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2019 Phd Statistic Evaluation / List of schools

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Hi all,

Would appreciate any feedback / School suggestions

Undergrad Institution: Top 5 (According to US News)

GPA: 3.87/4.00 

Major GPA: 3.93/4.00

Major(s):  Statistics and Mathematics

Type of Student: Domestic White/ Asian Male
GRE General Test: 162V, 168Q, 5.0 W (rip)

Programs Applying: PhD in Statistics

Research Experience: 

1.   Summer research program at a national lab (summer 2016). This was my introduction to statistics, coming from a physics background. No significant research accomplishment though. 

2.    Senior thesis on statistical inference for network models. I believe the result of this work is not yet publishable quality, but my advisor is happy and wants me to continue with the goal of publication. 

3.   Two course projects for graduate level courses. One manuscript on NLP research. 

4.  Economics research where I programmed and ran simulations. Nothing special came of this. 

Industry Experience:

1. Data scientist internship at a top tier tech company. I worked on some causal inference problems

2. Two other tech internships 

Teaching Experience:

I was a TA for 4 semesters. I received 2 teaching awards. I also am a TA for a graduate level course on GLMs. 

Research Interests: Graphical and network modeling, high dimensional inference, theoretical machine learning

Letters of Recommendation:  Two strong letters from accomplished professors; one from a graduate level course, and one from my senior thesis. One letter from teaching faculty who taught intro stat courses

Math and Stat and CS Courses:

Real Analysis / Linear Algebra (A- /A)

Abstract Algebra (A)

Complex Analysis (A)

Probability (A)

Statistical Inference (A)

Combinatorics (A) 

Stochastic Processes (A)

Data Science (A) 

Dynamical Systems (A)

Machine Learning (A)

Quantum Mech. (A)

Mechanics, Electromagnetism (A, A)

Graduate Level Statistical Inference (A)

Graduate Level GLMs (A-)

Graduate Level Probability (A-)

Graduate Level ML for Natural Language Processing (A-)

Applying to Where: 

CMU, Washington, Columbia, UC berkeley, UChicago, Duke, Wharton, UToronto, Michigan, UCLA, Wisconsin Madison, Harvard


I have relatively weak research background, and did not take the Math GRE but I am aiming for top schools. Though I am passionate about research, it would be hard to turn down good job offers for a lower ranked school. Also I slipped up in some graduate level courses and got A-, which might look bad. I also slipped up during my freshman fall in real analysis and got a A- (but this was a long time ago). I think my main strength is that I will have accomplished researchers who supporting my application. My cumulative GPA is lower because I got B+/ Bs in some other courses like psychology and writing.



Edited by blehperson
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Your profile looks great, and I think you can most likely get into one or several of the top-tier schools on your list. I don't think a few A-'s or B's will hurt your application, especially if they are in unrelated non-math/non-quantitative subjects. The adcom won't be hand-wringing over an A- in your case, *especially* if you went to MIT, University of Chicago, or one of the top Ivy League schools in the country.

As a personal aside, you already took graduate-level Statistical Inference and Generalized Linear Models as an undergrad, and you are working as a TA for the GLM class! That's very impressive, since these are  courses that most PhD students in Statistics don't take until their second year as a PhD student. I would say you definitely deserve to be at UChicago, Harvard, Berkeley, or Penn!

Edited by Stat PhD Now Postdoc
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