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"MFE program profile evaluation" master thread


Active Member
I just done with math sub test last Saturday, waiting for the result now. I'm really curious could it add any value on my application? (of course, I do not know the result yet)

Now I begin to apply for my dream universities, and need some evaluation, pls~~
- Nanjing University (top 5 university in China), Electronic Engineering, specialized in Acoustics
- GPA 85/100(top 5%), math GPA 88/100, GMAT 720/800 (quant 51, verbal 36, AWA 5.0), Toefl 643/677 (paper based)

- Math courses: Limits & Continuous Function
Derivative & Integration
One variable integration
Space Analytic Geometry
Multivariate differential calculus
Multi Integral
Curvilinear & Surface Integral, Field Theory
Series & Improper Integral
Linear Algebra
Differential Equations
Probability Theory & Stochastic Process
Numerical Computation
Operation Research (self study under Prof Shen Zuhe)
- Physics courses:
College Physics (Mechanics, Electrodynamics, Thermodynamics, Optics)
Theoretical Mechanics(Theoretical Mechanics, Electrodynamics, Theoretical Thermodynamics , Quantum Mechanics )
Methods of Mathematical Physics
Fundamentals of Acoustics
Electrical Acoustics
Principle of Noise and Vibration Control
- Signal processing:
Signals and Systems (Linear Invariant System, Foubier Series Representation of Periodic Signals,
The Continuous-time Fourier Transform, The Discrete-time Fourier Transform
Time and Frequency Characterization of Signals and Systems, Sampling
Communication System, The Laplace Transform, The Z-transform, Linear Feedback System)
Digital Signal Processing (AD & DA transformation, Differential Equation & Filtering, Convolution & Filtering
Z transformation, Fourier Transformation and Filter, Digital Signal Frequency Spectrum
FIR Filter, IIR Filter, DFT & FFT, DSP hardware & programming, Sample,
Audio Recognition, Encrypt, Graphic Processing, Wavelet Theory)
Experiments in Modern Electronic Technology (DSP development experiments)
- finance education: studied with business school, learnt corporate finance, accounting
self-studied Baxter's financial calculus, and now studying potforlio management
project experience gained some useful exposure to insurance

- research project : adaptive echo cancellation algorithms. (1) Stochastic Gradient Algorithm (2) Normalized Least Mean Squares Algorithm + Double-Talk detection for both algorithms in matlab optimization

- experienced language/software: matlab, c++, Oracle, Informatica, Unix

- work experience: 1.5 year data warehouse developer in HP global software center,
work on HP supply chain data warehouse system, 2 months Great Insurance Group forcasting system data warehouse implementation, EMEA supplychain data consolidation.

Now my questions:
1. Can Math Sub leaverage my application? Although I know I'm good at math, I wanted to prove it.
2. how to compare different GPA system? ( of course, I'm not sure Nanjing University is VERY famous in US)
3. How big is my chance to be admitted? Or what else should I improve?

PS: I'm looking forward to talk to director Dan on Nov. 20 Baruch MFE chat. Hope all applicants could get ideal results.

Andy Nguyen

Hi Erica,
You should have a good chance with your profile. Getting admission will pretty much depend on other factors, such as the strength of this 2007 incoming students. Aside from the numbers, there are couple of things that matter to the admission committee. Your personal statement, resume, letters of recommendation are all of equal importance.

Two things that you can do to boost your chance: programming and finance. That means C++ and knowledge from Hull book. Even though some of 2006 admitted students are from non-finance background, I believe having read the Hull will help your case greatly. Basic knowledge of C++ may no longer cut it this year. You should be able to hit the ground running in term of C++.

Now to your questions.
1. Can Math Sub leaverage my application? Although I know I'm good at math, I wanted to prove it.
2. how to compare different GPA system? ( of course, I'm not sure Nanjing University is VERY famous in US)
3. How big is my chance to be admitted? Or what else should I improve?
1) It's a big deal if you apply to math PhD program. As long as you have mathematical background that we deem sufficient, it's OK. If you get a good GRE Subject score (it's a big IF), it does not hurt.
2) It's a case-by-case basis. Each situation will be evaluated individually.
3) please see my answer above.


Active Member
Thanks a lot, Andy, do u mean it will be helpful for my admission, if now I study/practise Hull's book?
Acturally I have already studied Baxter's Financial Calculus. Or could you pls recommend some entry-level books?


