From my own experience, mathematics is one the most important and fundamental tools. This opinion which comes from my life made me deeply believe it. When I was in my senior year in Washington State University. I made a decision which affects my life. In the spring of my senior year. I transferred from Finance major to Mathematics major. As a Chinese student, almost everyone thinks Finance is a major with good future. So my friend thought that I was unwise to make such kind of decision. Besides, as I transfer to math, I have to restart my classes, it must postpone my graduation. Additionally, At that time, I didn’t study math systematically
for about 2 years, so the classes are hard for me. But I still decided to do so without hesitation, because I found mathematics is important in a management class. In this class, mathematics is critical in the process of a commercial good production. In the beginning of a production cycle, the descriptive statistics are applied to calculate the mean value with which we plan production quantity from production data. In the manufacturing process, we hold statistical test to check the quality of production in the product line. But in this class we only studied how to use existed formulas and models instead of tracing why these formulas can be used and the meaning of the parameters in formulas. So I realized the only answers of these questions are mathematics. After the struggle, I chose to sacrifice, even my graduation-delay. Any difficulties and uncertainties couldn’t stop me to change my major..
Because of the intensive math schedule, I need to take 4-5 high-level math classes in any full semester of my last year. In order to restart my math and catch up with other classmates who took math as their major, I studied about 16 hours every day. Even with the intensive schedule, I insisted my textbook reading because I deeply believe the function of text book, although it cost huge energy. After the persistent text reading, I set up my special methods to learn math. When learning new math knowledge, first I read the definitions until remembered it briefly. Then I came to relevant theorems, read them and understood the examples briefly without reading its proof. Finally, I read its proof and tried to prove by myself. So now I am familiar with
the meaning of most mathematical proven methods.
Although my study method influences my time to prepare actuarial exam and GRE math subject exam, I could understand them very quickly with my own method, so I passed the first actuarial exam and did well in the GRE math subject exam in 3 months. but this extensive reading influences many extra practices out of homework, so In some math classes I did not get perfect score. But I deeply believe I did right.
In the mid of November, I started my actuarial internship in a big insurance company in Beijing. After my first three-week working, I confirmed the importance of math. My first job is to compare the differences of the settlement of car insurance claims between different districts. We both use F test and T test to check the effectiveness of two mean values. Additionally, my colleague taught me to use historical data and math model given by to calculate reverse at the end of November, and they are all relevant to math.
From my learning and working experiences, I really need to go to graduate school to learn mathematics as I do need math in my life.
Second, I recalled my last two years in the Washington State University. Except the high standard academic education, the academic environment is also impressive. In the campus, you can find many students from student groups to exchange their learning experience together. Before exam, many students stayed in the student lunge for the whole night. Meanwhile, the experience of my roommate impressed me. As an African American. He came from a poor family. As the biggest brother, he has to work and help his parents after high school. When he was working in the jail, his job was to watch suspects during the night. He said the suspects’ emotion was very fragile and
unstable during waiting judgment, if anyone did something abnormal, it may stir up other suspects, and the consequences are unimaginable. So he needed to learn how to communicate with those special people. In this process, he found that he liked to open other people’s hearts. So he would like to go to psychology department. After ten-year
working, with his saving and financial support, he went to the university and became my roommate. When I ask him why he go back to school, he answered me that the strong interest was the most important reason that encouraged him to go back the school. At that time, I thought about myself, my parents gave me such a good opportunity to study abroad, I have no reason to waste time. I must work hard. Thus, I tried to find my favorite major and kept my interest to study in my life. It made me feel that I need to work hard. So I get in the WSU President’s Honor Roll every
semester and International Merit Award provided by WSU, graduated with honor.
So in America, it gives equal opportunities for everyone, no matter who you are before. The professors always encourages the students to improve themselves. When I did not perform well in the exam, I wasn’t frustrated and went back to study quickly,
as I deeply believe the slogan posted on the wall in the student union that is “Learn
what you can learn, do what you can do”. If you want, it is not late to study.