Archive for new students

Math Camp 101

I’m sure by now you’ve heard that economics and other quantitative coursework are key components of international and public affairs. One of the ways SIPA tries to prepare incoming students for the quantitative courses they’ll be taking is Math Camp. But, what is Math Camp? Do students go camping in the woods and recite the multiplication table around a fire? Not exactly. But, it’s almost just as fun!

What is Math Camp?

Math Camp is held in during orientation week for incoming students starting the fall semester. Starting on the second day of orientation, you and your classmates will be participating in Math Camp and learning from one of our great Microeconomics or Macroeconomics professors. It is strongly recommended for all first-year students attend. You start off reviewing algebra and eventually move to calculus. Math Camp culminates in a mandatory take-home Math Quiz that helps determine the student’s proficiency. The scores don’t count towards your GPA, but does determine if you’re eligible for Math Lab, which are Saturday courses to continue reviewing math skills, or a private tutor to help you master the skills.

What’s the point of Math Camp?

Don’t remember how to do derivatives or what a log is? For the students who are not comfortable in math or have not taken a math course in a while, Math Camp is a great refresher course. Some of our core classes do require some math skills and so to be successful in Microeconomics and Quantitative Analysis I, feeling confident in doing algebra and calculus is crucial.

Perspective from students who just took Math Camp

Steven Reid, IFEP concentration, said that “It was useful. I took pre-Calculus and Calculus in undergrad, so it was good to do a refresher. It kind of helps for 6400, but the pace of 6400 is super fast so it gives a little bit of a foundation but doing some micro and macro theory or intro will probably prepare you better. [Math Camp] might do more for 6300.”

Note: There are two levels of Microeconomics and Macroeconomics. They’re referred to as “6300” and “6400” by students. Both cover the basics of economic theory, but “6400” is considered to be more math-heavy and “6300” is more theoretical.

Marta Aparicio, USP concentration, said that “Prior to SIPA, I only did math in high school, which was up to pre-calc. I’ve tutored high school students in algebra, so some of the concepts were fresh in my mind. … Math camp was helpful in terms of the material that we were provided with the explanations, examples, and practice problems.” Marta recommends students to spend time reviewing the materials given – watch online videos, do the practice problems, and review the concepts herself — in order to prepare for the math quiz and upcoming courses.

New SIPA Student Photo/Story Series #1

We kick off the 2014 new student summer photo (and story) series today with a photo submission from incoming MIA student, Supriya Kumar.  Ms. Kumar, a global nomad who has lived in five countries on three continents will be joining SIPA this fall.

Photo taken at the Taj Mahal, in Agra, India

Photo taken at the Taj Mahal, in Agra, India


Here is a photo of my friend Susan and I at the Taj Mahal this June. Words cannot really describe the overwhelming beauty of this structure – it is quite surely a sight that has to be seen in person to really appreciate, and I’m so grateful that I was lucky to pay it a visit this summer.



If you are an incoming SIPA student and have photos or stories you would like to share with our community, please send them to



Summer Reading – Part 4

This is a continuation of our summer reading series.  Once again, if you are an incoming student that will be starting classes in September and want to give people the ability to read or follow you, send an email with your name, degree program, and blog/Twitter/web addresses where you can be found to with the title – Summer Reading.

Here is a cumulative list of those that have submitted information to date.

Pablo Alfaro (Incoming MPA)

Twitter Account: @pfalfaro (in Spanish)

Beibei Bao (Incoming MIA)

ENDLESS ROAD IN CHINA: FROM COUNTRY TO CITY AND BACK, Published by World Policy Journal (original link but requires an account) (free link to the complete story)

IN CHINA, AN EARNEST APPEAL FOR MERCY KILLING, Published by United Press International

Radoslava Dogandjieva (Incoming MPA-DP)


Rafael Merchan (Incoming MPA-DP)


Erin O’Reilly (Incoming MPA-DP)



Ramón Peña-Franco (Incoming MPA)

Twitter account: @ramonpenafranco


Incoming Students: Employers Represented

Last week I put up a post listing the universities/colleges our incoming MIA, MPA, and MPA-DP students attended.  I thought it might be of interest to do the same thing with most recent employers.

