#10 Why I do math?

I graduated from Qibao High School and currently study at University of Maryland, College Park, and was one of those who was interested in multiple fields of study. I decided to study abroad because I wanted to receive a better education and hoped to establish my own career with personal ability, instead of simply following instructions from the parents. According to my primary investigation among students, who chose to study abroad with me at QB high school then, most of us shared the similar reasons.

As mentioned, I was interested in multiple fields of study then. For example, I used to target journalism as a desired career. The reason why I gave it up was because it might be too hard to graduate and find a proper job afterward. Through the four-year study, mathematics attracted me by its profound knowledge and comprehensive real life practice. These can be shown in research opportunities and career fair.

Research in math is remarkable. Besides opportunities at the Norbert-Wiener Center, there is also REU, the research opportunities for undergraduates. NSF funds the program. An REU Site consists of a group of ten or so undergraduates who work in the research programs of the host institution and each student is associated with a specific research project, where he/she works closely with the faculty and other researchers (“For Students”). There are also programs to enroll without a complicated process of application, such as the Directed Reading Program. The Directed Reading Program (DRP) pairs undergraduate students with graduate student mentors for semester-long independent study projects (“Directed Reading Program”). Students are normally assigned to read a book recommended by the graduate mentor, but topics of projects are usually selected according to the interest of students in the application form. colorlogobigIndeed, besides multiple resources in research, there are also career services available on campus, which helps undergraduates to receive information from criterion and alumni. Even though it was not a unique advantage to major in math, normally, career advice from the department advisor might help more than those in the career center. It is because counselors usually know less than advisors with the professional background in the subject.

Therefore, based on my personal experience, I highly recommend graduating students at Qibao High School to join the community of international undergraduates like me and major in math.

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Work Cited

“For Students”. Natural Science Foundation. https://www.nsf.gov/crssprgm/reu/. Accessed 1 December 2016.

“Directed Reading Program”. University of Maryland. http://drp.math.umd.edu/index.php. Accessed 1 December 2016

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#7 Math in China

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Although many QB seniors graduated and planned to study abroad in the U.S, they might not decide if they should stay in the U.S or go back to China in the future. In addition to the career in the U.S, mathematical career is also prestigious in China and graduation as a math major in the U.S can produce unique advantages, comparing to those without the experience of international educational background.

Firstly, students, attending universities and colleges in the U.S, are usually better in English (“10 Benefits to Studying Abroad”). Because many international companies set branches in China, they prefer to hire students with good ability of English so that they are able to deal with international cases. Moreover, because international students are familiar with western culture, especially the way of thinking in business, they will become more competitive in the job application. Therefore, international students are able to have the better competence to work.

Math majored international students have more advantages in related fields. The quality of undergraduate education is universally regarded as the best in the world. Compared to relaxing campus life in China, international undergraduates actually suffer heavier loads and pressure on personal develop. All the obstacles actually strengthen students’ professional ability and stimulate them to work actively. The bash of quizzes, assignments, midterms concrete students’ knowledge and skills. In comparison, students only need to take one midterm and one final exam in most of the local universities in China, which make their professional ability less solid. Most of the students study only when exams are around the corner.

Because it is talking about math majors in the United States, an advantage of mathematical study here must be the atmosphere. The atmosphere to study and search for opportunities actively. Indeed, opportunities here are more diversified. It might be the charm of the American dream: accessibility of pursuit of anything amazing and impossible. Therefore, the strongest competence for international students back to China must be their passion and vision in their career. Companies are able to receive novel ideas and courage of innovation from these students.

In summary, studying abroad is a precious treasure for international students, even if they choose to go back to China for their long-term develop.

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Work Cited

“10 Benefits to Studying Abroad” International Student. www.internationalstudent.com/study-abroad/guide/ten-benefits-to-studying-abroad/. Accessed 26 October 2016

 

 

#9 Prepare for Graduate

 

Most of the seniors from Qibao High School will have a plan to join the graduate school. Advantages as a math major in graduate school application are also outstanding. To apply for a graduate school, you should firstly establish certain study. It should be specific and accessible. Next, you should collect experience in the related fields (“GETTING EXPERIENCE IS ESSENTIAL PREPARATION FOR GRADUATE SCHOOL“). There had better be working experience, research experience, team work experience and etc. However, collecting experience is not simple at all. You need a guide and professional assistance on it. Fortunately, major in math can provide adequate resources and opportunities on this, both from research and jobs. It also allows you to connect with other subjects and develop interdisciplinary fields of study.

