Type of Undergrad: BS Dual Major in Computer Science and Computer Engineering, BS Economics @ Satellite State School
Undergrad GPA: 3.85
Type of Grad: MS Mathematics @ Same School
Grad GPA: 3.96
Math Courses: A- in grad advanced stochastic dynamic programming; A in grad Analysis I&II, ODE, Numerical Analysis, Numerical PDE, Optimization, Measure Theory, Complex Analysis; taking grad Functional Analysis, Algebraic Topology, Abstract Algebra; B in Calc II; B+ in Calc III, Discrete Math II; A/A+ in Probability, Discrete Math I, Diff Eq, Linear Algebra;
Econ Courses: B+ in grad Micro taken in UG; B+ in Intermediate Macro; A/A+ in Game Theory, Econometrics, Managerial Econ, Intl Trade, Intermediate Micro, Money and Banking, Development, Intl Finance, Public Econ, Mathematical Econ
Other Courses: A+ in Machine Learning, Senior Design project in Big Data, Artificial Intelligence
Letters of Recommendation: 1 from behavioral research prof who is well known (excellent), 1 from robotics research prof (excellent), one from Analysis II prof (probably pretty good), one from former grad student in the robotics lab now AP (excellent)
Research Experience: 4 years robotics, 1 year behavioral econ
Teaching Experience: None
Research Interests:Market Design, Mechanism Design, and Social Choice
SOP:I really hate writing application essays. Wrote it in one go and sent the first draft. Basically an annotated list of books that inspired me to study economics. Added a couple professor’s names at the end who I’d like to work with. (Found a spelling mistake after sending it to 90% of my applications. I think it is true they don’t really read these.)
Other: Had a couple robotics papers as third author.
Acceptances: Caltech ($$$), University of Arizona ($$), Ohio State University, CS Program @ Alma Mater ($$)
Waitlists: University of Chicago($$$$), UCLA, Boston College ($$)
Rejections: MIT, Harvard, Stanford, Princeton, Berkeley, Columbia, NYU, University of Pennsylvania, Penn State, University of Michigan, University of Maryland, Duke, Operations Management Program @ Alma Mater
Attending: University of Chicago!
Comments:The first time I applied a year out of undergrad I didn’t get anything but a subsidized MA program from UT (only applied to a couple T10 & UT at that time). I think the most important difference this time was having at least one letter from an economist. Luck also had a lot to do with it.
What would you have done differently?
I am very happy with my results. However, through talking with other students on visit days and browsing this forum, I think I could have improved my application. This is what I would have done differently starting from the beginning of my masters.
I wish I had found this site before I sent all my applications.
I should have had more economists writing my letters.
I should have started RA work earlier and worked with more than one prof.
I should have studied or taken a practice test for the GRE, my time management was terrible.
I should have taken the stochastic dynamic programming course in the second year when I was better prepared and got a letter from that prof