January 6, 2013
D. Gale and L. S. Shapley, "College admissions and the stability of marriage." (1962)
December 20, 2012
How are you?
Sorry for replying you so late. The reason why I haven't sent you my thanks after your last message has nothing to do with my busy schedule, and I've never intended to ignore your words. I just want to make sure I can bear all those coursework before saying thank you.
I'm glad to tell you that I've just finished all my final exams of this semester, including the ones of MA1, ODE, Statistics 1 and Optimization Theory and Techniques. I won't believe it if someone told me two months ago: "Hey! There's no problem with undertaking 4 maths courses at the same time. You needn't drop any of them!" But I do can break my extreme, with supports from you and some others.
The time when I told you my concerns on ODE, I was also asking for advise from professors and students. Opinions varied. If I ever decided to withdraw ODE, I must had been persuaded that I cannot comprehend it thoroughly without sufficient background knowledge in mathematics. Luckily, I followed your ideas at last.
As you've been reminding me all the way: a PhD program in Economics is much harder than what I'm experiencing. If I cannot insist on taking mathematics now, it's little likely to go through the graduate study. You did reveal the essence of academic study: it's not enough to be just intelligent and gifted, perseverance also matters.
And it's only the beginning, I know. As you've mentioned, such barriers are common in the future. I believe I'll do what is the same as today. Last but not least, thank you again for all your patience and help. It's really lucky to have someone determine my heart on pursuing my ideal career. And wish you all the best with your studies:)
I'm very glad to hear that. Congratulations! You are right, perseverance and strong-mindedness matter - way more than gift. I am also glad to see you took Optimization as well. It will be very useful once in grad school. Anyway, you should feel proud of yourself. Good luck!
October 24, 2012
- Read David Colander's The Making of An Economist, Redux, to get an understanding of what grad school in economics is really like, and see for yourself if it is the right idea for you to pursue grad school.
- Even though it is always better to learn more math in college, the undergraduate math preparation is generally sufficient with Real Analysis (on top of Mathematical Analysis) and ODE. Of course you'd need substantially more mathematical knowledge than these eventually, but in which areas of mathematics should you further your study depends on which field of economics you eventually choose. Just cramming in all the math you can take does not always justify the cost. On the other hand, you can always extend your math skills once in grad school or even later in your career. But everything said, ceteris paribus, more math is always potentially helpful.
- While you're busy taking courses from the math department, make sure you also study mathematical economics, i.e. the area of mathematics that economists most frequently use, which can be sufficiently different from what the standard undergrad math department sequences offer. Take an advanced mathematical economics or optimization theory course if you can. Make sure you read Simon & Blume as much as you can (preferably finish it) before grad school - particularly Chapters 15 (IFT), 18 (Kuhn-Tucker Theorem), 20 (Homothetic functions), 23, and 24 (difference/differential equations). Alternatively, you can read Dixit's Optimization in Economic Theory which is appropriate for college students as well. During my first year in grad school, I also found Varian's Microeconomic Analysis very helpful and a pleasure to read.
- When applying, try to diversify your choices by applying to Business Economics and Public Policy / Political Science programs as well, if you have an interest in any of these. These programs are essentially economics programs with a particular focus. Their methodology will be economic, and many of the faculties members in these schools have PhDs in economics. Sometimes even business school economists may work on some theory if that's what you are interested in. If you are not sure, read the CVs and publications of the faculty members before you apply.
- Confidence is always important regardless if you're still a prospective student or you are already in grad school. Sometimes you cannot understand some hard materials simply because you don't believe you can. Most of the things you are faced with in grad school are not as hard and profound as you imagine them to be. If you don't understand it, read it again - and again.
- In your first year, you may want to consult "How to survive your first year of graduate school in economics" by Matthew Pearson.
- For the question of how to become successful in your career, read Cal Newport's So Good They Can't Ignore You - great book, by the way - and his Study Hacks blog.
October 12, 2012
April 4, 2012
The brilliant ration-alist [Robert S. McNamara, then working at Ford] had encountered a central, frustrating tenet of human nature: behavior change is hard. The cleverest engineer or economist or politician or parent may come up with a cheap, simple solution to a problem, but if it requires people to change their behavior, it may not work. Every day, billions of people around the world engage in behaviors they know are bad for them - smoking cigarettes, gambling excessively, riding a motorcycle without a helmet.
Why? Because they want to! They derive pleasure from it, or a thrill, or just a break from the daily humdrum. And getting them to change their behavior, even with a fiercely rational argument, isn't easy.Precisely. This might as well be the single most deadly weakness of human nature at large.
April 1, 2012
But more power also calls for more responsibilities:
March 25, 2012
February 13, 2012
January 6, 2012
November 14, 2011
The one thing I value most is intelligence. It is not academic excellence - as a doctoral student, academics is evidently one of my major pursuits; however it is not everything I am after. I do not mean cleverness either. Being clever is a genius, a gift, and it is certainly fortunate that one is quick in mind; but it is not essential. A very intelligent man can be without an exceptional quickness.
By intelligence, I mean the sharpness of mind, the sheer ability to accept information and make sense of it, the ability to see things that are not apparent by sight, and to make out the interior of what has happened, and generalize it to a grander subject, grander than our own humble beings.
Scholastic pursuits, as a major part of my life, is like an art to me. It is like practicing calligraphy, one of my longest-lasting pastimes: The greater you learn, the abler you become to appreciate the beauty of it, once your proficiency in the subject has reached a level that provides aesthetic value to what you do. Yes, academics is an art to me, an enjoyment, and a means to make a reasonably comfort living, in a life filled with the amusement of reading and thinking.
I hope at the age of sixty, when I will be freed from earthly obligations, I can spend a few years in a Daoist temple, to reflect on all my life’s happenings, and find the truth of Dao. Fangjing
November 2, 2011
Modify page header and footer when printing a page - Google Chrome Help
October 19, 2011
A physicist and a mathematician were asked to solve two problems. The first problem was that given a waterfall, an empty kettle, and a stove, to prepare hot water. The physicist collected water from the waterfall with the kettle, and then put it on the stove to boil it; the mathematician did the same. The second problem was to prepare hot water given a waterfall, a kettle, this time already filled with water, and a stove. The physicist directly put the kettle of water on the stove to boil; but the mathematician first poured away the water from the kettle, and then the second problem was reduced to the first problem, solving the second one.
October 6, 2011
Since 1979 International Star Registry has been offering the gift to name the stars and is now offering your chance to name two stars in honor of your favorite couple. Couple’s Stars are available for couples, loved ones and family members. Two stars from the same solar system. Residing in the sky. Together forever.Thank Terri for the pointer.
October 3, 2011
September 24, 2011
September 21, 2011
September 20, 2011
My supervisor lent this book to me for my reading. It seems an interesting book (definitely more so than Mas-Colell), mingling graphic design with quantitative analysis. Edward R. Tufte, the author, is a professor emeritus in statistics at Yale.
September 4, 2011
I found this most popular words ranking by M-W. It lists the most frequently searched for entries for the past 24 hours, 7 days, and 4 months. This could include vocabulary related to current happenings and can be an interesting and effective guide to vocab learners.