PhD in Applied Math: Success in Matching Programs?

<p>So I'd like to apply to graduate school for a PhD in applied math for the fall of 2011. The goal of this post is to present a list of graduate schools to which I'm thinking of applying. I would appreciate any feedback regarding how well I've matched the list of qualities I'd like in a department with the programs I list. I would also appreciate any feedback regarding admissions chances (eg, if you think I'm aiming too high, please tell me and list a couple schools as suggested place to look into). My primary goal is to find good matches, not to go to the top-tier or big-name places.</p>

<p>Qualities I'd like in a program/department:
-Teaching component available or required (certification, if possible; Johns Hopkins and Dartmouth seem to be good examples of what I'm talking about)
-Friendly, cooperative atmosphere (with reputation for mentoring, if possible; University of Nebraska-Lincoln and North Carolina State University seem to be good examples of this)
-Individual attention and small class sizes
-Respected program (not necessarily in the top 10 rankings, for example)
-Strong financial support</p>

<p>Possible areas of interest within applied math:
-Applied analysis
-Combinatorics, probability & stochastic processes
-Partial differential equations
-Mathematical modeling
-Mathematical biology
-Scientific computing</p>

<p>Programs/departments to which I currently intend to apply (assume it's the applied math department or that I will pursue applied math as a track or concentration in the regular math department):
-Dartmouth
-Brown
-University of Pennsylvania
-Northwestern
-Johns Hopkins
-University of Nebraska-Lincoln
-Carnegie Mellon
-North Carolina State University
-Rice
-Duke
-University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
-University of Colorado at Boulder
-NYU (probably much too much of a reach)</p>

<p>Now some information about myself (if more is appropriate, please feel free to inquire).</p>

<p>I just finished my junior year at a major research university. My major is mathematics and physics and I have a minor in cognitive science. My GPA is currently a 3.3 and I have yet to take either GRE.</p>

<p>I have 12 mathematics courses (one graduate and only 3 of which are from the standard calculus sequence) under my belt, with at least 3 more planned for next year. By the time I graduate, I will have over 12 physics courses (including at least 3 graduate courses). I believe taking this rather intensive workload (and coming to college vastly underprepared in mathematics) contributed largely to my not-so-stellar GPA. This is important to note because my mathematics GPA, for example, was 4.0 my junior year (two semesters of real analysis and two semesters of research/capstone, along with pass/failing a grad math course I took with a friend out of interest in the subject).</p>

<p>I did research in mathematical biology/mathematical modeling for one year, beginning the summer after my sophomore year. I turned this work into my senior capstone project, which I completed one year early (first student with my major to complete capstone one year early). I intend to submit the work for publication this summer. Part of this research was funded by the NSF and, as a result, I've attended some conferences and workshops.</p>

<p>This is really all the information I suppose is required. If I've missed anything, please feel free to ask me about it. As I said before, my goal is to match myself to programs in terms of realistic admissions projections, interests and departmental environment and values. In advance, thanks very much for any feedback.</p>

<p>Sorry about that giant wall of text. I'm used to a different forum layout when it comes to BB code availability. Allow me to rephrase in a much more succinct way.</p>

<p>How well do the applied mathematics departments at the schools listed below match the qualities listed below?</p>

<p>Qualities I'd like in a program/department:
-Teaching component available or required (certification, if possible; Johns Hopkins and Dartmouth seem to be good examples of what I'm talking about)
-Friendly, cooperative atmosphere (with reputation for mentoring, if possible; University of Nebraska-Lincoln and North Carolina State University seem to be good examples of this)
-Respected program (not necessarily in the top 10 rankings, for example)
-Individual attention and small class sizes
-Strong financial support</p>

<p>Programs/departments:
-Dartmouth
-Brown
-University of Pennsylvania
-Northwestern
-Johns Hopkins
-University of Nebraska-Lincoln
-Carnegie Mellon
-North Carolina State University
-Rice
-Duke
-University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
-University of Colorado at Boulder</p>

<p>Thanks in advance for any feedback or information</p>