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Mentioning Math papers in Econ SOP?

Hello!

Would you (particularly those of you who are in adcoms) say that it is inadvisable to delve too much into then ongoing graduate level math papers at the time of application and when writing the statement of purpose to enter an Econ PhD program? I know that math is seen as a good thing generally, but don't know if then ongoing graduate level math papers (in topology) might be viewed as a misappropriation of time? There will be, however, at the time of application two writing samples of completed graduate level economics manuscripts (both relevant to the strengths of the school of interest and its faculty). I just don't know if I should divulge that I'm working on math papers at the time or just not mention it (they'll see "Directed Research" on my transcript).

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Re: Mentioning Math papers in Econ SOP?

1. It is very unclear to my why you know you will be writing *GRADUATE LEVEL* topology papers, given that you haven't taken any formal proof-based classes yet. Right now, what is studied and developing at the graduate level (and beyond in terms of research) in topology is algebraic topology, knot theory, and maybe geometric group theory (if you consider that in the "topology field"). Those require decent knowledge in Modern/Abstract Algebra (at the graduate level). I fail to see why getting to that level is valuable at all for economics - taking graduate topology is one thing, but expending the time and effort to have a graduate-level novel paper in the field is another. The opportunity cost there is HUGE.

2. I would shoot for one solid paper, not two mediocre ones. I would certainly not attempt two economics papers plus papers in topology!

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Re: Mentioning Math papers in Econ SOP?

While I can't speak of how adcoms perceive it, it definitely seems like a poor use of time. Echoing what's said above, a single polished paper is better than two mediocre ones; quality over quantity. You're not up tenure. There are no need for filler papers to give the impression that you're productive.

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Re: Mentioning Math papers in Econ SOP?

Originally Posted by coloradoecon

1. It is very unclear to my why you know you will be writing *GRADUATE LEVEL* topology papers, given that you haven't taken any formal proof-based classes yet. Right now, what is studied and developing at the graduate level (and beyond in terms of research) in topology is algebraic topology, knot theory, and maybe geometric group theory (if you consider that in the "topology field"). Those require decent knowledge in Modern/Abstract Algebra (at the graduate level). I fail to see why getting to that level is valuable at all for economics - taking graduate topology is one thing, but expending the time and effort to have a graduate-level novel paper in the field is another. The opportunity cost there is HUGE.

2. I would shoot for one solid paper, not two mediocre ones. I would certainly not attempt two economics papers plus papers in topology!

Hi, thanks for your input. Actually I'm the top student in our proof-based writing intensive intro to advanced math course right now, so that's fine. I actually want to get an advanced degree in math while getting my advanced degree in economics, and am working with the prospective departments to figure this out and they are saying that it's definitely doable. I actually have more time than I know what to do with too. Maybe one paper is more likely what will happen, but I wanted to get two papers started to finish over time. I don't expect too much empathy, but just wanted to see about what I should write in my statement of purpose when applying for econ PhD.

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Re: Mentioning Math papers in Econ SOP?

Originally Posted by tutonic

While I can't speak of how adcoms perceive it, it definitely seems like a poor use of time. Echoing what's said above, a single polished paper is better than two mediocre ones; quality over quantity. You're not up tenure. There are no need for filler papers to give the impression that you're productive.

Right, but I can at least get the drafts for both papers (I have a lot of interests) and then over time polish them... I wouldn't need them done instantly!