! And if I am not mistaken I might actually know what institution you are from! XD

thanks a lot. I have been admitted to Ph.D. for mathematical sciences (including ACO and PAL) - not sure how this works though. I believe I need to chose during/after around qualifying exam times?
Well, if that is the case I do think you might wanna give this another thought. Their ACO program is absolutely amazing.
(Also I am sure you have already figured out all these but anyway ) If you are not clear about something then I suppose you could reach out to a few of the current grad students or possibly some profs etc (They are usually super cooperative ).

thanks for your recommendations.



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