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Thread: Are there any universities in the US to study mathematics?

  1. #1 Are there any universities in the US to study mathematics? 
    Forum Junior anticorncob28's Avatar
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    I am a fifteen year old living in Nebraska, and college is three years away. I LOVE maths and I want to get a PhD in it (well, the highest degree I can). I am currently reading a book about abstract algebra, and I find it very interesting, and I think it will be a good influence. I notice it's much easier to learn from books than it is the internet. One website told me the best college in the US for mathematics is MIT. However, by looking it up, it looks like it's more for science, engineering, and technology, but there isn't much maths. In fact, on the Wikipedia page for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the word "mathematics" only appears four times, and two of those times it's in the sources. Meanwhile, the word "science" appears 89 times, and "technolog..." appears 67 times. Are there any good places for maths?


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    Malignant Pimple shlunka's Avatar
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    Er, are you implying that engineering doesn't require a strong comprehension of mathematics? It's good to be an autodidact to chase specific interests, but in order to get into MIT you'll need a very good academic resume, so be sure you don't make yourself a math savant while being completely oblivious to the basics of other subjects "This is if you want to get into MIT, not so much if you simply love mathematics."


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    Forum Junior anticorncob28's Avatar
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    @shlunka Engineering does require a strong comprehension of mathematics, and you need mathematics to do most of the other stuff there. I do have a good knowledge of other natural sciences, and I'm sure there's mathematical courses there, but it might only be stuff required for physics, engineering, and technology. Pure mathematics might not be plentiful.
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    Univ. of Chicago, Princeton, Yale, Harvard, Cal. Tech. and many others.

    arXiv.org e-Print archive

    Look up math papers in the above and see which institutions have a lot of authors.
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    Life-Size Nanoputian Flick Montana's Avatar
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    Just going to throw MIT out there...
    "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." -Calvin
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  7. #6  
    Forum Junior anticorncob28's Avatar
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    Thanks for your list, mathman. I will look into those.
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    Quote Originally Posted by shlunka View Post
    Er, are you implying that engineering doesn't require a strong comprehension of mathematics?
    Cue up the mathematician, physicist, and engineer jokes ...

    OP, go west. UC Berkeley has one of the best math faculties in the world and the SF Bay area is definitely someplace you'd love spending four years.

    Also by the way, big universities are not always the best choice. The quality of the faculty mostly matters when you're in grad school. As an undergrad at a huge university you might be in a calculus lecture with hundreds of students. Sure you'll be lectured by a world-class mathematician. But the only interaction you'll have will be with your grad student teaching assistant.

    There's a case to be made for spending your first two years at a small, high-quality community college and then transferring to the big U for your upper division work.

    When you get to grad school, that's really when the quality and breadth of the faculty matters.

    But don't forget your personal and social life. Go to the SF Bay area, you'll be happy. Great weather, great culture. Nice campus at UC Berkeley. Yes I'm an alum :-)
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    Forum Junior anticorncob28's Avatar
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    As an undergrad at a huge university you might be in a calculus lecture with hundreds of students.
    A single teacher teaching hundreds of students? How long does it take to grade all the papers and what-not?
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    Quote Originally Posted by anticorncob28 View Post
    As an undergrad at a huge university you might be in a calculus lecture with hundreds of students.
    A single teacher teaching hundreds of students? How long does it take to grade all the papers and what-not?
    That's what the TA's are for!

    TA's are teaching assistants. They're grad students assigned to grade papers and teach smaller homework review sections. They work for peanuts. The great professor delivers the lecture and the TA's do the actual work of teaching. That's how it's done at the big universities. Your first two years at a big U, you'll have very little contact with professors. That's at the big public universities. Maybe the private schools are different, I don't know.
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    Life-Size Nanoputian Flick Montana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhDemon View Post
    Is that an alumnus speaking? Doing your recruitment bit :-P
    I wish I had a degree from MIT.

    IU and Purdue for me.

    I don't know if you want to study pure math, but if you're interested in engineering, Purdue has a very fine program. (NOW I'm doing my recruitment bit)
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  12. #11  
    Forum Junior anticorncob28's Avatar
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    @Flick_Montana I do want to study pure mathematics and it is my #1 subject. I do not think engineering sounds interesting. I do understand that I must pay attention to other subjects with great regard.
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