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kidairbag
07-28-2007, 06:44 AM
I'm about to begin my second year at the University of Central Florida. Looking ahead to grad school, I recently changed my major from straight Econ to an Econ / Math double major.

What I'm wondering is if the classes including in the math major are adequate enough preparation for a graduate econ program or if I should see about making some substitutions.

My school offers two tracks, pure and applied math. While one would assume applied would be a better choice, the pure track includes more analysis. The course listing is here.

University of Central Florida 2006-2007 Undergraduate Catalog (http://www.catalog.sdes.ucf.edu/archive/0607/degree_programs/mathematics_pure/)

The "Advanced Calculus" courses are taught ought of the Fitzpatrick Advanced Calculus book. The only course actually called "Real Analysis" at UCF is a graduate level course so I'm wondering if anybody who has used the Fitzpatrick book could tell me how deep it goes.

Another thing I'm wondering about is grade forgiveness. Our school has a policy that you can use grade forgiveness twice during your undergrad years. Basically if you use grade forgiveness, you can retake a course you did poorly in. While both grades appear on the transcript, only the retake is entered into your GPA.

During my freshman year, I made a couple of stupid mistakes and ended up with a C+ in Calc III. Math really isn't a problem for me, I know I would ace it if I tried again. That is my only non-A so far in any math or econ class. I'm wondering if you guys think it would be worth it to use grade forgiveness to retake the course or if schools would take into account the fact that it was my freshman year and look at it relative to my other grades.

I've certainly learned from that mistake and I know that if I want to get into a top-tier program coming from an unknown school like UCF, I don't have a very large margin of error. While we've had a lot of students get into top tier engineering programs like MIT, I think the last great economist we've had is Glenn Hubbard. That's definitely why I'm planning early.

Thanks for your help!

SquareSquare
07-28-2007, 09:17 AM
During my freshman year, I made a couple of stupid mistakes and ended up with a C+ in Calc III. Math really isn't a problem for me, I know I would ace it if I tried again. That is my only non-A so far in any math or econ class. I'm wondering if you guys think it would be worth it to use grade forgiveness to retake the course or if schools would take into account the fact that it was my freshman year and look at it relative to my other grades.


I'd suggest to forget it. It sounds like it was long time ago and adcoms will weigh most recent performance more heavily. Besides if you get something less than A in that class (**** happens sometimes), it will look bad.

buckykatt
07-29-2007, 02:46 AM
The "Advanced Calculus" courses are taught ought of the Fitzpatrick Advanced Calculus book. The only course actually called "Real Analysis" at UCF is a graduate level course so I'm wondering if anybody who has used the Fitzpatrick book could tell me how deep it goes.


I haven't used it, but based on this description

Nelson Education Ltd. - Higher Education - Product Page (http://hed.nelson.com/products/productPage.aspx?isbn=0534376037)

it does look like a real analysis text, so this does look like the course you want.

I wouldn't worry too much about whether this is the most rigorous text. Having any exposure to real analysis (and doing well) is a big plus to your profile. You could always go on to take the grad course if it seems too easy. :)

buckykatt
07-29-2007, 02:50 AM
Also, I wouldn't worry about repeating the Calc III course if you have the opportunity to take and do well in more advanced courses. Ace Advanced Calculus, Topology, etc. and don't worry about Calc III.

KingOfConvenience
07-29-2007, 04:32 AM
having looked over the courses for the applied and the pure tracks, i would pick the pure track. the applied math track is geared towards the physical sciences; it's heavy on diff eq, and vector & tensor analysis, which is useful if you were doing themodynamics or general relativity. the pure math track has two advanced analysis classes, a topology class, some statistical theory classes. good stuff.

Prometheus_Econ
07-29-2007, 11:45 AM
I used the Fitzpatrick book. It covers more or less the same material as Rudin, but in a somewhat more elementary way. For instance, Rudin immediately starts with metric spaces and topology, while Fitzpatrick starts doing everything in R, and then introduces metric spaces and some topology in chapter 10. Also, some topics like Fourier and differential forms are not covered in Fitzpatrick at all, so our professor just used some of his own notes for that. So, Rudin is definitely a bit deeper, but you'll also learn a lot from Fitzpatrick.

jlist
08-02-2007, 04:20 PM
Dear Kidairbag: At this point, I would also emphasize two things. First, working on research with one of UCF's good people--e.g., Dickie, Gerking, Harrison, Hofler, Rutstrom, etc. on the applied side, and Caputo on the theory side. When I say "working," I mean coauthoring. Then you can use one of these studies as your writing sample.

Second, if you can take, and ace, a micro and/or macro theory graduate course that would help alot. For this, perhaps go to Gainesville (I am unsure what UCF's grad theory courses look like (perhaps those will be fine too), though the signal will be stronger from Gainesville).

Best,
John

kidairbag
08-02-2007, 11:56 PM
I'd like to thank you all for your advice.

I'm going to be meeting with both the econ and math faculty advisers in a few weeks to try and come up with a plan to complete both majors. If it seems like I have room in my schedule, I think I will try to retake calc III. If not, I'll just let it go.

The RA job I will probably be getting this year will most likely be with a math/statistics professor researching probability and theoretical statistics. While I would much prefer working on economics, I haven't found any professors looking for help (yet). I still have three more years, however, which is plenty of time to get relevant experience.

The economics major allows for six electives in addition to the core requirements. Two relevent math classes are allowed to be subbed in as econ electives which means I only have to take a minimum of four electives. I will, of course, want to take more if I have room in my schedule but I'm wondering what my priorities should be.

Obviously I'll be taking econometrics and math econ but I'm wondering if I should prioritize graduate level theory or math econ courses over, say, IO / game theory or international trade.

phdseeker
08-03-2007, 04:12 AM
Obviously I'll be taking econometrics and math econ but I'm wondering if I should prioritize graduate level theory or math econ courses over, say, IO / game theory or international trade.

I must be missing something, and since I am new here I likely am. You just received advice from JList. I looked at his old posts and if he is who he says, then you are getting advice on what to do from a codirector of admissions and aid at a top 5 school!! :hmm:

Why are you asking this question again? He must be a fraud or maybe there are other admissions and aid people on the list too? [clap]

Dannyb19
08-03-2007, 04:17 AM
Jlist is real, and does this forum a great service for sharing information with us, please don't refer to him as a fraud. I don't think you meant any offense by it, but lets not take the chance, Jlist is one of the reasons this site is stalked by many eager applicants come winter time. Thanks Jlist! And welcome to TM phdseeker!

TruDog
08-03-2007, 11:45 AM
Why are you asking this question again? He must be a fraud or maybe there are other admissions and aid people on the list too? [clap]

Check out this old thread (http://www.urch.com/forums/phd-economics/63982-jlist-real.html) to see that jlist is real.