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View Full Version : PhD in Mathematics: Q about language requirements



Random
06-03-2007, 10:40 PM
I was just wondering if anyone has a PhD in Mathematics? I have a few questions regarding most colleges foreign language requierments.

Most colleges that I have looked at require proficiency in 2 of French, Russian, or German. When did you start your forieng language(s)? Is it difficult to pass the examinations? Which language should I take? I am currently in Spanish 4 and would like to take on German but I am wondering if Russian or French would be a better choice.

Long, long ways off but I plan a lot. I am going to be a junior in high school and I am pondering the idea of taking math all the way, and I will probably get a bacholers in computer science, possibly a masters. The language requirments scare me because of how slowly I have been learning Spanish through school.

Thanks. :)

tkhunny
06-04-2007, 09:47 AM
No PhD here, but a few hints, nonetheless,

1) Language is good. Any language.
2) Spanish 4 is a good start, but depending on your location may not be impressive. (Arizona, for example, is a little obvious for Spanish. Quebec may be a little obvious for French.)
3) High School language course work and accomplishment is only vaguely reminiscent of College language course work. "Slow" often is only a matter of immersion.
4) "Proficiency" is hard to define. Ask the specific schools what they mean. "Conversational" in all aspects of life? Able to read besic textbooks? Street survival? Newspaper comprehension?

mathcracker
06-12-2007, 05:36 AM
I was just wondering if anyone has a PhD in Mathematics? I have a few questions regarding most colleges foreign language requierments.

Most colleges that I have looked at require proficiency in 2 of French, Russian, or German. When did you start your forieng language(s)? Is it difficult to pass the examinations? Which language should I take? I am currently in Spanish 4 and would like to take on German but I am wondering if Russian or French would be a better choice.

Long, long ways off but I plan a lot. I am going to be a junior in high school and I am pondering the idea of taking math all the way, and I will probably get a bacholers in computer science, possibly a masters. The language requirments scare me because of how slowly I have been learning Spanish through school.

Thanks. :)

I have a PhD in math, I had to pass two language requirements. Since I speak spanish natively they waived one of them. The other one was french, which was relatively easy because I learned french in school. I just had to translate a paper in french, selected by the Grad advisor (no wonder, a french guy).

If they wouldn't have taken spanish as one of the languages, I would have been in deep troubles, cause the other options were german, chinese and russian, all of them complete foreign to me.

I'd say go for french and spanish.

techn0scho0lbus
07-27-2007, 03:39 PM
Is that true? Do most colleges actually have a foreign language requirement for Phd's in math?
This is the first I've heard about it.

Vertciel
08-18-2007, 06:01 PM
Hello there,

I think that French would be your best choice. It will be extremely easy to learn since you are in Spanish 4 and since French and Spanish are both Romance languages. Compared with English, French will be easier to learn; English is a West Germanic language.

Russian would be more difficult because it uses another alphabet system: Cyrillic. Nevertheless, if you're up for the challenge, why not?

As time decides
09-21-2007, 02:20 PM
Go with Latin, science and latin go hand in hand :)

stapel
09-21-2007, 03:15 PM
Go with Latin, science and latin go hand in hand :)
I'm not aware of any mathematics program which requires Latin for its language component. I've heard of German, Russian, French, etc, languages currently used by mathematicians, but never any dead language.

Please reply with specifics, such as the names of universities where Latin would be helpful. Thank you.

Eliz.