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Thread: Possible actions to be taken regarding weak Maths background

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    Possible actions to be taken regarding weak Maths background

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    I had already described my situation somewhat in another thread, but there seems to be no response to that as yet. So I am hoping to attract the attention of some veterans in this new thread, like Econ, gstergia to help me get out of the mess I am in.

    First of all, I am a a 4h-year student of a Bachelors Program in Business Administration, otherwise known as BBA. You may call it the younger brother of the much known MBA. Unfortunately, I lost interest in the field of business not long after joining the program and I dream about being an economist day and night. Having realized my mistake, I now plan to do my Masters in Economics and then try for a PhD. But the problems start here:

    1) My BBA program included the following relevant courses that somewhat relates to Economics:
    Mathematics for Decision-Making - some calculus related to differentiation, integration, limits, continuity, a little bit of algebra, mean value theorem etc all of which I have mostly forgotten since I took it in my first semester and its been more than 3 years since. Furthermore, I got a C+ because the teacher was not good.
    Micro-economics - you know what this includes and I don't need to elaborate on this. I got an A.
    Macro-economics - though my grade is not out as yet, I am more or less expecting an A.
    Statistics 1 - covered descriptive statistics and probability and I got a B+
    Statistics 2 - correlation, regression, hypothesis testing etc and B+
    So you can see that my main weakness is in Maths. In fact, given the profile of some other people I have come across in the threads, my maths background is pathetic

    2) The place that I am in, Institute of Business Administration (IBA), is the business school of University of Dhaka (Dhaka is the capital of Bangladesh, which is just beside India). Now, University of Dhaka is the best uni. in my country and people would kill to get into IBA. In fact, I had to compete with 3500 students for a place in a class of 70 (15 have dropped out after getting in). But the problem with the uni. is the extreme rigidity as I am simply not allowed to take any course outside my department. Thus, since IBA itself does not offer any maths course others than the one I just mentioned, I cannot take the necessary maths courses without which universities are unwilling to take me for the MSc Econ program.

    3) Neither do we have Maths summer camps or something similar in our university or any other uni. in our country. I am basically stuck

    So, the question is, what do I do?

    I have some other questions which are not exactly related to maths but which are just as important but I hope to get some input from you guys on this first. So, please please help. Help me get out of my depression.

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    Re: Possible actions to be taken regarding weak Maths background

    is it so that they wont allow u to take courses that are not offered at your univ. and that are reqd for your personal matters? it shouldnt be as someone may want to change trade also and in that case its his/her personal choice whether to take extra courses or not! noone is going to spend their univ's money after all...till now i have heard the univs that are strict, only forbid the profs working there from private tutoring but there shouldnt be any bindings for students! its ridiculous...but if indeed its so then you should talk to the dean/authority of your inst to allow you for your specific reasons,they should be giving permission...if not then i must say they dont belong to planet earth!
    "Cats were once the rulers, Cats have not yet forgotten that"

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    Re: Possible actions to be taken regarding weak Maths background

    well nothing really surprising about university rigidity.i am from mumbai university(india) which actually gives us the entire syllabus for 4 years when we enroll..i encountered exactly the same problem.my undergrad degree is in computer sc. and engg. and my weak math background really hurt me when i applied to math depts.(my interests lie in discrete mathematics ,algorithms & theoretical computer science). the situation was EXACTLY the same as in Mishal's case..except that i wouldnt kill to go to MU(i wud def. have killed to get out of it if i had to)

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    Re: Possible actions to be taken regarding weak Maths background

    Quote Originally Posted by applicant4ece
    is it so that they wont allow u to take courses that are not offered at your univ. and that are reqd for your personal matters? it shouldnt be as someone may want to change trade also and in that case its his/her personal choice whether to take extra courses or not! noone is going to spend their univ's money after all...till now i have heard the univs that are strict, only forbid the profs working there from private tutoring but there shouldnt be any bindings for students! its ridiculous...but if indeed its so then you should talk to the dean/authority of your inst to allow you for your specific reasons,they should be giving permission...if not then i must say they dont belong to planet earth!
    Well our courses are fixed and the schedule is fixed. For instance, I am bound to take Microeconomics in my 3rd semester and not in the 2nd or 4th semester. I am bound to take precisely 40 courses during my 4 years, not 39 or 41. Also, I am bound to take 5 courses per semester and not 4 or 3 or 2 (that makes it 5 x 8 semesters = 40 courses). I believe we do have a mathematics department but I don't think there are any means of taking any course outside my designated 40 at IBA. Neither do I think is there any facility in the Maths department which would allow a student from another department (like IBA) to come in and do extra courses. Yes, extremely rigid and it makes no sense, but hey, Bangladesh is a 3rd world country and I have to be happy with the fact that I even got the chance to study in the best university in my country. Further, the fees I pay is literally peanuts since the entire state education system is subsidized...so I have little scope for complain regarding 'better use of my money'.

