My chances at acceptance for fall '12
My chances at acceptance for fall '12
My profile:
Undergrad Institution: Tier 1 state school(in AMS grad school rankings)
Major(s): Math
Minor(s): None
GPA: 3.2 overall, 3.3 total math, ~3.6 advanced math(B's in all 3 calc's and Diff Eq)
Position in Class: Near top? I've only met 2 or 3 undergrads who are clearly above my level
(no real way to rigorize this, its just subjective opinion)
Type of Student: Domestic Hispanic Male
GRE Scores:
Q: Not taken
V: Not taken
W: Not taken
M: 74% is what I remember, think it was ~730
Program Applying: Math
Research Experience: None
Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Big scholarship from the department. Applying for a college level scholarship as well, decent chance at receiving it.
Pertinent Activities or Jobs: I'm studying under a well known professor this summer, and will likely tutor come fall.
Any Miscellaneous Points that Might Help: I'll probably have 6(and maybe 12 audited) graduate classes under my belt, namely:
 real analysis I
 two semesters of graduate level algebra
 two semesters of algebraic topology
 one other, most likely differentiable manifolds or analysis, but that could be either functional, complex or real 2.
sitting in on formal logic
Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
Anyway,
If you go to my older posts, I definitely overestimated how well I thought I'd do on the GRE, and I'm gonna have to retake it(thats what my professor is suggesting, he says a 74% might hold me back). So assuming I get an 80%+ on the retake:
a) What are my chances at the schools I'm looking at(they're below)?
b) What other schools should I be looking at?
My main interests right now are:
Algebraic geometry
Noncommutative geometry(though I've been somewhat scared off by a functional analyst in the department)
Recursion theory
The schools I was interested in are basically:
University of Chicago
U Utah
UW Madison
U Mich
Vanderbilt
Berkeley
one more TBD
EDIT: Updated the courses I'm taking.
Undergrad Institution: Tier 1 state school(in AMS grad school rankings)
Major(s): Math
Minor(s): None
GPA: 3.2 overall, 3.3 total math, ~3.6 advanced math(B's in all 3 calc's and Diff Eq)
Position in Class: Near top? I've only met 2 or 3 undergrads who are clearly above my level
(no real way to rigorize this, its just subjective opinion)
Type of Student: Domestic Hispanic Male
GRE Scores:
Q: Not taken
V: Not taken
W: Not taken
M: 74% is what I remember, think it was ~730
Program Applying: Math
Research Experience: None
Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Big scholarship from the department. Applying for a college level scholarship as well, decent chance at receiving it.
Pertinent Activities or Jobs: I'm studying under a well known professor this summer, and will likely tutor come fall.
Any Miscellaneous Points that Might Help: I'll probably have 6(and maybe 12 audited) graduate classes under my belt, namely:
 real analysis I
 two semesters of graduate level algebra
 two semesters of algebraic topology
 one other, most likely differentiable manifolds or analysis, but that could be either functional, complex or real 2.
sitting in on formal logic
Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
Anyway,
If you go to my older posts, I definitely overestimated how well I thought I'd do on the GRE, and I'm gonna have to retake it(thats what my professor is suggesting, he says a 74% might hold me back). So assuming I get an 80%+ on the retake:
a) What are my chances at the schools I'm looking at(they're below)?
b) What other schools should I be looking at?
My main interests right now are:
Algebraic geometry
Noncommutative geometry(though I've been somewhat scared off by a functional analyst in the department)
Recursion theory
The schools I was interested in are basically:
University of Chicago
U Utah
UW Madison
U Mich
Vanderbilt
Berkeley
one more TBD
EDIT: Updated the courses I'm taking.
Last edited by aeginotu on Fri Sep 09, 2011 9:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

 Posts: 35
 Joined: Sun Jul 31, 2011 6:54 pm
Re: My chances at acceptance for fall '12
Hi, I'm also applying for fall '12 and am interested in noncommutative geometry. Two schools that are strong in NCG/C*algebras that you haven't mentioned are UCLA and Northwestern, and Northwestern also is strong in algebraic geometry. Penn State also has an enormous center for NCG and is strong in algebraic geometry as well. So those are some other schools you might look at.
