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**LuisRodg****Real Member**- Registered: 2007-10-23
- Posts: 322

Hello guys. Even though the discussions carried in this forum dont have anything to do with college etc, im going to make a post about it.

I am currently a freshman at Florida International University (FIU) in Miami doing a Mathematics major with a minor in Computer Science. I LOVE math and am very sure that is what I want to do for Grad school.

I was wondering how good the math department at UM is? I have lived in Miami for practically all my life and that is the reason I am going to FIU because I wanted to stay local and I also want to do the same for grad school therefore the reason for me choosing UM.

So I was wondering how tough is it to enter into UM's Grad school doing a MS/Phd in Mathematics. Also, how much does UM or math departments from any school weight your grades on classes which aren't from your major? For example, I am very confident that I am going to have a 4.0 in my math classes (major GPA) but I suspect I will have a couple C's and B's from other areas but always straight A in math.

Any opinions?

Also, should one go straight to a Phd after your BS or go in order BS -> MS -> Phd?

Thanks.

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**Ricky****Moderator**- Registered: 2005-12-04
- Posts: 3,791

There isn't too much of a difference in going BS to PhD or BS to MS to PhD. In fact, with most schools the only difference is that you call yourself a PhD student. However, you can also work on your thesis early if you are in a PhD program. Many schools only have a PhD program such as Princeton. At these, if you don't attain a PhD you can normally get your masters "on your way out".

You can use phds.org to get statistics on different schools specifically based upon their math program. One of the most important criteria of a school is what their faculty specializes in. At UM, it seems to be very heavily on differential geometry/equations, then topology, and a bit of algebra. To sum it up, it seems to be mostly mathematics that are involved with theoretical physics. No analysis really at all, which I found quite surprising (not bad, just surprising).

One of the most important things to remember is that grad school, especially in a PhD program, is mostly about teaching and researching by yourself. While going to a school with a strong faculty is most certainly a good thing, it isn't really key. As one of my professors put it, "I had a friend who went to a much better school than I. But as far as it comes to research, I'm still kicking his *butt*."

GPA is certainly important. The gist I get is that out of major GPA isn't all too important, but it does show that you can do the work you don't like if you really need to, which is a good characteristic to have.

"In the real world, this would be a problem. But in mathematics, we can just define a place where this problem doesn't exist. So we'll go ahead and do that now..."

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**mikau****Member**- Registered: 2005-08-22
- Posts: 1,504

incidently, what are you persuing, Ricky? A masters?

A logarithm is just a misspelled algorithm.

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**Ricky****Moderator**- Registered: 2005-12-04
- Posts: 3,791

Right now I'm still an undergraduate. I'll hopefully be getting into a PhD program in the next few months.

"In the real world, this would be a problem. But in mathematics, we can just define a place where this problem doesn't exist. So we'll go ahead and do that now..."

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**LuisRodg****Real Member**- Registered: 2007-10-23
- Posts: 322

Thanks Ricky. Even though UM is heavily focuses on the areas you mentioned, I found a professor which is doing research on a topic that would interest me:

Numerical Analysis, Computer Science, Computational Mathematics

What I mean is, even if the majority of the faculty is focuses on something but I find one professor which is doing something different and fits me, then I should be ok?

Thanks for all the info. I still got some years to go.

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