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    if i were u i wud worry bout gettin in to any of these unis, not which is best- u will be lucky to get an offer from oxbridge/or ivy usa unis, so maybe apply and go with which, if any, that u get into
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    I love the sweeping statements made about US education by people who probably haven't even been there, let alone studied at degree level. There are people from terrible universities in developing countries that get into Oxbridge for math postgraduate courses; you're seriously delusional if you think an MIT graduate couldn't hack it.
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    I don't see anyone in this thread claiming that american applicants are of a lower caliber or somehow unable to deal with postgrad work in the UK. It's quite evident from loking at the syllabi of maths courses in the top american and british universities that the british go at a slightly faster pace(at UG level), as we would expect given the differing forms of undergraduate education. Of course, that isn't necessarily going to hold in all cases when we look at the specifics. Regardless, a sufficiently able mathematician isn't going to be constrained by his choice of university
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    Well I can't say I've compared the syllabi, but given that the top US universities usually have a much larger selection of courses, and also that undergraduates can take graduate-level courses in their final years, I have a hard time believing that the Oxbridge courses do actually go much further.
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    (Original post by shady lane)
    I love the sweeping statements made about US education by people who probably haven't even been there, let alone studied at degree level. There are people from terrible universities in developing countries that get into Oxbridge for math postgraduate courses; you're seriously delusional if you think an MIT graduate couldn't hack it.
    Is it? Do you have some examples of people entering PG maths at Oxbridge coming for sub-par unis with sub-par grades? I am pretty interested because that's probably where I want to go after my BSc.
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    (Original post by Spencer.Smith)
    Is it? Do you have some examples of people entering PG maths at Oxbridge coming for sub-par unis with sub-par grades? I am pretty interested because that's probably where I want to go after my BSc.
    Imperial is hardly a sub-par university though.

    Provided you get a reasonable first I see no reason why you couldn't get in to do Part III at Cambridge (or whatever the Oxford equivalent is). (On the other hand, getting a 2.1 or worse would probably prevent you from getting in.)
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    (Original post by fatuous_philomath)
    Imperial is hardly a sub-par university though.

    Provided you get a reasonable first I see no reason why you couldn't get in to do Part III at Cambridge (or whatever the Oxford equivalent is). (On the other hand, getting a 2.1 or worse would probably prevent you from getting in.)
    The thing is that it seems as if it's more difficult getting a first in maths at Imperial than many other unis. First of all, only 58% got a 2.1 or first of graduates 2006 (compared to the norm: 75 - 80%) and to get a first you apparently need to average above 75% instead of the normal 70 % :confused: Would they care about overall marks and not only your final grade?
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    (Original post by shady lane)
    I love the sweeping statements made about US education by people who probably haven't even been there, let alone studied at degree level. There are people from terrible universities in developing countries that get into Oxbridge for math postgraduate courses; you're seriously delusional if you think an MIT graduate couldn't hack it.
    Well, the MIT undergraduate physics programme (and, for that matter, math) doesn't include any quantum field theory, as far as I can see. In contrast, if you do Pt3 at Cambridge you can do two QFT modules, two strings modules, GR and black holes (properly), supersymmetry... such a Pt3 selection very much looks like a grad school, not a u/g, year in the US. Similarly some of the other decent UK unis will have QFT modules.

    As someone else said, this is not to say that MIT graduates don't include some of the very best people. But the point of my post is that a given person can learn more, and create more opportunities for themselves, in 4 years at Cambridge. After 4 years in the US they still have to prove themselves in grad qualifying exams before being able to begin working on a PhD with a top person.
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    At my university, my math major friends were doing grad-level classes their senior year. If you look at the undergrad syllabus you'll be missing the fact that the best students go significantly beyond it, and are encouraged to do so.
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    (Original post by shady lane)
    At my university, my math major friends were doing grad-level classes their senior year. If you look at the undergrad syllabus you'll be missing the fact that the best students go significantly beyond it, and are encouraged to do so.
    But what are the topics that they do?

    I know Caltech is famous for having among (if not) the toughest science curriculum in the US. But for their freshmen all of them need to do 5 courses of physics, 3 of chem and 1/2 of biology. Surely that eats up a lot of time right?

    But I am also surprised that even Biology majors need to do a module in Quantum physics, but of course the depth of the QM module is in doubt (probably introductory). (It is like we also need to do "QM" in A-level physics, albeit very simple ones)
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    (Original post by Rickard.N)
    The thing is that it seems as if it's more difficult getting a first in maths at Imperial than many other unis. First of all, only 58% got a 2.1 or first of graduates 2006 (compared to the norm: 75 - 80%) and to get a first you apparently need to average above 75% instead of the normal 70 % :confused: Would they care about overall marks and not only your final grade?
    I am worried about this.... See how things unflow...