This list does not include every single incoming student and some students worked for the same employer.  The list is also “self reported” and I did not attempt to look up all the acronyms or nail down regional locations.

Quiz question for you – what was the number one former employer of the incoming class by nearly a two to one margin?  See the end of the list for the answer.

ACLU of San Diego & Imper
Actual Solutions
AdAsia Communications
Advancement of Girls’ Education
African Development Bank
Al-Tayer Group
American Inst. for Research
Araujo Ibarra & Asociados
Assoc to Benefit Children
Associated Group (AG)
Associated Press
Australian AID
Azarmehr & Associates, PC
Banc of America Securitie
Bank Information Center
Bank of StandardChartered
Barack Obama’s Campaign
Barclays Capital
Barun Policy Institute
Beach-Oswald Imm. Law
BearingPoint, Inc
Beijing Bailijia S&T Deve
Bharti Foundation
Bloomberg L.P.
BM&A Advogados
Booz Allen Hamilton
Boston Pacific Company
Braskem S.A
Bridgewater State Hospital
British Army
Brown Lloyd James
Brown University
Bureau of Economic Analys
Bureau of Labor Statistic
Cabinet Office
Cabinet Secretat of Japan
California State Assembly
Carnegie Endowment Int’l
CE Composites Baseball In
Center for Work-Life Pol.
Central Bank of Chile
Central Bank of Turkey
Central Middle School
Centre for Talented Youth
Childrens/Family Health
China Radio International
CIDA City Campus
Citibank, Japan LTD.
Citigroup Global Markets
Clara H Carlson Elem
Climate Lab
Clinton Foundation
Clinton Global Initiative
Commerzbank AG
Community in Action
Competition Commission SA
Congressman George Miller
Constellation NewEnergy
Constructora Pijao S.A.
Consulate General Mexico
Cornerstone Research
Council of Europ
County of Santa Clara
CP Media Communications
Credit Suisse
Credivalores S.A.
Ctr Gender & Refugee
Cuatrecasas Abogados,SLP
D.C. Public Schools
Darjin Corporate, Ltd
Davis Brody Bond Aedas
Delegation of the Europea
Democratic Leadership Council
Departament of State
Dept. of Foreign Affairs
Der Spiegel
Deutsche Bank AG
DHL Exel Supply Chain AP
District of Columbia Gov.
Drinker Biddle & Reath
Earth Institute, MVP
Ecovolve Bioenergy
Electronic Arts
Embassy of Rwanda
Energy Market Reg. Auth.
Enrst & Young, LLP
Environment Ministry Japa
Euromonitor International
European Investment Bank
European Union at the UN
F. I. Proctor Foundation
Fairfield Greenwich Group
Fed Res Bank of Dallas
Fed. Reserve Bank of NY
Financial Literacy Founda
Fincere Limited
Flip Media FZ-LLC
Food & Wine Magazine
Foreign Affairs Ministry
Freelance Writer & Editor
French Government
Freshfields Bruckhaus
Frommer Lawrence & Haug
Fulbright Teaching Asst.
GE Corporate Audit Staff
General Atlantic
Genocide Prevention Proj.
German Parliament
Global Environmental Inst
Global Water Challenge
Goldman Sachs
Goldman Sachs JBWere
Government of the Punjab
Grameen America
Grassroots Campaigns Inc.
Green Mountain Coffee
Greenberg Traurig LLP
GreenPrint Technologies,
GTZ Kenya
Gwangmyeung Buk
Gyeonggi Office of Ed.
Hackers Language Research
Hagerty Consulting
Heartland Alliance
Helping Hands
Henry L. Stimson Center
Hercules Studios
Hertie School of Government
Hiranandani Upscale
Hong Kong Insitute of Education
Hoosiers for Jill
Hotel “Sonce-GA” / “LIPA”
House of Representatives
HSBC Securities Egypt
Human Rights Watch
IBM Business Consulting
IGCC, UC System
Independent Contractor
India Abroad
Infinity s.r.l.
InfoUSA, Inc.
Insight Collaborative
Institutional Investor
Insurance Deposit FOGAFIN
International Fund Service
International Institute
International Rescue Committee
Int’l Justice Mission,IJM
Intl Medical Corps
Intl Rescue Committee
Intl. Org. for Migration
Intl. Rescue Committee
Intrepid Sportswear, Inc
IRG, Ltd.
ITESM- Mexico City
J.P.Morgan Chase
James Irvine Foundation
Japan Emergency NGOs
Jenner & Block LLP
Johns Hopkins CCGHE
Juice Energy, Inc
JWAC- Defense Department
Kats for CongressCampaign
Khemka Foundation
Kids with Cameras
KWDI/ Korean Women’s Deve
KyungHee U.Medical Center
L.E.K. Consulting, LLC
Larovere Consulting
Law Office of Allen Bloom
Lawyers for Human Rights
Leeb Capital Management
Lehman Brothers
LEK Consulting
LG Electronics Inc.