How did the functional analyst in your department scare you off?
How did the functional analyst in your department scare you off?
Re: My chances at acceptance for fall '12
I would say that subject test score is fine  it's not that bad. Of course, raising it some could be nice, but yours isn't bad enough to raise concern.
That said for the very hardest to get into schools, a much higher test score can sometimes help.
I would be more concerned with your fundamentals (a lot of people applying have very high math GPAs). Your advanced classes will keep you in the running, but you should apply widely (perhaps consider some of the choices of previous poster).
You sound like the type of applicant where letters of recommendation could just about squeeze you in.
Basically, your GPA in advanced math coupled with test scores makes it clear you probably won't flunk out of the program's basic requirements, nor are you scared of trying advanced material. After that, it's often letters.
EDIT: The reason your professor's extra cautiousness about your subject score might be warranted, however, is that it might compensate a little for concern about your GPA.
That said for the very hardest to get into schools, a much higher test score can sometimes help.
I would be more concerned with your fundamentals (a lot of people applying have very high math GPAs). Your advanced classes will keep you in the running, but you should apply widely (perhaps consider some of the choices of previous poster).
You sound like the type of applicant where letters of recommendation could just about squeeze you in.
Basically, your GPA in advanced math coupled with test scores makes it clear you probably won't flunk out of the program's basic requirements, nor are you scared of trying advanced material. After that, it's often letters.
EDIT: The reason your professor's extra cautiousness about your subject score might be warranted, however, is that it might compensate a little for concern about your GPA.
Re: My chances at acceptance for fall '12
Thanks for the response. I knew about PSU have a NCG group, but not Northwestern. I'm in Chicago(which gives away what school I'm at, oh well.), so Northwestern may be a very convenient choice. Not too excited about the idea of staying in IL, but it is very convenient(and we have fantastic pizza in Chicago. I would miss that dearly). I also didn't know about PSU's A.G. I'll definitely consider both!bemonocled wrote:How did the functional analyst in your department scare you off?
Anyway, I asked him about going into NCG, and he said that it isn't a fertile field at the moment, which is a serious red flag in my mind.(More important of course is that it is fertile in 34 years,)
Thanks, I appreciate the encouragement. I'm actually going to switch Formal Logic to graduate algebra. I was looking forward to the Formal Logic, but the algebra is far more useful(or at least it is for my purposes, logic is always useful!). The professor pointed out that if I apply to a top program without the graduate algebra it may hold me back from more advanced classes. That resonated with me, so I changed it.gromov wrote:I would say that subject test score is fine  it's not that bad. Of course, raising it some could be nice, but yours isn't bad enough to raise concern.
That said for the very hardest to get into schools, a much higher test score can sometimes help.
I would be more concerned with your fundamentals (a lot of people applying have very high math GPAs). Your advanced classes will keep you in the running, but you should apply widely (perhaps consider some of the choices of previous poster).
You sound like the type of applicant where letters of recommendation could just about squeeze you in.
Basically, your GPA in advanced math coupled with test scores makes it clear you probably won't flunk out of the program's basic requirements, nor are you scared of trying advanced material. After that, it's often letters.
EDIT: The reason your professor's extra cautiousness about your subject score might be warranted, however, is that it might compensate a little for concern about your GPA.
That being said, when you say apply widely, do you mean apply to more selective or less selective schools or both? I'm pretty unsure of myself as far as what level I am at.
Again, thank you both for your responses!

