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Thread: Numerical Analysis vs. Complex Analysis

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    Re: Numerical Analysis vs. Complex Analysis

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    Thank you for these helpful pointers! So I could also choose between combinatorial mathematics and topology... which would be better to take with my research interests?

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    Re: Numerical Analysis vs. Complex Analysis

    Actually if I shave off intro to political science which may not be necessary, then I can take both combi math and topology... this is good right?

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    Re: Numerical Analysis vs. Complex Analysis

    Quote Originally Posted by dogbones View Post
    Actually if I shave off intro to political science which may not be necessary, then I can take both combi math and topology... this is good right?
    If you're considering taking both in the last semester of your program, I don't believe they will matter much for admissions. However, the knowledge never hurts.

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    Re: Numerical Analysis vs. Complex Analysis

    As with any 3rd/4th year math course (past real analysis), doing well in them will only marginally help you in admissions, but doing poorly in them will really hurt you; by poor, I mean anything lower than an A-. That's why there's really little merit in taking those courses, unless all other aspects of your profile are already perfect.

    If you provide a current profile, you'll be met with much more meaningful and specific suggestions.

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    Re: Numerical Analysis vs. Complex Analysis

    I'd been meaning to post my profile since startz mentioned it earlier too, it just took a while for me to complete it... so I'm a BA graduate and will begin my MA next fall (2020), and will do RA for two years after that, and then apply to PhD programs. I would appreciate any insights you all can provide. Thank you in advance!

    Type of Undergrad:
    BA in Economics & BA in Psychology from best school in state (public university)
    Undergrad GPA: 3.3 (graduated in December 2013 and I’ve been studying intensively for the past year as well as maturing as a person since graduating and entering the workforce)
    Grad Concentration: likely admit for MA in Economics from Fall 2020 at the same school (I was admitted this year but had to defer because of financial and academic reasons – I thought everything would be significantly better if I had another year to prepare)
    Grad GPA: unknown (aiming for 3.8+)
    GRE: Q162 / V161 / AWA 5 (I will retake this and aim for perfect scores in five years when I’m applying for PhD programs)

    Undergrad Econ Courses: Principles of Micro (A+), Intermediate Micro (A), Intermediate Macro (A), Games & Economic Behavior (A-), Financial Markets & Institutions (C), Mathematics for Economics (B), Introduction to Statistics (A-), Chinese Economy (B), Health Economics (A)

    Undergrad Math Courses: Calculus II (C+), Elementary Probability Theory (C), Calculus III (B+), Calculus IV (B), Linear Algebra & Differential Equations (B-, the modal grade for the class was a D and I was in the top 15% of the class)

    Graduate Econ Courses: planning to take Mathematics for Economics, Micro I, II, & III, Macro I & II, Econometrics I & II, Health Economics & Policy, Advanced Topics in Economics (seminar), and Master’s Thesis course

    “Graduate” (Undergraduate) Math Courses: Calculus IV, Linear Algebra, Introduction to Advanced Mathematics, Elementary Probability & Statistics, Real Analysis, Topology, Combinatorial Mathematics

    “Graduate” (Undergraduate/Graduate) Political Science Courses: Political Inquiry & Analysis, Scope & Methods of Political Science, Political Theory & Analysis

    Programming: learning Stata, R, & Python, and also learning LaTeX

    LORs: same three professors who will be on my Master’s Thesis defense committee (microeconomics & graduates of top PhD programs)

    Research Experience: planning to be an RA during my second and third years in the MA program per the advice of my Master’s Thesis chair, planning an internship somewhere with the federal government during the first summer of MA program, have plans to collaborate with numerous academic economist contacts to publish papers in various fields and I hope to write a few of my own as well, after the MA program I’m planning to be an RA for two years prior to applying to the PhD programs

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    Re: Numerical Analysis vs. Complex Analysis

    You have a string of Cs and Bs for your undergraduate math courses. In my opinion, having no grade is better than a bad grade, during the admissions process. A bad grade is a definitive signal of inability to handle math, while having no real analysis in your transcript still provides some ambiguity, as they'll have to infer of your ability through other less-direct means(which can work to your favour, in this instance).

    A few bad grades can be explained away, but a string of bad grades in math courses will cast considerable doubt on your ability to handle first year coursework. First-year coursework in Economics is very different than what you've encountered in undergrad. I honestly feel that first-year coursework is essentially applied math, and not so much Economics.

    Unless you get an A for Real Analysis, I wouldn't advise taking anything beyond that.

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    Re: Numerical Analysis vs. Complex Analysis

    Quote Originally Posted by EXP View Post
    If you're considering taking both in the last semester of your program, I don't believe they will matter much for admissions. However, the knowledge never hurts.
    Hi EXP, actually planning to take Topology in my fall of third year and Combi Math in the spring of that last year. And I would be taking two years off to be an RA while continuing to take a graduate class each semester/quarter, so anything I do during the MA probably would count heavily towards my admissions since my undergrad was so mediocre...

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    Re: Numerical Analysis vs. Complex Analysis

    Quote Originally Posted by tutonic View Post
    You have a string of Cs and Bs for your undergraduate math courses. In my opinion, having no grade is better than a bad grade, during the admissions process. A few bad grades can be explained away, but a string of bad grades in math courses will cast considerable doubt in your ability to handle first year coursework.

    Unless you get an A for Real Analysis, I wouldn't advise taking anything beyond that, if you're so inclined. Having no Real Analysis in your transcript is arguably better than a C in it.
    Thanks tutonic for your feedback. The thing is, I came from arguably the best high school in the state and was a little too expecting of the educational quality at my home public university (na´ve) and then I was personally not nearly as matured as I could've been so classes for me were almost like a casino game to a certain extent where what happened, just happened. I've been out of school for almost six years now, and I think I've caught up in my academic discipline, and am hoping to keep working to expand my understanding of economics, math, and general knowledge. My attitude towards the murkier classes in undergrad would be absolutely appalling to me now. And I'm just amazed that I pulled off such decent grades given my lack of resources (couldn't really buy books out of the blue because I wasn't working) and I can attribute it to my ambitious nature and as my workforce peers often say, my work ethic (when the casino is functioning towards my benefit, lol)...

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    Re: Numerical Analysis vs. Complex Analysis

    Quote Originally Posted by therealslimkt View Post
    I've asked a lot of professors what the best math to take is, and neither complex analysis nor numerical analysis ever features very highly - stochastic processes, stochastic calculus, topology, functional analysis, measure theoretic probability are the go to. Since you're interested in networks and mechanism design, both of them use more discrete methods so a combinatorics class would be useful.

    So if you have some of these as options it might be really better to consider them than either numerical or complex analysis.
    Thanks therealslimkt, this post was so immeasurably helpful! I'm so very grateful for you sharing the fruit of your labor with us here!

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    Re: Numerical Analysis vs. Complex Analysis

    Quote Originally Posted by tutonic View Post
    Unless you get an A for Real Analysis, I wouldn't advise taking anything beyond that.
    That sounds fair enough, and if I don't get an A in Real Analysis (which would be really bad since I'd be preparing for it years in advance) I'd probably opt to retake it. I know how important writing proofs is for higher level economic research!

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