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Best schools for Math/Comp Sci with undergrad research

squeakywheelsqueakywheel 31 replies7 threads Junior Member
My son will apply this fall and we need some help paring down his list of colleges.

* He loves math, has been invited to take the USAMO every year of high school, has a 4.0 unweighted with 12 AP classes, 2340 on SAT (math was 800), 800's on SAT Math 2, Physics and Chem, plus a decent amount of volunteering and EC's. Goes to a rigorous, very competitive public high school.
* Probable major is Math and/or Comp Sci, he would like to do both (potentially as double major or major/minor). Has not really decided yet between Applied or Theoretical math. Not very interested in Engineering or Physics.
* He is really enjoying his research internship this summer so he definitely wants that opportunity in college. Almost certainly will continue to PhD at some point.
* Money is not a factor in the decision. Location and atmosphere also not very important, although maybe slightly leaning towards a smaller environment.
* He is an accomplished pianist and would like to keep playing in college, although not necessarily a minor.
* To me it seems like 10 schools is enough to apply to. Or is that not correct?
* I'd like to ensure that there are sufficient match/safety schools on the list just in case.
* US Citizen, no hooks of any other kind, Caucasian

Possible college list below. Any advice you can provide would be greatly appreciated!!

CalTech
UC Berkeley
UCLA
UCSD
Carnegie Mellon
Harvey Mudd
MIT
Univ of Michigan
Princeton
Harvard
Brown
Univ of Chicago
USC
Stanford
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Replies to: Best schools for Math/Comp Sci with undergrad research

  • merc81merc81 10516 replies163 threads Senior Member
    What will be his highest level of math, pre-college?
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  • squeakywheelsqueakywheel 31 replies7 threads Junior Member
    Differential equations will be highest pre-college math class.
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  • merc81merc81 10516 replies163 threads Senior Member
    edited July 2015
    I'd consider substituting one or two of the larger (since he might be leaning towards a smaller environment) OOS(?) publics (but keep UCLA) for his choice among these:

    Cornell
    WUStL
    Penn

    Some LACs with strong math:

    Williams
    Hamilton
    Bowdoin

    Reed has strong math, but no computer science major.

    The research opportunities at these LACs may be greater. Course offerings in applied math may be fewer, however.

    The Colorado School of Mines would be an unconventional choice, but their programs are interesting.

    It's hard to imagine that your son would be denied anywhere, but apparently it happens. The University of Rochester is a fine school that could serve as a safety.
    edited July 2015
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  • merc81merc81 10516 replies163 threads Senior Member
    From your list, I wouldn't remove:

    Harvey Mudd
    MIT
    UCLA
    CMU
    Chicago
    Caltech

    As his research into schools progresses, consider an ED application.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 78600 replies697 threads Senior Member
    edited July 2015
    For a student that advanced in math, checking the course catalogs and schedules to see what advanced math courses are offered and how often would be a good idea. Students that advanced in math often want to take graduate level courses in math, or explore several areas of advanced math, so a smaller math department may not have sufficient offerings for them. Note: some schools' math departments include statistics and/or computer science, while others have these as separate departments. Take note when comparing the number of courses regularly offered.

    Start the list with a safety that he is assured of admission and which offers the academic programs suitable for him. Then he can add any number of other schools to his list.
    edited July 2015
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  • squeakywheelsqueakywheel 31 replies7 threads Junior Member
    Thanks much for the valuable info! Definitely will do. Any other advice out there for "mathy" kids?
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