on November 1, 2003
Although the book has been written for prospective graduate
students in mathematics at top universities, I still read it,
to get an idea what such math graduate studies are all about.
And it was quite rewarding, because the author shares all the
information about the educational process, from college to
full professorship, as lucidly as possible. The math scene
described in this book reminds a little of a cult. People
outside the brightest of the brightest, like me, and like
most of humanity, might feel somewhat embarassed. But it was
not written for us. The details of the book are too many
to be represented by examples here, but they cover the whole
range from fincancial aspects, to recommendation letters, to
to whether one should join a mathematical society etc.
A smaller part of the book is even dedicated to mathematics.
It tells first introductorywise then with listings what one
needs to know for the qualifying exams. Overall the book is
really informative and easy too read, almost like a science
fiction. For the intended audience the book seems to be perfect
and for outsiders it's valuable for the insight, as well.
on July 13, 2007
I'm a graduate student in computer science, working on my PhD. If you're looking for a sort of rulebook that contains all the meta-knowledge one needs to know to survive in the scientific game, this is it.
The book includes helpful information to questions you probably wouldn't dare to ask anyone:
"How do i choose a thesis advisor?",
"What if I can't solve my thesis problem?",
"Am I in competition with the other graduate students?",
"What kind of money can I make as a professor?"
There's also lots of information about life after graduation, especially relevant for those of us who want to pursue an academic career.
The book is written in an easy to follow style, and gets straight to the point. You really feel that the author knows what he's talking about.
I highly recommend it to anyone planning a career in a science related to maths.
on June 24, 2008
I graduated a couple years ago with BS in Mathematics and was trying to decide if I should return for my PhD. This book was extremely helpful. It presents a very thorough overview of the PhD process with helpful information regarding thesis advisors (both selecting and working with) and thesis preparation. Material is easy to read (conversational tone) and very specific. Definitely recommend this to anyone considering a graduate program in mathematics.
Also gives extensive information regarding the application of a PhD in academia- such as types of jobs (tenure track, post-doc fellow, etc.), types of colleges and the workload (and pay) to be expected at those colleges.
End of text is an overview of mathematics topics important to the post-bachelors, pre-grad student.
It does not spend time explaining all the different areas of mathematics, so that part you'll need to figure out for yourself. Reading this book will get you excited to talk to your professors about a doctorate program. Good luck!
on May 10, 2011
"Survival Guide" might be a misnomer, because this is less a book of advice and more a description of what the next several years of your life will be like if you choose to pursue a Ph.D. in mathematics. For me, this made the book far more valuable than the "tricks and tips" type book I was expecting. I feel like I actually know what lies ahead for me in much greater detail now than I did with the Career Services basic synopsis. That I want to play with numbers for the rest of my life was never in doubt, but it's good to have a less murky picture of the process now. Of course, I won't fully know how accurate the book's description is for a few years, so we'll see.
on November 8, 2003
He's a great story teller as well as a great mathemtics professor! His style is so charming that I can't stop reading the book. This book is very useful for those who aspire for a career in mathematics. It tells almost everything that you need to know. It's extremely hard to become a mathematician and a mathematics professor, but this book helps making the process smoother. Read it for fun and enjoy it!