My first message post, I have three questions

Hello to all,

I have three questions:

I'm a senior undergraduate in mathematics and haven't completely decided what career to persue because several interest me. These include finance, actuary, and math research in different areas as nonlinear dynamics/chaos and computational number theory. To keep my options open, I'm asking for advice from the more experienced.

Q 1) What electives from the following would you recommend as preparation for graduate work/career in quantatitive finance, and for graduate school (phd).
I can choose three from: graduate partial differential equations, statistics, financial math (based on Baxter's book), complex variables, actuary science, independent study in topology or numerical analysis, cryptology.
I'm familiar with complex varibles, statistics, and cryptology; if perhaps this should influence your recommendation.

It's especially hard for me to choose between electives since I like all flavors of maths; logic, algebra, adv calc, probabilty, and so on.

Q 2) High on my list of options is applying to Baruch's MFE program for 2009. There is a requirement to have taken at least one course in finance. I've never taken a course in finance, but have in accounting, economics, and management (all intruductory courses). Do these satisfy the finanicial course requirement? If not, the financial math course in my school happens to be cross-listed as a finance course. If acc/eco/mgt fail to satisfy this application requirement, will the math course based on "Introduction to Derivatives Pricing" satisfy it? (I think it should.)

Q 3) Concerning C++ requirements: I've taken five programming courses, but haven't taken any since last year. I stopped because the classes were slow paced, and thought it better to continue alone. Would you recommend taking one or two more during my senior year? If not, what text on C++ for finance do you recommend?

Thank you for your time and advice.
 
5 programming courses from my point of view is more than enough. I guess you need some practice so that you can defend it as an expertise. I ended up liking the C++ Intro. to Finance book by Duffy. However, you will need another book as an aid as the Duffy's book covers a lot of C++ topic but doesn't necessarily explain them well.
 
Intro to derivative pricing would count for sure.

But I wouldn't say intro to accounting economics or management would count as introductory finance courses. When I think about intro to finance, I think about things like time value of money, bond/stock valuation, CAPM, market efficiency, and CAPM. Which are all really simple (but important) concepts that you can probably easily learn on your own by reading things online. But I think it might be better if you actually take a course on it.
 
1) partial differential equations
statistics
financial math

2) Financial math from #1 should be sufficient. In general, if you are a strong candidate, this requirement could be waived for you.

3) Don't take more programming classes. Get Mark Joshi's book: C++ Design Patterns and Derivatives Pricing and do all exercises there. You will be way ahead than most applicants. Also spend time studying Excel VBA, in many cases it will be more useful than C++.

Also don't forget about GRE. You must get near to perfect score in quantitative section. If it's not 780-800 you will have to retake it. Don't be concerned too much about verbal and writing parts.



PS: Just noticed that original post is from 2008. You've got me guys :)
 
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