I consider myself mathematically/quantitiveky minded and I can do mental maths very quickly. Yet, every time I’m given problems with “x”s and “y”s and other letters - I really struggle. For example, I struggle with quadratics and simultaneous equations (I still don’t get why there’s a need to use “x”s and “y”s and letters when using numbers would be perfectly fine. I mean it’s maths after all - so why are we using letters?!??).

I was wondering how much Mathematics would be required to do well in an Economics PhD program. In particular, I was wondering whether it will be real Maths with numbers, or if it will be this strange “maths” with letters?

For reference, I am female and am particularly interested in attending Harvard/Yale/Columbia, and joining the Females in Academia, Females in Grad School, LBQBT+, and Females in Finance groups at said university. Upon graduation, I would be intrested in doing research, and advising on policy regarding female oppression, gender discrimination, why free markets are immoral and wrong, and why communism would be an appropriate economic and political system in the United States.

Thank you in advance for your help.

Sincerely,