More Choices

As it is mentioned, math is versatile. Besides those program with no specific requirement graduate-school-174319287in graduate-school degrees, students can choose data science, statistics, mathematics, actuarial science, physics, computer science, astronomy, public policy and etc. Among my colleagues, most of them decided to apply for graduate school at the very beginning of their campus life. The major in math actually helped them to apply more diversified programs than other majors.

Research Experience

Depending on programs applying, research can play various roles. Direction on different programs can vary. For example, there are programs for research and there are programs for a profession. If students are applying for some program heading to research, then related experience will play an important role. Resources in research can mainly focus on fields such as data mining, machine learning, and other popular topics currently. Moreover, traditional issues, such as probability, also deserve further discussion if you are interested. Besides GPA and GRE scores, universities will take such experience as a plus in your application and such resources in math are adequate and attracting.

Working Experience

Although there are limited job positions available only to math major students, it is nothing to become depressing because the department usually hires undergraduate students with outstanding academic performance. Working as lab assistants, teaching assistants, and graders on campus are all plus for your application. The point of working experience of full-time students is to show an ability of teamwork.

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Work Cited

“GETTING EXPERIENCE IS ESSENTIAL PREPARATION FOR GRADUATE SCHOOL”. 28 September 2012. mygraduateschool.wordpress.com/2012/09/28/getting-experience-is-essential-preparation-for-graduate-school/. Accessed 18 November 2016

#8 Math in America

Consider about post-graduate develop in careers. If you hope to stay in the U.S to study further, to be a graduate student, or to establish your own business, major in math will always be a good choice. Mathematics study is sophisticated and comprehensive here. Moreover, because it can be divided into traditional, educational, applied and statistical track, fields of study are diversified enough to select. According to my primary survey among international students at the math department in University of Maryland, College Park, here are two of the most popular derivatives in practical math:

Machine Learning

Machine learning nowadays relates closely with artificial intelligence. It is to research on whether computers can learn from data themselves. Here are some typical application (“Machine Learning: What it is and why it matters”):

  • The heavily hyped, self-driving Google car? The essence of machine learning.
  • Online recommendation offers such as those from Amazon and Netflix? Machine
  • learning applications for everyday life.
  • Knowing what customers are saying about you on Twitter? Machine learning
  • combined with linguistic rule creation.
  • Fraud detection? One of the more obvious, important uses in our world today.

Thanks to the fleeting develop in technology today, machine learning has been given novel definition and has been more popular than ever before. Today, it can be applied in finance, government services, transportation, oil and gas, and etc. However, back to the core, it is about the data mining and Bayesian analysis. It is also currently a major research at the Norbert-Wiener center, modeling research center at the department of mathematics in University of Maryland.

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Times Series

There are multiple definitions on time series. It can be regarded as a collection of quantitative observations that are evenly spaced in time and measured successively (Anne Senter). Examples of time series include (Anne Senter):

  • the continuous monitoring of a person’s heart rate
  • hourly readings of air temperature
  • daily closing price of a company stock
  • monthly rainfall data, and yearly sales figures.

As application listed above, it is widely applied to continuous variables in health care, medical science, environmental science, finance, and etc.

Goals of time series analysis (Anne Senter):

  • Descriptive: Identify patterns in correlated data—trends and seasonal variation
  • Explanation: understanding and modeling the data
  • Forecasting: prediction of short-term trends from previous patterns
  • Intervention analysis: how does a single event change the time series?
  • Quality control: deviations of a specified size indicate a problem

 

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Work Cited

“Machine Learning: What it is and why it matters”. SAS. www.sas.com/en_us/insights/analytics/machine-learning.html#. Accessed 18 November 2016

Anne Senter. “Time Series Analysis”. sfsu.edu. userwww.sfsu.edu/efc/classes/biol710/timeseries/timeseries1.htm. Accessed 18 November 2016

#6 Potential Concerns

As mentioned before, a proper decision on major should include consideration of personal interest, future career, and personal ability. Seniors from Qibao High School have already been better at math, compared to other peers. However, not everybody can afford the high cost of studying abroad. Although universities and colleges require international students to submit certification of their family income, it does not represent that all the qualified families can support their children living in a foreign country easily. Then, what exactly the issue is?

