Profile Evaluation from Mathematics Undergraduate

  • This has become our largest and most active forum because the physics GRE is just one aspect of getting accepted into a graduate physics program.
  • There are applications, personal statements, letters of recommendation, visiting schools, anxiety of waiting for acceptances, deciding between schools, finding out where others are going, etc.

Oriako
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2014 5:01 pm

Profile Evaluation from Mathematics Undergraduate

Postby Oriako » Tue Aug 19, 2014 5:34 pm

I am finishing a mathematics degree and then thinking of applying to Masters in physics programs in the Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany, and Austria.

Undergrad Institution: University of Calgary
Major(s): Pure Mathematics (Honours)
Minor(s): Applied Mathematics
GPA in Major: 3.81
Overall GPA: 3.84
Length of Degree: 4 Years
Position in Class: I've been called the best undergraduate student by various professors due to my research, but my GPA is not the best.
Type of Student: White Male

GRE Scores:
Q: 161
V: 157
W:?
P:?

Research Experience: 7 completed papers (2 published (one of which has 2 citations), 5 in submission), and 5 to be submitted soon enough to appear on my application. 3 Discrete Geometry, 1 Algebraic Geometry, 1 Quantum Information/Coding Theory, 1 Game Theory/Logic, 1 Model Theory/Logic, 1 Proof Theory/Logic, 1 Number Theory, 1 Computational Chemistry, 1 Photovoltaic Systems Engineering, and 1 in Black Hole Physics. I contributed to a chapter and illustrated a geometry research monograph published by the Fields Institute/Springer and have given 22 conference talks around North America (Hartford, Banff, Camrose, Calgary, Moab, Kelowna, Montreal,...).

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Three NSERC USRA Awards (Discrete Geometry, Algebraic Geometry, and Combinatorial Geometry), Various University and Government Scholarships. Won "Best Geometry Talk" at MAA Mathfest 2013.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: 4 Years Tutoring Experience, Four TA positions (Calculus I & II), LaTeX & TikZ Developer for an Accounting Textbook.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Editor of an undergraduate philosophy journal I helped found and 2 years as VP Academic of the Undergraduate Philosophy club. Founded a solar panel engineering company and invented a novel solar panel technology device.

Special Bonus Points: A top Discrete Geometer is a reference letter, and another great reference letter from an algebraic geometer/representation theorist. I have taken 6 graduate classes (theory of incompleteness, modal logic, proof theory, elliptic curves & cryptography, geometric analysis of convex bodies, algebraic topology). Self-studied a huge amount of physics and have many physics/chemistry electives: Statistical Mechanics I & II, Quantum Chemistry, Quantum Mechanics II, Physical Chemistry of Interfaces, Stable and Radioactive Isotope Theory, to name a few.

Applying to Where:

University of Amsterdam - Physics - Condensed Matter/Quantum Information
University of Groningen - Physics - Condensed Matter/Quantum Information
University of Utrecht - Physics - Quantum Gravity
Radboud University Nijmegen - Quantum Gravity
Leiden University - Physics - Condensed Matter/Quantum Information
IST Austria - Mathematics - Geometry
ETH Zurich - Physics - Condensed Matter/Quantum Information
University of Heidelberg - Condensed Matter/Quantum Information

-----------------

I want to know how my application corresponds to the schools I am applying to. Can I apply to better schools? Any suggestions in Europe or Australia?

Yourself
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2014 6:22 pm

Re: Profile Evaluation from Mathematics Undergraduate

Postby Yourself » Sat Sep 06, 2014 6:31 pm

Admission to master's degrees in the Netherlands is not competitive at all for holders of a Dutch Bachelor's degree in the same area (we typically apply to just one school, because acceptance is virutally guaranteed). Almost no Dutch students have publications or other research experience as an undergrad, giving you a great advantage. The only issue I can see is that your education is not strictly in physics; be sure to emphasize and document your self-studying of physics!
Otherwise, you should have no trouble getting into at least the Dutch schools.

Catria
Posts: 353
Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2012 4:14 pm

Re: Profile Evaluation from Mathematics Undergraduate

Postby Catria » Sat Sep 06, 2014 9:51 pm

Yourself wrote:Admission to master's degrees in the Netherlands is not competitive at all for holders of a Dutch Bachelor's degree in the same area (we typically apply to just one school, because acceptance is virutally guaranteed). Almost no Dutch students have publications or other research experience as an undergrad, giving you a great advantage. The only issue I can see is that your education is not strictly in physics; be sure to emphasize and document your self-studying of physics!
Otherwise, you should have no trouble getting into at least the Dutch schools.


Are Dutch masters funded? Is the real competition for funded spots strictly a PhD issue? Or is physics so unpopular (or jobs obtainable with a physics bachelor otherwise abundant) in the Netherlands that there is funding for everyone who wants to go to a Dutch university for graduate school?

Yourself
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2014 6:22 pm

Re: Profile Evaluation from Mathematics Undergraduate

Postby Yourself » Sun Sep 07, 2014 5:39 am

Dutch masters are almost never funded; tuition is typically €15-20k for international students but there may be some external scholarships available.
PhD positions are always funded (and tend to pay more than in the United States), so the competition starts there. The above holds in almost every field, as far as I know.
PhD positions are normally only available after obtaining a Master's degree, but in your case you could try to get in based on your longer degree and significant research experience. Perhaps contact a potential advisor directly for that.




Return to “Prospective Physics Graduate Student Topics”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests