JDV & Quant Graduates

For someone with a strong interest in economics, models and trading strategies (with an MS in Finance), which degree would you recommend to augment true mathematical understanding (giving a fair balance between practitioner and theoretical grounds, I’m kind of an academic). MS in Statistics MS in Mathematics MA in Mathematics Also, could you highlight the differences in your perceptions of each as someone familiar with the field?

What do you mean by “augment true mathematical understanding”? In my experience, the difference between MS and MA is just semantic/marketing. Sure, MS means Master of Science and MA means Master of Arts, but I don’t think an MA in Mathematics is any less “scientific” than an MS in Mathematics, but people who don’t know better might think it is. Statistics may lead more naturally from a graduate program to a job, simply because people may have a more immediately graspable understanding of how your training adds value. That’s not to say that mathematics doesn’t add value - it’s just that it’s easier for a non-specialist to imagine “oh, that guy can do good statistical analysis of all the data we’ve been paying through the nose for,” than what “oh, that guy can do good math for us” might mean. Math is perhaps more useful for derivatives valuation (exotic options etc.), whereas the statistics might be more useful for modeling underlying things (securities, economies, currencies, etc), but that’s a very simplistic breakdown, and others probably have better comments there.

i think your question is very narrowly formulated and way too specific, try to broaden it a little (sarcasm, fyi). masters in math can very greatly. you can do pure math in which you’ll take only abstract algebra and topology, don’t see how you “augment” anything that is related to your interests. you can do masters in applied math and still not touch any probability, stats course or stochastic course, just do functional analysis and PDEs. warmer, but still freezing. you can do a course in mathematical finance which would be heavy focused on stoachstic calculus and applications for building pricing models. it really depends on the requirements of the program you have in mind you know

I only have a math BS but I’d say for finance and economics the best bet is probably a math MA/MS (probably identical) with a curriculum that’s heavily focused on statistics and differential equations - applied math is probably a good program to look at.

For a true quant role, you need a PhD, for anything else a masters in math/statistics is overkill, so a master’s is a bit of a no man’s land. It might get you into a risk management role, possibly.

All good thoughts here. I think that many of the masters degrees in math/stat are degrees awarded to people who either don’t pass their qualifiers or don’t finish their dissertations. Both of those are not especially great things to write on a resume. Someone gave me a form to fill out sometime to get a master’s degree and I did it, but it doesn’t mean much to me. Unlike Mobius, I think studying abstract algenra and topology has some value, although it’s tough to convince someone that you are going to use that in your job (I’ve taken two abstract algebra courses and one topology course in my life so I’m not much of an authority, really). Anyway, among those I like anything computational. The mathematics and statistics training I have had that seems to pay the biggest dividends is the stuff that lets me actually implement and compute something. Anyway: Sorry haven’t been posting much - been working like crazy.

Good to see you back, Joey. Forum was missing an important presence and it felt odd. A few people from my program got cut after the qualifiers - and one is currently waiting tables. I can’t fathom that, going from studying graduate level science to waiting tables. The day I found out I made the cut was one of the biggest reliefs I’ve ever experienced in my life - I still had nightmares for weeks after.

that notion that masters in math is a failed phd is a little BS if you ask me. i might be biased in my opinion since i have a masters in math but it seems like a generalization which is no better justified than me saying that phd’s are a buncha geeks who can only work in academia and teach classes.

JoeyDVivre’s opinion >> Mobius Striptease’s opinion.

If you have your MSF, isn’t it just one more step to get your PhD? Isn’t specialization better than having two masters?

Anyone who’s done a Ph.D. is likely to tell you that that “just one more step” is by no means a small one.

bchadwick Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > Anyone who’s done a Ph.D. is likely to tell you > that that “just one more step” is by no means a > small one. Hahaha, kinda like one more step far away from the edge of a cliff is quite different from the extra step at the edge.

philip.platt Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > If you have your MSF, isn’t it just one more step > to get your PhD? Isn’t specialization better than > having two masters? he’s going for breadth rather than depth maybe

> > Hahaha, kinda like one more step far away from the > edge of a cliff is quite different from the extra > step at the edge. that’s about as nonsensical as your previous posting, maintain the level

Mobius Striptease, Have you done a masters or PhD in any field like JDV? Have you worked at a hedge fund for many years like JDV? If not, why are you offering your opinion?

what kind of idiotic questions are you asking me? i’m offering my opinion cause i have one. i have one cause 5 years ago i was debating whether i would spend 5 more years in school getting my phd in applied math or go into industry only with masters and start getting on the job experience. i made some decisions that made sense to me at the time and in retrospect i think it was the best decision to make. what’s your constructive input in the discussion besides being JDV’s puppy?

Ah, so no, no, and “because I felt like talking.” Gotcha.

does excessive verbal masturbation in the forum help alleviate your PMS? my best regards to your mom

I appreciate input from all sources right now. Basically Mobias appears to be giving his input because I asked for of which is fine particularly since I like the fact that he’s providing an alternate perspective. Subliminity, I liked the input from you and JDV as well, it’s making me really rethink my steps. Mobias is right in that I do want breadth to my knowledge. My core requirement is that I’d like to know enough about most things that I can follow an expert when they’re explaining a complex concept in academic terms. I don’t really know for sure what I want to do in an exact sense yet, however, in a general sense I really think I would enjoy economics and asset management at the profession level and would also like to begin to study astrophysics in my personal time for fun. I would like a degree that would assist me at each of these at the practical level. I also know for sure that I don’t want a doctorate in finance. What I would like is a good doctorate degree in either econ or astrophysics. Both require a stronger quantitative base than I have, so my math needs augmented. I graduated undergrad several years back with a terrible gpa and no real quant, so hence the lack of flexibility in terms of just doing a doctorate. On a side note, does a good quant doctorate require four years of being unemployed while you study, or are there periods where it’s flexible enough that you can also make money to pay bills. Ability to attend part time is one reason I prefer say a MS in Math with focus in prob/stats or simply an MS in stats. Are we all in agreance then that the difference between ma & ms is neglidgable? I haven’t heard much since bchadwick’s comments. Also, it seems like everyone is leaning towards prob / stat, is this also the correct take?

Subliminity, I obviously respect JDV, as does Mobias, but telling people who haven’t worked at a hedge fund (which you haven’t either) that they can’t offer their opinion is just incorrect. This would be a quiet forum if that were the case. Additionally, I never expressed a desire to work in the hedge fund industry (which I’ve been told isn’t all it’s cracked up to be), so let’s not make assumptions. Secondly, judging people by their professional stature or income is the height of folly, so try never to get caught up in that. Mobias, cmon man, I like heat in my threads as much as the next guy, but keep it within reason, or at least based on logic.