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The table above can show some common idea about tuition of universities and colleges in the U.S, excluding accommodation and other fees. Because there is no accommodation and other fees, it seems reasonable. However, supporting a full-time undergraduate in the U.S costs way more than what shown above. Tuition is only part of the large amount of money since the living price in the U.S is comparatively higher than in China thanks to the currency. Not to mention, some students might consider buying a car because of the inconvenience of public transportation. The table below is the most expensive universities to enroll in the U.S, including room, board, and other fees (“Most Expensive U.S. Colleges and Universities, 2015–2016”).

Rank College Total Cost
1. Harvey Mudd College $67,255
2. Columbia University $66,383
3. New York University $65,860
4. Sarah Lawrence College $65,630
5. University of Chicago $64,965
6. Bard College at Simon’s Rock $64,519

Although costing listed above is astounding, there are always solutions. Fortunately, there are financial aids and scholarships available for students in most of the universities and colleges. For example, at MIT, the highest ranked university in the US (and the world), 90% of undergraduates receive financial aid (Laura Bridgestock). At Caltech, almost 60% of undergraduates receive aid (Laura Bridgestock). Besides financial aids, which is not available for international students in most public universities, seniors in Qibao High school also might get opportunities to apply for scholarships based on their existed strong background in academics. Because the high school is one of the most prestigious high schools in Shanghai, seniors must be able to learn entry-level classes well as undergraduates after enrolled. Therefore, they should be able to apply for scholarships and have a comparatively high possibility of being considered. Otherwise, they can still get loan for oversea education at banks through application in China.

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Work Cited

Laura Bridgestock. “How Much Does it Cost to Study in the US?”. 30 January 2015. TOPUNIVERSITIES. www.topuniversities.com/student-info/student-finance/how-much-does-it-cost-study-us. Accessed 28 November 2016.
“Most Expensive U.S. Colleges and Universities, 2015–2016” www.infoplease.com/us/education/most-expensive-schools.html. Accessed 28 November 2016.

#5 Unique Advantage for QB Students

Qibao High School (QB) is famous for its good education and strict requirements to get admitted. Students always achieved high grades in Shanghai high school entrance exams there. Because math takes almost 1/3 of the exam, most of the students worked hard in math and achieved high scores. Not to mention, Chinese teenagers started to learn math in earlier age compared to peers from other countries (Reynolds Michael). As the result, students admitted in the high school have already performed well in math.

After the enrollment, QB provides well-designed routines of courses with experienced instructors, which guarantees students to receive comprehensive study in all subjects. Indeed, mathematics is treated as one of the most important subjects because it still takes 1/3 in the complicated entrance exam to universities. Thus, students’ ability of learning math get enhanced in the high school, which means they become even better in math. In such condition, I fail to consider any possibility that they are unable to master entry-level classes provided in universities and colleges in the U.S.

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Good academic performance at the beginning is crucial to building up self-confidence. Take something you are good at is very important (Lynn & Hyman). My personal experience in computer science (CS) can perfectly illustrate the reason well. My relatively poor performance in CS prevented me from keeping the minor. Hence, constantly struggling with courses that are very challenging saps your strength and can, over time, undermine your confidence (Lynn & Hyman).

Besides academic aspects, QB students are also comparatively more open than their peers from other high schools in China because of colorful campus activities held there. Studying abroad is not about learning knowledge and skills, but also about learning how to take care of yourself without the guidance of your parents. Choose an easygoing major so that students can have time to enjoy extracurricular activities, exercise, traveling, parties, and other happiness. Depending on the social advantages mentioned, students should be aware that college is not only about the study, developing leadership and other personal values through experience beyond classes is also crucial when applying for both graduate school and jobs.

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Work Cited

Reynolds, Michael. “Explainer: what makes Chinese maths lessons so good?”. TheConversation. Web. theconversation.com/explainer-what-makes-chinese-maths-lessons-so-good-24380. Accessed 10 November 2016.

Lynn F. Jacobs, Jeremy S. Hyman. “15 Ways to Boost Your Confidence at College”. USnews. 21 April. 2010. Web. www.usnews.com/education/blogs/professors-guide/2010/04/21/15-ways-to-boost-your-confidence-at-college. Accessed 10 November 2016.

#4 Career Develop

 

Math is the one that can provide prestigious develop in the future and also a relatively easy major for Qibao High School seniors. As long as you have no concrete and unique interest, you can try math at first and find its charm quickly. Here are several most popular profession for math graduates:

Teaching

According to the statistics in career from Mathematical Association of America, the teaching of mathematics at the K-12 level is a field with high demand and need to grow in the future (“Career“).