Liechtenstein Mission -UN
Local Self-Gov’nt Unit
M Squared Strategies
Management Solutions
Management Systems Int’l
Mantech International
Marginal Change
Mars & Co Consulting
Maryland Center China
Mayor’s Office
McKinsey & Company
McMaster University
McMaster-Carr Supply Comp
Media International
Mercedes-Benz Japan
Merrill Lynch
Metro Denver Partners
Millennium Challenge Corp
Min. of Fin. & Econ Plg
Min. of Foreign Affairs
Ministry of Defense
Ministry of Economy
Ministry of Finance
Ministry of Interior, Mex
Ministry of Production
Mint Newspaper
Mitsubishi Corporation
Mnstry of Foreign Affairs
Monetary Authority
Morning Star Development
Motcor S. A.
MSA Kazakhstan
Music Haven
N. Univ. of Singapore
N.O.Citizen Dipl. Council
Nachman & Associates P.C.
Nat. Asso. Financ. Inst.
National Congress of Peru
National Geospatial Intel
National Personnel Autho
National Security Agency
National Security Council
National Water Comission
Nat’l Endowment for Dem
NERA Economic Consulting
New Immigrant Community
New York City Dept. of Ed
New York Digital Corp.
New York Legal Assistance
NextFoods, LLC
Nishikawa Board of Educ.
Nomura Research Institute
Norwegian Embassy Amman
Novartis  Pharmaceuticals
Nutrition & Education Int
NY Army National Guard
NY County DA’s Office
NYU Child Study Center
Obama For America
Office of Yuji Fujimoto
Office for Public Management
Optimise Africa
Oracle India Pvt. Ltd.
Org. of American States
Oxfam America
Oxfam Japan
Pacific Alternative Asset
Pacific Injection Molding
Pak Microfinance Network
Partners In Health
PayUp Holding BV
Peace Corps
PFM Strategic Consulting
Planned Parenthood
Planning and Dev. Board
Point Made Films
PricewaterhouseCoopers LL
Prime Ministry
Procter & Gamble Asia Pte
Proskauer Rose LLP
Public Agenda
Public School 003
Punjab Police
PwC Advisory
Ramasai Housing and Const
Ray Magazine
Red Cross Society of Chia
Refugee Resettlement and
Room to Read
Ropes & Gray, LLP
Rotary International
Royal Hashemite Court
Rudy Giuliani Campaign
Rush University Hospital
Russia Partners
Saint Mark’s Cathedral
Samba Financial Group
Santi Organization
Saudi Aramco
School of the Future
Scotia Capital (USA) Inc.
SEIU Healthcare 775NW
SF Works
Shirakawa City Hall
Singapore Police Force
SME Business Support Fund
Société Générale
Solana Consultores
SouthrnCntr for Int. Stud
Spina Bifida Association
STA Travel
Standard & Poor’s
Standard Bank Asia
State General Auditory
Stephen Jeffries & Assoc.
Sturgeon Fund
Superior Court of CT
Survivors International
Suzhou Ivy Education Cons
Swadhaar FinServe Pvt. Lt
Swedish Mission to UN
Swedish Trade Council
Swedwood LLC, IKEA Group
Taiwan News
Tea Lounge
Teach for America
Teach For India
Tech Mahindra Brit Teleco
Tert. Educ. Commission
The Advisory Board
The Boston Consulting Gro
The Chinese Government
The Copywritingsecret LLC
The Fulbright Commission
Government of Japan
The Hudson Institute
The Jeffrey Group
The Korea Times
The National Assembly
The Office of Health Prom
The Prime Ministry Office
The Trevor Project
The Washington Group
The Word Bank
Thomson Reuters
ThoughtStorm Strategic
Tianjing Electricity Comp
TIME Magazine
Transatlantic Institute
Transparencia Mexicana
Trialogue Learning Group
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Dept. of Justice
U.S. Dept. of Treasury
U.S. Senate,Senator Boxer
UBS Investment Bank
UBS Securities Japan Ltd
United Nations Industrial
UN Global Compact LN-GCC
UN Mission in Afghanistan
UN office in Georgia
UN World Food Program
Undersec of Foreign Trade
Undersec. Foreign Trade
Union Bancaire Privee
United Nations
United States Embassy
United States Congress
University of Indonesia
Upwardly Global
US Army
US Attorney’s Office
US Department of State
US Holocaust Memorial Museum
US Marine Corps
US Navy
USAID Southern Africa
Van Bael & Bellis LLP
Vice Ministry of  F Trade
Virilion, Inc.
WBUR Boston’s NPR Station
Wells Fargo Financial
Wensli Group
Westex Group, Inc
Westside Community Church
Westwood One/FOX News
WI Conservation Voters
Wildlife Trust
WMH Corporation
Women Moving Millions
Women’s Initiative
World Bank Headquarters
World Economic Forum
Xinhua News Agency
Yangtze Delta CDM Center
Yeh Wah Arts and Language
Youth Initiative for HR

