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Old 11-09-09, 01:14 PM   #1
phantomcow2
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Math background for grad school in economics.

Does anybody here have a masters degree -- or know someone who has one -- in economics? If so, can you comment on the math background you feel is required to complete the coursework?

I am graduating with a BA in economics next year. I'm considering grad school in econ or industrial engineering/operations research. As such, I'd like to tailor my choice in math classes to best suit my possible fields of study.
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Old 11-09-09, 01:40 PM   #2
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I don't have a Masters in Economics - a BS with double majors of Econ/Finance and Insurance/Finance. If I were going to take any math courses to prep for grad school, I'd take statistics courses.
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Old 11-09-09, 01:41 PM   #3
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A friend of mine is an economics professor. I think statistics and/or differential equations definitely would serve you well. Real world data is messy, so being comfortable with those two topics is quite helpful.

On a side note, I can't believe you're almost graduating already! That's awesome, dude! It seems like yesterday that I was helping you out with high school physics.
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Old 11-09-09, 01:45 PM   #4
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A friend of mine is an economics professor. I think statistics and/or differential equations definitely would serve you well. Real world data is messy, so being comfortable with those two topics is quite helpful.

On a side note, I can't believe you're almost graduating already! That's awesome, dude! It seems like yesterday that I was helping you out with high school physics.
Wait...so you were helping with HS physics? Where were you when I wanted to calculate how long it would take a 1 kg object to travel 1 parsec starting from a dead standstill and then having a continuous thrust of 20 newtons?
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Old 11-09-09, 01:47 PM   #5
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object to travel 1 parsec starting
Parsec....that was a fun game from TI back in the day!!
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Old 11-09-09, 03:08 PM   #6
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A friend of mine is an economics professor. I think statistics and/or differential equations definitely would serve you well. Real world data is messy, so being comfortable with those two topics is quite helpful.

On a side note, I can't believe you're almost graduating already! That's awesome, dude! It seems like yesterday that I was helping you out with high school physics.
Haha, yes, I know! It seemed like just yesterday I was pulling my hair trying to solve a system of linear equations or use basic trig identities.

Now I'm parametrizing curves using those things and finding integrals of the result .

I haven't taken a physics class yet. I do need a lab science though, so I may take the intro calc-based physics. You'll recall that math was the biggest obstacle for me in the past. I addressed this by becoming a math minor -- strengthening a weakness.


BTW, are you a professor yet?
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Old 11-09-09, 03:09 PM   #7
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Applying now. Hopefully will be a prof starting next academic year.
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Old 11-09-09, 03:13 PM   #8
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Economics??? jeez, don't we have enough economists already?
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Old 11-09-09, 03:57 PM   #9
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Applying now. Hopefully will be a prof starting next academic year.
So how many applicants are there for a chemistry teaching position?
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Old 11-09-09, 04:01 PM   #10
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Does anybody here have a masters degree -- or know someone who has one -- in economics? If so, can you comment on the math background you feel is required to complete the coursework?

I am graduating with a BA in economics next year. I'm considering grad school in econ or industrial engineering/operations research. As such, I'd like to tailor my choice in math classes to best suit my possible fields of study.
I have an undergrad in engineering and MBA with finance emphasis.

You need a good understanding of statistics, logarithmic functions, and derivatives if you plan to further study eco. This means an undergrad statistic class and calculus through integrations (Calc I & II for six semester hours, generally speaking). You might be able to sluff off some of the calculus.

If you plan to get a degree in engineering you need to be prepared for about 9 -12 hours of calculus plus another 3 to 6 hours of advanced differential equations.

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A friend of mine is an economics professor. I think statistics and/or differential equations definitely would serve you well.
.
You'll generally need 9 - 12 hours of the calculus before you really get into applied differentials.
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Old 11-09-09, 04:23 PM   #11
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Monoborracho, thanks for the reply.

By "hours" I assume you mean semester hours? If so, I'll have taken calc 1, 2, and 3, for a total of 12 semester hours by the end of this semester.

I've taken six hours in statistics. I'll be taking econometrics next semester (4 credit course), so maybe that classifies as statistics again?

It looks like my college only offers one class in differential equations. Multivariable calc is a prerequisite.
Description of the course as provided by the instructor:
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"An examination of methods of solving ordinary differential equations and systems of equations, interpolation and approximation, numerical integration, calculation of eigenvalues, and error estimation. Emphasis is on methods suitable for implementation on a digital computer."
What about linear algebra? I was strongly considering taking that next semester. I am registering for courses in 19.5 hours. So....crunch time!
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Old 11-09-09, 04:46 PM   #12
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Linear algebra would be nice to take. Personally, I'd take it over diff. eq.

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So how many applicants are there for a chemistry teaching position?
Umm, lots. Depending on how targeted an opening, one might be competing against anywhere from a hundred to several hundred applicants. In some cases, where it's not limited to chemistry, and the search is very much international in scope, I wouldn't be surprised if I'm up against a thousand other applicants.
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Old 11-09-09, 04:54 PM   #13
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Jschen, do you happen to know what the market looks like for math or economics professors? I'm seriously considering pursuing a career in academia as a professor. I tutor two people in math and one in econ and love it.
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Old 11-09-09, 04:56 PM   #14
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Honestly, it's hard to give you a meaningful answer. Right now, all academic jobs are tough to get. (As are all non-academic jobs!) But there will always be both good times and bad. Predicting 5 years into the future is a dangerous thing to try to do.
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