Actuarial Science

Actuarial science is applied mostly as analysts in insurance companies. Actuarial analysts are high paid with persistent working routine and become one of the most desirable jobs for math graduates. Actuarial applied mathematics and statistics in finance and insurance, with interrelating disciplines in probability and economics (“Careers”).

Computer Science

Computer science is an important application of mathematics in modern society. Although programming seems unrelated with calculations, a design of algorithm is actually derivative from mathematics. According to the Computer Science Degree Hub, linear algebra, and elementary probability are core courses for programmers (“Does a Computer Science Degree Require A Lot of Math Courses?”).

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Finance

Finance is a field that studies and addresses the ways in which individuals, business, and organizations raise allocate, and use monetary resources over time, taking into account the risks entailed in their project (“Career”). Because software technology is applied throughout industries, more and more financial consultants reply on models produced by those software to analyze and forecast the results and phenomenon in financial markets (“Career”).

Data Science

Develop of the Internet results in large amounts of data to proceed. However, among such data, there is trash and futile information. To select the right one and analyze unknown results and the phenomenon is the art of data science. Indeed, the most important part of data science is in statistics, which is a part of mathematics. Nowadays, the average salary of data analysts in the U.S can achieve over $80,000 per year.

Summary

Simply, because mathematics has multiple application in different fields of study, graduated mathematics students can consider going to graduate school for finance, math, education, economics, business analytics, and almost any major you are interested in.

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Work Cited

Randymcking. “HackTX 2012 Student programmers working”. Found. 20 October. 2012. commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:HackTX_2012_Student_programmers_working.jpg

“Careers” Mathematical Association of America. http://www.maa.org/careers. Accessed 26 October 2016

“Does a Computer Science Degree Require A Lot of Math Courses?” ComputerScienceDegreeHub. Web. http://www.computersciencedegreehub.com/faq/computer-science-degree-require-lot-math-courses/. Accessed 10 November. 2016.

#2 How to Select a Major.

What is a proper major to choose? A major can decide a student’s career and maybe even life as one of the chain effects. Nowadays, almost 31% of the roughly 975,000 international students in the U.S are from China. According to the primary survey, one of the most crucial considerations on major is that it should be able to bring a good job.

Do you like the major?

Interest is the best teacher. Take courses that are appealing to you, and then think about which subject truly motivates you (“The College Major: What It Is and How to Choose One“). Most of the seniors might have no clear interest. More precisely, they have multiple interests but fail to decide which one to develop for the profession. For example, when I was admitted and enrolled into the University of Maryland, my major is undeclared because I could not decide what to work on in the future. Therefore, what to concern next is that the major should be able to bring out a bright future.

fieldsofstudy_english-01Is the desired major “popular”?

If there were multiple choices, do some research about what kinds of jobs certain major relates to. Make sure that target jobs related to the major are directly or potentially connected with your ambition. For instance, a physics major student can be interested in physical research but can also be interested in positions in engineering or astronomy. There are also science major students who finally turn out to be consultants or bankers. Indeed, the average income of graduates is also crucial to consider. It is an attraction for certain majors because they are easier for students to get jobs after graduation.However, can students master such majors?

Don’t forget to judge yourself.

Computer science is one of the most popular majors to major but it is also rigorous to master. When students come across difficulties in the study, they can easily be frustrated and fail to move on further in the subject. Undergraduates with a fair academic performance in computer science may still be able to get internships or full-time jobs. However, some of my colleagues still quit it halfway because of the heavy load. Therefore, what is the most popular might not be what is the most accessible. The point is the find the proper one to develop.

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Work Cited

State Dept. “These 5 fields attract most international students to U.S. schools”. Found. Institution of International America. 17 November 2014. share.america.gov/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/FieldsofStudy_English-01.png. Accessed 31 November 2016

“The College Major: What It Is and How to Choose One”Collegeboard.org. Web. bigfuture.collegeboard.org/explore-careers/college-majors/the-college-major-what-it-is-and-how-to-choose-one. Accessed 9 November 2016.

#3 For Interest

For students who are already interested in math, it is the correct choice to major in it. Mathematics is a versatile subject, intersecting with multiple fields of study and some of them are welcoming in industries. For students who are uncertain about their interest or are interested in multiple fields, you can choose math as your major, as well. This major can help you not only in the job but also in the graduate program application.

