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quantstart
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Topic suggestion for P.hD. in mathematics

February 12th, 2013, 10:49 am

QuoteOriginally posted by: DoubleTroubleQuoteOriginally posted by: quantstartQuoteOriginally posted by: DoubleTroubleAt the moment my main choice is Imperial College in London. I have good knowledge about some of the professors at Imperial, since I cited their work in my thesis, and read many of their articles. However, I realize that the competition is extremely high for a position there. My best chance is at my current university since I know every professor, and one of my teachers in functional analysis (i did very very well in that exam ) is the committee for choosing new ph.d. students. Also my thesis supervisor is very well-reputed professor and I hope he has good things to say about me. At least my grade was good, but he is very very reserved with praise (basically, everyone who is not Hörmander is bad. Even himself). Also, what is promising is that they are hiring a new professor in mathematical finance and numerical methods.Again, for full disclosure, I went to Imperial (although not for financial mathematics, for fluid dynamics) and had a great time there. If you can get a place there I would certainly take it. One of my friends is currently studying the MSc in Finance and Risk Management. He is having a great time, besides having to get back into the groove of being a student at 30...!Thank you very much for your answer. I really appreciate it. May I ask some more specific questions about how it is to take you Ph.d in London? How are the environment, working conditions, social benefits, salary etc.? The reason I ask is because I have discussed the idea of pursuing a Ph.d with 3 professors (whom I know well) at my school. Two of them took their Ph.d at Princeton and the other one from MIT. They all say that it was a really bad research environment for Ph.d students. You didn't get your own office, no respect or encouragement from senior researcher. You were basically just a student on scholarship. However, with that said there schools are brilliant in many other ways. They all said that Sweden, Denmark, or Germany is probably the best place in the world to take your Ph.d. from that perspective. It is more like a full time job, with decent salary (no need for scholarships), and all the social benefits that come with a job. I am very much aware that this was some time ago, and that things probably changed since then. I am really interested in hearing about your experience from London.Right now I am sitting here writing a body for my application letter. To my own university I don't need to be extremely formal (in fact, i think they can be putt off by it). Since there are many people that will read the letter I can't address it to a specific person. Usually I write "dead sir or madam" but I feel that it not appropriate to my own school. What is a more neutral way of starting off a application letter?Thank you in advance!My experience was in stark contrast to what you described regarding your professors who attended Princeton and MIT. I was in an (aeronautics) research group that had our own dedicated office. As far as I'm aware, this was the case for all of the aeronautics PhD students. Everybody had a dedicated desk somewhere, even if they were placed in a room with a separate group. Not only that but we had a separate budget (separate to our personal stipend) to purchase computer hardware for our simulations. This was before GPUs had gained wide-spread acceptance within certain research groups, so I had to make use of a dual-core desktop. Although it was pretty sufficient for what I was doing!I had a great deal of encouragement from my supervisor. He was the head of department at then and his time was stretched pretty thin as it was, but he still made a great deal of time for all of his students. Not only that, but I wasn't just carrying out tasks to further his own research. I was working on independent projects separate to the work he was carrying out. Thus I would say that the quality/enjoyment of the program really rests on your relationship with your supervisor. It is imperative to do as much due diligence as possible prior to accepting a place. It can be risky to switch schools, assuming you know your current professors very well.
 
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DoubleTrouble
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Topic suggestion for P.hD. in mathematics

February 12th, 2013, 1:17 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: CuchulainnI think it is better to write 'dear sir or madam' than text in previous post if you want some response from the persons addressed.QuoteOriginally posted by: ppauperindeed, they might take it as a death threatOh my I didn't even realize that I made a typo until now! :')Now Cuchulainn's comment makes such more sense
 
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DoubleTrouble
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Topic suggestion for P.hD. in mathematics