    So guys, please help me by suggesting some other alternative.

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    Re: Possible actions to be taken regarding weak Maths background

    Quote Originally Posted by turing
    well nothing really surprising about university rigidity.i am from mumbai university(india) which actually gives us the entire syllabus for 4 years when we enroll..i encountered exactly the same problem.my undergrad degree is in computer sc. and engg. and my weak math background really hurt me when i applied to math depts.(my interests lie in discrete mathematics ,algorithms & theoretical computer science). the situation was EXACTLY the same as in Mishal's case..except that i wouldnt kill to go to MU(i wud def. have killed to get out of it if i had to)
    I agree that there may be rigid course schedule and number of courses to be taken but that doesnt mean that you cannot spend some time of your own outside your univ. for doing other courses..i know some people who did some mathematics courses while they were preparing for CAT...so what i cant understand is why a student isnt allowed to take extra courses outside the univ if not in math dept of the same univ...
    "Cats were once the rulers, Cats have not yet forgotten that"

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    Re: Possible actions to be taken regarding weak Maths background

    Quote Originally Posted by Mishal
    Well our courses are fixed and the schedule is fixed. For instance, I am bound to take Microeconomics in my 3rd semester and not in the 2nd or 4th semester. I am bound to take precisely 40 courses during my 4 years, not 39 or 41. Also, I am bound to take 5 courses per semester and not 4 or 3 or 2 (that makes it 5 x 8 semesters = 40 courses). I believe we do have a mathematics department but I don't think there are any means of taking any course outside my designated 40 at IBA. Neither do I think is there any facility in the Maths department which would allow a student from another department (like IBA) to come in and do extra courses. Yes, extremely rigid and it makes no sense, but hey, Bangladesh is a 3rd world country and I have to be happy with the fact that I even got the chance to study in the best university in my country. Further, the fees I pay is literally peanuts since the entire state education system is subsidized...so I have little scope for complain regarding 'better use of my money'.

    So guys, please help me by suggesting some other alternative.
    cant u try to take them at some other univ? or if there is any such private insts which employ profs on a part time basis to teach students, that could also be tried....many insts have summer school programs where formal application needed to be done..i dont know its there in bangladesh or not ...if its there u may apply to those insts...i dont think u need to learn from your univ only! or is there again any such rule that u cant even apply to other places /learn somewhere else....
    "Cats were once the rulers, Cats have not yet forgotten that"

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    Re: Possible actions to be taken regarding weak Maths background

    Thanks for you responses, guys (and gals, if any).

    No, we don't have any restrictions over what we do outside our university of course. However, I don't think other universities provide such facilities for outsiders either though I will start searching. Also, I am going to talk to one of my professors who has lots of contacts and hopefully he can persuade someone from the maths department or some other place to give me (and some of my friends who are in a similar situation) some informal Maths training. Now, my question is, if I do manage to find someone like that and get some informal lessons, will that help? There is no accreditation for this and I will not be able to show any transcript for this to the universtities I will be applying to except that I can mention my efforts in my SOP. But will it really count to the adcomms.? My intention is to somehow persuade the adcomms. to take me in and then take as many maths courses as possible in that university. But the point is...I have to GET IN first.

    Now, venturing further onto the other issues of the admission process, here are some other problems that I am facing:
    1) My father is a US citizen and I will tell him to petition for me, so that I can go over to the US after my final year of BBA finishes here in Dhaka. But the problem is that my classes will finish in February 2006 at the earliest and I may not be able to get the exemption from the 4 month internship program which follows after that. So, chances are that I won't be landing on US soil until July 2006. Note that I will be treated as an 'international' during the admission process (Nov 2005-April 2006) but if I do manage to get admission at some US university for Fall 2006, I will be starting classes as a 'legally permanent resident' or LPR. Now, my question is whether my 'international' status will harm me during my admission process or not. Or to look at it through rose-tinted glasses, will I mention in my SOP that I am going to be a LPR soon hoping that this will help me in me getting selected more easily?
    Further, will universities be more or less reluctant to give aid to LPRs?

    2) Having read quite a few threads, it seems that you people do not rate a MSc Econ at an a US Uni. very highly and would rather prefer some Euro uni. because the top 5 or 10 US PhD programs look suspiciously at US Msc Econ degrees. Now, correct me if I am wrong but isn't it true that US universities have more funds and also the willingness to give aid to students than their European counterparts? Also, living costs are much higher in UK (though I don't know much about Spain or Netherlands) than in US, not to mention that my father would find it much more convenient to help me out financially were I to do my degree in US rather than in Europe. So, doesn't all the above justify applying for US despite its suspect quality of MSc programs?

