46

Not really an answer to what you asked, but: Look beyond grad school as well. Most math PhDs do not actually stay in academia but end up in industry in one way or another. Nearly every job mathematicians will eventually take on outside academic pure math research will benefit from having computer programming experience. So there may not be an advantage to ...


39

In many parts of pure mathematics you use software to calculate examples that a while ago you could do only with pencil and paper. That's particularly true in combinatorics (my field) and number theory. There is a tradeoff. Sometimes you learn from the slow process that forces you to see what happens at each step - like looking at a program with a debugger. ...


24

In physics culture, most people do not care what inspired you. Telling stories (in the sense of a narrative with a sequence of events) is not a popular activity among physicists. I would not include an inspirational or motivational story in an application for anything relating to physics. Your statement should describe what you want to do (your purpose) ...


24

People who commit crimes need education too (some would say, even more so) It's obviously extremely difficult to speculate on this, particularly without details of the offence, and the policies and culture at your university. In any case, since your department apparently fought for you to remain as a student at the time, logic would dictate that the same ...


18

This is exactly what I did when I applied to grad school. One of my recommenders asked me to create such a sheet, and I shared similar lists with the other recommenders, after checking if they would prefer to have them. It is a good idea, but ask first, particularly if you want them to check a box after submitting each letter. It might otherwise look a bit ...


18

Unfortunately, I suspect the only answer we can give you is "maybe." The admissions committee will have to weigh the seriousness of what happened against the evidence that you've learned from your mistake and are otherwise a strong candidate. Some important factors: Naturally, your application materials, when you address what happened: you will ...


15

NO!!! Telling stories about your childhood will not "grip the reader from the first line on," it will put them to sleep. Possible exception if something truly unusual happened during your childhood (e.g., being hunted by the mob), but chatting with your father's friend does not rise to this level. Moreover, this is a professional document in which ...


14

Ask him to explain himself, and try to reason with him. His behavior sounds unethical and abusive. It is not for him to decide which country you should live in and get your PhD in. Consider getting one of his colleagues or the department chair to talk to him and advocate for you in a diplomatic way, without applying too much pressure. They may be in a better ...


12

I don't see any problem with asking about safety features of a lab in general, so I don't see any problem with asking about the specific approach to handling the pandemic. Obviously, there is an important distinction between questions about how a person handled the pandemic in their private life (which may be invasive) versus questions about how the ...


11

Ask someone else. Anyone you ask to write an LOR is free to decide whether or not to do it for any reason of their choosing or even for no reason at all. But if they don't want to do it, somehow pressuring them into doing it anyway is unlikely to result in a really positive letter that's going to be of any help. Asking someone to write an LOR for you is ...


10

Might they admit me for grad school? Yes, it sounds absolutely possible. Look at it this way: you say you are lucky not to be in prison. Well, if there’s a lesson there, it’s that sometimes you get lucky. If you got lucky once, it could happen again with your grad school application. I suggest that you simply give it a shot. Your academic success clearly ...


10

If it was 5 years ago, you're overthinking the situation. You were probably not even old enough to legally drink by US standards. Young people often do dumb shit and 5 years is long enough for maturity. e.g. My buddy once hacked into the network(he was really talented) of our CS department's main undergrad computer lab and wrote a script that remote-wiped ...


9

Almost all universities require transcripts from all previous programs. It could be considered fraud to omit a transcript. I suggest that you follow the rules but use other things to support your candidacy more positively. Later grades are usually more important than early ones. Letters of recommendation can be important to help the institution make a ...


9

Let me make a (strong) suggestion that you broaden your search to include some schools down to perhaps the 50th ranked university. Don't neglect the ivies, but Stony Brook as a "safety school" is probably too ambitious if you don't want to be utterly disappointed. Let the school you apply to do the conversion and don't worry about it. It is what it ...


9

You can certainly add hyperlinks to your documents. However, when you add a hyperlink to a document like a personal statement or a resume, always assume it is not clicked. Three reasons for this: First of all, perhaps somebody missed the fact that there is a link at all. A blue highlighted word or a symbol might not be clear. If you do it, make sure that it ...


