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kingduck

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About kingduck

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    Decaf

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  • Location
    San Francisco, CA
  • Application Season
    Not Applicable
  • Program
    IEOR

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  1. Hi guys, this is about LOR strategy in the math/stat space, and I thought it might be helpful to have my profile attached as well. I wanted to know what the best strategies for getting letters of recommendations are. While I have been through the LOR process for the masters applications, I wanted to take a more nuanced approach this cycle. As mentioned previously, I have 1 professor (call him professor X) from my masters program with whom I took 2 classes with and we are currently working on 2 research topics, one on time series and one on COVID data analysis. Another professor (call him professor Y), I have also taken 2 classes with: in mathematical stats and survival analysis. I am hoping to receive good letters from them, but what should I ask them to emphasize on (or what is an appropriate way to ask them to talk about my research/math ability)? My plan is the following: Professor X: ask to speak to my research ability Professor Y: ask to speak to my mathematical stats ability - i have discussed with him some research methodology (regarding the work with professor X) but not extensively I have three more professors I am considering, a marketing professor from my undergrad with whom I did some text analysis with (call him Professor Q, and wrote my letter for my masters application), a stats professor from my grad program with whom I got an A in his multivariate stats class (call him professor R), and my real analysis professor (call him Professor S, who is a math lecturer at Harvard). Professor Q: really nice guy, think he will write a letter that speaks to research and data analysis ability, like he did before Professor R: unsure - I also spoke a little about potential research in multivariate stats with him (nothing became of it), probably an average recommendation along the lines of "good at linear algebra/math" Professor S: lecturer at Harvard, found one of his letters online and seemed to be rather uninformative (student scored 98% on exam 1 etc..., we covered materials XYZ from textbook by Professor so and so.) My questions really can be summed up as the following: What type of letters should I aim for? Should they say how good of a student I am, or how good of a researcher I am? Should I even consider professors R or S, since their letters are anticipated to be pretty average? It seems like a no-brainer, that I should ask professor Q, since he can speak to my research ability, but will the fact that he's from the marketing department somehow make what he has to say about me weigh a little "less?" What is the most appropriate way to ask a professor to write about, say, research ability, or math ability? I'd appreciate any advice on LOR strategy
  2. I'm in a similar boat, struggled with what I wanted for a career (hence had a low GPA), discovered math and stat as part of my degree and went on to a masters. Wanted to see if anyone else had insights on how to explain such a change in GPA and career path in the SOP, or maybe even from the recommender. I've lurked around on the forums and am also in the application cycle, so don't consider what I say as expert opinion. For a biostat program, it seems you have the requisite math courses and scored well, though you might want to have more stats. It's my understanding that UC Berkeley requires a masters in biostats before their PhD, but I may be mistaken (check on their website). I've also been told that JHU and Harvard are quite theoretical biostat departments, so the lack of math further advanced math courses may not be helpful. However, you do have significant research experience, which adcoms may view favorably.
  3. Hi guys, unsure whether or not to start a new topic since this is about LOR strategy, and I thought it might be helpful to have my profile attached as well. I wanted to know what the best strategies for getting letters of recommendations are. While I have been through the LOR process for the masters applications, I wanted to take a more nuanced approach this cycle. As mentioned previously, I have 1 professor (call him professor X) from my masters program with whom I took 2 classes with and we are currently working on 2 research topics, one on time series and one on COVID data analysis. Another professor (call him professor Y), I have also taken 2 classes with: in mathematical stats and survival analysis. I am hoping to receive good letters from them, but what should I ask them to emphasize on (or what is an appropriate way to ask them to talk about my research/math ability)? My plan is the following: Professor X: ask to speak to my research ability Professor Y: ask to speak to my mathematical stats ability - i have discussed with him some research methodology (regarding the work with professor X) but not extensively I have three more professors I am considering, a marketing professor from my undergrad with whom I did some text analysis with (call him Professor Q, and wrote my letter for my masters application), a stats professor from my grad program with whom I got an A in his multivariate stats class (call him professor R), and my real analysis professor (call him Professor S, who is a math lecturer at Harvard). Professor Q: really nice guy, think he will write a letter that speaks to research and data analysis ability, like he did before Professor R: unsure - I also spoke a little about potential research in multivariate stats with him (nothing became of it), probably an average recommendation along the lines of "good at linear algebra/math" Professor S: lecturer at Harvard, found one of his letters online https://www.theodorecaputi.com/files/Math23ALetter.pdf which does not seem to be a strong one (correct me if my assessment is wrong). My questions really can be summed up as the following: What type of letters should I aim for? Should they say how good of a student I am, or how good of a researcher I am? Should I even consider professors R or S, since their letters are anticipated to be pretty average? It seems like a no-brainer, that I should ask professor Q, since he can speak to my research ability, but will the fact that he's from the marketing department somehow make what he has to say about me weigh a little "less?" What is the most appropriate way to ask a professor to write about, say, research ability, or math ability? PS: checked my transcript, I actually had an A in real analysis 1, not an A-, not sure if that makes a difference at all at this point, and my GREs are Q166 V159 W4.0. I'd appreciate any advice on LOR strategy, or any profile evals for those coming to this thread for the first time.
