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Tini
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PhD advise

March 2nd, 2016, 3:59 pm

Hi all.I am a MSc student who have just received two offers for two different programmes I really like.1) MathSys CDT in the math dep of Warwick2) Financial computing and analytics CDT in computer science dep at UCLBoth of these programme I will work on complexity science and I think in both of them I will be able to enjoy the subjects I will study.Now I was wandering which of these two opportunity will give more chances of getting a job in a top tier hedge found (or IB/consultancy firm) in the case I will be sick of academia after another 4 years in it. I am not sure what I will do in the future so I am asking just to make a decision consciously of all the opportunity of one uni over the other.Thanks in advance for the answers.
 
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Alan
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March 2nd, 2016, 7:23 pm

I looked briefly -- I'd say 2) is by far your best choice. On contacts alone, it looks like 90+% of the students and faculty at 2) are financed-oriented (many good and well-known), while maybe 10% or less of 1) are.
Last edited by Alan on March 1st, 2016, 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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Tini
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March 2nd, 2016, 11:46 pm

About the uni itself? which one is most considered?
 
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Alan
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March 3rd, 2016, 12:33 am

Beats me -- one for the locals.
 
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katastrofa
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March 3rd, 2016, 1:23 pm

I think you should start from finding some info about your potential PhD advisers and consider the more accomplished one.Regarding the place, UCL is huge and praised for their forward social atmosphere and openness (which helps them gain funding and hence go up in rankings), but I've heard negative opinions about their scientific quality from several sources. I think it's a so-called degree factory (I worked with someone with an impressive CV with PhD from UCL/complexity; sadly, in practice it turned out that the declared skills were more of the person's "interests" and they had virtually no ability to learn and acquire new skills -- not that I ever managed to find out whatever skills they had).Warwick has a multidisciplinary team led by accomplished scientists, which can help you develop hard skills that you'll be able to transfer to different areas in the future. I don't think doctoral students in the UK have that much autonomy, but I don't see why you couldn't do research in finance in that group at some stage. If you'll be funded from the EPSRC grant (something about mathematical complexity in real world?), I think it's a particularly good deal.(I don't have any connections with either of the institutions, just my opinions...)
 
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Tini
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PhD advise

March 3rd, 2016, 4:50 pm

I am sure that both programme are quite good and will provide me the tools to procede in quant career in the future. What I am not sure about is which of the two is most regarded by hedge funds or IB banks . Around the web I have found that UCL is slightly over Warwick when it comes to landing a top job but I wanted some opinions from actual quants :)
 
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Anthis
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March 3rd, 2016, 6:56 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: TiniI am sure that both programme are quite good and will provide me the tools to procede in quant career in the future. What I am not sure about is which of the two is most regarded by hedge funds or IB banks . Around the web I have found that UCL is slightly over Warwick when it comes to landing a top job but I wanted some opinions from actual quants :)In a PhD there is more weight on idiosyncratic factors than on systemic factors. Its your work, your research, your publications, your skills, your innovation, your stamina your courage, that will add value. Which uni will award you a piece of glossy paper for the above, is rather irrelevant.A PhD is a journey in uncharted waters, no matter what your supervisors might assure you.Its a marathon, not a sprint. If you think you dont have more than the necessary commitment and the devotion, if you lack the determination to achieve the impossible, if you have inhibitions that you will quit on the first or second obstacle, than just dont waste your time.
 
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Tini
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March 3rd, 2016, 7:22 pm

This is all true but I asked a specific question that you didn't answered to. I know I want to do a PhD and if u want to know I would like to continue into academia after that but after making a choice I just want to know every possible situation and possibilities
 
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Anthis
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March 3rd, 2016, 7:44 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: TiniThis is all true but I asked a specific question that you didn't answered to. I know I want to do a PhD and if u want to know I would like to continue into academia after that but after making a choice I just want to know every possible situation and possibilitiesI commented on the most important aspect, in my humble view. UCL vs Warwick is just a secondary detail, once all other things are OK. The last couple of lines of your original message indicate that probably this is not the case. Plus, Alan and kat already gave you some valuable piece of advice.
Last edited by Anthis on March 2nd, 2016, 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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katastrofa
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March 4th, 2016, 6:51 am

