"MFE program profile evaluation" master thread

Sanket Patel

i do stuff
Pravit,

Studying economics at an undergraduate level generally doesn't require calculus. Most programs, though, usually do offer usually calculus based economics classes - ones such as game theory, mathematical economics, and experimental economics. But those classes are generally optional, as they are primarily electives. Even then, much of the necessary calculus is self contained and is taught in the class. IMO, you can't truly learn economics without calculus and linear algebra.

That was my experience with economics at Florida State University - others schools though may take a more rigorous approach.
 

Sanket Patel

i do stuff
ChristopherPeters,

Work through the practice GRE Subject Math test - granted some of the stuff is of no use in FE ( abstract algebra, complex analysis, graph thory, point-set topology, etc) - but it might serve 'reality check'

If you score at or above the 80%, you should be in good standing. Although, working through and studying Dr. Stefanica's, as Dominic pointed out, would also be a good check.
 
Hey ChristopherPeters,

I was in a similar spot as you. I started in econ and ended up staying a fifth year of undergrad to study more math, but I had taken a bit more math than it sounds like you have. It's a LONG stretch (the five year undergrad) but you're making a great choice. Even if you never end up going on to the MFE, the math background will make your econ major stand out more (relative to other econ students).

I'm just wondering whether you will be able to study PDE's with the time you have left. You might want to take a summer course in calc II, so that you can take Calc III (partials, multiple integrals, greens, stokers, line integrals, surface integrals, etc...) and ODEs first semester, then PDEs in the Spring of 2009. This is how it was at my school, it may be different at yours. But to me, I don't see how one could study PDEs without at least 3 semesters of calc (some schools do to advanced calc 4), a course in ODEs, and one in linear algebra. But if you get the summer Calc II out of the way, it should all go well.

Well done on GRE and with the C++ courses too.
 
Right now, I only have Calc I under my belt.


I'm sorry my friend. If you only have taken just Calc I by now, you are screwed. This is straight from the mouth of a genius (and also the smartest person on this board). If you had the intellect and fortitude to become a Quant, you would have already taken every single Math course your school offers by now. The fact that you never had the inclination to do so is proof that you are just not smart/curious enough to become a Quant.
 

MidasCFA

Rutgers MSMF Quantneter
I'm sorry my friend. If you only have taken just Calc I by now, you are screwed. This is straight from the mouth of a genius (and also the smartest person on this board). If you had the intellect and fortitude to become a Quant, you would have already taken every single Math course your school offers by now. The fact that you never had the inclination to do so is proof that you are just not smart/curious enough to become a Quant.
whoa, whoa, whoa......dude, why you still got such hard feelings? People are entitled to their own opinions and you don't have to agree with everyone you meet. But as Andy pointed out, it doesn't mean you shouldn't treat people in a civilized and courteous manner. In a financial world where connections matter first and foremost for job prospects and how you fare, I don't think you are making a wise choice by making ennemies with people from this forum. These are people you will have to deal with eventually as you make your transition from your overproonged undergrad education to the real world.

Just suck it up and move on. I know its hard having people tell you that they are not impressed by your resume, but its only because you did poorly in those years. You are much better off trying to turn the constructive criticism into extra motivations to work hard in the future than to continue to diss people for what turns out to be perfectly reasonable and honest evaluation. People may be overly honest, to the extent that they even sound harsh and gruff at times. But, at least they are not lying to you, which would be so much worse. I myself would rather have someone tell me off so I can be pushed harder and improve faster than to have them kiss my ass and play emporor's clothes game with me.

Appreciate the fact that these busy professionals/upperclassmen, despite their hectic schedules and diverse other life pursuits, are still willing to go out of their way and bend over backward to help us. And try to give something back in return to show your integrity and gratitude.
 
Thanks for the advice all. I LTCM, I will actually be able to take a course on PDEs before I graduate, but it won't be till the Spring. I'm thinking that applying this Fall is somewhat out of the question, because I won't have taken that course.

I want to appear as strong on math as possible when I apply, and I really fear that the admissions departments at Baruch and the like will want to see my grade in that class given I'll only have Calc I and Calc II grades actually on my transcript by December.

What do you think? Go for it or wait a year and apply?
 
