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I am TAing for my department, and while grading I have noticed that a great many of my students are scoring poorly because they are not following directions I gave them multiple times (how to write a thesis, how to organize an essay). While I am sure I am not the most fascinating instructor, I am appalled that what was previously a very engaged class has not been paying attention to (or using) the assignment instructions, the course reading, or my advice in class. How can I get the students to pull an about-face on this in the last half of the semester?
Howdy everyone! I'm currently a freshman at a large, public top 50 school and I'm determined to go onto graduate school, with the goal of ultimately getting my PhD in statistics. I absolutely adore mathematics and statistics, and while I don't know what branch of statistics I'd like to research or even what sector (academia, industry, government) I'd like to go into, I am certain that I want to do higher-level statistics for the rest of my career. I know it seems incredibly early for me to be discussing/ considering any of this, but please hear me out. After reading through this forum fairly extensively, I realized that a very large chunk of the advice that is given in profile evaluations is worded something along the lines of, "Well it's too late now to work on your GPA/ undergraduate research experience/ finding better recommenders, so instead just focus on the GRE/ statement of purpose/ etc." I know that the closer I get to the actual application deadline, the fewer aspects of my application I can change. Because of this, I figured that now's the best time to learn what to prioritize over the next four years. I spent the past couple months figuring out what opportunities I might have over the next couple years, but I've been having a hard time figuring out what to prioritize or which experiences might be the most valuable. The rest of this post will consist of some of the academic and extracurricular activities that I know I have access to. If there is anything you think is worth prioritizing (or might not be worth it), or if there is literally any general advice you have, please say it. Additionally, I'm not sure what 'level' of school I'm interested in (e.g. top 5 vs. top 40), so I'm curious about what I would have to do to have a chance in different levels of graduate programs. Academic Options: Theses are the statistics and mathematics classes I currently plan on taking over the next four years. Do they seem to be enough for me to be accepted into a PhD program after graduation, or is there some a major section of statistical or mathematical understanding that I might be missing? Freshman Year: Calculus II, Multivariable Calculus, Intro to Linear Algebra Statistical Methods I Sophomore Year: Differential Equations, Intro to Proofs, Calc of Several Variables, Advanced Calculus Statistical Methods II, Theoretical Statistics I, Methods of Regression Analysis, Experimental Design, Probability and Distributions Junior Year: Discrete Mathematics, Elementary Real Analysis I, Linear Algebra Theoretical Statistics II, Communication in Statistical Collaborations, Data Analytics and Visualizations, Applied Bayesian Statistics, Applied Multivariate Analysis Senior Year: I'm not sure yet, because it's around here that I can no longer understand the fundamental idea of the classes of this level with what I currently know. I'm planning on keeping senior year more math-heavy, but I don't understand what all of my options mean. Extracurricular Options: Putnam Exam Contestant Statistics Club Vice President/ President: I was presented with the opportunity to be the Vice President of the undergraduate statistics club, and probably the president of the club for the next 3 years after that. Besides being a fun experience, the only belief that I could see would be that it could make it easier for me to meet notable faculty members, as the VP and president organize guest speakers to come in. Undergraduate Research Math Tutoring Honors Program Summer Internships Summer REUs Study-Abroad (Budapest Seminars, Math in Moscow, University of Karlsruhe, etc) There might have been more, but I can't remember them off the top of my head. Regardless, thank you for your help.