February 12th, 2013, 1:20 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: quantstartQuoteOriginally posted by: DoubleTroubleQuoteOriginally posted by: quantstartQuoteOriginally posted by: DoubleTroubleAt the moment my main choice is Imperial College in London. I have good knowledge about some of the professors at Imperial, since I cited their work in my thesis, and read many of their articles. However, I realize that the competition is extremely high for a position there. My best chance is at my current university since I know every professor, and one of my teachers in functional analysis (i did very very well in that exam ) is the committee for choosing new ph.d. students. Also my thesis supervisor is very well-reputed professor and I hope he has good things to say about me. At least my grade was good, but he is very very reserved with praise (basically, everyone who is not Hörmander is bad. Even himself). Also, what is promising is that they are hiring a new professor in mathematical finance and numerical methods.Again, for full disclosure, I went to Imperial (although not for financial mathematics, for fluid dynamics) and had a great time there. If you can get a place there I would certainly take it. One of my friends is currently studying the MSc in Finance and Risk Management. He is having a great time, besides having to get back into the groove of being a student at 30...!Thank you very much for your answer. I really appreciate it. May I ask some more specific questions about how it is to take you Ph.d in London? How are the environment, working conditions, social benefits, salary etc.? The reason I ask is because I have discussed the idea of pursuing a Ph.d with 3 professors (whom I know well) at my school. Two of them took their Ph.d at Princeton and the other one from MIT. They all say that it was a really bad research environment for Ph.d students. You didn't get your own office, no respect or encouragement from senior researcher. You were basically just a student on scholarship. However, with that said there schools are brilliant in many other ways. They all said that Sweden, Denmark, or Germany is probably the best place in the world to take your Ph.d. from that perspective. It is more like a full time job, with decent salary (no need for scholarships), and all the social benefits that come with a job. I am very much aware that this was some time ago, and that things probably changed since then. I am really interested in hearing about your experience from London.Right now I am sitting here writing a body for my application letter. To my own university I don't need to be extremely formal (in fact, i think they can be putt off by it). Since there are many people that will read the letter I can't address it to a specific person. Usually I write "dead sir or madam" but I feel that it not appropriate to my own school. What is a more neutral way of starting off a application letter?Thank you in advance!My experience was in stark contrast to what you described regarding your professors who attended Princeton and MIT. I was in an (aeronautics) research group that had our own dedicated office. As far as I'm aware, this was the case for all of the aeronautics PhD students. Everybody had a dedicated desk somewhere, even if they were placed in a room with a separate group. Not only that but we had a separate budget (separate to our personal stipend) to purchase computer hardware for our simulations. This was before GPUs had gained wide-spread acceptance within certain research groups, so I had to make use of a dual-core desktop. Although it was pretty sufficient for what I was doing!I had a great deal of encouragement from my supervisor. He was the head of department at then and his time was stretched pretty thin as it was, but he still made a great deal of time for all of his students. Not only that, but I wasn't just carrying out tasks to further his own research. I was working on independent projects separate to the work he was carrying out. Thus I would say that the quality/enjoyment of the program really rests on your relationship with your supervisor. It is imperative to do as much due diligence as possible prior to accepting a place. It can be risky to switch schools, assuming you know your current professors very well.Thank you for you answer, and I am very glad to hear that (not that I really believed otherwise) Imperial is a great place to take your ph.d !Also, thanks for the advice.
 
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DoubleTrouble
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Joined: November 9th, 2010, 9:46 pm

