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Thread: Advice for low ranked PhD applicant in terms of mathematical classes' selection

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    Advice for low ranked PhD applicant in terms of mathematical classes' selection

    Sponsored Ad:
    Hello ladies and gents,
    I am thinking to apply for PhD in Economics in top 60-70 or more specifically CUNY - SUNY range of school. I can only apply to schools within NY region and my profile is not as good as like the ones applying to top 10 schools such as NYU, Columbia. Anyway my question is that if you could suggest 3 to 5 mathematical classes for such an applicant, what would you suggest me to take? At the end of this semester, I will share my background but right now it is not good enough to post yet
    Good day!

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    Re: Advice for low ranked PhD applicant in terms of mathematical classes' selection

    You have to have linear algebra. Almost certainly should have a basic statistics course, preferably a real one where you learn some mathematical statistics, not just how to apply a few formulas to data. Past that, a proof based course--usually real analysis.

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    Re: Advice for low ranked PhD applicant in terms of mathematical classes' selection

    Ahududu, I think you should list all your math classes and their respective grades so knowledgeable people like Prof. Startz can recommend remedying courses. Through our conversation I know you have a few math classes under your belt. So list them as you wish!

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    Re: Advice for low ranked PhD applicant in terms of mathematical classes' selection

    Alright I guess no need to be shy and I have to be honest.
    My background:

    • Maths classes: Calculus 1,2 (B, D+), Probability for Engineers (C+), Linear algebra and differential equations (C), Physics 1,2 (C+,B-), Deterministic Models in OR (C+), Stochastic Models in OR (D+), Engineering economics(B+), Simulation (B+), Statistics for Engineers(B),
    • Economics & Management classes: Understanding politics and economics (B), intro to Macro (A-), intro to Micro (B+), Managerial Decision Making (A+), Money and Banking (A+), Special topics in management (A), Intermediate Micro (A), financial accounting (A), Supply chain management (B+), Engineering management (A-), managerial accounting (A), Special topics in economics (A) (Economic Growth), Special topics in Finance (B+) (Portfolio Management).
    • Programming classes: Computer skills (MATLAB) P, Programming Python (I,II) C+s for both of them

    This is my undergrad, my masters (MSF in Baruch College) in work in progress at the moment so for that I will reupload my profile at the end of this semester. I have limited budget so after this masters I will only be able to take 3 to maximum 5 classes. Which areas of mine should I improve?
    The reason why my maths grades are low is that I had a huge family problem, essentially fell apart. I know these are all personal problems and none of it matters but I just want to emphasise that I got these grades not because I am stupid, but because I had problems. At the end of the second year, I fixed my problems and all of my economics classes were taken after that, also the maths classes that I wrote latter are the ones that I took after the problematic times. I am really ashamed of my maths grades and this is the first time that I shared with a forum like this and I am kinda sensitive about it so I hope no one is gonna be harsh and say you cannot do PhD in Econ or I do not have the capacity to do it.

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    Re: Advice for low ranked PhD applicant in terms of mathematical classes' selection

    ahududu, no cause to be ashamed and certainly no one should knock you.

    What you need to do is to take math classes where the grades will prove that you have overcome early difficulties. Consider another linear algebra course and a mathematical statistics course. (And get A's!)

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    Re: Advice for low ranked PhD applicant in terms of mathematical classes' selection

    Thank you Prof. Startz, In my masters I have taken intro to econometrics and got an A-, currently taking Econometrics I. Hopefully I will get an A this time. I am going to take as much mathematical classes as possible in my masters but I think after my masters I still should be taking some mathematics classes. I was thinking to take calculus 3, real analysis 1, advanced linear algebra, maybe stochastic process or topology?

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    Re: Advice for low ranked PhD applicant in terms of mathematical classes' selection

    I strongly recommend to take an Intro to Proofs Seminar before taking any proof based course. Learning to write proofs is like learning a new language and given your math history, you do not want to dive head first to RA(I). Not that Real Analysis is hard, it is just you have to really love getting nerdy with these things and appreciate quick short-cuts in proofs etc. This will only be revealed through Intro to Proofs. There are people who are horrible at computational mathematics but ace Proof-Based courses. If you find you are this type, then more power to you!

    You will need to take calc III before your math stats course. Here is my reccomended progression (we start out slow to give you time to adapt and develop efficiency). Assuming your Linear Algebra is proof based, this progression you might find useful:

    Semester A: Intro to Proofs, Calculus III
    Semester B: Linear Algebra, Math Stats
    Semester C: Real Analysis I

    This is very do-able in 3 semesters. Do NOT take anything besides RA I in Semester C. You would not gain any more value in signaling by taking Topology or Stochastic Process. Take those only if you absolutely love maths and want an intellectual fulfillment.

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    Re: Advice for low ranked PhD applicant in terms of mathematical classes' selection

    I tend to concur with Bayes advice here.

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    Re: Advice for low ranked PhD applicant in terms of mathematical classes' selection

    I would agree as well with Bayes. I am not well-acquainted with other universities' math departments, but typically, there is a year-long probability & statistics sequence (with probability often being a prerequisite for statistics, even completing the first half of the book used in the statistics class) - I'd highly suggest you take that probability course as well. It'll prove very helpful in your Econometrics courses.

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    Re: Advice for low ranked PhD applicant in terms of mathematical classes' selection

    To anyone that is serious considering taking this nutter's offer: Do you think that a person who tries to dishonestly exploit labor from prospective applicants because they have no research funds is worth getting a letter from?

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