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Longhornomics
10-25-2012, 12:19 AM
Hi all,

First post here.

I'm a third-year undergraduate student majoring in Mathematics and Economics (obviously), and next semester, I'm considering taking a graduate course in Public Finance - graduate Micro and graduate Econometrics are both recommended, and I don't have either (I'll actually be taking graduate Econometrics concurrently, though, and may have enough background in that to deal with the empirical portion of public finance that's studied in the second half of the course). As far as coursework goes, I've taken (and gotten all A's in) Multivariable Calculus, Linear Algebra, Differential Equations, Probability, Discrete Mathematics, Intermediate Micro, Intermediate Macro, and I'm enrolled this semester in Real Analysis, Stochastic Processes, and Applied Statistics. The professor for the graduate class told me to try it out and play it by ear - if I don't feel comfortable with the work, I can drop.

Were I to take the class, my semester would consist of graduate Econometrics, graduate Public Finance, Real Analysis II, and probably some easy core elective, and maybe a P.E. course for grins. Were I not, I'd probably substitute Topology I in for Public Finance and leave just about everything else in place.

I appreciate any feedback!

chateauheart
10-25-2012, 12:23 AM
My limited experience is that graduate field courses are generally not as demanding as first year courses or even undergraduate math courses (especially topology). And in a field like public finance you'll basically be starting from scratch. So I think it's doable.

The signaling value is not as high as first year grad courses, but on the other hand you learn something you won't see again. And you probably have a better chance to know the professor well.

Longhornomics
10-25-2012, 12:26 AM
Thanks, chateauheart. Right, I think it'd be a good introduction to what I'd like to study in graduate school and a more rigorous version of it, as opposed to the math-light undergraduate version, might help me out when doing my senior thesis. I'm still planning on taking graduate Micro and Math Econ (and possibly Macro) fall semester of next year.

Humanomics
10-25-2012, 12:26 AM
You could ask the professor more specifically how much modeling in the course will hinge on 1st year theory, which might be a barrier. You could also ask her for the reading list to preview some of the papers you'll discuss and see if those are absolute gibberish to you or something you could mount with a little effort.

chateauheart
10-25-2012, 02:04 AM
Thanks, chateauheart. Right, I think it'd be a good introduction to what I'd like to study in graduate school and a more rigorous version of it, as opposed to the math-light undergraduate version, might help me out when doing my senior thesis. I'm still planning on taking graduate Micro and Math Econ (and possibly Macro) fall semester of next year.

I don't think you're going in the right direction though. Someone who's already gotten this far in coursework really doesn't need more academic signaling. What you need is to get to know your professors well and write a kickass thesis this year.

If I were you I'd drop real analysis II or even grad metrics to get more time for independent research. Grad metrics is slightly more valuable because you can get a letter from it. Real analysis II, depending on its content (usually it varies across schools, and across years), might be anywhere from somewhat useful to completely useless. Probably not worth your time at this point.

Longhornomics
10-25-2012, 02:17 AM
I don't think you're going in the right direction though. Someone who's already gotten this far in coursework really doesn't need more academic signaling. What you need is to get to know your professors well and write a kickass thesis this year.

If I were you I'd drop real analysis II or even grad metrics to get more time for independent research. Grad metrics is slightly more valuable because you can get a letter from it. Real analysis II, depending on its content (usually it varies across schools, and across years), might be anywhere from somewhat useful to completely useless. Probably not worth your time at this point.

This is only my third year, though. I'm actually working on an independent research project with one of my professors (MIT PhD.) advising right now, and working for another (younger MIT PhD.) as a research assistant. I still plan on cranking out a thesis next year.

to2012
10-25-2012, 02:38 AM
:rolleyes:

Longhornomics
10-25-2012, 02:53 AM
....?