And the answer to the question – the number one most recent employer of students joining us this fall was the U.S. Peace Corps.

New Student Photo Entry #1

A few photos have started to roll in and I will work on getting them posted over time.  Thank you so much to all who have already responded!  First up, Diana Rodriguez, incoming MDP student.

  • Place taken: Pacaya-Samiria Reserve, in the northern Peruvian Amazon (close to Iquitos)
  • Description: These are children of the Cocama ethnic group who live in San Martin de Tipishca, a small town right by the Samiria River in the Peruvian Amazon Basin.  Leonela Ahuanari, the girl at the left end of the picture makes and sells necklaces and bracelets with seeds found in the rainforest. With proceeds from her sales she buys school supplies for herself and her cousins (also shown in the picture).  Leonela’s father, Manuel and his brother, William, started an ecotourism project to generate income for their community.

  • Place taken: San Roque de Cumbaza, San Martin Region, Peru
  • Description: half an hour away from the city of Tarapoto, Peru, there is a small town right by the Cumbaza river in the Peruvian Amazon Basin.  Walking through the town to reach the river, I saw this chair holding a delicious fruit called “zapote” that is widely available in February and March. The composition of the chair against the doorway was stunningly beautiful.

"The most global public policy school, where an international community of students and faculty address world challenges."

—Merit E. Janow, Dean, SIPA, Professor of Practice, International and Economic Law and International Affairs

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