Letter of recommendation


Every year I receive many requests for letters of recommendation. Before you ask me for a letter, please read the instructions carefully.


If you would like to apply to a PhD program, you need to meet all the requirements:

  1. Take Math 140ABC (Real Analysis) or equivalent and obtain A.
  2. Take Econ 113 (Mathematical Economics) and be among the best three students in the cohort.
  3. Provide me enough opportunity to get to know you (ask pertinent questions during class, use office hours, etc.).

The above requirements are only necessary and not sufficient. You should understand that strong PhD programs are extremely competitive: for example each year the UCSD economics department receives about 800 applications and we admit only about 40 applicants. To go to a strong PhD program, you really need to know a lot of mathematics, including real analysis, linear algebra, ordinary differential equation, and probability theory, all “proof-based”. Furthermore, I recommend that you have a solid writing sample (research paper) or relevant research experience.

If you would like to apply to a master program, you need to meet all the requirements:

  1. Either take Econ 113 (Mathematical Economics) and obtain B or above, or take Econ 173A (Financial Markets) and obtain A- or above.
  2. Have a GPA score of 3.5 or above.

Again these requirements are only necessary and not sufficient. If you just take my class and I don’t know you, I can only write a generic letter. If you want me to write an informative letter, you need to provide me enough opportunity to get to know you.


Below is the logistics on how to request a letter of recommendation.

  1. You should contact me by email to request a letter at least one month before you want to apply.
  2. If you are taking Econ 113 or 173A, I can submit a letter only after seeing the final grade. DO NOT ask me for a letter if your application deadline is before the final exam.
  3. After I agree to write you a letter, please send me your CV and copy of your transcript.
  4. To enter the recommender information to your application, you must use the UCSD economics department letter of recommendation (LoR) system. If you are no longer affiliated to UCSD and do not have access to the LoR system, you should sign and return this form instead.
  5. Many universities ask you whether you want to waive your right to access the letter of recommendation. I will submit the letter only if you waive your right to access.
  6. Please pre-fill my contact information in the application forms as accurately as possible. The relevant information is as follows:
TitleProf., Dr., or Mr.
First nameAlexis Akira
Last nameToda
AffiliationUniversity of California San Diego (if too long, enter “UC San Diego”)
PositionAssociate Professor
Address9500 Gilman Dr 0508, La Jolla, CA 92093
Phone number858-534-3383