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confused314
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Hello! I am lucky enough to have been accepted at MIT, and offered a place at Cambridge and unfortunately I cannot attend both.

I do love math but I am not yet sure if I want to pursue a math major at university.
I am sure I do not enjoy anything else as I do enjoy mathematics but still, I feel I would like to have a broader education or a free year to decide about my major later. Is it possible at Cambridge to change your major. I have read that 10% of math majors do change, but is this truly feasible?
I have heart that the math program at cambridge is very rigorous and math oriented and those who graduate end up knowing pretty cool math.
What is the case with MIT, is the program rigorous? Do students get disoriented with all the GIRs?
Also, I know that life at mit and people at mit are open to international students and fun to be around? Has anyone experienced the atmosphere at cambridge? Is it easy to make friends at cambridge?
At MIT you get to do research through UROP, there is no such thing for Cambridge, (I am mistaken?) But, you get to learn how to do math, which might be more important.

If you have anything to add or clarify please do so.
I have to say that I feel like at Home in both places, that I have visited and loved. Also, that I have many friends going to MIT but quite a few at cambridge as well.
Thanks.
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kpatb
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The fact that you say 'Math' as opposed to 'Maths' or 'Mathematics' is a good indicator, so maybe you should choose MIT

As for the MIT course, I'm not sure how it works.
But at cambridge, quite a few mathematics change to a Science course and pursue Physics and Maths in their second year (which is feasible, it's one of the options the university let you take), but for any course in Cambridge, be prepared to live, breath, and eat your subject 24/7.

I'm sure that a course at MIT would be very rigorous also - you have to remember, that the UK and America are very different countries - have you thought about where you might like to live better? Because being in a good living environment could make or break your university experience.

I have heard that the courses at MIT are much more practical, where as courses in Cambridge are very theoretical. This might just be heresay, but that may be something for you to think about - what kind of aspect of Maths do you enjoy the most?

There's bound to be LOADS of information on the websites, so go have a look at which suits you.
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confused314
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I ussually say maths (which is more like the cambridge way, right?)
I have spent a lot of time researching the subjects of both universities. I think that undergrad math courses at MIT are less rigorous than Cambridge's. Also, in Cambridge they kind of allow the students to repeat the material throughout the year and end up with a good understanding of it. But, at MIT, you are allowed to take graduate courses that are very demanding once you complete your major requirements.
I have lived in Boston, at MIT for a summer internship for a month and a half and I loved the student life with the balance between working hard and playing hard, but I have also spent 3 days at Cambridge and was really thrilled by the atmosphere. So, I have no idea where it would be better for me.
I am interested in theoretical mathematics, analysis and number theory at the moment are the most appealing to me, but I would love to study about dynamical systems in university and maybe some applied mathematics as well.

By any chance, do you know or anyone else how Cambridge students see internationals? Are they open to people from other backgrounds?

Thank you for the response!
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kpatb
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(Original post by confused314)
I ussually say maths (which is more like the cambridge way, right?)
I have spent a lot of time researching the subjects of both universities. I think that undergrad math courses at MIT are less rigorous than Cambridge's. Also, in Cambridge they kind of allow the students to repeat the material throughout the year and end up with a good understanding of it. But, at MIT, you are allowed to take graduate courses that are very demanding once you complete your major requirements.
I have lived in Boston, at MIT for a summer internship for a month and a half and I loved the student life with the balance between working hard and playing hard, but I have also spent 3 days at Cambridge and was really thrilled by the atmosphere. So, I have no idea where it would be better for me.
I am interested in theoretical mathematics, analysis and number theory at the moment are the most appealing to me, but I would love to study about dynamical systems in university and maybe some applied mathematics as well.

By any chance, do you know or anyone else how Cambridge students see internationals? Are they open to people from other backgrounds?

Thank you for the response!
No problem, I wish I could help you more! I just dont know enough about the MIT courses though to tell you anymore.

Actually, I AM an international student, and hoping to study at Cambridge in October myself. I think the attitudes in Cambridge are quite open towards international students. The UK is accustomed to having a lot of internationally based residents. Only 10% of undergraduate students are international, but over 50% of postgraduates are international So there are quite a few of us around.
Don't worry about being an international student, it's really not an issue

A few of my friends who are a couple of years older than me are already at Cambridge - they love it there. If you're REALLY into partying, there are only a few clubs around, and outside term time, it can get really quiet. THere's always london to go to though, which just an hour away.

If you want a rigorous Mathematics course, I doubt there's a course in the world that's more rigorous than Cambridge.

Haha yes, I would suppose that at Cambridge people would say maths :P
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alexs2602
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(Original post by kpatb)
No problem, I wish I could help you more! I just dont know enough about the MIT courses though to tell you anymore.

