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Advice for Current Sophomore/Rising Junior

lambotheloserlambotheloser 0 replies1 threads New Member
edited March 26 in Brown University
I'm a rising junior from Mississippi, the suburbs of Jackson. My current dream school is Brown and I want to know what I should do to try to up my chances of getting in as a pure math major.

Good luck to everyone since it is Ivy Day!

Note: At my school, the "advanced" math program means starting Algebra I in grade 8 instead of grade 9. I know that puts me behind literally other math major applying. Also, the earliest AP that you can take is European History in sophomore year (all other APs start junior year) and other than that advanced math, there are no honors classes.

I am a gay, white male from an upper middle class family. Both of my parent's have a masters and both of them started PhD work but stopped bc of burnout.

Freshman Classes:
Geometry +, English I, Intro to Geography/MS Studies, Biology I, French I, Introduction to Engineering Design, Marching Band, Symphonic Band, Graphic Design I

Sophomore Classes:
Algebra II +, English II, AP European History, Chemistry I, French II, Principles of Engineering, Marching Band, Symphonic Band, Driver's Ed, Health (online)

Junior Classes (confirmed):
Advanced Math + Plus (Honors Trig/Precal), AP Lang, APUSH, AP Chem, AP Music Theory, AP Stats, Marching Band, Symphonic Band, Oral Communications

Senior Classes (planned):
AP Calc BC, AP Lit, AP Gov, AP Macro, AP Physics C, Engineering Development & Design, unplanned class (AP CS A?), Marching Band, Symphonic Band, Concert Band (doubled instrument)

ACT: 34 composite (from April 2019 admin, freshman); 35 english, 30 math, 36 reading, 35 science

GPA (unweighted): 4.0
our school doesn't have a weighted gpa
Cumulative Average: 98.96
Class Rank: 11/~470

APs: AP Euro - projected 5 (we'll see with the new online test)
(planned) AP Lang, APUSH, AP Chem AP Theory, AP Stats, AP Calc BC, AP Lit, AP Gov, AP Macro, AP Physics C

ECs:
Band, Boy Scouts, Science Olympiad, Robotics, Church (SALT Leadership Team and A/V Team), GSA, NHS

Leadership: Section Leader and Future Drum Major for Band, OA Rep for Troop in Boy Scouts, Build Captain, future Co-captain for SciOly, Build Leader for Robotics, Member of SALT Leadership Team for 4 years, Founder of GSA at my school

Awards/Accomplishments:
All State Band since freshman year on Bari Sax (unanimous 1st chair), All State on Alto this year (tied for 5th chair)
All State Jazz on Bari both years
All State Lions Band on Bari was International Champion (freshman)
3rd Place SciOly State in Codebusters (freshman)
Team 3rd Place Overall SciOly state (freshman)
1st Place Regionals in Machines (sophomore)
Team 1st Place Overall. SciOly North Regional (sophomore)
2nd Place in State Math Competition (MSMS competition)
Should have Eagle Scout by the end of the year

Volunteer Work: 100+ hours through church in mission and working in Jackson metro area; work at summer camp for kids with special needs in the summer
edited March 26
5 replies
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Replies to: Advice for Current Sophomore/Rising Junior

  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 80870 replies726 threads Senior Member
    I'm a rising junior from Mississippi, the suburbs of Jackson. My current dream school is Brown and I want to know what I should do to try to up my chances of getting in as a pure math major.

    Good luck to everyone since it is Ivy Day!

    Note: At my school, the "advanced" math program means starting Algebra I in grade 8 instead of grade 9. I know that puts me behind literally other math major applying.

    Starting in algebra 1 in 9th grade and completing calculus BC in high school is not "behind" in math (even for math majors). According to http://www.math.brown.edu/~calcplacement/ , Brown expects most students to place into (single variable) calculus, rather than be far advanced beyond it. https://bulletin.brown.edu/the-college/concentrations/math/ indicates that Brown's math department expects math majors to take multivariable calculus and linear algebra (i.e. does not expect them to be advanced beyond that).

    That said, try not to get fixated on a super-selective dream school. What you really want to do is build a list, starting from colleges where you are assured admission and assured affordability where the math department offers sufficient upper level pure math courses (real and complex analysis, abstract algebra and number theory, geometry and topology, logic and set theory, numerical analysis, etc.) to fulfill your desire to study pure math.

    If you are from a self-described "upper middle class" family, be sure to talk to your parents about what they can afford to contribute for your college, and run the net price calculator on each college's web site to get an idea of how much it will cost after financial aid. Many self-described "upper middle class" parents will have a high expected parent contribution at many colleges, but may not actually be able or willing to pay that much.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 80870 replies726 threads Senior Member
    edited March 26
    Also, if you want to continue to PhD study in math, you may want to continue your high school French to a higher level. PhD programs often require reading proficiency in French, German, or Russian, due to many math research papers being written in those languages.

    In addition, more selective undergraduate colleges commonly prefer to see higher level of high school foreign language than year 2. They may also have foreign language graduation requirements that have proficiency requirements significantly higher than high school year 2.
    edited March 26
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 80870 replies726 threads Senior Member
    ucbalumnus wrote: »
    Starting in algebra 1 in 9th grade and completing calculus BC in high school is not "behind" in math (even for math majors).

    Should be 8th instead of 9th grade in this sentence.
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  • alexperez24alexperez24 2 replies0 threads New Member
    There is no full-proof way you can get into any college. It's truly a little bit random in combination with what you did in high school. My biggest advice is to show your personality/passions and create a narrative with your application. Brown in particular really emphasizes students who want to go outside of their major to learn things with their Open Curriculum. So, really there isn't a certain extra curricular or volunteer job that you can get that will get you accepted. You just have to show that your passion (in this case math) is shown through your activities and that you go above and beyond when it comes to your passions. Notice I'm saying passion a lot. I just got into the Brown PLME program yesterday which I was not expecting. But, looking back I showed in my application that in addition to my interest in health care and science, I really cared about community service and music. I had examples in my high school resume that accounted for these three things. This must've shown the admissions officers that I would use Brown's facilities to study science and music while participating in their community. That's what I mean when you have to create a narrative. Good luck in your future endeavors and remember you will end up where you are supposed to be!
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  • blondeboynjblondeboynj 98 replies6 threads Junior Member
    You look on the right track!

    If you need a school that’s more of a “likely” and one with good aid, consider Drexel and Fordham. Both are Northeast and you’d get a lot of merit there.
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