  4. AFAIK, Upenn does not have a terminal masters degree program in stat, and is earned on the way to a PhD, not necessarily a PhD in the stat department. That is unless you're talking about an MBA with a concentration in stat, which then has a different set of requirements different from an MS in stat.
  5. What do people think of Harvard's math 23-A for real analysis I going into a PhD program?
  6. Would AP'ing out of Calc I with a 5 score in high school be considered an A in Calc I when applying?
  7. @Casorati You know what, I just reviewed my ETS results for the GRE that I took 3 years ago, and I actually did score a 166 on the Quant. I had forgotten my score over the years lol. Now, my main concern is that my Verbal or AW score may be a bit on the lower side, or does the adcom really weigh in the V and AW scores as heavily?
  8. Thanks for the suggestions @Casorati and @bayessays. I do worry that my background, not having anything related to medical sciences, may play against me in biostat applications. I have about 1-2 years of work experience in financial data analytics, (not quant finance, just quantitative strategy and market trend analysis using statistical techniques), but I am hoping to angle my research with the professor I am working with now, to a more health related application (in light of COVID 19 there are some studies that my professor is involved in). Without the experience in medical science, is it going to play against me? PS: The research project I am working on is attempting detecting change points, which I am hoping to relate to applications to epidemiological models such as seasonal flu patterns.
  9. Thanks for your very helpful input! I received my masters from an R1 public school, and does have a PhD program ranked in the 40-30 range on US News. I do think that my letters will hold some weight, and the professors I am seeking recommendation from have said I am an "excellent" student, so hopefully that will translate to good LORs. They each have h-indices of 20-25, but I'm not sure if that is a fair way to evaluate their "fame" so to speak. I'm glad to hear that people with lower than A grades still make it to great programs.
  10. Hi all, I am considering applying to statistics, IEOR, and biostat PhD programs. My interests are more in the methodological side of statistics, so OR and biostat departments may be more appealing to me (leaning towards biostat), but I'm not opposed to more theoretical stats. That said, I wanted to have more insight on what should be my reach, target, and safeties for PhD applications. I would also like to point out some problems in my transcript, and see what you guys may think about it. A bit about my profile: Undergrad: Ivy League (not HYP) Major: BA in Economics (Major GPA ~3.1, Overall GPA ~3.35) A few C's and several B's in Microeconomic-related courses, but A level in Econometrics, and Macroeconomics Minor: Mathematics and Statistics (STEM GPA: 3.75) GRE: (plan to retake) Q: 164 V: 159 A: 4.0 Graduate: Mid-tier state school Major: MS in Statistics (GPA: 4.0) Courses Taken (Undergrad Level): Multivariate Calculus (A), Diff Eq (A+), Linear Algebra (A), Probability (B+), Statistical Inference (B+), Mathematical Statistics (A-), Econometrics (B+), Advanced Econometrics (A), Data Mining (A), Statistical Computing (A), Time Series (A), Real Analysis I (A-), several CS related courses at the A/A- level. Courses Taken (Graduate Level): Probability (A), Statistical Inference (A), Survival Analysis (A), Linear Regression Analysis (A), Modern and Applied Statistical Modelling and Computing I and II (A), Time Series Analysis (A), Design of Experiments (A), Data Mining (A), Multivariate Analysis (A) Research Experience: Had 2 research assistant positions in undergrad, doing applied statistics with business faculty. One independent study project in graduate school with a statistics professor (still in the works, trying to get published). Problem courses (all undergrad classes in sophomore and junior year): Health Economics (C), International Finance (C), Literature in the 1900s (C), Accounting (C), Several B-level grades in gen ed courses related to social sciences and economics I am worried about these problem courses since their grades are low. How will these seemingly unrelated courses affect my application in the stats, biostat, and IEOR fields? What schools should I be targeting? What schools should be safety? I am not even sure about the US News rankings, since there are mixed emotions about their ranking scheme. I plan on retaking the GRE to score a higher quant score of 165+. Any advice and suggestions would be helpful. Thanks a lot.
