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About statscan9

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    Bayesian statistics, deep neural networks
  • Application Season
    2018 Fall
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  1. statscan9

    NSERC CGS-M 2018-19 Waitlist Ranking

    Doesn't look like anyone made one of these threads this year, so I guess I'll make one now even though first round offers have gone out. I've been placed as alternate status at Toronto, and the department told me I was ranked "very highly". Is there any way to find out exactly how many people are gonna have to decline their offer for my status to change? Don't want to remain hopeful if there's no chance lol.
  2. statscan9

    Best computer to get?

    I mean my MacBook Pro meets all these tech specs and I don't have to worry about remote in, plus I get to use MacOS and enjoy the great build quality. So I still think the above suggestions for a Mac are better.
  3. statscan9

    Stats PhD 2019 Chances

    @engtostats As a Canadian who has a very similar profile to you and just went through application season, I'll try to throw in my 2 cents. I think the two above posts about international students requiring publications and PhD courses is more relevant for students from China/India (let's be honest, that's 90% of international applicants). As Canadians we are looked upon a bit more favourably by the US, and UofT is the best school in Canada (small bias as I'm doing my PhD there), so your profile will definitely be noticed. I do agree you're weak for pure math courses, but all I had completed when I applied was a semester of real analysis -- although I was enrolled in the second real analysis and measure theory. You don't have many upper year courses listed up there, but engineering is notoriously difficult at UofT so I'll assume that you've taken a rigorous course load. If you can, enrol in real analysis and the third year mathematical stats course at UofT (where you learn the derivations behind hypothesis testing and inference) so that the admission committee will see that you're serious about mathematically mature courses. It's a little hard to tell from your experience how much research you've actually done, but if your referees can speak to your research potential that will be critical for your application. I think having my USRA supervisor write about my research potential is what helped me the most, so you want profs like this more than you want profs who can only say you got 100 in their class. If you want to do a master's, stay here in Canada where you'll be fully funded. I think you're guaranteed admission pretty much everywhere here since that was my experience and I don't see what would have made me stand out above you. For US schools, clearly CMU seems more open to accepting Canadian students, but I think you're also a good candidate for Washington. Any school that isn't top 10 I think you have a shot at getting in, but for Harvard/Stanford/Chicago I think you'll need more math courses. Your math GRE mark could also serve to really boost this part of your application if you get a very high score. If you know what area you want to do research in that will also help to identify where to apply.
  4. Based on my own experience applying to 3/4 of your reach schools, I'd say don't waste your money/time on those, especially since I think UT Austin is already a reach for you. Your cumulative gpa is worryingly low, although your dramatic improvement in the last year will counteract that a bit. You don't mention any math classes like real analysis, and I'd recommend having a full years worth of that if you can and getting an A or A+. Was your research doing anything more than just applying standard statistical packages to a dataset? If not, that isn't really gonna help you much, although stats programs don't expect research experience.
  5. @FinStat Fair enough, that WSO link is probably useless, didn't realize it was '06. I was just trying to quickly find a couple links to confirm what I've been told by my professors who have worked as real quants both pre and post 2008 -- that is, the MFE is not much more than a cash cow for universities. Unfortunately it seems like people don't discuss being a quant on message boards much anymore. The biggest reason these profs told me to avoid an MFE program is that a quant position requires creativity and the ability to perform independent research, which is the one thing an MFE can never provide. Quant jobs don't go to PhDs because they have different letters, it's because they have the proven track record of being able to come up with novel ideas, which is crucial to make your firm the profits needed to justify those eye-watering salaries you mention above. The fact that you mention finance PhDs in the same sentence as math/stats/OR makes me wonder if we're using a different definition of quant, since a finance PhD won't come close to having the math skills required for what I consider a quant position. I don't doubt that your friends have gone into high salaried positions with MFE degrees, but I have a hard time believing that they're part of the team coming up with new strategies. What wouldn't surprise me is if they're C++ monkeys for the guys with PhDs, or in roles that you can get with an MBA. If @am8 wants to do a stats/OR PhD because he loves the subject as he says, there's no way a program is going to turn him down just because he doesn't want to become a TT professor upon graduation, since while he's there he has the same goal as everyone else -- perform original research. In fact, some of the very best stats PhD programs in the world actively encourage students to apply who wish to study financial mathematics, and have top faculty doing research in this area. I'm sure these schools don't naively think these students have no interest in industry jobs.
  6. https://www.quantstart.com/articles/Why-a-Masters-in-Finance-Wont-Make-You-a-Quant-Trader https://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/what-do-you-think-about-the-mfe-degree https://www.quantnet.com/threads/is-phd-the-only-route-to-becoming-a-real-quant.5670/ First few links that come up regarding why an MFE is the complete wrong degree to get for becoming a quant, although still potentially a ticket to a lucrative career in finance at a trading job. However, I totally agree that one shouldn't do a PhD solely to become a quant, and that a stats MS likely won't be much help on its own. Just thought its important to note that pretty much every quant job is filled by a PhD.
  7. statscan9

