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I am currently working as a research technician in applied math (machine learning) for a European institution that also does some research in pure mathematics. I find some research lines in pure math interesting for a PhD, and I was thinking of contacting the PIs to inquire about PhD positions.

My background is in pure math, but I ended up accepting the job for circumstantial reasons and now I'm afraid that this may be an obstacle to access a PhD in pure math. Will this detour through machine learning deter possible supervisors and put me in an unfavorable position against other candidates? Or, on the contrary, can my research experience (even if it is in a distant field) be still valuable?

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  • Are you limiting your search to Europe?
    – Buffy
    Sep 1 at 14:10
  • @Buffy yes I am Sep 1 at 14:16
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    I'm no help, then, for a formal answer (US based), but as a mathematician, I don't see much obstacle. And there is very little cost in contacting a few people to explore your options. (And, who could turn down someone "named" Grothendieck?)
    – Buffy
    Sep 1 at 14:23
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    @Buffy: And, who could turn down someone "named" Grothendieck? --- Someone with strong ties to the French Ministry of Defense? Sep 1 at 19:09

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