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Are there mathematics seminars to attend in the summer, or do they typically only occur during the academic year? I am referring to American universities.

An idea I had last night was to YouTube some math seminars to see what talks I can watch quickly - talks are about an hour long. I found a good PDEs talk from a Princeton seminar. I hope to find more talks that are available online.

Is this not advisable? These are talks given by experts, and as a lowly master's student, I naturally do not understand about 90% of the mathematics being talked about and written on the chalkboard. I am mainly just trying to get some sense of purpose of, say, studying PDEs, its difficulties, etc.

I am also making progress on a master's thesis, but my gut feeling is that this problem is too narrowly focused and in the end may not help me figure out better my research interests in a PhD program.

What else could I do?

1 Answer 1

If you want to figure out if a PhD in a subject is right for you, get involved in research. PhDs are about doing research, not taking classes or attending lectures. A PhD program is an apprenticeship for becoming a researcher and the only way you'll know if you like it is by gaining experience with research.