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theduckster

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theduckster last won the day on October 7

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About theduckster

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  1. Like everyone here has suggested, do whichever one interests you more. I will break from everyone else and say that a class in functional analysis can actually be quite useful in serious statistical research, as functional analysis is very relevant in the areas of statistical learning theory as well as - surprise surprise - functional methods in general (nonparametric regression, various kernel methods, etc). Do take a gander at those subfields of statistics and see if they interest you enough to the point where a class on functional analysis class seems useful. However, even then it probably won't be necessary. You'll probably be served just fine with coursework in (graduate) real analysis if you want to pursue serious research in these areas.
  2. theduckster

    Gre scores to submit

    I agree with bayessays. Adcoms for statistics care disproportionately about Q. If you got a 170 in quantitative but only a 150 in V and a 3 on essay, many if not most schools would be a-okay with that (so long as the rest of your app is decent). Or at least that's the vibe I've been getting.
  3. One of my recommenders is a little late, but I called the admissions office and apparently it is quite common for recommenders to get their letters in late. This usually won't affect your ability to submit your application from your end (it didn't affect mine). I have even heard anecdotes of letter writers being a week or two late. As long as the letter comes in before the admissions committee meets for review (which at this point should be after the semester ends, i.e. around the holidays), then you should be fine. But feel free to call and double check with your school's admissions office as I did.
  4. No, I appreciate your advice. Please don't think I don't. It's just that I wanted to get a multitude of perspectives on this before I made any drastic last-minute decision. I'll make sure to give this a closer read, thanks.
  5. theduckster

    U Michigan Personal Statement vs SOP

    If you have time I would do it, just to make sure it looks like you care. Just mention what got you interested in statistics and reiterate your research interests, reiterate what you like about UMich and how you would fit into their "culture", and find a clever way to mention that you are part of an underrepresented group - if applicable.
  6. I am posting this again to solicit additional suggestions from the helpful posters here, since many of my apps are due soon and I am completely torn on this issue. Last year I suffered from some poor (non-math/stats) grades due to an illness and I also went part time as a result. The product of all this was a transcript for the year that looked something like the following: Quarter 1: F, B Quarter 2: B-, B- Quarter 3: A- Again, none of these are math/stats grades. However, I am very worried that since this was recent, adcoms will think I have not yet recovered (I have) and am not yet ready for grad school (I am). To give additional context: my math grades prior to this are very strong. Should I give a justification for this recent eccentricity, or should I just hope that adcoms will gloss over it? Finally: I also have a letter writer who said they could mention the illness in a letter. Would it maybe be better to let my recommender be the one who mentions it? Or should I tell my letter writer to scrap any mention of the issue? Thanks (as you can see, I am pulling my hair on this).
  7. Would it be better to just not mention it at all? This is the advice I'm getting from some people, since the courses I performed poorly in were non-math/stats courses (and a part-time status is common enough that apparently many adcom members don't bat an eye when they see it). Mainly, what I'm hearing is that any mention of health potentially sets off red flags in committee members' eyes if extremely strong evidence of recovery is not present (in my case the issue was only resolved ~6 months ago, so I only have my "summer months" as proof - not exactly 100% compelling on paper).
  8. Thanks @bayessays. Final questions and I'll try to wrap this discussion up: In my final quarter going part time (we have a three quarter system), I had only one class in my schedule and an A- in it. Does a single class all on its own look too suspicious? And should I ask the aforementioned letter writer (a professor) not to include any reference to my health? He said he would include this in his letter after I mentioned it in passing.
  9. It was a non math/stats course (I am not a math/stats major). Basically the entire year I took a really light courseload (with one F and a couple of Bs, all capped with an A-). These were all non-math/stats courses, but my concern is that this episode was quite recent and so adcoms might be concerned that I am "not ready" today (despite having strong math grades prior and some evidence that I have recovered and am productive as of the last several months). My dilemma is whether to try and assuage these concerns of theirs (if they have them), or not bring any of it up and hope they overlook it all. ...And I am not so worried about the grades themselves, as like I said they are non-math/stats courses. I am more worried that being the detectives they are, they will look at this part time/mediocre grade combo and see evidence of some serious issue, which is why I want to beat them to it by offering a reasonable explanation and an assurance on my part. Or perhaps I am just being paranoid.
  10. It sticks out like a bit of a sore thumb (with a single F and some B's, all in unrelated classes) but I may be able to ignore it like you said. One of my letter writers (a former professor) already said that he can write that this anomaly was due to an illness. Should I let him go ahead and do that, or request him not to?
  11. @cyberwulf Your insights here are thoroughly appreciated by both myself and many others. I am currently writing the statement of purpose and find that there is no getting around making a reference to a health issue and the impact it had on me over parts of the last year. I have, however, fully recovered in that time. Is there a preferred format for including such a point in my SOP? For example, should I spend ~100 words to demonstrate to the adcoms that I've recovered and won't be an academic liability as a grad student (for MS programs)? Or should I keep the whole thing extremely brief? Thanks, as always.
  12. I see where you are coming from. Unfortunately I need to explain away why I went part time for the entirety of one year, so there's no getting around making some reference to my health. That being said, I have evidence that I recovered completely. How long do you think I should talk about such evidence, so as to assuage any concerns that the adcoms might have?
  13. Thanks @MarineBluePsy and @bayessays. If I briefly mention the illness (in the context of how it set me back and how I overcame it), then can I be deliberately ambiguous about the specific illness? Will they suspect that I haven't actually yet overcome it, or that it is some "stigmatized" illness? I don't think I want to share too many personal details w/ random committee members.
  14. I've been told that bringing up health issues in the SOP ruins what is supposed to be a professional document that focuses on one's strengths; moreover, apparently some faculty interpret such addendums as "excuse-making". Unfortunately, some of my applicantions have no space for supplementary information regarding health issues related to poor performances. In this case, should I just mention the issue briefly in my Statement of Purpose, and if so how should I go about doing this? Thanks!!
  15. This is just me relieving my curious urges: Have adcoms ever seen a Master's applicant and rejected them because they might be a better PhD candidate than a Master's candidate? I ask not out of ego, but because I have a demonstrated interest (and background, to some extent) in theory and research, and I wonder if adcoms will themselves wonder why I am not applying to PhD programs instead.
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