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Thread: Maths major

  1. #1 Maths major 
    Forum Ph.D. Heinsbergrelatz's Avatar
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    Ok, i have some doubts regarding my university choice and what i want to do in that university.

    1. What major differences will there be when taking maths major instead of physics major?
    2. I realized alot of universities do not have Pure mathematics for the majors, for example i wanted to go to NUS until just now i was checking out their programs, they didn't have a very strong course in mathematics. They have alot of engineering courses, but not much maths courses. Why(to most universities)?
    3. What are some of the best universities for mathematics( i know cambridge and Oxford, MIT etc... are good) i have a particular university in mind, and its the university of Warwick UK. i checked out their programs, and they have an extensive area for mathematics. Is anyone aware of this University? If so what do you guys think about it?
    4. Also what do you exactly have to take in university to get a major in mathematics, and possibly a Ph.D later on?

    I would appreciate answer that are relevant, the answers to these questions are somewhat important to me, as im heading to Uni. in a few months time, and i need some clarification regarding majoring maths. I am aware we have some experienced members in this forum e.g. Dr.Rocket. If they can help out, i would appreciate alot also.

    thank you


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  3. #2 Re: Maths major 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heinsbergrelatz
    Ok, i have some doubts regarding my university choice and what i want to do in that university.

    1. What major differences will there be when taking maths major instead of physics major?
    2. I realized alot of universities do not have Pure mathematics for the majors, for example i wanted to go to NUS until just now i was checking out their programs, they didn't have a very strong course in mathematics. They have alot of engineering courses, but not much maths courses. Why(to most universities)?
    3. What are some of the best universities for mathematics( i know cambridge and Oxford, MIT etc... are good) i have a particular university in mind, and its the university of Warwick UK. i checked out their programs, and they have an extensive area for mathematics. Is anyone aware of this University? If so what do you guys think about it?
    4. Also what do you exactly have to take in university to get a major in mathematics, and possibly a Ph.D later on?

    I would appreciate answer that are relevant, the answers to these questions are somewhat important to me, as im heading to Uni. in a few months time, and i need some clarification regarding majoring maths. I am aware we have some experienced members in this forum e.g. Dr.Rocket. If they can help out, i would appreciate alot also.

    thank you
    Any decent university will offer a major in mathematics.

    To see exactly what the degree requirements are, look at the catalog or web site for the university.

    The same comments apply to physics.

    I think you will find that U.S. universities specialize somewhat later than do British institutions. Certainly in the U.S. it is not all that unusual to change areas in graduate school-- I did it.

    Math and physics are different majors. Typically physics majors see quite a bit of mathematics, but not necessarily the core classes in real analysis, algebra and topology. Mathematics majors don't necessarily see a lot of physics -- but they can if they want to (at least in U.S, schools).

    Top U.S. schools in mathematics include: Harvard, MIT, UC Berkeley, UCLA, Yale, Princeton, U. of Chicago. There are lots of very good schools with lesser reputations.

    From what I see of Warwick it is a good school, but not as good as Cambridge, Oxford or the U.S schools named above.

    The Ph.D. is more about research and less about course work -- but you need to walk before you run, so don't worry too much about that now.


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  4. #3  
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    Any decent university will offer a major in mathematics.

    To see exactly what the degree requirements are, look at the catalog or web site for the university.

    The same comments apply to physics.

    I think you will find that U.S. universities specialize somewhat later than do British institutions. Certainly in the U.S. it is not all that unusual to change areas in graduate school-- I did it.

    Math and physics are different majors. Typically physics majors see quite a bit of mathematics, but not necessarily the core classes in real analysis, algebra and topology. Mathematics majors don't necessarily see a lot of physics -- but they can if they want to (at least in U.S, schools).

    Top U.S. schools in mathematics include: Harvard, MIT, UC Berkeley, UCLA, Yale, Princeton, U. of Chicago. There are lots of very good schools with lesser reputations.

    From what I see of Warwick it is a good school, but not as good as Cambridge, Oxford or the U.S schools named above.

    The Ph.D. is more about research and less about course work -- but you need to walk before you run, so don't worry too much about that now.
    thanks Dr.Rocket.

    I realize that some universities have something known as MMaths or something like that. What exactly is it? Are you familiar with the National university of Singapore? if so which school has better reputation for maths? Warwick or NUS? I dont know which to choose between Warwick and NUS, already aware of the fact that i do NOT want to go to US.

    The reason why im not going to NUS is that it didn't have the MMaths , in which Warwick does. I did give a little read about Mmaths, and it says its a 4year maths course. Do all universities have this??
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  5. #4  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heinsbergrelatz
    Any decent university will offer a major in mathematics.

