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Posts posted by Dan98

  1. !

    Moderator Note



    The people responding to you in this thread are giving you well thought out advice that stems for their own experience in the matter. Is this not what you came here for? Calling someone a jackass for helping you is absolutely inappropriate and will not be tolerated.


    With respect, your attitude here and your stubborn determination to skip undergrad without considering the benefits of not doing so shows that you are not ready for a PhD. I commend you on learning as much as you claim to in so short a time, but please understand that undergrad is not just about memorising content, and not doing one puts you at somewhat of a disadvantage. At the very least, you would do well to take on the words of other members here with more grace and humility than you are currently demonstrating.

    A hundred years from now no one will remember you

  2. Well, short as it is that post clearly demonstrates significant lack in a surprising wide range of areas. I will highlight one thing though. Arete has provided important insight into some aspects of a graduate degree and how it relates to succeed in that endeavor. Considering that being able to derive and utilize information is but a very basic skill (even disregarding the need for social skills for now) it casts severe doubts in the ability of the poster to even succeed in undergrad.

    It is called aspergers. As far as succeeding in undergrad, not sure if you read but I am trying to skip it altogether.

  3. I'm a PI who supervises graduate students, and recently served on a graduate admissions committee.


    In the case of our department, that standard requirement for entry into the program is a minimum undergraduate or master's GPA of 3.0, a minimum GRE quantitative score of 155, and a minimum GRE analytical score of 4.


    If someone does not meet those requirements, it is possible for a PI to grant an exception for a particular student, however they will not receive funding from the program for that student, and thus have to find external funds to both support them, and pay their tuition. As a result, it's a rare occurrence. Applications from qualified students usually outstrip the number of available places, so there would be no reason to take on a student that's going to potentially cost ~$40,000 a year, when you can take a less risky candidate who is supported by the program.


    As a PI, there's several things I look for in a potential student, and I mean this as positive criticism, but I already know from this thread that I would not consider a candidate such as yourself.

    1) A functional lab group requires people who get along. A problematic individual can interfere with the productivity of the whole group and therefore I will overlook someone with good on paper credentials if it looks like they might cause interpersonal problems in the group. If you do not like people, you probably won't fit well into a research lab.

    2) A PhD is a significant undertaking that represents the start of a journey, rather than the end. I generally take on students with some life experience and a clear understanding of why they wish to do a PhD, and what their medium to long term goals are. Someone just out of high school does not have that experience.

    3) I generally consider students who have some research experience, and more often than not, a publication or two under their belt. This is because I have some demonstration that they know what it takes to produce research.


    You might find a PI willing to take you on as a graduate student with no undergraduate degree, sure. It would take a pretty compelling case for me to consider someone straight out of high school, and an exceedingly mature attitude. I have seen it happen once, however that student had published their first peer reviewed paper at 14, and had a solid publication record by the time they graduated high school. Unfortunately, it doesn't sound like you have either the experience or the attitude I would consider acceptable to consider skipping undergraduate studies. Best of luck with whichever path you choose.

    You sound like a jackass that hasn't accomplished anything significant. Good look buried in your own self pity ^^ and who told you I haven't done some research beforehand?

    These reasons just strengthen my resolve that you need to do an undergrad. There is more to a phd than simply doing the math. You will have to communicate with others and work with others. You will also have to teach subjects to undergrads as a phd student. Doing undergrad will get you out of your comfort zone and make you a more rounded person. I think few people on this thread look back at their high school selves and think that he had it all figured out back. Also you cannot under estimate exams. Reading and thinking you understand something is very different to aactually passing exams on it. Again we have all known people who sat exams thinking they knew the material back to front only to fail. This is why we have them. Also I hate to break it to you but on a global scale you're not that special. If you're as smart as you think you are you will be able to go to Harvard, MIT, Oxford, Cambridge. There will be plenty of smart people there who will challenge you and teach you things. Again Imperial NHS has let me work with Oxbridge grads and UCL postgrad has also let me bump shoulders with very smart people. They all say the same thing, at high school they thought they were super smart but when they got to university they were fairly average. I used to think I was super smart but seriously, some exposure in a top university really put things into perspective for me. Also you're undergrad isn't wasted, if you breeze though it use your spare time to prep for post grad, start a buisness or invent something. Really smart people do this all the time in undergrad.


    update: some of my response parrots Arete's must have been writing at the same time.