    3) I have a CGPA of 3.32 uptil the 3rd year and I will be trying to pull it up to 3.4 probably. Out of a class of 55, I think there are around 15 students ahead of me with the class-toppers having a CGPA of around 3.75. With such a mediocre CGPA, what are my chances of getting into a top 21-50 US university or a top 11-20 UK University?

    Sorry for the long post, but you guys are my only help. Please help

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    Re: Possible actions to be taken regarding weak Maths background

    I don't know a lot about the topic at hand, (I read it because I had a weak math background!!!) but I think that you will qualify for more aide as a LPR than as an international student. A lot of the grants/aide money is stipulated to go to US citizens or residents with permanent status... much more than is slated for international students. So this may help you.

    The MS in Econ seems to be disregarded in the US in favor of a PhD. So, you might consider applying for PhD programs, though of course in Econ, they are quite competitive. You could always apply for a MS in the US and while getting the MS- after the first semester when your grades are in, see if you can not flip into the PhD program, difficult but not impossible

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    Re: Possible actions to be taken regarding weak Maths background

    Thanks JingleBells for the reply.

    Applying to Ph.D programs won't really help because chances are I will be rejected outright by all universities given my pathetic background. Even entry to the Masters seems increasing unlikely.

    I hope the others have some more information to share.

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    Re: Possible actions to be taken regarding weak Maths background

    Quote Originally Posted by Mishal
    I had already described my situation somewhat in another thread, but there seems to be no response to that as yet. So I am hoping to attract the attention of some veterans in this new thread, like Econ, gstergia to help me get out of the mess I am in.

    First of all, I am a a 4h-year student of a Bachelors Program in Business Administration, otherwise known as BBA. You may call it the younger brother of the much known MBA. Unfortunately, I lost interest in the field of business not long after joining the program and I dream about being an economist day and night. Having realized my mistake, I now plan to do my Masters in Economics and then try for a PhD. But the problems start here:

    1) My BBA program included the following relevant courses that somewhat relates to Economics:
    Mathematics for Decision-Making - some calculus related to differentiation, integration, limits, continuity, a little bit of algebra, mean value theorem etc all of which I have mostly forgotten since I took it in my first semester and its been more than 3 years since. Furthermore, I got a C+ because the teacher was not good.
    Micro-economics - you know what this includes and I don't need to elaborate on this. I got an A.
    Macro-economics - though my grade is not out as yet, I am more or less expecting an A.
    Statistics 1 - covered descriptive statistics and probability and I got a B+
    Statistics 2 - correlation, regression, hypothesis testing etc and B+
    So you can see that my main weakness is in Maths. In fact, given the profile of some other people I have come across in the threads, my maths background is pathetic

    2) The place that I am in, Institute of Business Administration (IBA), is the business school of University of Dhaka (Dhaka is the capital of Bangladesh, which is just beside India). Now, University of Dhaka is the best uni. in my country and people would kill to get into IBA. In fact, I had to compete with 3500 students for a place in a class of 70 (15 have dropped out after getting in). But the problem with the uni. is the extreme rigidity as I am simply not allowed to take any course outside my department. Thus, since IBA itself does not offer any maths course others than the one I just mentioned, I cannot take the necessary maths courses without which universities are unwilling to take me for the MSc Econ program.

    3) Neither do we have Maths summer camps or something similar in our university or any other uni. in our country. I am basically stuck

    So, the question is, what do I do?

    I have some other questions which are not exactly related to maths but which are just as important but I hope to get some input from you guys on this first. So, please please help. Help me get out of my depression.
    Hi..maybe my experience can help you a bit with your own problems. I am from Chile where I graduated with a BBC or something resembling that (it is a 5-years degree). My prep in math was much like yours but I had kinda 7 courses in econ (micro and macro). As you, I didn;t like business so I decided to become an economist...I first applied to a couple of PhD programs to see how it was, but as you might expect the results were highly negative. So, I decided to go for a Master. I went to Canada, got my M.A., came back to Chile (I had to..it was a scholarship restriction) and now I am ready to go for my PhD. This year, my results regarding PhD applications were more than satisfactory. I applied to 10 schools (US & Canada), got into 9 with 8 offering me full financial aid. I might add I got the chance to stay right after finishing my MA, but as I told you I couldn;t because of scholarship restrictions. So, my message is: it might turn out to be longer, but if you really want to take full advantage of your graduate studies, I advise you to take the MA=>PhD route...you will fill all those 'holes' that weren't covered by your BBA and will define whether a PhD is really for you....hope this helps..

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