Topic suggestion for P.hD. in mathematics

February 13th, 2013, 10:50 pm

Thank you all for the comments and inputs so far! Now I am about finished with my application letter for the ph.d position at my current university. Please bear in mind that I intentionally left it a bit less formal than I would at another university. English is not my mother tongue so I would be very very grateful if someone would spend a minute and read it through. I know the following about myself: I tend to write a bit to cheesy, and when I'm writing I cannot see this. But when I look back later I sometimes feel a bit eerie about things I've written.Thank you in advanceQuoteDear Sir or Madam,When I began my mathematics studies I had no idea what I signed on for. I had no clear area of interest or ambition, and I had never before needed to work hard to get where I wanted. It took a while for me to realize that in order to keep up with the other students, I needed to develop a solid study technique, and work hard.It was not until I first came in contact with Stochastic Calculus that I realized I finally had found my area of interest. Knowing this, suddenly studying felt effortless; even though I was working hard. I know for sure that stochastic calculus and related concepts is something I can see myself working with in the future. It was application in mathematical finance, in particular, that I found very interesting. The reason for this is because finance involves many other fields in that I enjoy; complex analysis, functional analysis, integration theory, PDE, and numerical methods. When I took a graduate course in mathematical finance I really learned the importance of having solid foundations in all these fields. I am aware that my grades are not overall excellent, but I believe you can clearly see an interest profile towards mathematical finance, and these related subjects. I believe that I am more suitable when it comes to research rather than performing during a short period of time (e.g. an exam). When I have my own problem to pursue, I have a different hunger for problem solving, rather than studying text book problems. This became clearer to me than ever before when I worked on my master?s thesis.In my thesis I studied stochastic models for pricing and hedging derivative securities, as well as numerical algorithms and calibration when implementing the model. These are all parts of finance that I would be interested to learn more about and eventually perhaps find a research project. For the last 4 years I have had the privilege to work as a teaching assistance. My teaching experiences have helped me develop my didactic skills as well as communication and social skills. To me it has also been a very good way to review the first years of my education, when I did not have the right motivation to learn things properly.If my resume doesn?t answer your question, do not hesitate to contact me. Thank you for considering my application.Yours sincerely,DoubleTrouble
 
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Antonio
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Topic suggestion for P.hD. in mathematics

February 14th, 2013, 8:37 am

Dear DoubleTrouble,In Imperial, you get your own desk, sharing a room with other PhD students. The size of the room may vary though.The research environment is very nice: a fairly large group in mathematical finance and stochastic analysis, quite active (research seminars, workshops...). All this should be on the website.One very important thing to consider when you apply is the funding: do you have some? Do you plan to apply for some in particular?What if you cannot get any?Best,
 
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DoubleTrouble
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Joined: November 9th, 2010, 9:46 pm

Topic suggestion for P.hD. in mathematics

February 14th, 2013, 10:26 am

QuoteOriginally posted by: AntonioDear DoubleTrouble,In Imperial, you get your own desk, sharing a room with other PhD students. The size of the room may vary though.The research environment is very nice: a fairly large group in mathematical finance and stochastic analysis, quite active (research seminars, workshops...). All this should be on the website.One very important thing to consider when you apply is the funding: do you have some? Do you plan to apply for some in particular?What if you cannot get any?Best,Hello Antonio,Thank you for providing this information. I have not yet planned anything when it comes to funding. I will start working on my application to Imperial (including funding) next week. I might be back with more questions at that time One thing I have trouble finding on Imperial's homepage is information about the number of ph.d. students a particular professor has. My thesis was centered around professor Brigo's work on option pricing, which I believe is really good. So it would be amazing if (hypothetically) I would be able to have him as my supervisor. Of course there are plenty of other factors to take in consideration when finding a supervisor.Thank you again
 
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barny
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Joined: May 8th, 2007, 6:55 pm

Topic suggestion for P.hD. in mathematics

February 16th, 2013, 4:18 pm

At this stage, you are over analysing to a great degree and getting very far ahead of yourself. Apply to some places, get your offer, and then yo can start to make a decision. Even if you are a good student, you are unlikely to get an offer, so thinking about where you will and won't work right now is pointless except in guiding your applications.
 
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Antonio
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Topic suggestion for P.hD. in mathematics

February 18th, 2013, 8:16 am

I fundamentally agree with barny's statement, even though it does usually help the committee if the student has made some preliminary contact with potential supervisor.DoubleTrouble, you do have the list of PhD students on the webpages, albeit not with their supervisors' names. The first and foremost thing anyway is to apply. The second is to be accepted. The rest will come in due time.Best,
 
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Antonio
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Topic suggestion for P.hD. in mathematics

February 19th, 2013, 10:29 am

Dear DoubleTrouble,As a matter of fact, you can now check how many students each supervisor has: http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/mathfin/peop ... udentsBest,
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