    Statistics PhD Admission Advice Thread

    Quals actually influenced my decision in the opposite way of what you said. I picked Toronto, which has 3 quals with 1 dedicated to measure theoretic probability, over CMU, which just has a data analysis project. I felt that this showed me Toronto was a better fit for my rigorous theoretical interests, so I think it's really a personal preference on what you want to study.
  8. statscan9

    Fall 2018 Statistics Applicant Thread

    Thanks! I'm not positive but I would guess yes, since I know that Canadian grad programs definitely prefer to choose domestic students.
  9. statscan9

    Fall 2018 Statistics Applicant Thread

    @SheldonCopper I just posted in the profile thread that Bayesian1701 started.
  10. Undergrad Institution: University of Western Ontario (Canada) Major: Statistical Finance Minor: Pure Math GPA: 3.96 cumulative, 4.00 major Type of Student: Canadian GRE General Test Q: 167 (92%) V: 163 (93%) W: 4.5 (82%) GRE Subject Test in Mathematics M: N/A (this was probably a mistake) Research Experience One summer research project funded by the Canadian government (NSERC). Ultimately led to a publication, but not before applying so schools didn't see that. Awards/Honors/Recognitions Nothing impressive. Industry Experience Two summer internships in industry, with one in a research capacity for an insurance company. Letters of Recommendation One from my analysis professor, where I got the highest mark in the class. One from an MD who I worked with during my summer research project, I'm guessing this was an average letter. My third letter was from my summer research supervisor, and this one was definitely my strongest. He let me look at it after sending it in, and the highlight of it was when he called me the strongest undergrad he's had in his 34 year career. Math/Statistics Grades We grade on a percentage scale, with a 90% being a 4.0, and most course averages between 65-70%. Calculus I,II,III - 96%, 97%, 90% ODEs, PDEs - 92%, 100% Probability I,II - 90%, 94% Statistics I,II - 93%, 96% Real Analysis I,II - 99%, 100% Linear Algebra I,II - 87%, 98% Lots of experience programming in python, R, SQL, java, and C++. Results University of Waterloo - MMath Statistics Accepted (Jan 8), Tuition + 15K for 12 months University of Chicago - PhD Statistics Rejected (Jan 26) Carnegie Mellon University - PhD Statistics Accepted (Feb 1), 5 years of Tuition + 26K/year University of Toronto - PhD Statistics Accepted (Feb 9), 5 years of Tuition + 17.5K/year -- Decided to go here! McGill University - MSc Statistics Accepted (Feb 15), Tuition + 19K for 16 months University of Pennsylvania (Wharton) - PhD Statistics Rejected (Feb 23) Columbia University - PhD Statistics Rejected (Mar 2)
  11. statscan9

    Fall 2018 Statistics Applicant Thread

    Rejected from Columbia. Went from a strong start to a disappointing finish, maybe being an international was more of a detriment than I expected. Also seems like not taking the subject GRE was a mistake. Oh well, ultimately happy with my outcome, and glad I never have to go through this process again lol.
  12. statscan9

    Fall 2018 Statistics Applicant Thread

    I've got an acceptance to the direct entry PhD at Toronto as well as an unofficial offer (from a supervisor) for McGill's MSc. Not sure if Toronto waits to do the MSc until after they've sent out the PhD letters?
  13. statscan9

    Fall 2018 Statistics Applicant Thread

    @hvu26892 Congrats!! Not bothering anyone, that's what this forum is for! Our friends can only hear us talk about grad school for so long before they get annoyed lol, so we need to have someplace to share
  14. statscan9

    Fall 2018 Statistics Applicant Thread

    Just goes to show that people are right when they say that your application isn't objectively the same at every school, since I was rejected from Chicago but admitted to CMU and you've had almost (waitlist) the opposite experience.
  15. @statcan Thanks! It's a masters with the option to "fast-track" into the PhD after one year, which would likely be my strategy. Definitely the idea of living in Montreal vs. Pittsburgh is something I'm heavily considering, as while Pittsburgh looks quite nice Montreal is one of my favourite cities.

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