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Fall 2020 Statistics Applicant Thread

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On 3/12/2020 at 9:34 AM, distopianmathgirl said:

@dberlind I was accepted to the CMU joint policy/stats program. From what I understand, 6 people were accepted to the program, and professors say they usually have a pretty high yield for this program. I also got into UChicago and Columbia, but I'll probably attend CMU. Best of luck though! It's possible that people would turn it down.

Is this the CMU MSPPM DA program? I got accepted into this too; I'm surprised you'd choose CMU over UChicago and Columbia - keen to understand your reasoning.

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3 hours ago, Do_EE said:

Is this the CMU MSPPM DA program? I got accepted into this too; I'm surprised you'd choose CMU over UChicago and Columbia - keen to understand your reasoning.

CMU has a statistics and public policy joint PhD program.

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Did anyone who was accepted to the Boston University MA Biostatistics program (email from Dr. Laura White) receive an official acceptance letter yet? I was contacted weeks ago but still have not received the official acceptance letter from the graduate school.

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bstat6 same here. although it sounds like no funding will be offered to MA students and their program is insanely expensive so I probably won’t be attending anyway. 

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5 hours ago, bstat6 said:

Did anyone who was accepted to the Boston University MA Biostatistics program (email from Dr. Laura White) receive an official acceptance letter yet? I was contacted weeks ago but still have not received the official acceptance letter from the graduate school.

Yes, I got an official offer from Boston MA Biostatistics last week. 

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I am still waiting on a Berkeley Statistics PhD decision. Is anyone else in the same boat? I feel like very few people turn down that offer, so wondering what that means. I think it is a reject, but I already saw a ton of rejects/accepts earlier in Feb/march. I have decisions from basically everywhere else. Any guidance on what I should be thinking?

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11 hours ago, stats_hopeful123 said:

I am still waiting on a Berkeley Statistics PhD decision. Is anyone else in the same boat? I feel like very few people turn down that offer, so wondering what that means. I think it is a reject, but I already saw a ton of rejects/accepts earlier in Feb/march. I have decisions from basically everywhere else. Any guidance on what I should be thinking?

I was notified a few weeks back and I'm surprised that there are still people who haven't been notified. I would contact the department at this stage.

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On 3/12/2020 at 10:36 PM, Do_EE said:

Is this the CMU MSPPM DA program? I got accepted into this too; I'm surprised you'd choose CMU over UChicago and Columbia - keen to understand your reasoning.

On 3/13/2020 at 1:41 AM, bayessays said:

CMU has a statistics and public policy joint PhD program.

Yeah, it's the joint PhD in Statistics and Public Policy. To me, CMU has the perfect blend of what I want and even though UChicago and Columbia may be higher ranked, I don't know if they offer what I want or if I'd be a good fit. 

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I have split my applications between MS Stat programs with a few MS Data Science mixed in. I have mostly narrowed my decision to Harvard DS, Yale Stat and UChicago Stat. I don’t intend to continue onto a PhD afterwards. I’m currently leaning pretty strongly towards Harvard — for the program itself and personal location preferences. One hesitation that I have is with the statistics foundation of the program. While there is a lot of flexibility to tailor the coursework, I was wondering whether anyone had experience with the (very) new program and whether it was possible/encouraged to focus heavily on statistics in the program? Thanks in advance!

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5 hours ago, distopianmathgirl said:

 

Yeah, it's the joint PhD in Statistics and Public Policy. To me, CMU has the perfect blend of what I want and even though UChicago and Columbia may be higher ranked, I don't know if they offer what I want or if I'd be a good fit. 

In some sense, these ranking are also artificially imposed; I had a professor at Berkeley (who shares a name with a famous athlete) who recommended Michigan over Chicago despite what the rankings might seem to indicate. Rankings are a (pretty good?) heuristic but they aren't perfect; if you think that CMU is a perfect fit for you then take it with full confidence and don't feel the need to justify your decision "because of rankings".

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@nothing2see I'll give my 2 cents about why some people might be hesitant to go there based on what I know of the faculty and conversations with people who've gone through the program.  Obviously it has a reputation as being one of the most theoretical programs with a very intense first year course sequence.  They lost Lafferty, one of their top faculty recently. Looking at the rest of their tenured faculty (ignoring the assistant profs), there really just isn't a wide range of statistics research being done.  There are quite a few really good statistical genetics people, some probabilists (Lafferty), and then a lot of people who are doing some form of applied math and wouldn't fit into most statistics departments. Then there are a couple more traditional stats people, mostly on very theoretical end. There is not the broad range of more traditional stats research done at a place like Michigan.

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I think University of Michigan is quite well-regarded, and their graduates seem to do well in the job market. In the 2019-2020 academic job market cycle for Statistics, there were two folks from Michigan (one fifth year PhD student and one who got their PhD there and is now a postdoc at UC Berkeley) who were getting a ton of campus interviews, including interviews at Ivy League schools, Carnegie Mellon, University of Washington, etc. 

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How many applicants are  on the waitlist of NCSU? I guess it is very large due to its size. I know I have very low odds and a kind of false hope but it makes me look forward to hearing positive response from them. This is so hard to wait.

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Can anyone give some pros and cons or any thoughts on UMich's PhD stats program versus UNC-STOR's PhD stats program. For example, are the difference in rankings significant between the two? Thanks. 

