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Kevin Luk. Why Apply to Grad School in Mathematics? Interested in the math courses that you’re taking so far Had a fun time doing research projects (Honours.

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Presentation on theme: "Kevin Luk. Why Apply to Grad School in Mathematics? Interested in the math courses that you’re taking so far Had a fun time doing research projects (Honours."— Presentation transcript:

1 Kevin Luk

2 Why Apply to Grad School in Mathematics? Interested in the math courses that you’re taking so far Had a fun time doing research projects (Honours thesis/NSERC USRA) and wish to pursue mathematical research further Wide applications towards numerous different fields: theoretical physics, biology, actuarial science, finance, engineering, etc.

3 Choosing a Graduate School Look at the department at each prospective school carefully; if you have a strong research interest in mind already, it is important that they have active faculty working in your research interests Think about your personal preferences; do you enjoy working or studying in a large department or do you prefer working in a smaller, close-knit environment?

4 Choosing a Graduate School (cont’d) Lifestyle factors; for example, do you prefer living in a metropolitan environment or do you prefer living in a small college-town atmosphere? Lifestyle factors might be more important than you think as there are chances that you might spend the next 5 years at the school Talk to the faculty/graduate students at the prospective school to see if it is indeed a right fit for you

5 Canadian vs US programs in Mathematics Most Canadian programs start their students off in a MSc program; typically 1-2 years. At US programs, most students start off in a PhD program which is typically completed in 5 years Admission to Canadian programs can depend on the availability of funds/supervisors in your declared research field Admission to US programs tend to consider your overall profile; but having a research interest in your application is still important

6 Canadian vs US programs in Mathematics (continued) Many PhD programs (certainly the top schools) in the US requires the applicant to take both the GRE Math Subject Test and the GRE General Test while Canadian schools have no such requirement Most US programs have earlier deadlines (especially the top schools) sometime around early-mid December while most of the deadlines for Canadian programs are in late January/early February

7 Writing a CV Write it on LaTeX (more professional) Plenty of LaTeX CV templates exist online and very user-friendly Put down all the awards/honours that you have received through your undergraduate career (even those that do not seem related); do not feel the need to be humble here Any talks/publications/conference proceedings deserves a place on your CV

8 Writing a Personal/Research Statement For any graduate program in mathematics, you will need to write some sort of a personal statement or a research statement This is where you can “tailor” your application towards different schools (prepare a draft of this early, and then modify it to each different school) Also a place for you to express yourself; why you want to enroll in School X?, elaborate your background, demonstrate why you are a deserving candidate for School X.

9 Writing a Personal/Research Statement (continued) For a research statement, it is good to tie it in relation to something that you have already done, such as an honours thesis/USRA project, or with upper-level coursework It is important to demonstrate your research interest, but always be cautious if you go overboard Let your references see your personal/research statement; they can testify your research abilities in their letters

10 Reference Letters This is something that is very important, can make or break an application Start thinking about which professors you want to write your letters early (this is actually a decision that you should take seriously) In general, if you are applying to math, it is best if all of your letter writers are active faculty members from the math department

11 Reference Letters (continued) However, the ultimate key is to find which professors truly know you the best (a good choice would be a USRA supervisor, a professor of a course that you well in) Ask the professors what kind of impression do they have of you? Can they honestly write a strong letter for you? Do they believe that you have the capabilities to apply for the schools that you are deciding to apply? It could be (but sometimes not) beneficial to find a letter writer with strong research reputation or well- known in the school that you’re applying to

12 Reference Letters (continued) Give your references all the material necessary (CV, transcripts, personal statements, etc) and at least a month in advance If you’re applying to a large number of different schools, it is your task (rather than the professor) to keep track of all the deadlines for the professor and remind them on a periodical basis (a neat spreadsheet works well here) Don’t freak out if your references are several days late, it will not be what decides if you get accepted or not

13 Transcripts Transcripts can be ordered online (preferable), or in person at the Brock Hall and can be picked up at Brock Hall or mailed to wherever you want(?) Cost around $7.50 each Grades appear on your transcripts as soon as you see your grade on the SSC

14 Contact If you have any questions at all, please do not hesitate to me at: Good Luck!


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