PhD Operations Research (Fall 2022) Profile Evaluation? struggling with selecting programs

Forum for the GRE subject test in mathematics.
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aeiou12345
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2021 1:31 pm

PhD Operations Research (Fall 2022) Profile Evaluation? struggling with selecting programs

Post by aeiou12345 » Thu Jun 03, 2021 1:47 am

Hi everyone. I am struggling a lot with figuring out a list of schools to apply to in the fall and could use some input. I am really interested in Operations Research, but have a primarily mathematical background.

I have three questions:
(1) do I stand a better chance at applied math PhD programs or operations research PhD programs?
(2) what “level” of OR program should I look at?
(3) What are some examples of some programs I should consider?


Here is my background:
Undergrad Institution: Liberal Arts College
Major(s): Mathematics (NOTE: I will be graduating with both masters and bachelors degrees)
GPA: 3.8+ (my grades junior year were straight 4.0’s), major GPA of 3.9+
Type of Student: Domestic Asian Female

GRE Revised General Test: N/A (will take in fall)
GRE Subject Test in Mathematics: N/A (will take in fall)

Program Applying: Operations Research PhD

Courses:
Analysis 1/2, Algebra 1/2, Graduate Analysis 1/2, Graduate Topology, Graduate Complex Analysis, Math Modeling, Numerical Methods, Scientific Computing, Linear Optimization, Probability, Differential Equations, Multivariable Calc, Linear Algebra, Discrete Math

Research Experience:
Freshman summer, did research with prof. at school plus local gov’t office in integer programming applied to budget planning. Presented work at poster presentation at school in fall.
Sophomore summer, did an internship in which I developed a customizable program through linear optimization for scheduling employees based on preferences and staffing requirements.
Junior summer, attended a brief research program in applied math, presented on work to faculty and students at program.
Junior summer, will be attending top 3 pure math REU. Hope to present at a conference, and would be great if I could have work published but we’ll see, of course.
Senior year, will be working on masters thesis, topic to be on specific application of optimization to a sustainability issue (cannot give more details for privacy, but I’m sure anyone who knows me in real life recognizes this profile).
Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
Received several-thousand-dollar grant from school freshman summer to conduct research.
Receieved schoolwide award for fostering sense of community on campus.
Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
TA for multivariable calculus (held tutoring sessions, assisted in labs, graded student work, and took notes for student use).
TA for linear optimization (held tutoring hours, graded student work, assisted in labs)
Organizing weekly mathematical talks in math dept.
Have major organizational role in math dept.
Any Miscellaneous Points that Might Help:
One of my recommenders has a PhD in Applied Math from Cornell, and I’d like to apply to Cornell (not sure if CAM or ORIE)
I’m a woman
To clarify, I will be working on a masters thesis in the fall and will be graduating with both a bachelors and a masters.

Programs I am Interested In:
Cornell (QUESTION: is my application more competitive in applied math or operations research here?)
Georgia Tech OR
Northwestern OR
U Mich OR
MIT OR (long shot but like I might as well try, their program is incredible)
U Wisconsin Math
U Wash Applied Math

Again, my main questions are:
(1) do I stand a better chance at applied math PhD programs or operations research PhD programs?
(2) what “level” of OR program should I look at?
(3) What are some examples of some programs I should consider?

Any other constructive comments would also be greatly appreciated. Thanks to those of you who took the time to read through and respond to this!
Last edited by aeiou12345 on Sun Jun 06, 2021 3:07 pm, edited 4 times in total.

Jmr324
Posts: 47
Joined: Thu May 16, 2019 11:57 pm

Re: PhD Operations Research (Fall 2022) Profile Evaluation? struggling with selecting programs

Post by Jmr324 » Sun Jun 06, 2021 12:53 pm

I think you will have a better chance at OR programs but because they are much less competitive than math (I have spoken to multiple OR professors at good schools and they said OR isn't as competitive). You should probably only apply to T10 OR schools you look like a perfect applicant for those programs. Your coursework is really good for OR and you are doing a thesis in optimization so that'll look very good.

aeiou12345
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2021 1:31 pm

Re: PhD Operations Research (Fall 2022) Profile Evaluation? struggling with selecting programs

Post by aeiou12345 » Sun Jun 06, 2021 2:58 pm

Jmr324 wrote:
Sun Jun 06, 2021 12:53 pm
I think you will have a better chance at OR programs but because they are much less competitive than math (I have spoken to multiple OR professors at good schools and they said OR isn't as competitive). You should probably only apply to T10 OR schools you look like a perfect applicant for those programs. Your coursework is really good for OR and you are doing a thesis in optimization so that'll look very good.
Thanks so much for your help, again!! That is really good to hear. I really appreciate the insight.



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