New Member
My Profile

Hi all,
I want to thank Andy and others for creating such an informative platform for prospective FE students.
I am currently studying at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras and will be applying for Financial Engineering courses this fall.
My profile is as follows

  • >Qualification: Electrical Engineering (Dual Degree : Btech+Mtech)
    >Minor Degree: Financial Management
    >University Name : Indian Institute of Technology, Madras
    >GPA : 8.15/10 Maths GPA : 9.00/10
    >GRE: 1500/1600 (800 Q, 700 V, 4/6 AWA) TOEFL : 283 (4.5 AWA)
    >Internship at University of Erlangen, Germany ( in Statistical Modeling )
    >Publication: 1)International Conference on Computational and Statistical Methods -Accepted, 2) Applied Mathematics Letters- under review. (Worked in the maths department parallel with my semester)
    >Maths Courses : 6 in total (Calculus, Advanced Stochastic Processes, Complex Variables, Differential Eqs, ... ). Besides my elective
    courses in Electrical Engineering have been very maths intensive.
    >Programing: Currently teaching assistant for Computer Programing Lab wherein C++ and SCILAB are the two languages taught. Have used C++ and MATLAB extensively for my projects.
    >Currently studying the application of Information Theory in Finance as a part of my Mtech Thesis.

I would really appreciate if you could evaluate my profile.
I am to understand that there are a few students from IIT in the current batch of Baruch. Any feedback from them would be very valuable.



New Member
Well I would say definitely a very strong profile.... I think most of us from iit really should not have problems with the math and C+ part : in your case specially so..... and you have background in finaice, which i think makes your profile really strong...

Peik Looi

Active Member
I know a mechanical engineer (now a manager) from IIT Madras, who talks like a mathematician. Regardless, it was a pleasure to have known him on a personal level as he is quite an amazing person.

Fear not, your profile is good for any of the MFE programs in the US.

Peik Looi

Active Member
Erica_Wan said:
Thanks a lot, Andy, do u mean it will be helpful for my admission, if now I study/practise Hull's book?
Acturally I have already studied Baxter's Financial Calculus. Or could you pls recommend some entry-level books?

Of course not! It's GREAT if you had gone through Baxter, incidentally a good book for quant interviews. Here is the list from the University of Warwick. Your profile is good for any of the programs in the US. Good luck and it is almost certain that I shall see you in NYC (if you so choose)!

We strongly recommmend you to read at least one of the following texts on Financial Mathematics before you start the MSc

M Baxter and A Rennie Financial Calculus (in particular chapters 1 to 4) Cambridge University Press 1996 ISBN 0521552893
SN Neftci An Introduction to the Mathematics of Financial Derivatives
Academic Press 1996 ISBN 0125153902 (Chapters 2-6)
J. Hull Options, Futures and other Derivative Securities
Prentice Hall International 1989 ISBN 013683394
Brzezniak, Zdzislaw. - Basic stochastic processes :
a course through exercises - London : Springer, 1998. - (Springer undergraduate mathematics series). - 3540761756
The following books are highly recommended by our present MSc students

Bjork 'Arbitrage Theory in Continuous Time'
Joshi 'The Concepts and Practice of Mathematical Finance'
Other recommend books

AK Dixit and RS Pindyck Investment under Uncertainty
Princeton University Press 1994 ISBN 0691034109
B Oksendal Stochastic Differential Equations
Universitext ISBN 3540637206
R Durrett Stochastic Calculus
Cambridge University Press 1996 ISBN 0521552893
D Duffie Dynamic Asset Pricing Theory
Princeton University Press 1996 ISBN 0691021252
JE Ingersoll Theory of Financial Decision Making
Rowan and Littlefield 1987 ISBN 0847673596
D Lamberton and B Lapeyre Introduction to Stochastic Calculus applied to Finance
Chapman and Hall ISBN 0412718006

M. Musiela and M Rutkowski Martingale Methods in Financial Modelling
Springer 1997 ISBN 354061477X
KL Chung and RJ Williams Introduction to Stochastic Integration
Birkhauser 1990 ISBN 0817633863
JM Harrision Brownian Motion and Stochastic Flow systems
Krieger Publishing Company 1990 ISBN 0894644556
I Karatzas and S Shreve Brownian Motion and Stochastic Calculus
Springer GTM 113 ISBN 0387976558
S Karlin and H Taylor A First Course in Stochastic Processes
Academic Press 1975 ISBN 0123985528
S Karlin and H Taylor A Second Course in Stochastic Processes
Academic Press 1981 ISBN 0123986508
J. Hull Options,Futures and other Derivatives
Prentice Hall 1997 ISBN 0131864793
J. Hull Introduction to Futures and Options Markets
Prentice Hall International 1995 ISBN 0131832522
* Don M. Chance An Introduction to Derivatives (Chapters 1,3,4)
Dryden Press ISBN 0030244838



I think your profile is great for this profession. I have a very similar background as yours and I find it very useful to have taken courses in signal processing. Its great that you're spending time on reading up on Finance before you join...that is definitely one area where I felt my background was lacking. Ofcourse, the program helps you through it very well but it always helps to have some idea before hand. Good luck with your applications!!


Active Member
Thank u everyone, Yes, I will try to do more homework.

btw, do u think work experience in big 4 (pwc, dtt, kpmg) could be helpful for future work?

