MATHEMATICS GRADUATE
STUDENT HANDBOOK
Administration

Stories from graduate students

What students have said attending UCSD…


“I was surprised during the open house to find one of the hosts remembered reading my statement of purpose so this made UCSD seem like a friendly sort of place and that maybe they had put some serious thought into whether or not I would fit in.”


“I liked UCSD because they were paying for tuition, gave me a teaching job and gave me health care. I also liked the location and the number of different faculty working in many different fields.”


“When I visited schools, one of the main questions I asked myself was ‘Do I want to live here for 5 years?’ The answer when I visited UCSD was overwhelmingly yes. There was a sense of community at UCSD amongst the graduate students that I simply did not find at other schools. The students were each others friends and neighbors, not just peers, something that seemed lacking at many other schools I visited. Students also seemed less stressed than at many other schools, and after being here I believe it is in large part to the culture of the department.”


“I chose to come to UCSD primarily because of the location.”


“The main reasons I chose to come to UCSD were (1) the benefit of living in San Diego (weather, lots of great opportunities for outdoor activities, ideally sized city without the problems of LA), (2) the size of the department is ideal (not too small and not too large) and (3) I knew I was interested in algebra and geometry, but did not know which exact area. The department has a wide range of faculty in different areas of algebra and geometry which gave me lots of potential options.”


“UCSD is one of a small number of schools that have a Computational Science specialization within Mathematics.”


“The following are my (ranked) reasons: (1) the UCSD Math. Dept has many good professors in my field of interest, (2) UCSD seemed to care about me. Several professors contacted me (not just the grad. coordinator) to inform me of my application result before I got the official acceptance, and (3) San Diego’s fine weather”


“I wanted to go to a large department, because I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to study.”


“I chose UCSD because because of its strength in discrete mathematics/combinatorics. The other somewhat important reasons were the city, the weather and the family friendly housing located in the Mesa Residential Complex.”


“I came to UCSD because I liked the change of environment (San Diego is much different than Seattle), and the emphasis of the department on algebra-related things”


“I chose UCSD because the students here seemed more laid-back and less stressed-out than at other schools.”


“I chose UCSD because at the time, I was interested in combinatorics and discrete math, and searched for schools whose math departments performed well in those areas of research. However, I also looked at how various other areas of research (like topology) that interested me were represented in the department in case I changed my mind about research. In fact, I ended up looking into algebraic topology, which, if I had ignored in my search, could have caused me trouble in finding professors to work with.
In the end, it was San Diego itself that led me to choose UCSD. I am no stranger to the area, having visited many times as a child, and felt comfortable living here. In addition, I like the weather here. Not too many rainy days, and not too hot. Such factors are important to me, seeing as I could be staying here for about half a decade, and perhaps longer, so I really wanted a school located in a place I would like to live in”.


“Well, aside from the location (beautiful campus and surroundings)…I liked the fact that there was a good variety of faculty specialties, both in pure and applied math, since I didn’t really know what I was going to end up wanting to study. I felt like the department cared, and realized that the students they admitted were coming in with different amounts of background. I never felt like a particularly strong student so I liked this.”


“For many reasons. First: my parents live in San Diego. Second: Its a good school. Third: San Diego is the best place to live in and raise a family! Fourth: The Applied Math group here are well known and I like their research topics.”


“It felt much more relaxed in this department, more open and friendly. The professors and graduate students seemed like they were having more fun, and were a little more like normal people than cooped up intellectuals. San Diego felt like a place where things weren’t going 100 miles an hour all the time.”


“Here are my main reasons in order of importance. (1) The department is strong in my area of interest (Number Theory). (2) The department is strong overall with lots of good faculty in many areas. (3) The student to faculty ratio is very good. (4) San Diego is a nice city which my wife and I wouldn’t mind living in.”


“Probably the first reason why I chose UCSD is due to the Functional Analysis group here. As an undergrad, I had heard good things about the program from various people (professors, students etc.). The qualifying exams, and requirements to advance to candidacy were clearly laid out on the course website. To tell you the truth, the program just felt more organized than some of the other programs that I was looking at. Since being here I do get a sense that the department wants you to succeed. Dr. Lin has set me up with a Real Analysis tutor. Coming into grad school I had thought that you were expected to fend for yourself, but there are safety nets available when you struggle.”