    To see exactly what the degree requirements are, look at the catalog or web site for the university.

    The same comments apply to physics.

    I think you will find that U.S. universities specialize somewhat later than do British institutions. Certainly in the U.S. it is not all that unusual to change areas in graduate school-- I did it.

    Math and physics are different majors. Typically physics majors see quite a bit of mathematics, but not necessarily the core classes in real analysis, algebra and topology. Mathematics majors don't necessarily see a lot of physics -- but they can if they want to (at least in U.S, schools).

    Top U.S. schools in mathematics include: Harvard, MIT, UC Berkeley, UCLA, Yale, Princeton, U. of Chicago. There are lots of very good schools with lesser reputations.

    From what I see of Warwick it is a good school, but not as good as Cambridge, Oxford or the U.S schools named above.

    The Ph.D. is more about research and less about course work -- but you need to walk before you run, so don't worry too much about that now.
    thanks Dr.Rocket.

    I realize that some universities have something known as MMaths or something like that. What exactly is it? Are you familiar with the National university of Singapore? if so which school has better reputation for maths? Warwick or NUS? I dont know which to choose between Warwick and NUS, already aware of the fact that i do NOT want to go to US.

    The reason why im not going to NUS is that it didn't have the MMaths , in which Warwick does. I did give a little read about Mmaths, and it says its a 4year maths course. Do all universities have this??
    I have never heard of NUS or MMaths.
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    In the UK most bachelor degrees are three years. An MMath degree is a four year course that results in a master's degree.

    Warwick (pronounced Worrick) is a very nice city, but I don't know anything about its university.
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  7. #6  
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    In the UK most bachelor degrees are three years. An MMath degree is a four year course that results in a master's degree.

    Warwick (pronounced Worrick) is a very nice city, but I don't know anything about its university.
    thanks, but would you clarify the major differences in taking Mmaths degree instead of a 3 year BSc maths degree??

    Oo and Dr.Rocket, are you aware of the Mathematician Christopher Zeeman?
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  8. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heinsbergrelatz
    Oo and Dr.Rocket, are you aware of the Mathematician Christopher Zeeman?
    Yeah. That's the guy who made a splash with so-called "catastrophe theory" based on Reve Thom's work on classification of singularities. Zeeman is at Warwick.

    I am very impressed with Thom.

    I am not impressed with Zeeman.
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  9. #8  
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    Yeah. That's the guy who made a splash with so-called "catastrophe theory" based on Reve Thom's work on classification of singularities. Zeeman is at Warwick.

    I am very impressed with Thom.

    I am not impressed with Zeeman
    Would you consider him as a good mathematician? because according to what i read , he was the founder of the mathematics institute at Warwick + he has won a lot of awards.

    Also what is engulfing theory?
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  10. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heinsbergrelatz
    Yeah. That's the guy who made a splash with so-called "catastrophe theory" based on Reve Thom's work on classification of singularities. Zeeman is at Warwick.

    I am very impressed with Thom.

    I am not impressed with Zeeman
    Would you consider him as a good mathematician? because according to what i read , he was the founder of the mathematics institute at Warwick + he has won a lot of awards.

    Also what is engulfing theory?
    Here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_Zeeman. Make up your own mind. I think this piece is rather kind to Zeeman -- maybe he wrote it.

    He is probably a competent mathematician, but I am not nearly as impressed as whoever wrote the Wiki article. I think "catastrophe theory" is bunk. I don't know anything about piecewise linear topology (rngulfing theory lies there), and since Pereleman's proof of the Poincare Conjecture, don't care -- but that is a matter of taste and personal interest.
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  11. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrRocket
    I think "catastrophe theory" is bunk.
    Why?
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    Quote Originally Posted by salsaonline
    Quote Originally Posted by DrRocket
    I think "catastrophe theory" is bunk.
    Why?
    Perhaps I should be clear. I am not talking about Thom's classification of singularities -- that is rock solid, as is the application to well-defined dynamical systems.

    I am talking about Zeeman's claims to model phenomena such as the flight or fight rresponse with no underlying theoretical basis.

    Zeeman made a splash with that in the 70's, and we thought it a bad joke then. So far as I know it never went anywhere. Thankfully.

    When I "Google" it now, it ssems that the term "catastrophe" theory is being applied to Thom's work, but that is not how I recall it from way back,
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  13. #12  
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    Warwick is a good university.

