Ineedsleep Posted July 6, 2020 Share Posted July 6, 2020 Hi, everyone. I'm applying for statistics PhD programs for 2021 fall, and would greatly appreciate any advice! Research Interests (currently a little broad): - Methology and applications on social science data; especially economical and political data - Financial mathematics (from a stats related view; volatility and uncertainty) Undergraduate Institution: Best stats program in Korea Major: Statistics + Mathematics (A minor in Financial Economics) GPA: 4.01/4.3 (converted to approximately 3.85/4) Type of Student: International Asian Male Relevant Classes:Statistics Courses - Theory : Intro Probability (A0), Mathematical Statistics I/II (A0/A0), Grad Probability I (A-), Grad Theory of Statistics I (A+) - Application : Computational Statistics (A0), Regression Analysis (A+), Multivariate Statistics (A-), Time Series Analysis (B+), Grad Linear Models (A+) Math Courses - Basic : Calculus I/II (A+/A+) - Analysis : Intro Analysis 1 (A+), ODE (A+), Financial Mathematics I (A+), Undergrad Real Analysis (B+?), Grad Real Analysis (A+?), Grad PDE I (A+) - Algebra : Linear Algebra (A+), Intro Abstract Algebra I/II (A+/A0) - Others : Intro Topology (B+), Topological Combinatorics (A-), Intro Differential Geometry I (A+), Discrete Math (A+) Econ - Microeconomics (A+), Macroeconomics (A-), Stocks, Bonds, Derivatives (A+), Econometrics (A+) Test Scores : GRE general : V 164 / Q 170 / A 4.0 GRE subject math : 970 (99%) TOEFL : 112 (R30/L30/S26/W26) Research Experience: Due to the virus situation, I have just started research this summer. (planing to continue until application season) I am on a project analyzing political time series data through a dynamic linear model via MCMC. Miscalleous : I have been interested in mathematics problem solving, and I have some prizes from undergrad math contests. (Gold prize from a Korea-wide one, and n th place (n<10) from a Asia-Pacific wide one) Also, I am planning to take more courses on financial math and econometrics this fall. LOR : One from the stats professor I am researching with, one from my financial math professor. Haven't decided on whom to ask the last letter. Applying to : Reachable? : UChicago, Columbia, NYU, UWashington, CMU Target? : UNC, NCSU, Wisconsin-Madison, Texas A&M Hopefully satefy : Iowa state, BU I know that my list looks quite top-heavy, and would appreciate any feedback about my current profile and schools. Also, my research interests don't seem to be in the mainstream of statistics (such as biostats, machine learning) and I wonder if this could have negative effects in admissions. I am interested in schools that have close connections with social science departments (and professors specializing on econometrics or political data analysis), and that have faculty researching financial math & stochastic processes. Thanks in advance. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Stat Assistant Professor Posted July 6, 2020 Share Posted July 6, 2020 (edited) You have a strong profile, but I wanted to give some anecdotal evidence. I know several native Korean students who got their PhDs at schools like NCSU and Texas A&M, and they ALL had publications in statistics journals before starting their PhD program. It seems as though the profiles of students from the top schools in South Korea are especially impressive, and thus, the competition is probably a lot fiercer. The one person I know who got his PhD at NCSU even had *several* publications in stat journals and had worked as a lecturer in statistics (he had a Masters degree in it already from South Korea) before starting his PhD at NCSU. Based on this, I would recommend adding more schools in the 20-40 range (according to the USNWR rankings). I think you could definitely get into a school like University of Florida, OSU, or UIUC, but you might also get lucky and be admitted to schools in the top 20. Good luck! Edited July 6, 2020 by Stat Assistant Professor Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Ineedsleep Posted July 6, 2020 Author Share Posted July 6, 2020 Thanks for the fast advice! My professor in Korea told me to focus more on mathematical and theoretical backgrounds, rather than researching at a low level, and maybe that's why I started researching late. Do you think applying a year later, with more research experience and a publication or two enhance my chances significantly? Thanks again for replying! Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Stat Assistant Professor Posted July 7, 2020 Share Posted July 7, 2020 Having a publication would make your profile even stronger, of course. I would try to find out the profiles of other students from your university who have enrolled in PhD programs in the U.S. in recent years (including where they ended up matriculating), to see how your profile measures up compared to them. I think you will ind a decent number of Korean students with some publications. However, even without research/publications, I do think you are competitive enough to get into good programs in the 20-40 range at present, and you could get lucky and get admitted to a top 20 program or two as well... I just think you need to apply to a lot more schools in the 20-40 range to maximize your chances of getting in somewhere. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

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