What do you think? Go for it or wait a year and apply?

There's no harm in applying. If you don't get in, wait a year but take a few more classes on your own to strenghthen your candidacy. Then re-apply. I'm not on an admissions board but I'd think they'd like to see a rejected candidate work hard to improve. It shows they have dedication, focus, and are willing to work hard.
 
Francis is being sarcastic right? If you have only taken Calc I then, yes, you need more. But you are young. Maybe you figured out that Quant is what you want to do only recently. Undergraduate college is for discovering more about yourself, being exposed to various life options, blah blah. When I was at UCLA, I was going to be a filmmaker. I ended up getting a degree in Economics. Now, I'm about done with my MFE.

Mr. Christopher Peters, take some math courses (too late to apply for fall anyway now right?) Take graduate level courses if you can. Read Dan's book. Apply for 2009 if this is still what you want to do by then.
 
Francis is being sarcastic right? If you have only taken Calc I then, yes, you need more. But you are young. Maybe you figured out that Quant is what you want to do only recently. Undergraduate college is for discovering more about yourself, being exposed to various life options, blah blah. When I was at UCLA, I was going to be a filmmaker. I ended up getting a degree in Economics. Now, I'm about done with my MFE.

Mr. Christopher Peters, take some math courses (too late to apply for fall anyway now right?) Take graduate level courses if you can. Read Dan's book. Apply for 2009 if this is still what you want to do by then.


I don't know how someone who drifted so aimlessly in undergrad was able to complete such a difficult course of study let alone getting into such a competitive program. But you still have much trouble ahead, as the headhunters you meet will question your lack of focus and may lead you to a job that's not even worthwhile for a MFE degree.


Yes, I'm being sarcastic.

btw you kinda look like Kevin Spacey in your av.


Thanks for the advice all. I LTCM, I will actually be able to take a course on PDEs before I graduate, but it won't be till the Spring. I'm thinking that applying this Fall is somewhat out of the question, because I won't have taken that course.

I want to appear as strong on math as possible when I apply, and I really fear that the admissions departments at Baruch and the like will want to see my grade in that class given I'll only have Calc I and Calc II grades actually on my transcript by December.

What do you think? Go for it or wait a year and apply?


I'm just curious how you can take PDE so soon when you just have Calc I. What are the prereq's for that course? What other courses will you have taken before you take PDE? In my school you need to take Calc I, II, III, IV (Elementary DE) before taking the course.



whoa, whoa, whoa......dude, why you still got such hard feelings? People are entitled to their own opinions and you don't have to agree with everyone you meet. But as Andy pointed out, it doesn't mean you shouldn't treat people in a civilized and courteous manner. In a financial world where connections matter first and foremost for job prospects and how you fare, I don't think you are making a wise choice by making ennemies with people from this forum. These are people you will have to deal with eventually as you make your transition from your overproonged undergrad education to the real world.

Just suck it up and move on. I know its hard having people tell you that they are not impressed by your resume, but its only because you did poorly in those years. You are much better off trying to turn the constructive criticism into extra motivations to work hard in the future than to continue to diss people for what turns out to be perfectly reasonable and honest evaluation. People may be overly honest, to the extent that they even sound harsh and gruff at times. But, at least they are not lying to you, which would be so much worse. I myself would rather have someone tell me off so I can be pushed harder and improve faster than to have them kiss my *** and play emporor's clothes game with me.

Appreciate the fact that these busy professionals/upperclassmen, despite their hectic schedules and diverse other life pursuits, are still willing to go out of their way and bend over backward to help us. And try to give something back in return to show your integrity and gratitude.


Relax dude, I'm just messing around.
 
Calc III and IV

I took Calc I this Spring, I'm taking Calc II this Summer, and I will be taking Calc III and Elementary DE and Linear Algebra combined in the Fall. In the Spring (2009) I will be taking Probability, DE, and PDE.

If I apply soon, it'll be in December-January for the Fall 2009 school year.

I think I'm going to take the advice to apply, if I don't get accepted, work hard and apply again the next year because it seems I'll be covering my bases.