Actually, I AM an international student, and hoping to study at Cambridge in October myself. I think the attitudes in Cambridge are quite open towards international students. The UK is accustomed to having a lot of internationally based residents. Only 10% of undergraduate students are international, but over 50% of postgraduates are international So there are quite a few of us around.
Don't worry about being an international student, it's really not an issue

A few of my friends who are a couple of years older than me are already at Cambridge - they love it there. If you're REALLY into partying, there are only a few clubs around, and outside term time, it can get really quiet. THere's always london to go to though, which just an hour away.

If you want a rigorous Mathematics course, I doubt there's a course in the world that's more rigorous than Cambridge.

Haha yes, I would suppose that at Cambridge people would say maths :P
Other than Harvard perhaps.

Edit: Don't neg rep me. There's a good chance it's true, check the link below. They do the Math 55 course which very few manage to graduate.
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kpatb
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(Original post by alexs2602)
Other than Harvard perhaps.
Perhaps, but then again, I don't know, because I'm at either yet.
There are not many courses more rigorous than Cambridge's - not in the West anyway.
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alexs2602
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(Original post by kpatb)
Perhaps, but then again, I don't know, because I'm at either yet.
There are not many courses more rigorous than Cambridge's - not in the West anyway.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Math_55
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kpatb
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"This is probably the most difficult undergraduate math class in the country."

But then again, I don't know :P
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confused314
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Math 55 is indeed a pretty rigorous course, but it remains a course and not a program and is directed to - at least from what I have heard - extremely brilliant students and has a very small number of attendants. On the other hard Cambridge's programme allows repetition of the material to sink in and focuses on proofs without being all that competitive (course 55 does that as well, but it includes a big part of the syllabus of math majors in just one year). I now mit has two course in terms of calculus that are focusing on proofs, but I have no opinion myself about them and how they are compared to other courses of other unis.
A question I have concerns how easy it is to learn in these institutes, and learn in depth? What scares me is how quickly everything is done at MIT. A friend I have at Cambridge used to tell me about how they repeat the material over the year and they end up understanding the material really welll.
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SimonM
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(Original post by kpatb)
But at cambridge, quite a few mathematics change to a Science course and pursue Physics and Maths in their second year (which is feasible, it's one of the options the university let you take), but for any course in Cambridge, be prepared to live, breath, and eat your subject 24/7.
You've clearly never been to Cambridge.
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confused314
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SimonM, could you elaborate on what you said?
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SimonM
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Yes. Most people at Cambridge don't spend all their time doing their subject. There is a huge amount of sport, music, drinking, etc. going on...
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confused314
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I see This is nice to hear.
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anshul95
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(Original post by confused314)
Hello! I am lucky enough to have been accepted at MIT, and offered a place at Cambridge and unfortunately I cannot attend both.

I do love math but I am not yet sure if I want to pursue a math major at university.
I am sure I do not enjoy anything else as I do enjoy mathematics but still, I feel I would like to have a broader education or a free year to decide about my major later. Is it possible at Cambridge to change your major. I have read that 10% of math majors do change, but is this truly feasible?
I have heart that the math program at cambridge is very rigorous and math oriented and those who graduate end up knowing pretty cool math.
What is the case with MIT, is the program rigorous? Do students get disoriented with all the GIRs?
Also, I know that life at mit and people at mit are open to international students and fun to be around? Has anyone experienced the atmosphere at cambridge? Is it easy to make friends at cambridge?
At MIT you get to do research through UROP, there is no such thing for Cambridge, (I am mistaken?) But, you get to learn how to do math, which might be more important.

If you have anything to add or clarify please do so.
I have to say that I feel like at Home in both places, that I have visited and loved. Also, that I have many friends going to MIT but quite a few at cambridge as well.
Thanks.
just out of curiousity where are you from?
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ForGreatJustice
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At the end of the day, the level of maths you will learn at either place will be similar, they are both top tier universities, and i'd be suprised if the differences were too great. It's just about where you would rather go, in my opinion.
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rY4uGD1fMzBj4xe2
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(Original post by confused314)
Hello! I am lucky enough to have been accepted at MIT, and offered a place at Cambridge and unfortunately I cannot attend both.
orly?
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rY4uGD1fMzBj4xe2
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Also, pretty cool that they're both in Cambridge. Coincidence? I THINK NOT!
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confused314
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Yeap, it's pretty cool that they are both in Cambridge.
It seems I have another question. Does anyone know the access Cambridge students have to conducting research?
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ForGreatJustice
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(Original post by confused314)
Yeap, it's pretty cool that they are both in Cambridge.
It seems I have another question. Does anyone know the access Cambridge students have to conducting research?
Not much, but then, maths is one of those subjects where it isn't really possible to do meaningful research as an undergrad.
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Prisoner Zero
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Both are good. Personally, I would choose Cambridge.
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