Tini, putting this straight (which should explain to you why nobody gave you the answer you requested), the priority goes to those with PhDs from Ivy League, Oxbridge (and than LSE and Imperial), which are far more prestigious than UCL and Warwick. It applies both to finance and post-docs. People with "worse" CVs can get a top job, but they need to work their way to it.What is more, after computer science you will be categorised as a quant developer material and it will be hard for you to even get an interview for a role you want. You have a chance to be considered for a quant or quant-trader job with a PhD in maths.UCL may make a better impression on recruiters (who have no clue), because it has "London" in its name... Quants are a bit biased towards the prestigious uni names (Oxbridge, etc.), but they will look at your CV in more detail, focusing on your skills, accomplishments (PhD subject, publication list, awards, ...) and they will assess your skills during an interview.
 
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Tini
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March 4th, 2016, 8:27 am

QuoteOriginally posted by: katastrofaTini, putting this straight (which should explain to you why nobody gave you the answer you requested), the priority goes to those with PhDs from Ivy League, Oxbridge (and than LSE and Imperial), which are far more prestigious than UCL and Warwick. It applies both to finance and post-docs. People with "worse" CVs can get a top job, but they need to work their way to it.What is more, after computer science you will be categorised as a quant developer material and it will be hard for you to even get an interview for a role you want. You have a chance to be considered for a quant or quant-trader job with a PhD in maths.UCL may make a better impression on recruiters (who have no clue), because it has "London" in its name... Quants are a bit biased towards the prestigious uni names (Oxbridge, etc.), but they will look at your CV in more detail, focusing on your skills, accomplishments (PhD subject, publication list, awards, ...) and they will assess your skills during an interview.Thanks for the answer.I got a place also at Oxform and Imperial sadly not funded (so impossible to accept for me since I am not from the UK). Looking around I have found that also people from Warwick and UCL are well regarded (at least in the UK).The PhD at UCL will be in the Computer Science dep but the group I will be work with is full of theoretical physicists (like me) and the skills I will use and develop on the project will be the same I will use at Warwick. So do you really think that just the name Computer Science will block the possibility of a quant trader role?However thanks again.
Last edited by Tini on March 3rd, 2016, 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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Cuchulainn
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March 4th, 2016, 8:41 am

My 2 centsTraditionally, CS departments tend to care less about applications. The question is how much practical stuff you will learn.You may end up doing work on your supervisor's pet project. CS and Quant, how much overlap? Apart from the pieces of paper, what skills do you want to have/need when you get out?Just saying. At the end of the day, I suppose a hedge funds is only interested if you can get the job done, not what Michelin star you have? And as Anthis says, you need a lot of stamina to reach the finishing line. You need to know what you are letting yourself into.. Quote complexity science What is that? What can you do with it? To be honest, it does sound like a catch-all phrase meaning all things to all people? Like string theory, quantum computing etc.
Last edited by Cuchulainn on March 3rd, 2016, 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Tini
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March 4th, 2016, 9:10 am

QuoteOriginally posted by: CuchulainnQuote complexity science What is that? What can you do with it? To be honest, it does sound like a catch-all phrase meaning all things to all people? Like string theory, quantum computing etc.basically? taking a system with lots of interacting agents , modelling it and trying to study its emergent properties ( so after mathematical modellin you need to do simulations, data analsis and connected stuff )
 
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Cuchulainn
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March 4th, 2016, 9:15 am

QuoteOriginally posted by: TiniQuoteOriginally posted by: CuchulainnQuote complexity science What is that? What can you do with it? To be honest, it does sound like a catch-all phrase meaning all things to all people? Like string theory, quantum computing etc.basically? taking a system with lots of interacting agents , modelling it and trying to study its emergent properties ( so after mathematical modellin you need to do simulations, data analsis and connected stuff )Fair enough. What is the market? Is it being used in labs, by early adopters? Does it have critical mass? Many technologies have a short half-life. So, how to choose a good one?
Last edited by Cuchulainn on March 3rd, 2016, 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Compatibility means deliberately repeating other people's mistakes."
David Wheeler

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katastrofa
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March 4th, 2016, 9:27 am

Tini, yes, I still think there's a significant risk of that. IMHO, "Computer Science dep full of theoretical physicists" sounds pretty amateurish, but I may be wrong for multiple reasons. I would simply consider different factors if I were to make this choice for myself.
Last edited by katastrofa on March 3rd, 2016, 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.