Peik Looi

Active Member
As long as they are related it would be fine, not necessarily crucial. It depends on your scope of work with these financial institutions.

Have a look at the resumes of the MFE students and you will find a mixture. All in all, ask Dan about it.


New Member
how good are my prospects


I am graduate in civil engineering from IIT, India. I am working as a software engineer in a wall street major in India. My undergrad CPI is 6.8/10.0 (i noe its not good aah!! but that why i m writing here). In math courses it is 7.3/10. Particularly I have all types of grades in Maths Btech courses ( As as well as Cs --once i flunged a math course !!). My work ex is around 2 years (so when i apply for MS it will be 3 years work ex). I have certifications like SCJP (Sun Microsystems), OCA (Oracle). I am writing CFA Level - I next year. Will these certifications help me?? Should I take Math Subject GRE ?
I will apply for fall of 2008. I can get decent GRE score (say 1400), that I am confident of. I am sure that I can get ok (not very starry) recos from my Btech profs.
What are my chances at some good school, particularly CMU?
I know its difficult to give any concrete plan with the kind of info i m giving but I would welcome any kind of help in regard to how I should go forward/ juice up my chances further.
P.S :- I am only concerned abt Masters courses. (Financial Engineering, Financial Mathematics etc)


New Member
my prospects

Ok . So what are my chances at baruch ? How can I make it still better? Since i have some time to improve given that I shall be applying for fall of 2008. I asked this question at other forums also and people had given me feedback to go for Math Subject GRE. What is your opinion on that?


Andy Nguyen

Re: my prospects

ahlvarun said:
Ok . So what are my chances at baruch ? How can I make it still better? Since i have some time to improve given that I shall be applying for fall of 2008.
You have time on your side, so obviously, there are lot of things you can do to improve your chance. You will apply for Fall 2008 so whatever requirements we have now for applicants may be outdated in two years. In any case, a solid math background, strong programming skill (C++), basic knowledge of finance will do you good anywhere you plan to apply. Read my previous responses to some prospective students in this forum.
ahlvarun said:
I asked this question at other forums also and people had given me feedback to go for Math Subject GRE. What is your opinion on that?
It's relative. If you get a 800 GRE quant, it would be good enough for any MFE program as far as required quantitative qualification is concerned. If one can't get a 780-800 GRE quant, then forget about the GRE Math subject. Chances are s/he won't get a 800 in GRE Math subject.
Keep in mind that you apply for a Master program in Financial Engineering, not a PhD program in Math. You can spend more time working on your personal statements, get good recommendation letter, prepare for the GRE, get relevant experience (either working or internship).



New Member
Hi..I was hoping if you could help me clear my dilemma!!

I am Gavi from India. I am interested in applying for MSFE for Fall 2007.
I am a BE(Hons.)EEE Graduate from the Birla Institute of Technology & Science(BITS), Pilani, Rajasthan in Northern India. I am currently working in a Top IT firm in Bangalore.BITS Pilani is one of the top institutes in India offering Undergraduate Education. In Engineering it is ranked next to the IIT's. BITS, Pilani follows the MIT UG Curriculum.
I was wondering if our Undergraduate college would have any weightage in the admission procedure. The reason for my confusion is that many students from other colleges which have a relatively easier college curriculum end up securing a much higher CGPA or Percentage as compared to students from IIT or BITS, Pilani. The reason i am mentioning all these points is that, my cgpa is 6.68 /10 and my GRE score is 1380 -( 630 V + 750 Q). I was wondering if I have a chance at securing an admit into Baruch. I know my cgpa may be on the lower side in comparison to an Indian student from another college in India who may have 85%.
But my concern is My cgpa of 6.68/10 from BITS,Pilani and a 85 % from any other colleges is no where close to a comparison in India. I would be really thankful if seniors from Brauch could share their opinion in this regard.
Thanks in advance.


Well-Known Member
Dear gavi16,

If I recall correctly, I had similar anxiety before I was admitted into this program at Baruch. Please have faith in the school's admission procedure, and I can personally assure you that Director Stefanica is very experienced with both domestic and international applicants. Prof. Stefanica looks at everything in your application, not just couple numerical scores. By all means, try to let the program get to know you as a unique individual as much as possible. After you put all your efforts to make the case, the program will surely pick you if you are a good fit for the program and vice versa.

Uncle Max

Well-Known Member
Dear Gavi,

I don't think there is "a chance at securing an admit into Baruch" before you apply and have an interview with program's Director, no matter of which school are you graduated from Oxford, or unknown school from Ukraine (like myself). The admission committee will look at your application as a whole package. Nevertheless, you might want to explain in your admission essay the reason why your grades are not perfect.

Good luck!


Well-Known Member
While you cannot improve your prior GPA you can strengthen your application by having relevant experience, C++ etc. I'm guessing you may already know c++ so try and get some finance knowledge (internship at trading desk?) if it is feasible