My only remaining question is: I will have 3 good letters of recommendation from Econ professors, but I understand that having one (or some) from math profs. is preferable (but will be much harder for me to do)....do you think I'll be fine with 3 letters from econ. profs?
 

Sanket Patel

i do stuff
You might be able to get by with letters from Econ professors, but ideally you should have at least 1 by a math professor with whom you took an 'upper division' course. Having a math prof write one of the letters should help alleviate any concerns the admissions committee have regarding your mathematical abilities.
 

doug reich

Some guy
My only remaining question is: I will have 3 good letters of recommendation from Econ professors, but I understand that having one (or some) from math profs. is preferable (but will be much harder for me to do)....do you think I'll be fine with 3 letters from econ. profs?

The helpful advice my coworker gave me when I was applying to programs is... read the applications. (I don't mean that facetiously.) Go and look at what the questions are for the recommendations. There are questions on "how good is this person's mathematics" -- if your econ professor can't comment on that, it will be a relative detriment (to other applications, in which they get good marks) if not absolute detriment (why don't you have any math recommendations?) to your application, I expect.

Of course, that reasoning could get you into trouble, as your employer may think the same thing, and then you'll have trouble ever getting someone to comment on your mathematical ability. Not sure what the answer is there.
 
If the schools that you are considering have winter semester admissions, then I don't see any harm in applying now. Clearly you could get the math prof rec for fall 2009 if you take all those classes, which I think would be good to have before starting MFE anyway.
 
Mr. Christopher Peters
For the Fall 2008 admission, I believe the deadline for most programs are over.
I would think it serves you well to take courses, do extensive research on each program, then apply for Fall 2009.
A good gauge of how you stack against future fellow applicants is to look at the profiles of admitted students. tracker There are many PhD, MS and people with extensive working experience in this group so it's also beneficial to get some relevant internship in the meantime.

As for the issue with letter of rec, it's good to have from people with knowledge of your various background but it's always better to have it from people who know you very well.

All three of my LoR are from my math professor, two from undergrad and one from grad who know me not only as a student but also as a friend so they can write extensively about my strengths and weakness. I think that made a big impact on my admit.
 
I took Calc I this Spring, I'm taking Calc II this Summer, and I will be taking Calc III and Elementary DE and Linear Algebra combined in the Fall. In the Spring (2009) I will be taking Probability, DE, and PDE.

I think I'm going to take the advice to apply, if I don't get accepted, work hard and apply again the next year because it seems I'll be covering my bases.

Not sure it's a good idea. Even if a program accepts you, you're not in a position to derive maximum benefit from it (and I'm not even mentioning how much harder you're going to have to work because of lacunae in your math background). Less haste more speed.
 
I took Calc I this Spring, I'm taking Calc II this Summer, and I will be taking Calc III and Elementary DE and Linear Algebra combined in the Fall. In the Spring (2009) I will be taking Probability, DE, and PDE.

If I apply soon, it'll be in December-January for the Fall 2009 school year.

I think I'm going to take the advice to apply, if I don't get accepted, work hard and apply again the next year because it seems I'll be covering my bases.


My only remaining question is: I will have 3 good letters of recommendation from Econ professors, but I understand that having one (or some) from math profs. is preferable (but will be much harder for me to do)....do you think I'll be fine with 3 letters from econ. profs?



Are you sure you can take Calc II and EDE at the same time? At my school EDE is Calc IV so Calc III is a prereq.
 
EDE

I'm sorry if that was confusing. I'm taking Calc II this Summer, and EDE and Linear Alg. combined Fall 2008. I'll also be taking multidimensional calc (I think this is considered calc III?) at the same time. The prereq. for EDE (& Lin. Alg.) is Calc II. I understand that it will be difficult, but I've planned out the path well in advance.

Ultimately I'll have ended with:

Spring 2008
Calc I (Done)

Summer 2008
Calc II

Fall 2008
Calc III
EDE + Linear Alg. combined

Spring 2009
Probability
PDE
DE


These are the courses I have to choose from: Math@LSU Courses
 

Sanket Patel

i do stuff
That should cover the minimum requirements for most MFE programs, with the keyword being minimum. As bigbadwolf rightly pointed out, with only the minimum reqs fortifying you, you may not be able to gain full benefit of the MFE.
 
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