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Math at Stony Brook

just a girljust a girl Registered User Posts: 212 Junior Member
edited June 2009 in SUNY at Stony Brook
According to the Gourman Report, Stony Brook is in the Top 50 Math Grad programs in the U.S. Great! So...what's the undergrad experience like for math majors?

Also, I did read a book about a year ago, in which students complained that profs were hard to understand (because of accents, I think). How true is this? Could it be that these kids were referring to basic math courses? What's it like if you're a math major?

Didn't that Jim Simons guy from Renaissance Technologies teach at Stony Brook awhile back? That's good...isn't it?

Any info is appreciated.
Post edited by just a girl on

Replies to: Math at Stony Brook

  • MgcclMgccl Registered User Posts: 76 Junior Member
    I'm going to stony brook this fall and I do intend to do some intensive math over there.

    First, check sbumathgrad's post, he double majored in math and applied math.
    http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/suny-stony-brook/545919-i-just-graduated-stony-brook.html

    Undergrads can do research and take grad level courses in their junior and senior year.
    I don't expect a college with awesome grad level math fails at undergrad math.

    SBU is known for awesome differential geometry. (7th in the nation, again, grad level)

    and... I looked over some of your post posted else where.
    It raise a question.
    Are you trying to major in math or applied math? Its going to be very different...

    Did you already got accepted by SBU?
    Because if you are not going to a college this fall, then stay tuned. I will be able to share my experience in 6 months(lol, a long time to wait...)
  • just a girljust a girl Registered User Posts: 212 Junior Member
    Wow thanks for the info! And that link to SBUMathgrad's thread is really helpful! I'm still a junior, so I can definitely stick around and hear about your experiences before I apply to Stony Brook.

    SBUMathgrad mentioned CEAS scholarships...what are those? Did you receive scholarships?

    I'm not sure yet whether I want to do math or applied math. I know they're different, but...well, what exactly are they? At what point do they split? Or is it simply the approach to the classes?

    I feel like picking right now between math/applied math is really hard, because it's like asking me what I want to study in grad school and do in the future. Frankly, I don't know! I just love math, haha.

    How do you know which one's right for you?
  • sbuadmissionssbuadmissions College Rep Posts: 1,993 Senior Member
    "CEAS" is the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, which houses the Applied Math program. They offer some specific scholarships to their applicants every year. (Math is in the College of Arts & Sciences.)

    SBUMathGrad's thread does a pretty good job of explaining the difference between theoretical and applied math; it's post #26, on the second page of the thread.

    If you know you want something math-y, then just pick one and go for it. Applied math is a little more restrictive for freshman applicants than regular math is, but other than that, you can always change your mind down the road.

    Chris
  • just a girljust a girl Registered User Posts: 212 Junior Member
    Thanks!

    In what ways is AMS more restrictive for frosh applicants? It appears to be the better route if you don't necessarily want to be a teacher/math prof. I definitely want grad school school too, but I'm not sure yet if I want to study pure math or...something else entirely. Would you recommend AMS for me?
  • sbuadmissionssbuadmissions College Rep Posts: 1,993 Senior Member
    I wouldn't necessarily recommend anything without talking to you further, but I'd suggest talking with someone from the department. (Shoot me an e-mail or something and I'll hook you up with an advisor.)

    AMS is more restrictive in that they prefer calc in high school, where regular math has no such specific restriction. There's also a minimum SAT... this year, I think it was 1200 (at least 600 math), but I could be off a bit. It's somewhere in that range. Again, regular math doesn't have that specific restriction.

    Chris
  • MgcclMgccl Registered User Posts: 76 Junior Member
    Currently I don't have any scholarships, because I'm still not in school yet.

    Like sbuadmissions said, SBUMathgrad did pretty well explaining AMS.
    If you want to know what AMS is like, take AP stat course in high school, at least that's the only applied math course in my school. So that also means, every other math course you took in high school is pure math.
    AMS is considered engineering major, MAT is considered science major, that is going to make a whole lot of difference because many things in MAT have minimal real world applications.