 Posts: 35
 Joined: Sun Jul 31, 2011 6:54 pm
Re: My chances at acceptance for fall '12
I don't know exactly what he means by that. The noncommutative geometers I have talked to (who admittedly may be biased) seem to think that it is a great field for a young scientist to go into because there are so many unanswered basic questions. For example, there is not even a good way to define functions between spectral triples yet (the noncommutative generalization of Riemannian manifolds)  though there are some candidates.Anyway, I asked him about going into NCG, and he said that it isn't a fertile field at the moment, which is a serious red flag in my mind.(More important of course is that it is fertile in 34 years,)
Maybe he means that noncommutative geometry still needs to prove its worth to mathematicians/physicists in general? I would agree with that to an extent, though I've been told that a large reason for this is because it is such a sophisticated subject that people don't want to put the effort into learning it until it becomes really necessary to advance (especially among physicists). For example, the only rigorous model of the integer quantum hall effect that takes into account all of the relevant physics comes from noncommutative geometry, but it does not really tell you anything new about the quantum hall effect other than models that do not use NCG are obscuring the full picture. And with stuff like applications of NCG to the Standard Model, the masses are wrong. Connes' proposal on how to prove the Riemann hypothesis via NCG has decades of work left to be done, etc.
Re: My chances at acceptance for fall '12
Hmmm... that's interesting. Maybe he meant its too difficult for most people to start out in? I'm not really sure what the meaning of it was. I'll probably learn about it regardless. Right now my major (hypothetical research) interest is in dualities between topological/geometric objects and algebraic objects, of which NCG is arguably based on. Of course algebraic geometry brings in its own dualities, and I believe you see a few in differential geometry/topology(all I know of are Serre Swan theorem and spectral triples really).bemonocled wrote: I don't know exactly what he means by that. The noncommutative geometers I have talked to (who admittedly may be biased) seem to think that it is a great field for a young scientist to go into because there are so many unanswered basic questions. For example, there is not even a good way to define functions between spectral triples yet (the noncommutative generalization of Riemannian manifolds)  though there are some candidates.
Maybe he means that noncommutative geometry still needs to prove its worth to mathematicians/physicists in general? I would agree with that to an extent, though I've been told that a large reason for this is because it is such a sophisticated subject that people don't want to put the effort into learning it until it becomes really necessary to advance (especially among physicists). For example, the only rigorous model of the integer quantum hall effect that takes into account all of the relevant physics comes from noncommutative geometry, but it does not really tell you anything new about the quantum hall effect other than models that do not use NCG are obscuring the full picture. And with stuff like applications of NCG to the Standard Model, the masses are wrong. Connes' proposal on how to prove the Riemann hypothesis via NCG has decades of work left to be done, etc.
Re: My chances at acceptance for fall '12
If you can get above the 80th percentile, a retake might be worthwhile. A few of the top programs, Berkeley among them, are quite explicit that they are looking for math subject scores above the 80th percentile.If you go to my older posts, I definitely overestimated how well I thought I'd do on the GRE, and I'm gonna have to retake it(thats what my professor is suggesting, he says a 74% might hold me back).

 Posts: 35
 Joined: Sun Jul 31, 2011 6:54 pm
Re: My chances at acceptance for fall '12
I am really interested in the same kind of stuff. If you haven't before, you should give the paper A Mad Day's Work library.msri.org/books/sga/from_grothendieck.pdf a read. It gives a birdseye view of a bunch of different perspectives on generalizations of geometry and I'm sure that you would enjoy it.aeginotu wrote:
Hmmm... that's interesting. Maybe he meant its too difficult for most people to start out in? I'm not really sure what the meaning of it was. I'll probably learn about it regardless. Right now my major (hypothetical research) interest is in dualities between topological/geometric objects and algebraic objects, of which NCG is arguably based on. Of course algebraic geometry brings in its own dualities, and I believe you see a few in differential geometry/topology(all I know of are Serre Swan theorem and spectral triples really).
Re: My chances at acceptance for fall '12
That was a really good read! Thanks for linking it to mebemonocled wrote:I am really interested in the same kind of stuff. If you haven't before, you should give the paper A Mad Day's Work library.msri.org/books/sga/from_grothendieck.pdf a read. It gives a birdseye view of a bunch of different perspectives on generalizations of geometry and I'm sure that you would enjoy it.
So, I had a "wat" moment today when I realized that my 2 'for certain' letter writers are both well known in their fields, and were doctorized at Harvard, and a possible third one(who seems to like me so far, I'm in their class) is the same. Maybe I should apply to Harvard? How strict are they about general GPA(as opposed to subject).