# Suggested Background Work and Self-Assessment

### Suggested Mathematical Background

Listed below is an outline of the mathematical background that we think is desirable to have in order to be successful in the most challenging of courses in the program.

Linear Algebra: Basic topics, including: matrix/vector notation, operations on matrices and vectors, determinants, eigenvalues and eigenvectors, quadratic forms, and systems of linear equations.

Calculus: Multivariable differentiation and integration, series expansions, and function approximation and maximization.

ProbabilitySample spaces and random variables, common distributions and densities, moments of distributions, conditional probability and Bayes’ theorem, law of large numbers, central limit theorem, joint distributions, covariance, correlation, and stochastic independence.

Stochastic Processes: Random walks, Bernoulli trials, Markov processes, basic properties of linear time series models, continuous-time processes, and Ito’s lemma.

Statistics/EconometricsParameter estimation, confidence intervals, hypothesis tests, linear regression models, ordinary least squares, and likelihood principle.

Computer Literacy: Basic programming experience and readiness to learn new tools and features; for example, familiarity with programming in MATLAB, Python, Java, or C++.  Basic experience with Microsoft Office business tools, especially use of Excel for data analysis and presentation.

### Self-Assessment

To assess the adequacy of your mathematical background, please use the following self-assessment test. If you experience difficulties in any particular area, we strongly recommend that you strengthen your skills through self-study or formal coursework prior to enrolling in the MFin program.

Students without this background will enroll in 15.S24 - Fundamentals of Financial Mathematics, which provides an overview of fundamental mathematics essential for the study of modern finance: linear algebra, probability, stochastic processes, statistics, optimization, and programming in MATLAB.

### Self-Study Resources

MIT OpenCourseWare provides access to many resources that may be helpful, including lecture videos, lecture notes, problem sets, exams, and solutions.

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Anne Reilly
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MSTIR MIT Sloan Teaching Innovations Resources
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Jay W. Forrester Professor of Management
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MFIN STUDENT TAKE Collective Brainpower

"The classroom itself is filled with so much collective brain power . . . it's obvious that I'm caught up in a room full of 124 of the brightest, most curious people from around the world."

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“The assistant to the CEO was like our host mom while we were there. She arranged our housing for us, she took us out to her friend’s game farm, and we got driven around in 4x4s. She was just wonderful to meet, and we developed a personal as well as professional relationship with her.”

Kelsey McCarty
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"I had interviews and visited other business schools, and it’s nothing like the environment that we have here at MIT Sloan."
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"I needed to get a better understanding of the interaction of management and technology. And I think MIT is an obvious place for that. There’s probably no better place in the world [for learning] how technology and management interact."
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“One of the reasons I came to Sloan was because I wanted to be at a top MBA institution worldwide. But I also wanted access to working with the latest innovations and the highest technology that was coming out of the MIT labs.”

Natanel Barookhian
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“We’re very interdisciplinary. Among the faculty in the group are an economist, a political scientist, a sociologist, and an industrial relations specialist. We’ve always made a big effort to be open to a variety of perspectives, but also to go beyond being open to them, to want to bring them in, because it makes for a richer environment.”

Thomas Kochan
Co-director, IWER
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“[LGO students] get the advantage of a small cohort that they take many courses with. But they’re also part of the larger community. They’re part of MIT, of MIT Sloan, of the MBA program. They’re part of the core program that meets every fall, they’re part of the engineering committee; they get the benefits of both the larger community and the small cohort.”
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- Stewart Myers
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