    At what point do they split?
    From the start of your freshman year. The calculus+linear algebra courses are different in those departments,the materials are the same, only the approaches are different.
    After the freshman year, AMS will go into probability, statistics, mathematical modeling.
    In MAT, it goes into real analysis, complex analysis, abstract algebra, number theory, topology and such...

    A great way to see if you like AMS or MAT better is look at what kind of problem they solve. A example:

    For AMS:
    Two alternative designs are submitted for a land module to enable the transport of astronauts to the surface of mars...long text with 2 diagrams illustrating the modules... Which design would you recommend to NASA? What assumptions are required? Are the assumptions reasonable?

    or you can check actuarial examinations, most probability problems you learn to solve in AMS.

    For MAT:
    [url=http://****/View?id=ajbrwznrt9q7_56crj3mqc5]QUESTIONS[/url]
    this is a part of a problem set for people taking discrete math.(ironically, the course most close to discrete math in SBU is an AMS course)

    btw a comic
    Abstruse Goose Pure Mathematics
  • just a girljust a girl Registered User Posts: 212 Junior Member
    Mgccl: High school courses are pure math?! I don't know what high school you went to, nor do I know all the specifics of college-level pure math...but doesn't it involve a TON of proofs? This year in calc, the teacher would show us the proof of a theorem...but we would never have to re-create it. The only real proofs I did were in geometry...but those don't really count.

    Major topics of AP Calc AB are motion problems, related rates, and volume of solids of revolution. I won't take BC until next year, but I think vectors are a big part of that. How are those not applied?

    Some mathematicians don't consider statistics to be part of mathematics at all--rather, it's its own subject.

    Also, do you know approximately how many math/applied math majors there are at SBU?
  • locknlockn Registered User Posts: 3,033 Senior Member
    Mgccl: High school courses are pure math?! I don't know what high school you went to, nor do I know all the specifics of college-level pure math...but doesn't it involve a TON of proofs? This year in calc, the teacher would show us the proof of a theorem...but we would never have to re-create it. The only real proofs I did were in geometry...but those don't really count.
    Well, simple stuff like algebra would be considered "pure" math.
  • pitbulls3pitbulls3 Registered User Posts: 82 Junior Member
    I just graduated a community college's honor's program this May with an associate's degree. I am starting SB in the fall and wanted to know if I needed to take any more math classes for my BA degree. I am going to orientation June 23rd and I will find out there for sure, but I am curious now and was wondering if anybody could help me. I went for the math placement test already and didn't do that well, but math is not my thing and I am an English major and if I can get away with not taking another math class I would be just fine with that!!! I have taken and passed for my associate's degree statistics, a 4 credit math problem solving course and a math reasoning course. Will I need to take calculus at some point? Thanks!
  • MgcclMgccl Registered User Posts: 76 Junior Member
    Major topics of AP Calc AB are motion problems, related rates, and volume of solids of revolution. I won't take BC until next year, but I think vectors are a big part of that. How are those not applied?
    I can see how you can say these are applied math...
    I think these are just learning the techniques of most basic math, so I believe it is pure math. Like arithmetic. no one use statistics to solve real math problems...

    I don't know how many are people math or applied math, these are some hard to find data.
    currently, i know at least 4 people going there for math, 0 for applied math. Clearly my data doesn't show anything, since most freshman don't know the difference between those two majors.
  • inno89inno89 Registered User Posts: 48 Junior Member
    From what I've observed, AMS is more of a side 2nd major rather than a primary major. Engineers and computer science majors (one's in the engineering and applied science) have AMS as a complement major to their main studies. Math seems to be a primary major, since most students are bound for graduate studies and pile on exclusively math classes.

    As a sidenote, two of my friends joke about how AMS is "not real math", lol.
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