    The Maths dept is under pressure from the faculty to allow more 2.1+ because it is used in league tables. So this is a tug of war between the depts.
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    (Original post by Spencer.Smith)
    I am worried about this.... See how things unflow...

    The Maths dept is under pressure from the faculty to allow more 2.1+ because it is used in league tables. So this is a tug of war between the depts.
    yeah, but I guess that at the end of the day it's probably a good thing. But only if recruiters are aware of these facts.
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    (Original post by Rickard.N)
    yeah, but I guess that at the end of the day it's probably a good thing. But only if recruiters are aware of these facts.
    I strongly doubt it's a good thing and I'm pretty sure employers are not aware of this. When you guys go to Imperial you need to convince the department to give out a similar amount of good honours then other top unis.
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    (Original post by The Orientalist)
    I strongly doubt it's a good thing and I'm pretty sure employers are not aware of this. When you guys go to Imperial you need to convince the department to give out a similar amount of good honours then other top unis.
    Hmm, maybe. Though I'd say that other top unis are giving out too many good honours. But I guess it's easier for Imperial's maths department to change than every other department in the UK. :p: If not, we might be at a disadvantage
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    (Original post by maths-enthusiast)
    Q. what in your view are the strongest maths departments ACADEMICALLY (purely academics, nothing else matters) in the USA? name top 5, 6, 10 or as many as you think deserve special mention.
    Kindly compare them with cambridge UK's maths department.
    In descending order
    Cambridge UK
    Princeton, MIT, Oxford
    Berkeley, Harvard, Chicago, Imperial
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    (Original post by acolyte)
    In descending order
    Cambridge UK
    Princeton, MIT, Oxford
    Berkeley, Harvard, Chicago, Imperial
    Probably throw in Warwick somewhere, don't know about Imperial, maybe not as good as BHC :p:
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    apart from generalebriety, all others have posted sensibly it seems!
    the general consensus seems to be the same as my own "findings", i.e. after having looked at syllabi of cambridge maths ugrad programme and those of ivy league mit caltech's, i find cambridge uk as well as probably imperial, oxford etc a little ahead if not significantly ahead of US top-notch universities' programmes in sheer "academics". otoh, US universities have more resources or more money in general.

    i'd like to know if someone can actually verify that american Postgrads are equal, "better than" or "worse than" british postgrads in Pure maths. same question for applied maths and stats too (if possible).

    what i mean by "better"/"worse" than is simply, the syllabi of the courses/modules will be more "advanced"/"difficult"/"rigorous" than the other.

    so general consensus again is
    UK undergrad maths (academically) > USA undergrad maths (academically)
    GENERALLY
    how about postgrads? or should i start a new thread on that?

    btw it's not meant to offend anyone or boost anyone's ego, or any such trivial pursuits to fulfill one's childish desires. i just want to discuss to find out what others think, know and want to share about the relative standings of these two countries' top universities in academics, sheer academics nothing else.
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    (Original post by acolyte)
    In descending order
    Cambridge UK
    Princeton, MIT, Oxford
    Berkeley, Harvard, Chicago, Imperial
    thanks for your opinion. i may have SOMEWHAT different OPINIONS, but i'll not mention it. as i don't like quibbling over tiny issues, your "pecking order" seems justifiable.
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    (Original post by maths-enthusiast)
    i'd like to know if someone can actually verify that american Postgrads are equal, "better than" or "worse than" british postgrads in Pure maths. same question for applied maths and stats too (if possible).
    I've got a better idea: why not skip some steps, go straight to the point and ask whether american postdoctorates are better at non-linear dynamics and bifurcation theory than UK postdocs. Of course, we all know that the Aussies are rather crap at that, so no need to mention them.

    Don't you realise that your questions are impossible to answer? The age range in this forum is 17-21, nobody knows anything about undergrad maths outside of the country they're studying in (probably much safer to say outside of their own department, and even then...) let alone POSTGRAD maths. I'm not trying to be patronising here (well maybe a little) but you should be getting the point by now!

    Undoubtebly, someone will be answering your rather pointless question. But the reliability of the convictions of such a poster will be close to 0 and probably worth as much as a history student ranking maths departments.
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    The age range in this forum is 17-21, nobody knows anything about undergrad maths outside of the country they're studying in
    Even if they would, it's ridiculous to compare here. What you learn as an undergraduate is up to you and your personal effort. Since there are chances to chose modules, you can't even rationally compare two syllabuses because they're very likely to be individual (So much on: "Cam doesn't cover ..." and "Caltech covers...")
    You would also have to take some outsiders into consideration. In Austria you're very free to choose the content of whole parts of your course and what you consider to be undergraduate studies lasts for 4 years here. Possibly, Viennese students of maths have learned more than someone from Oxbridge, curriculum-wise. That doesn't mean they really know more...

    Ah, I can't explain what I think in English, so I'll just forget about it. Have a nice day and think about other ridiculous question if you like to *gg*
 
 
 
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