NeFall

02-10-2008, 03:39 AM

I have scoured these forums for sometime and I just want to talk a bout the Math subject. I have done a lot of searching and have seen a lot of people 's, who post here, opinion. I even read Mankiw's ideas (Greg Mankiw's Blog: Which math courses? (http://gregmankiw.blogspot.com/2006/05/which-math-courses.html)) on the subject.

However, after reading Levitt's Freakonomics I saw this: "I’m not good at math, I don’t know a lot of econometrics, and I also don’t know how to do theory." (Levitt explaining himself as an economist).

I understand he is probably selling himself a bit short, but it begs the questions: If you are into empirical research, corporate finance and its structure, the stock market, etc why do you need the math?

I was never that good in math and I only took the needed 1 year of calculus that Fairfield University required to get my finance degree. Now that I have been in the field for two years working on a equity capital markets desk for a small bank I want to get back into academia. Not to digest the theories of mathematics for classes such as Real Analysis but to study investment thesis, the fundamental analysis, the pros and cons of CEO pay disclosure, FED policy, the pricing of volatility, the effect of news on the market, why the market has crashed, etc.

I know the importance of going to a HBS, Cornell, Yale, MIT, etc and I want to give myself that experience because I believe I have the financial savvy for it, minus the math. I started reading Simmons, Precalclus Mathematics in a Nutshell, in hopes of then reviewing my calculus notes and embarking on a long road of math courses to apply to a program and never use the math skills, to that extent, again. However, while reading Simmons' work, which is quite easy to read and well put together, I asked myself, "Do I really give a **** that two objects of the same height with equal areas of their corresponding cross-section have the same volume?" The answer is no. Nor do I care how and why Pythagorean Theorem is what it is.

I have sat in both B-School and Undergrad finance courses, never is any of this stuff used. Why should I have to bore myself for a couple of years to get through Multivariate Calculus, Differential Equations, Linear Algebra, and Real Analysis to explain to my undergraduates and/or b-school students why when a bond trades below its par it is at a discount? Or when I write a journal article researching the effect of discount brokers on the stock market?

I just do not understand, and if anyone can help clear this up please do.

However, after reading Levitt's Freakonomics I saw this: "I’m not good at math, I don’t know a lot of econometrics, and I also don’t know how to do theory." (Levitt explaining himself as an economist).

I understand he is probably selling himself a bit short, but it begs the questions: If you are into empirical research, corporate finance and its structure, the stock market, etc why do you need the math?

I was never that good in math and I only took the needed 1 year of calculus that Fairfield University required to get my finance degree. Now that I have been in the field for two years working on a equity capital markets desk for a small bank I want to get back into academia. Not to digest the theories of mathematics for classes such as Real Analysis but to study investment thesis, the fundamental analysis, the pros and cons of CEO pay disclosure, FED policy, the pricing of volatility, the effect of news on the market, why the market has crashed, etc.

I know the importance of going to a HBS, Cornell, Yale, MIT, etc and I want to give myself that experience because I believe I have the financial savvy for it, minus the math. I started reading Simmons, Precalclus Mathematics in a Nutshell, in hopes of then reviewing my calculus notes and embarking on a long road of math courses to apply to a program and never use the math skills, to that extent, again. However, while reading Simmons' work, which is quite easy to read and well put together, I asked myself, "Do I really give a **** that two objects of the same height with equal areas of their corresponding cross-section have the same volume?" The answer is no. Nor do I care how and why Pythagorean Theorem is what it is.

I have sat in both B-School and Undergrad finance courses, never is any of this stuff used. Why should I have to bore myself for a couple of years to get through Multivariate Calculus, Differential Equations, Linear Algebra, and Real Analysis to explain to my undergraduates and/or b-school students why when a bond trades below its par it is at a discount? Or when I write a journal article researching the effect of discount brokers on the stock market?

I just do not understand, and if anyone can help clear this up please do.