8

It was okay to mention colleagues/relatives/family friends getting you interested in some particular topic during the initial assignment at the university right after high school, at least where I'm at. By the time of writing master's SoP, however, one is expected to know lot more about various areas of modern physics. Writing about "inspirational" ...


8

I see no harm in asking, but since it's unlikely you are the only person they are writing letters for, they may already have their own system and decline to use yours (or forget).


8

It's helpful to get a concise list of the schools a student is applying to and the dates, but putting it into the email request is enough for me. TBH, if the list of schools you're applying to is so long it takes a spreadsheet to keep track of all them, the spreadsheet isn't really a solution to the actual problem. I'm always delighted to write the first ...


8

united-states Applying In the US, a doctoral application is normally made to a specific department at a university. The applicant is normally expected to hold at least a bachelors degree or be close to completion. There are rare exceptions to both of these. An application isn't made to a specific professor, but to a department. Most applicants hold only a ...


7

Maybe, maybe not. Ignoring some of the more obvious expectations such as LaTeX, you might consider becoming familiar with Pari as well as Mathematica programming and Sage/Python. Apart from that the cognitive development that comes from learning both procedural and declarative programming can be fruitful in unexpected ways.


7

I would not exceed 1000 words. Honestly, you should avoid going over one page. 500-750 words is the range I would aim for. An MS in CS is not going to be a program that will be enthralled by lengthy prosaic statements of purpose. As someone who has read many applications, brevity is much preferred. At the very least, a long statement of purpose gets skimmed, ...


7

I think this question is misguided. It turns out that if you want to prove "everything from the ground up", then mathematics is actually exceptionally boring -- because you will never get very far. At least as a student, you have to be able to rely on statements others have proved and for which you may or may not understand the proofs to do ...


7

There is no fix to the issue that works in a time scale of 1.5 months. A typical research paper probably takes 6 months to write, even if most of the results are already there, primarily because (i) it takes time to actually write 15-20 good pages, and (ii) one always realizes in the course of writing that something isn't quite right yet, was correctly ...


6

I doubt you will find such a place. In part because "proof" is somewhat in the eyes of the beholder. But any decent graduate school in the US or elsewhere will serve you well. However, you will find some professors scattered around at those schools that require more from students than the average. There are still some folks around who studied with ...


6

A bare minimum is that you should be able to score well on the Physics GRE. Take a look at past exams and see if you can pass them. Probably you will find it challenging (most physics majors find it challenging). Go through the list of topics and see where you have gaps in your knowledge you need to fill. While the GRE itself is undoubtedly an artificial ...


6

Computers are sometimes used to solve complex mathematical problems because it's impractical for humans to enumerate all the cases and combinations. Famously, the Four Color Theorem was proved using a computer. There's a list of proofs that used computers in this Wikipedia article: Computer-assisted proof And while the eventual proof of Fermat's Last Theorem ...


6

Normally in the US graduate admissions is up to a committee of the department, not to an individual professor. You need to be admitted before such conversations with a professor are meaningful. Perhaps the head of school just meant that it isn't in the professor's power to accept you and you need to apply normally.


6

netherlands Status of PhD Candidates In the Netherlands, there isn't really such a thing as a PhD student. In fact, whenever people talk about students within the Netherlands, this category explicitly includes Bachelor and Master students, but excludes PhDs. In the Netherlands, all PhD 'students' are considered employees of the university, with a full 40-...


6

Germany While such things like graduate colleges (with more... structured programs) exist, the typical way is different. Prerequisites PhD studies (or, actually, a doctorate) in Germany typically takes 3 years. It might take longer, 6 or even 10, but the typical minimal time in terms of required funding and general expectation is 3 years. You need a Master ...


6

This means that you receive mail at this address. In other words, this is your address, not your brother's address (or some such). "Pursue further study" means pursue graduate study in the field you apply for. For example if you're applying for a MSc in Aeronautical engineering, then you are saying that you will not be enrolling in another ...


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