Fit in some Mathematical Finance in before end of degree?

In summary, the student is in their 4th year of a Pure Math degree and is considering what courses to take next year. They will be taking an overload of 6.0 credits and have completed their required courses for their degree. They are considering taking elective courses in Actuarial Sciences, Statistics, and Finance, but it may not be necessary unless they are specifically interested in those fields. The student may also consider taking courses in advanced probability/statistics, time series analysis, and computer programming to prepare for graduate school. Retaking courses may not be necessary unless the student feels weak in them.
  • #1
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I'll be in my 4th year of a Pure Math degree next year, and I'm think of what courses to fill up my timetable with.

I'll be taking an overload, so I'll be taking 6.0 credits worth of courses (3.0 per semester). I'm only required to take 3.0 more courses in Pure Math to get my degree, so I have room to play around with.

Currently, I will be taking:

Rings and Modules
Field and Galois Theory
Differential Equations
Complex Analysis II
Algebraic Topology
Algebraic Geometry

(Note I'll have taken a lot of 4th year/Grad courses the summer before 4th year such as Functional Analysis, Smooth Manifolds, Banach Function Spaces, and maybe Non-Commutative Geometry)

So I think I'm pretty set on completing my requirements for both my degree and my graduate school application.

But i have room to take electives since I've stacked my first 3 years so jam packed.

I've completed my Arts and Social Science requirements, so I'm just looking for courses that a)interest me, b)may help me in the future if after I (hopefully) complete my PhD and do not want to stay in academia

So the first thing that comes to mind is taking courses in Actuarial Sciences, Stats, etc. I know they are much different than pure math courses, but I'd expect they would help if I would have to look to getting a job on Bay St (toronto).

So some of the courses I'm looking to take:

Accelerated German (for my language requirement for Graduate Studies)
Mathematics of Finance (Actuarial Science)
Financial Markets and Investments (Actuarial Science)
Mathematics of Financial Options (Applied Math)
Probability and Statistics I/II (Stats)
Financial Modelling (Stats)

Would it be wise for me to take some courses in finance and investing if I have the room? I'm usually one to argue that university is definitely -not- a process for a meal ticket for a job, but I'm just trying to weigh the pros and cons of either filling the space I have with electives that could help me in the future, or stick to pure math and just load up on graduate courses that are being offered next year.

I was also thinking, would it be wise to retake courses with all this room? Last year there were two courses where I got a B in for a mixture of both laziness and other reasons. Would it be wise to retake these courses and bring them up to an A or higher?

Thank you for any advice!
 
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  • #2
Hey Kindayr.

In terms of statistics, you really need to have a major in some sense that is heavy in statistics. It's just that the thinking is a lot different to pure math, but I'm sure you realize this.In terms of actuarial studies, this is a very specialized form of applied statistics. There is a lot to learn and to be honest I wouldn't worry about doing this unless you really want to be an actuary. If you are keen to get into some statistical field or even analytic field that would benefit from statistical knowledge, I would take a major in normal statistics over actuarial coursework. If you end up wanting to do actuarial coursework, then the transition is a lot easier.

If you are to pick a course, one good indicator would be to look if the course requires you to do things like write reports or recommendations and to use computers (either existing packages or you having to write your own code) to analyze data that is used in the report or recommendation. This is the kind of thing that gets done in applied fields.

I'm guessing you want to do grad school in pure math though, so with that being said depending on what you want to do, my advice might be irrelevant.
 
  • #3
Kindayr said:
I've completed my Arts and Social Science requirements, so I'm just looking for courses that a)interest me, b)may help me in the future if after I (hopefully) complete my PhD and do not want to stay in academia

If you are going to graduate school, then I'd recommend that you take a course on advanced probability/statistics or something that will get you exposure to time series analysis. Also, an introductory computer programming course won't hurt.

So the first thing that comes to mind is taking courses in Actuarial Sciences, Stats, etc. I know they are much different than pure math courses, but I'd expect they would help if I would have to look to getting a job on Bay St (toronto).

The problem is that most of the things in those classes you can learn on your own, and it's likely to be painfully out of date when you look for work. You might consider a class on financial history or the banking system.

Things would be different if you want to get a job in the next year or two,

I was also thinking, would it be wise to retake courses with all this room? Last year there were two courses where I got a B in for a mixture of both laziness and other reasons. Would it be wise to retake these courses and bring them up to an A or higher?

Unless you feel really weak in them, probably not.
 
  • #4
Unless you plan on taking actuarial exams in your immediate future, don't consider the actuarial science courses.

Even if you will be taking actuarial exams in your immediate future, they might not be necessary.
 
  • #5


I would say that it is always beneficial to broaden your knowledge and skills in different areas. If you have an interest in mathematical finance and think it could potentially be useful in your future career, then it would be wise to take some courses in this field. It is important to have a well-rounded education and having knowledge in multiple areas can make you a more competitive job candidate.

However, it is also important to prioritize and make sure you are not overloading yourself with too many courses. Make sure to balance your schedule and not sacrifice your performance in your required courses for the sake of taking additional electives. If you are considering retaking courses, make sure to weigh the benefits and potential costs in terms of time and effort.

Overall, it is up to you to decide what courses will best benefit you in the long run. Just make sure to carefully consider your options and make a decision that aligns with your goals and interests.
 

1. What is mathematical finance?

Mathematical finance is a field that applies mathematical theories and techniques to financial problems and models. It involves the use of mathematical tools, such as calculus, probability, and statistics, to analyze and understand financial markets, products, and strategies.

2. Why is mathematical finance important?

Mathematical finance is important because it allows for a deeper understanding and more accurate analysis of financial markets and products. It also helps in the development of new financial products and strategies that can be used to manage risk and maximize returns.

3. How does mathematical finance relate to other fields of study?

Mathematical finance has strong ties to mathematics, economics, and finance. It also has applications in various industries, such as banking, insurance, and investment management.

4. What skills are needed to excel in mathematical finance?

To excel in mathematical finance, one needs a strong foundation in mathematics, including calculus, linear algebra, and probability theory. Additionally, knowledge of economics and finance concepts is beneficial. Critical thinking, problem-solving, and programming skills are also important.

5. How can I incorporate mathematical finance into my degree?

To incorporate mathematical finance into your degree, you can take courses in mathematics, economics, and finance. You can also participate in internships or research projects related to mathematical finance. Additionally, you can join clubs or organizations that focus on financial modeling and analysis.

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