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Hi!

Both programs have some strong similarities: large departments, diverse interests, good reputation, orientation towards application. Do you see any strong advantage/disadvantage for one program over the other? For example, NCSU is in the Research Triangle Park and the quals look significantly more accessible.

I'm mostly interested in the applied/methodological side of the statistics. My interests are Bayesian stats and time series, including stuff like state space models and Bayesian filtering. I'm still open to industry and academy after getting the degree.

Thanks!

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7 minutes ago, BayesianLove said:

Is this true for both academy and industry? I've seen some good placements in the academy for ISU, for example a guy doing a postdoc at Stanford. Is the gap really that big?

What matters for academic placements is your publication record and your advisor, so going to a program with lots of good, active professors is your best bet. NCSU is more consistent in having a high quality of professors like this.  Do you have any examples of recent ISU grads getting academic positions? Maybe they do! A guy from 2014 is a Prof at Colorado State. A post-doc is not comparable to getting a faculty job. The first professor I just looked at at NCSU (Ghosal) has placed grads in tenure track positions at Rice and UCI just in the last five years - that's one professor.  Again, ISU is a fine program, but I don't think it's got the consistent quality of faculty that NCSU has. 

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I might be guilty of answering a different question than the one you asked, however: I think you are probably going to have to do visits and talk to students/professors to get quality information w.r.t. your potential to succeed in either program. I am willing to bet that if you are happy and supported at your institution, you won't be irrevocably closing any professional doors on yourself by attending either one. 

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OMG I have a pretty similar problem to yours. I haven't officially decided yet, but I feel like ISU much more, and 90% I will go there. A lot of people think I'm crazy because NCSU seems to be a much better choice, but I feel my heart beats for ISU.

Please update your final choice if possible. Wish you all the best!!

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38 minutes ago, unicornnn123 said:

OMG I have a pretty similar problem to yours. I haven't officially decided yet, but I feel like ISU much more, and 90% I will go there. A lot of people think I'm crazy because NCSU seems to be a much better choice, but I feel my heart beats for ISU.

Please update your final choice if possible. Wish you all the best!!

Funny, because this is exactly how I feel and why I created the thread. NCSU seems more competitive from an objective/rational point of view, but there's definitely something subjective about ISU that makes it feel like a warmer place... perhaps it is the story of the department, or the snow, that it's making your lean towards ISU?

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15 minutes ago, BayesianLove said:

Funny, because this is exactly how I feel and why I created the thread. NCSU seems more competitive from an objective/rational point of view, but there's definitely something subjective about ISU that makes it feel like a warmer place... perhaps it is the story of the department, or the snow, that it's making your lean towards ISU?

Wait are we talking about the same "ISU"? Mine is Iowa State, program Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, which is only somewhere near Statistics.

For me, I don't know but I have felt really connected to the place right when I interviewed with the school. In fact, I applied to ISU after I got accepted to NCSU haha, I really don't know why I even submitted! I like how they designed the program, and with the lab rotations and having two advisors things, I feel ISU will be a better fit for me. Working in industry is not my plan; I love teaching and want to keep working in acamedia and become a lecturer in the future.

I'm still considering you know. It's a tough choice. But I feel I won't regret going to ISU.

So here are some things people advised me: NCSU has a higher ranking (#10 in Stat this year) and well-known program of Stats; locates in a warmer and more dynamic place, which will help a lot if you plan to work in industry. ISU also has a good program (#13 in Stat this year) though less famous than NCSU's, and life in Ames is very peaceful. The two places are toss-up actually.

I wish I could know something more to help both of us. But deep down here I hope you can choose the right place for you!

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29 minutes ago, BayesianLove said:

DEFINITELY, and I don't regret it (I submitted my decision early this morning ha!). I made a list of three objective arguments, plus it just clicked for me :). Anyway, honestly I think any of the two schools would have been a great place, no doubt.

Congrats! It's looking like I'm going to end up choosing between these two schools as well, any advice? 

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The main reason was that I liked their research and placement better, but the bottom line is that you can't go wrong with any of the two. I sent you a private message with a rather long write-up. Because there are a lot of personal/subjective reasons, I thought a private message would be better. If somebody else is facing the same situation and wants some input, just send me a message and I'll try to help.

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