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2014-01-14 11:04| 发布者: 编辑-1 | 查看: | 来源: 互联网




  Applied Program: Financial Mathematics

  In the deepest recesses of my memories is the boulevard lined with Chinese parasol trees located outside my house. When I was just ten years old, my father put me at the back of his bicycle and rode me every weekend to attend English classes in the nearby community center (English was not part of elementary school education in China at that time). On this road of questing for my first western education, I, as a girl who loved to indulge in observations and meditations, kept an observant eye on the changing colors of the leaves all the year round. The rotation of seasons and the cyclical changes of the trees impressed me with the transitoriness of life and the urgency of making my life substantial within its transitory span. My present application for an advanced degree program at your esteemed university is by far the most important step in my relentless efforts to make my life substantial.

  Dealing with figures has been our family tradition. As my mother is a statistician and my grandma a certified public account, as a teenager I had also commenced my observations and reflections on figures and calculations in the statements and reports that they had prepared with strong curiosity and interest. This interested strengthened my love for mathematics, often described as the “gymnastics of abstract thinking.” From elementary school to middle school, it was virtually a rule for me to achieve straight A’s in almost every course related to mathematics, a talent which has always made me feel proud of myself. Deep in my subconscious, I knew that a career related to mathematics would fit me most perfectly. Therefore, when I gained my undergraduate admission, I chose to specialize in Mathematics at Beijing Normal University. I believe that this specialty has provided me with a perfect arena to give vent to my passion for mathematics. My dedication to studies in mathematics and effective strategies of learning, plus voluminous readings of technical literature in various academic journals, have led to my top third ranking in my class and a number of major scholarships.

  My greatest passion for learning mathematics was stimulated when I came to discover the foundational importance in social sciences, the essential function of mathematics behind its abstract concepts and number theories. When I first studied Advanced Mathematics, I was not clear about the real use of abstract mathematical theories. This kind of puzzlement lasted until I found that the genuine function of mathematics lied in its ability to solve problems in the real world objectively and scientifically, to develop human wisdom, to enable one to arrive at higher horizons and to examine problems with insights and discriminations. The courses that have particularly fascinated me most are Mathematical Analysis, Higher Geometry, Probability Theory, Mathematical Statistics, and Matrix Construction in Mathematics. Those courses allowed me to experience the charm of mathematics’ symbolic language and that of mathematical thinking, in addition to its omnipresent utility.

  As an undergraduate, I am most proud of my experience of constructing the Social and Economic Growth Model as a team member representing our university during a mathematical modeling contest in Beijing. As our three-person team lacked the experience of applying theoretical knowledge to practical problems, we felt at an impasse in the face of the challenging task. I took some time to examine in detail all the mathematical models we had learned in class and proposed the idea of dividing the entire modeling into individual modules and piecing them together to form a complete model. Eventually our team was awarded second prize at this provincial contest. In retrospect, it is precisely this experience that aroused my serious interest in the application of mathematics in the realms of economics and finance. To further develop myself in this direction, I studied a lot of optional courses including macroeconomics, microeconomics, e-commerce, etc. Thenceforward, I developed a new objective—to combine my knowledge of mathematics with economics and finance and to exploit the function of mathematics in social life.

  My undergraduate thesis, entitled Vector Quantity and Geometry, though purely theoretical in appearance, is actually a vivid description of how mathematical theories can be applied to reality. It focuses on precise analysis of those potential yet absolute relationships between different entities and how we can uncover and examine those relationships from mathematical perspectives. Rated by the department academic council as “Class A”, the thesis has been accepted by the editorial board of our departmental journal for publication.

  Apart from cultivating my rigorous attitude for scientific research and developing my analytical and problem-solving abilities, I have taken an active part in extracurricular activities. With my strengths in mathematics, I passed a number of certification tests with much facility, including Microsoft Certified Professional, Microsoft Office-Use Specialist, and LOTUS 1-2-3. I have been correspondent and editor for our campus radio broadcasting station and campus website. My English proficiency qualified me as a volunteer working for the Beijing Worldwide Chinese Businessmen Meeting. In summer vacation, I worked part-time at a local accounting firm where I exercised my knowledge of mathematics and skills of electronic computation to establish for the firm a financial database. I also worked on preparing business accounting plans and digitalized financial management plans for the firm’s clients.

  My experiences of social practices have permitted me to understand how mathematics can best be used. As far as I am concerned, my lack of advanced academic knowledge, especially my lack of in-depth understanding of economics and finance, and my lack of formal and systematic trainings in those fields, have constituted my “bottleneck” for further academic development. The overall situation in China is that there is an oversupply of theoretical mathematicians while applied mathematicians are sorely needed. Interdisciplinary subjects between mathematics and economics, such as financial mathematics, actuary science, economic engineering, and mathematical economics, are virtually nonexistent in China. The consequence is that China’s economic development will be seriously hampered for the lack of those important sciences. Great Britain plays a leading role in the world both in financial sciences and in education. Those two factors have motivated me to seek advanced studies there.

  In this Personal Statement, I would like to indicate to you unequivocally my intention to specialize in financial mathematics, mathematical economics, or similar programs of an interdisciplinary nature. My choice is motivated by the consideration that in China virtually all financial professionals do not possess a strong background in mathematics, thus they rely heavily on foreign technical models and concepts. However, China’s economic conditions and models differ from those in Western countries and any unquestioning importation would be counterproductive. My plan is to probe into the possibility of developing some economic and financial models that best fit in with China’s circumstances based on a critical analysis of Western models and extensive practices. Projects in those areas will be what I am most concerned with and interested in.

  London School of Economics and Politics is reputed for its time-honored history, respected for its distinctive status in economics and finance, along with its unparalleled research and pedagogical standards. Advanced educational concepts and methodologies there would undoubtedly broaden my vision and perspectives, enhance my fundamental skills in devising and launching large-scale cases. Most importantly, for a woman like me who has a penchant for English culture in general and English literature in particular, going to study in Britain will foster my spirit of independence the way Jane Eyre did. Nothing can delight me more than to observe and to experience, with heart and soul, the historical, cultural legacies of such a great country.


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