  11. Thanks for the response. I have heard of several of these OR departments, and my only concern is that they may be heavily optimization focused, which doesn't line easily with my interests. My main interest in IEOR is the application of statistics, where there is a heavier emphasis on stat methodology. I think my research interest primarily lies within the methodologies rather than the mathematical theory, which is why FE appealed to me initially, given my econ background. I've spoken to several faculty who mentioned the same as you, to broaden my scope, and to look into stat/biostat programs. I think my main concern is my Econ GPA, which was less than stellar, but I'm hoping my STEM courses can compensate for that. (I did end up finishing my masters with a 4.0). Again, thanks for your input, and congratulations on accepting Cal's IEOR program. It is definitely hard to elicit a response on this forum for such hypothetical topics. Best of luck in your studies! Maybe we will work together soon
  12. Hi all, I am not going to ask you guys to chance me, as I know the application cycle will be an uphill battle for me from a low GPA and non-traditional background. I majored in Economics at an Ivy League with minors in Math and Statistics. I didn't do so well in the Economics with a few C's, a few A's, and mostly B's,(major GPA ~ 3.1) while my Math (mostly A's with an occasional A-), Stat, and other STEM courses such as CompSci and Econometrics was around 3.75. My cumulative GPA including the 'general ed' courses was right below 3.40, with the lowest semester being the first semester of my third year. I finish both my senior semesters with a 3.9. It seems that my GPA progression is hyperbolic and concaved upwards over the semesters. I will have taken up to Real Analysis, scoring A-/A in my math courses from undergrad and graduate institutions. Now, I am enrolled in my final year in a statistics masters program at a mid tier state school (to be specific - mid tier for statistics) and will be expecting a final GPA between 3.8-4.0. I will also be completing a master's paper on the topic comparing multivariate time series models using foreign exchange data (not a publication in a journal). My interest lies in financial engineering and multivariate statistics. My GRE is V:160/Q:166/W:4 (I plan on retaking. Also I am taking the GRE Math subject to hopefully scoring between the 50th to 70th percentile. The higher the better but without the math major, I don't know how feasible it is.) I have around 1 year of work experience in finance and data analytics (business strategy) as I recently finished my undergrad. So my questions for PhD programs are: 1) Besides the big names such as Columbia, Princeton, Cornell, and Berkeley, where else offers such programs with respect to my interest in financial engineering and high dimensional statistics? I'd like to stay on the coasts. 2) Which schools are more reasonable to be set as target schools? 3) Is it worth my while to work towards a post-bac in math to compensate for the GPA and gain the necessary coursework? Any advice would be much appreciated.
  13. Hi all, I am not going to ask you guys to chance me, as I know the application cycle will be an uphill battle for me from a low GPA and non-traditional background. I majored in Economics at an Ivy League with minors in Math and Statistics. I didn't do so well in the Economics with a few C's, a few A's, and mostly B's,(major GPA ~ 3.1) while my Math (mostly A's with an occasional A-), Stat, and other STEM courses such as CompSci and Econometrics was around 3.75. My cumulative GPA including the 'general ed' courses was right below 3.40, with the lowest semester being the first semester of my third year. I finish both my senior semesters with a 3.9. It seems that my GPA progression is hyperbolic and concaved upwards over the semesters. I will have taken up to Real Analysis, scoring A-/A in my math courses from undergrad and graduate institutions. Now, I am enrolled in my final year in a statistics masters program at a mid tier state school (to be specific - mid tier for statistics) and will be expecting a final GPA between 3.8-4.0. I will also be completing a master's paper on the topic comparing multivariate time series models using foreign exchange data (not a publication in a journal). My interest lies in financial engineering and multivariate statistics. My GRE is V:160/Q:166/W:4 (I plan on retaking. Also I am taking the GRE Math subject to hopefully scoring between the 50th to 70th percentile. The higher the better but without the math major, I don't know how feasible it is.) I have around 1 year of work experience in finance and data analytics (business strategy) as I recently finished my undergrad. So my questions for PhD programs are: 1) Besides the big names such as Columbia, Princeton, Cornell, and Berkeley, where else offers such programs with respect to my interest in financial engineering and high dimensional statistics? I'd like to stay on the coasts. 2) Which schools are more reasonable to be set as target schools? 3) Is it worth my while to work towards a post-bac in math to compensate for the GPA and gain the necessary coursework? Any advice would be much appreciated.
  14. Hi all, I am not going to ask you guys to chance me, as I know the application cycle will be an uphill battle for me from a low GPA and non-traditional background. I majored in Economics at an Ivy League with minors in Math and Statistics. I didn't do so well in the Economics with a few C's, a few A's, and mostly B's,(major GPA ~ 3.1) while my Math (mostly A's with an occasional A-), Stat, and other STEM courses such as CompSci and Econometrics was around 3.75. My cumulative GPA including the 'general ed' courses was right below 3.40, with the lowest semester being the first semester of my third year. I finish both my senior semesters with a 3.9. It seems that my GPA progression is hyperbolic and concaved upwards over the semesters. I will have taken up to Real Analysis, scoring A-/A in my math courses from undergrad and graduate institutions. Now, I am enrolled in my final year in a statistics masters program at a mid tier state school (to be specific - mid tier for statistics) and will be expecting a final GPA between 3.8-4.0. I will also be completing a master's paper on the topic comparing multivariate time series models using foreign exchange data (not a publication in a journal). My interest lies in financial engineering and multivariate statistics. My GRE is V:160/Q:166/W:4 (I plan on retaking. Also I am taking the GRE Math subject to hopefully scoring between the 50th to 70th percentile. The higher the better but without the math major, I don't know how feasible it is.) I have around 1 year of work experience in finance and data analytics (business strategy) as I recently finished my undergrad. So my questions for PhD programs are: 1) Besides the big names such as Columbia, Princeton, Cornell, and Berkeley, where else offers such programs with respect to my interest in financial engineering and high dimensional statistics? I'd like to stay on the coasts. 2) Which schools are more reasonable to be set as target schools? 3) Is it worth my while to work towards a post-bac in math to compensate for the GPA and gain the necessary coursework? Any advice would be much appreciated.
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