    On a global scale there are plenty folk as smart as me and smarter. But guess what? Not you :)

  4. I think that'd be a good reason to go to school and get your undergraduate degree. You're going to meet people that have interests similar to yours and be able to work together and exchange ideas, as well as talk with your professors about your ideas and get guidance and help for achieving your goals from people who work or have worked in the fields that you're interested in.

    What makes you think you're in your most productive years?


    "No mathematician should ever allow himself to forget that mathematics, more than any other art or science, is a young man's game." - G. H. Hardy.

  5. I do.

    Now, why not answer the question?

    If you were serious then for the following reasons:

    1. I do not like people

    2. I do not want to waste my most productive years

    3. I have no social skills

    4. I believe technology is in an exponential trend and thus every year counts, for the serious mathematician/computer scientist anyways

    5. I do not like people

    Hi Dan98,


    It's possible and I know of a handful of professionals who did so working today (enumerated somewhere else here on SFN), and personally had some acquaintances who did similar. It is very difficult and universities are reluctant to accept this, unless it's a regarded university where the faculty have strong pull (say, a fields medal winner at Cambridge).


    I would advise you find someone with your interests, ideally also in some administrative position, and apply to their university. I imagine they may be sympathetic to your situation and allow you to test out of most of the degree requirements, letting you finish within a year or two. You should also study for and take the mathematics GRE; it's, at least I know in the US, used to sift through competition in graduate school applications.


    Alternatively, but similar to the first point, you can apply somewhere that tries to make the undergraduate experience research focused rather than course focused. The best place I know for this is the UCSB College of Creative Studies, which lets you study independently under and advisor and get credit accordingly, without requiring sitting a course. I have a friend who goes there who seems to enjoy it; as opposed to normal UCSB students, CCS students can take any course without formal prerequisites. More to the point, they are paired with researchers and practitioners to pursue their interests accordingly. From my understanding, the Worcester Polytechnic Institute is similar to this, but a good bit more structured.


    If you have some more applied interests and have an idea of an actual project (with some industrial/sustainable application), even in AI or complexity theory, then you ought to take a look at the ThielFellowship. They provide two years, $50k a year in funding, and heavy mentorship and connections to help you with your project; the only requirement is that you not hold any higher degree. A few of friends were participants, some who had even pure interests in mathematics and physics.


    If you have had no previous experience with proof-based mathematics, then I have no idea how you got such a good handle in only four months. Congrats if you did so, I wish you luck, but... I am a bit skeptical..




    I ought to add, that there are regularly more than a handful of students who have covered most of the mathematics undergraduate curriculum in high school. Most visibly some of the IMO gold medallists and Intel STS research winners. From the handful that I've known, about all of these people do a typical four year degree. Lots end up going to schools with very strong math departments, say Harvard, and retake some courses that they've studied their freshman year, and spend the rest of their time taking graduate courses. So, you certainly aren't alone, and the usual path taken is a normal undergraduate degree.

    Thank you.

  6. Hi, I am a senior in High school. In only 4 months I have managed to self teach (from paperback books, PDF files and online courses uploaded to various platforms such as youtube)the following during my free time:


    Calculus 1,2,3,

    Differential Equations

    Linear Algebra

    Abstract Algebra

    Discrete Mathematics

    Analysis 1,2

    Calculus of Variations (Optimization Calculus)

    Elementary Number theory

    Concise Introduction to Mathematical Logic


    It is clear to me that I am gifted. I can only imagine once I dedicate myself full time to the study of math. I am not clear what exactly to study. I am interested in Complexity Theory, Number Theory and Artificial Intelligence. I have an extremely good memory. I would say 70% photographic. I am more than happy to hold a Skype session to demonstrate my abilities. I would like to jump straight into a PHD program.


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