Commonly, math is regarded as a basic subject. Its practice covers not only in science and engineering but also in social sciences, even liberal arts. Students major in math will have more choices available for occupation and research. According to words at mathematics department at Duke University, “Suppose you love mathematics, but ultimately see yourself pursuing a career as a doctor, lawyer, or in business. You should be aware that professional graduate schools in medicine, law, and business think mathematics is a great major because it develops analytical skills and the ability to work in a problem-solving environment.”(“Why Study Math”).salaries

How are literature and writing connected with mathematical knowledge? The meter of poetry, the number of words to include in a line, and effects of certain rhythms on the reader are all products of mathematical calculations (Van Thompson). Arts can also involve math. Geometric knowledge and formulas can help students to construct their impressive graphs, as well (Van Thompson).

Beyond academics, the importance of math in the career should not be ignored, as well. Bankers and consultants are usually good at statistics and modeling language, such as SAS or Python. Bayesian statistics can help to analyze and predict change in stock markets. Principals in math also produce various kinds of financial derivatives, which make current economic market succeeds.

In summary, students can choose math as the proper major even they are not certainly attracted by the subject. Even though they are interested in multiple fields of study, math can help them to approach and accomplish the goals better and easier. It can be the final destination but it can also play the role of preparation for other subjects. Precisely, more benefits than drawbacks to major in math from the position of interest.

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Work Cited

“Why Study Math?” Department of Mathematics. DukeU. math.duke.edu/undergraduate/why-math-major. Accessed 26 October 2016

Van Thompson. “How is Mathematics Used in Other Subjects”. OurEverydayLife. oureverydaylife.com/mathematics-used-other-subjects-10114.html. Accessed 27 October 2016

#1 Why Should QB High School Students Go To the U.S for Undergraduate Study?

Qibao(QB) High School is famous for its high quality of education. Because of trends in China that more and more parents decide to send their children abroad for undergraduate study, more doubts and confusion occurred, as well.

Some of them are not prevaricating. There are scandals, for example, Chinese rich students bought luxurious sports cars and had parties every day without studying. Last year, the news reported that three Chinese teenagers would go to prison for a San Gabriel Valley attack on a classmate (Stephen Ceasar). Although the news and scandals were actual, those were an only minority of the students. According to statistics, 41% of the Chinese students studying in the U.S are undergraduates by 2015. (Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian). Compared to those teenagers conducting the crime, undergraduates are actually grown ups and have ethical standards. Furthermore, bullying among adolescents is a worldwide issue, not just among international students. Advantages of studying abroad actually exceed such potential minuscular danger.

Newly graduated Chinese students gather

See the world (“10 Benefits to Studying Abroad”). It will be the very fresh opportunity for seniors to explore the world independently. There will be opportunities to observe the new outlook, new cultures, new activities, and new customs.

Education (“10 Benefits to Studying Abroad”). It is common knowledge that most of the elites go to the United States for good education. Transferring between majors, colleges and universities are easier in the U.S than in China. Students will have more freedom in developing academic and professional interests.

Language Skills (“10 Benefits to Studying Abroad”). Studying in English speaking countries is obviously better in improving English than studying in non-English speaking ones. More importantly, many universities and colleges provide classes for the foreign language such as Japanese, Spanish, French, Russian and so on. However,there are no such electives provided in universities in China, unless someone majors in certain Foreign language.

Personal Growth (“10 Benefits to Studying Abroad”). Study abroad is more than academics. Students also get opportunities to organize personal life, plan the future career, and become mentally stronger. As an experienced international undergraduate in the U.S, I have lost in emptiness, came across obstacles in academics, and finally successfully overcame mentally and physically languor. Even though the mottled experience has once brought me depression and anxiety, it has now become more a valuable memory.

word count: 382

Work Cited

Stephen Ceasar, and Cindy Chang. “3 teens from China will go to prison for a San Gabriel Valley attack on a classmate”. Los Angeles Times. 9 January 2016. http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-chinese-bullying-20160108-story.html. Accessed 9 November 2016.

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian. “Chinese Students in America: 300,000 and Counting”. foreignpolicy.com. November 16, 2015. foreignpolicy.com/2015/11/16/china-us-colleges-education-chinese-students-university/. November 9, 2016

“10 Benefits to Studying Abroad” International Student. http://www.internationalstudent.com/study-abroad/guide/ten-benefits-to-studying-abroad/. Accessed 26 October 2016