    With regards to maths and physics degrees. Why not do a joint course? Most Universities that have a strong science faculty will have a Maths and Physics degree, or a Theoretical Physics degree. If you're unsure about focussing fully on maths I'd suggest one of these courses.

    In the case of the Maths and Physics joint degrees, it's usually a case of a 50/50 split between maths and phsyics in the first few years, and in the later years you can change that ratio depending on your interests.

    Also, Id suggest you apply for a masters degree in the UK rather than a BSc. If you find the masters too hard or boring, you can always drop down to the BSc in the final year. Masters degrees in the UK last one year longer than BSc degrees, and cover more topics and to greater depth.

    Wouldn't bother thinking about PhD's at the moment. You haven't been exposed to enough maths or physics to make an informed decision yet.

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  14. #13  
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    Warwick is a good university.

    With regards to maths and physics degrees. Why not do a joint course? Most Universities that have a strong science faculty will have a Maths and Physics degree, or a Theoretical Physics degree. If you're unsure about focussing fully on maths I'd suggest one of these courses.

    In the case of the Maths and Physics joint degrees, it's usually a case of a 50/50 split between maths and phsyics in the first few years, and in the later years you can change that ratio depending on your interests.

    Also, Id suggest you apply for a masters degree in the UK rather than a BSc. If you find the masters too hard or boring, you can always drop down to the BSc in the final year. Masters degrees in the UK last one year longer than BSc degrees, and cover more topics and to greater depth.

    Wouldn't bother thinking about PhD's at the moment. You haven't been exposed to enough maths or physics to make an informed decision yet
    im not really in to Physics, im aware of the fact that physics is some what applied maths. Im going for Pure maths only.

    O yes, i am going for Masters, havenet even thought about going for Bsc. In Warwick, they have alot of mathematics courses, and there is Mathematics (Bsc.) and Mathematics(Mmaths). Turns out this Mmaths thing is sort of like Masters, doing that goes for 4years instead of 3years which is for Bsc. Mmaths stands for master of mathematics, and i dont quite get the difference in Masters and Mmaths. Its like MMaths is in UK only i think.
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    just to get it clear for you...

    The 3 years of a B.Sc Maths course are the same as the first 3 years of the Masters in Maths. In the last year of the M.Math you will most likely mix up a maths dissertation with lectures. An MMath is a masters degree.

    and yeah as DrRocket said don't worry about a Ph.D. until you are well into your course as you need to be exposed to extreme mathematics before you make a lasting choice.

    and to prevent worrying, the material you learn in first year will be a tiny step up from a-level as oppose to the step from senior school to sixth form.

    have a look at this link, its a ranking table of different universities for each course.

    http://www.thecompleteuniversityguid...e.htm?ipg=6643

    If you have any more questions just ask me. (Im a first year physics student)[/url]
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  16. #15  
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    just to get it clear for you...

    The 3 years of a B.Sc Maths course are the same as the first 3 years of the Masters in Maths. In the last year of the M.Math you will most likely mix up a maths dissertation with lectures. An MMath is a masters degree.

    and yeah as DrRocket said don't worry about a Ph.D. until you are well into your course as you need to be exposed to extreme mathematics before you make a lasting choice.

    and to prevent worrying, the material you learn in first year will be a tiny step up from a-level as oppose to the step from senior school to sixth form.

    have a look at this link, its a ranking table of different universities for each course.

    http://www.thecompleteuniversityguid...e.htm?ipg=6643

    If you have any more questions just ask me. (Im a first year physics student)[/url]
    thank you for that clarification. Its much clearer now, Oo and im not taking A-levels, im taking the IB course. Are you familiar with IB?
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    no I'm afraid not, are you wanting to go to university in 2011?

    If so you will probably need to start applying now, a lot of my friends have finished and sent there UCAS Applications.

    Also bare in mind that universities in England will be expensive next year due to the current 'government'.

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  18. #17  
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    no I'm afraid not, are you wanting to go to university in 2011?

    If so you will probably need to start applying now, a lot of my friends have finished and sent there UCAS Applications.

    Also bare in mind that universities in England will be expensive next year due to the current 'government'.
    Actually its around May 2012 so i have to start applying in November 2011. around 1 and a half year left, but in this one and a half year, there is so much things to do with the course im taking. Sometimes i regret taking IB, cause i heard A-level has 4 subjects, whereas IB has 6 and alot more stuff.
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    You are right i fully agree with you

    Quote Originally Posted by Bunbury
    In the UK most bachelor degrees are three years. An MMath degree is a four year course that results in a master's degree.

    Warwick (pronounced Worrick) is a very nice city, but I don't know anything about its university.
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