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Anyone have any idea about the Econometrics/Statistics program at Chicago Booth? I was accepted, but trying to compare it to pure stats programs. My sense is that it is highly focused on econometrics, finance, causal inference from the frequentist perspective. In case it possible, I move to other fields like high-dimensional inference/ML, would it be a better bet to enter a pure stats program?

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12 hours ago, nothing2see said:

@icantdoalgebra did Lebron make this suggestion based on anything in particular?

Echoing some of what bayessays has mentioned, their department is on the smaller side in terms of traditional statistics but he also has a high opinion of Michigan assistant professors; he's mentioned that they've made some good hires over the past few years.

Also one piece of advice he gave that might be useful to everybody: when choosing a PhD program and considering potential advisors, it shouldn't be about only one person you want to work with. There should be some degree of robustness for an advisor: you should have multiple people at program you're happy to work with in case things don't just work out.

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Any idea how the pandemic might impact fall admissions for international applicants. It is going to be really difficult to get visa by August. So can we expect the start of the program from spring semester or maybe even the admits being deferred by a year, or in the worst case admits being cancelled?

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28 minutes ago, statapp said:

Any idea how the pandemic might impact fall admissions for international applicants. It is going to be really difficult to get visa by August. So can we expect the start of the program from spring semester or maybe even the admits being deferred by a year, or in the worst case admits being cancelled?

I would ask the graduate coordinators. But my hunch is that you most likely won't be able to start in the spring, since most first-year graduate courses in Statistics follow two-semester sequences (e.g. Statistics Theory I in the fall and then Statistics Theory II in the spring), or consecutive-quarter sequences if the school is on a quarter system. If it is a serious issue, I'm sure the graduate director can arrange for you and other international students to do a portion of the coursework online/remotely. During the epidemic, many universities have moved to completely online instruction for both undergrad and grad courses.

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39 minutes ago, statapp said:

Any idea how the pandemic might impact fall admissions for international applicants. It is going to be really difficult to get visa by August. So can we expect the start of the program from spring semester or maybe even the admits being deferred by a year, or in the worst case admits being cancelled?

I've  been wondering how the fall semesters are going to be impacted in general.  Who knows if semesters might still be online in the fall, so how will this affect TA assignments and funding?  A lot of departments are able to fund students through the money they make from MS programs, and international enrollment will be affected.  I've been a little worried about committing to a lease when the situation is so uncertain right now.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, stats_hopeful123 said:

Anyone have any idea about the Econometrics/Statistics program at Chicago Booth? I was accepted, but trying to compare it to pure stats programs. My sense is that it is highly focused on econometrics, finance, causal inference from the frequentist perspective. In case it possible, I move to other fields like high-dimensional inference/ML, would it be a better bet to enter a pure stats program?

The Econometrics/Statistics Chicago Booth is a solid program with some great, renowned statisticians, including ones who work in the area of high-dimensional statistics and ML. For example, Veronika Rockova and Nicholas Polson have worked a lot recently on deep learning and regression tree methods. They also publish in top machine learning conferences like NeurIPS, not just statistics journals.  I think if you were to attend Chicago Booth and worked with one of their statistics faculty, you would be in excellent shape.

 

5 hours ago, COMonteCristo said:

Can anyone give some pros and cons or any thoughts on UMich's PhD stats program versus UNC-STOR's PhD stats program. For example, are the difference in rankings significant between the two? Thanks. 

I would rate University of Michigan Statistics as slightly better, but UNC-STOR is still a great program. It seemed like in the past, UNC-STOR focused very heavily on probability theory, but they have been expanding their statistics group a lot in recent years and have hired some great professors in the areas of high-dimensional statistics and machine learning. There are also some Biostatistics faculty at UNC-CH who hold joint appointments in Statistics and who would be excellent supervisors for Statistics PhD students (e.g. Dr. Michael Kosorok has placed UNC Stat PhD graduates in top faculty positions and top postdocs like UPenn Wharton).

If you're comparing between UMich and UNC-STOR, I would focus on more than just rankings (e.g. job placements, location, qualifying exams, etc.), as the difference in rankings/program quality is not that material, IMO.

Edited by Stat Postdoc Soon Faculty

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, geekstats said:

Size differences apart, would you put UMich and NCSU in the same tier, @Stat Postdoc Soon Faculty ?

I would also consider UM to be a bit better than NCSU in terms of overall quality, but NCSU is also a very strong program, and I would not consider it outrageous for someone to strongly prefer NCSU over UM. NCSU also has famous faculty and outstanding researchers who can help their students get good postdocs/TT jobs.

The PhD/postdoc supervisor(s), the quality of your letters of recommendation, and your publication record matter above all else if you're interested in academic jobs. I'm from a program  ranked in the 40s in USNWR, and one of my PhD advisor's former students got job offers from Johns Hopkins Biostatistics and Duke University when they were on the market (they also got interviews at Cornell and UC Berkeley). I also got multiple interviews this year, and so did one of my PhD classmates when he was on the market last year (he is now at University of Minnesota), because our job application packets were competitive at the time we applied. 

Edited by Stat Postdoc Soon Faculty

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Posted (edited)

Can I get thoughts on TAMU for someone interested in time series and applied probability? I could see myself dabbling in some Bayesian research as well. Most of the comments I've seen are about it's unfavorable location, which doesn't bother me much. The general conservative lean of the town doesn't really impact my decision either. I think it is a good research fit for me, but am nervous about its slight skid in the rankings from last time (which I know isn't the end all be all). I am interested in an academic job after I graduate. Any general comments would help.

Edited by Stochastics

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