Throughout history, economics has experienced momentous changes. From the Archaic periods of Globalisation up to the more recent dot-com bubble, much has changed about the world economy. Despite this, poverty is still widespread and the disproportion of resources is remarkable. Born in the Philippines, I did not live in a so-called economic haven and it prompted me to think of the stratifications of wealth distribution. My underlying interest has developed into an enthusiasm for economics, and a desire to describe economics models and systems so I can solve convoluted real world problems .
As an avid reader, a book that interested me was “The Armchair Economist”, by Steven Landsburg, in which he explores the many ways economics is sown into our everyday lives and consistently alters our perception through his complex arguments and analysations. This easily digestible book, illustrates the thought process of an economist. The use of anecdotal devices and harsh criticism reflected his personal views on various observable issues which was interesting. It made me feel as if economics is not all just about graphs or just numbers rather a philosophical journey.
What intrigues me the most about economics is how many phenomena in the real world can be expressed in mathematical form. Weintraub’ s study shows that maths does not provide a fixed reference to economics. I agree to this to an extent as randomness is a fact of the real world. However, probability is connected to the real world by constructed models, my favourite example being Haavelmo integrating probability theory with econometrics to forecast how a change in one part of the economy can affect others. This prompted me to make my school’s science project on randomness and probability to explore its area. In my project I explored the Black-Scholes-Merton model which tackled randomness and probability distributions, through the use apparatus of modern mathematical statistics. It was generally the skeleton key which helped to understand the nature of chance. Using a series of variables denoted through mathematical symbols: Stock price, price volatility, duration of the contract, interest rate and level of risk, Nobel prize winners, Merton and Scholes were able to tackle the issue of options within the market. Although, level of risk was unquantifiable it was remarkable the way they managed to stabilise their economic portfolio made of stocks and options through dynamic hedging. Being able to determine the price of any option was a major breakthrough in economics at the time. This year’s Maths fest at UCL introduced me to the maths of crime which showed that what we may perceive as randomness could in fact be regularity. The synergy between maths, in particular statistics, and economics has made me look forward to studying economics at degree level and I am much looking forward to studying econometrics.
My passion of maths extends beyond my A-level studies and I constantly seek a mathematical challenge. Last year, I achieved a gold award in the Senior Maths Challenge scoring the second highest in my school, qualifying me for the Senior Kangaroo round. I attended a problem solving course for a six week period hosted by University College London. Within these sessions, it made me reflect on the many different ways a mathematical problem can be broken down, such as brute force or intellectual approach. It constantly challenged me to make conjectures, think in a different light and tackle problems independently. Each week we were given a new theme to work on such as symmetry or reasoning with extremes Attempting complex maths problems was truly captivating in the presence of other great problem solvers.
Outside academia, I am involved in a variety of extracurricular activities. Actively taking part in basketball competitions regionally which has helped me develop my team working skills and communicational abilities. Alongside my studies, I’m mastering the guitar and drums at a grade three standard through Trinity Guildhall examinations. In Preceding the EU referendum, as a student ambassador I aided in organising an open discussion debate in my sixth form about the topic.
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