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Statistics - CS PhD, fall 2019?


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Undergrad: one of the UT schools (I'm also currently in the combined master's program after I finished my bachelor's in May)

GPA: 3.95

GRE: V 159, Q 170, AW 4

Relevant Courses (all As and A+s): standard calculus sequence, linear algebra, prob and stats, probability theory (no measure theory tho),  stochastic processes, probabilistic graphical models (currently taking analysis 1 and self-studying measure theory)

Rec Letters: from 3 research advisors; 1 I worked under during freshman & sophomore year (big name EE guy; letter should be decent); 2 junior professors currently supervising me (since senior year), letters should be very strong.

Research: Worked on 1 EE project, 3 CS projects; one CS paper from last year was rejected multiple times,  now on ArXiv and under submission to a workshop; one paper (3rd author) submitted to AISTATS; currently 2 papers (first author) will submit to ICML in January 2019.


Currently my list includes about a dozen schools that are top 50 on csrankings.org:

Tier 1: Stanford, MIT, Berkeley, Princeton, Columbia, Yale, Caltech

Tier 2: UCI, UT Austin, JHU, BU

Tier 3: UMass, UT Dallas


I lean towards theory (applied probability, Bayesian non-parametrics, stochastic optimization), hence statistics programs,  but I'm not sure if my math coursework is sufficient. I also like coding and think I'm pretty good at it. I'm having a hard time deciding, especially for schools where faculties I'm interested in are affiliated with both departments (I guess whichever is easier to get in would be fine for me; I heard stats programs might be comparatively easier).

I have a feeling I may be reaching too high, and I would appreciate suggestions for more tier 2 and 3 schools.

Edited by mlking
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You'll be pretty competitive for any stats program, although the top ten (and especially the top 5ish) are hard to crack for anyone.  I would recommend looking at more schools in the 10-30 range, as I think you'll be a strong candidate for those. Have you looked at Michigan stats? They have some overlap between CS and stats people in those areas. CS programs will be much harder to get into.  I would think about whether you want to be a computer scientist or a statistician pretty strongly, as the culture between the departments might be pretty different.

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