Two weeks ago I wrapped up my work as an Epi Scholar with the NYC Department of Health, where I was researching childhood lead poisoning (on which I should be writing more soon). I had a few days off to enjoy the city, and then last weekend I moved to Princeton, NJ. I'm in Princeton to work on an Master in Public Affairs in 'Economics and Public Policy' at the Woodrow Wilson School. The other Woo students (as the school and its denizens are called) and I moved to Princeton three weeks before our "real" classes begin to enjoy a Woo ritual known as Math Camp. We spend a good chunk of each day in classes that teach or review basic concepts in mathematics and economics. There are four math tracks; the one I'm in has already covered some advanced algebra, univariate and multivariate calculus, and some basic linear algebra. We'll spend the next two weeks doing more calculus and focusing on optimization problems, and touch briefly on some concepts in probability. The Math Camp classes have homework and tests and grades, but their main purpose is to help place us in the most appropriate 'track' in our microeconomics, macroeconomics, and quantititative analysis coursework.
I'm sure I'll end up writing more about Math Camp and the Woo in general, as well as my amazing classmates. I am looking forward to being able to make some comparisons as time goes by -- looking at epidemiology and economics, large schools and small schools, public health and public policy, and so forth. But generally I'll try and keep my writing here about the subject matter I encounter rather than the mechanics of how grad school works.