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About MathStat

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  • Application Season
    2019 Fall
  • Program
    Statistics PhD (already attending)

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  1. Great response by @Stat Assistant Professor. Casella Berger is already assumed knowledge for some top programs. But if you are admitted based on your pure math background (like yours truly) you likely won't have even cracked open Casella Berger or have taken a proper mathematical statistics course before coming in. However (and I hope this is not too strong of an opinion), Casella Berger presents math stat in a really outdated way. More modern and useful texts nowadays are from Van der Vaart, Lehmann and Casella, Iain Johnstone's Gaussian sequence model book, etc.. IMO Stanford does their math stat sequence in the best and most modern way. Their lectures and homeworks are online. The last part of their sequence, STAT 300C focuses on multiple testing, which is a very hot topic nowadays. Also, "hardness" of a program is a really subjective thing. We only discuss about the coursework and preliminary exam requirements above. For me, what also constitutes a big chunk of "hardness" is whether you'll be able to find a strong advisor that you like, whether you'll be allowed to start research asap etc, etc.
  2. I could definitely see you get into either duke math or stat phd with your profile. I'd apply to duke math if I were you (several profs in the duke math department have cross appointments with stat, eecs, etc.; many of them do great ML research; the department is also extremely supportive; the math phd cohorts are a little smaller than the stats ones; however the stat program is also great). And I agree with @StatsG0d, your lists are somewhat bottom heavy.
  3. i've seen many schools waived their Math gre requirement on their website.
  4. First of all don't feel bad about a bad start, it happens. I have gotten to learn many stories of famous statisticians who partied in undergrad then discovered their math/stat passion and made it to top programs and very successful careers later on. From my experience with Stat PhD admissions, a sure-fire way to earn the admission committee's respect is to get As in grad level math classes, particularly in analysis and probability (which build the foundation of statistics). If I were you, I'd work my way up by taking the honors analysis classes offered at your school, then measure theory, then measure theoretical probability. Taking the courses I mentioned should take 2 years. In addition to that, a sure-fire way to impress committees is to have math research with professors at your university. In all honestly, what I have noticed is that, at many universities, math professors are much more open to taking students for research projects than stat professors. Of course, stat professors can also mentor you, but typically, undergrad stat research is just doing a small improvement to an algorithm or working with data which IMO is not enough to shine in your applications. All of this should take your junior and senior year, then perhaps you should take a gap year in which you work as a research assistant/in industry and in which you complete your actual applications to programs. In all honesty, I think masters programs entail such a massive financial burden and/or debts that I am seriously wondering if they are worth it anymore. At the same time, going to a very poorly ranked/bad department is not really ideal, although if there are good advisors there/good industry placements, then I guess, why not? These are the main reasons why I suggested a gap year to gain more time and build up a strong app for top places. By doing this you will at the same time figure out if a stat phd is what you really want (I think you have not yet taken enough courses to form a strong opinion, but you should figure out quickly once you take more advanced classes.) Of course, take all this advice with a grain of salt as it is partially based on the path I took (i.e. math grad level classes and math research) which yielded much better results than I expected. It also tremendously helped me to have letters from famous professors, so try to work with such people at your university. There are of course many more possible paths, and I will let more experience posters on this forum comment on this too.
  5. @cyberwulf I know someone who *submitted* a paper to one of the top 2 stat journals (Annals/JASA) (so not published but still extremely impressive). However, I assume it would be hard to have an actual publication before applying to the PhD since that would mean you would need to submit at least very early in your junior year (assuming you apply straight out of undergrad), which means you need to start the research at least sometime in your sophomore year. ---- Btw, how long does the review process for Annals of JASA take usually?
  6. Yeah your grades would matter a lot. Definitely for US PhD applications, as they care a lot about your ability to handle grad level courses, just like they care when you apply as an undergrad (you're essentially starting over your application progress, that's how "transferring" in the US works). For Europe PhDs I don't know for sure, but I am somewhat familiar with the UK system (applied there for both undergrad and grad but chose the US both times) and the UK is very grade-centric, they seem to value grades more than research/letters.
  7. I don't want to be excessively nosy, but can't help and wonder: did the above-mentioned person do her Phd at Stanford or Berkeley or somewhere else? And yes, of course this is an amazing profile: http://web.stanford.edu/~songmei/. He was also one of the top picks for new faculty asst. profs. at UChicago.
  8. Going back to the teaching positions question, what would it take to obtain a tenure-track teaching position at a top and very desirable LAC (such as, say, Pomona College) in terms of research/publications, assuming that you go to a top 10 program and can build a strong teaching portfolio? Would the above publication guidelines detailed by @Stat Assistant Professor (i.e. at least 2 papers in Annals/JASA, 6ish papers total, etc) still hold true? Also, would you still need a superstar advisor, or would it be ok to work with a very young advisor (who could become well known in a few years)? I plan to do some stalking by looking at the teaching faculty profiles at such places...but I want to put it off a bit, I suspect I will get scared by finding some super strong CVs.
  9. I agree, nobody cares but Stanford. Not even Chicago, Berkeley, UW, Columbia etc etc. Although as a funny story, one of the Duke stat faculty told me they like to see the score if you wanna do research in math stat. Duke also used to say on their website not to bother with sending the scores as they won't look at them. Gotta love academia
  10. why is there almost no info on these folks, though? sounds like this would be the place for more mathematical/statistical research https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/group/theory-group/
  11. Of course they should first of all think very well which program they really want to attend. It is possible to experience strong second doubts before starting your program, especially when you had several fantastic options or in circumstances where your decision was constrained by other factors which made it very difficult. furthermore, as horrible as this sounds, i think it is quite common that current students start disclosing more of the "ugly sides" of your future program after you have already committed and it is too late to do anything (as opposed to the visit day, where they only reveal positives). from my experience, these profs understand it is such a difficult and life-changing decision and I think they would truly want you to end up at a place that fits you. I also have the cynical belief they do not care that much about you (just yet) so it's not a big deal if you say you will attend a program, and then back out. I think it would be possible to first discreetly ask the other department whether they would take you back, then plan your next steps accordingly. edit: sometimes, departments decide to offer you more money right at the last minute, during the weekend before april 15th, after you already committed to a program. this puts you in a very difficult spot and you can imagine that, if you decide to be ethical and stick by your initial choice, you would still experience second doubts creeping in...
  12. @incomingstatsPhD, have you tried contacting the program you are regretting turning down? if not, i think you should do it like RIGHT NOW, and just explain your reasons honestly. it's still may, perhaps there is still time to revert this. you'll never know if you don't try.
  13. While I am obviously biased since I did my undergrad there, I think Duke is very special since it is wayyy easier to collaborate with faculty there and get started on research early. Unfortunately, many programs hold you back with classes in the first 1-2 years (some classes arguably useful and important, others...not so much...). However, I see Duke stat phds get started on research straight away and even have preprints by the beginning of their second year! NCSU is a very strong university, however, I did not like the huge size the program and the fact that the DGS told me no prof really wants to do research with you before you pass exams (something that happens at even bigger name places as well...).
  14. I see, this may indeed be a sad reality for international students and so the solution may indeed be doing whatever masters you can get that has a strong researcher there to discover you and believe in you.
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