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Prof Eval // Stats PhD Fall 2021

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Hi everyone, 

I'm planning on applying for Stats (not interested in biostats) PhD Programs for start in Fall 2021. I'm also open to Masters programs so long as they are funded. If anyone can offer advice, guidance, or a profile eval, it would be highly appreciated :-]

Undergraduate Institution: large state school, top 30 public university

Major: Statistics and Applied Math

GPA: 3.86/4.00 (summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa)

Type of Student: Domestic White Female

Relevant Classes:
Statistics Courses

  • Year 1 : Statistical Methods I (A)
  • Year 2: Theoretical Statistics I (A), Theoretical Statistics II (A), R Programming (A), Probability and Distributions (A), Statistical Methods II (A)
  • Year 3: Experimental Designs (A-), Sample Survey Methods (A- / taken at HKU), Statistical Data Analysis (B- / taken at HKU)
  • Year 4: Communication in Stats (A), Methods of Regression Analysis (A), SAS Programming (A), Methods of Statistical Computing (A)

Math Courses

  • Year 1 : Calculus II (A-), Differential Equations (A), Multivariable Calc (A), Intro to Linear Algebra (A-)
  • Year 2: Intro to Proofs (A), Linear Algebra I (B+), Calc of Several Variables (A), Advanced Calc (A)
  • Year 3: Real Analysis I (A-), Modern Algebra (A), Fourier Series and PDEs (A-), Number Theory (C / this was taken during a study abroad semester in Hong Kong, shows up as transfer credit on transcript but will also be sending in transcripts from HKU)
  • Year 4: Scientific Computing (A-), Numerical Analysis I (A), Numerical Analysis II (A)

Test Scores: 
Haven't taken GRE yet, probably will do okay (plan to take this in early fall and the potentially again in late fall if score isn't great)

Research Experience: Had a two summer research experience in high school at a local medical school (not sure if this counts - we had a poster at a conference that I didn't get to attend because I was, as stated, a high school student), no traditional research experience in university

Work Experience: Completed one summer as an actuarial intern at a large insurance company (mostly just running loss forecast models), one summer internship at a engineering and research company as an ops research intern (did some stuff with machine learning), for the past year have been working full time as a federal consultant providing data science support for a big data project (more machine learning stuff, particularly NLP)

Misc: Graduated top of my Statistics Dept class and received an Award of "Scholastic Achievement" at graduation. Also received plenty of other merit based scholarships throughout university.

LOR : One from a stat professor who knows me well and was sort of an advisor figure for me, one from my scientific computing prof who knows me well, haven't decided on the last

Applying to:

Reaches: University of Hong Kong, HKUST

Matches (maybe): Virginia Tech, UVA, need more

Hopefully safety : George Mason, need more


My biggest fears for the application are 1) lack of real research experience during college and 2) my low number theory grade (especially since it was taken at my top choice - yikes).

Out of the universities I'm applying to, HKU is my top choice (I would be applying as an international student to the Hong Kong PhD Fellowship), followed by HKUST. If anyone has any experience with those, please let me know! As far as the domestic universities go, if anyone has suggestions for universities that I could also apply for with reasonable confidence, I desperately need more matches and safeties. As you can probably assume, I'm from VA but am willing to go anywhere. 

Thanks in advance! 

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I don't know a thing about the Hong Kong school admissions - I think your assessments are pretty correct for the American schools.  I think you can get into higher ranked schools and places like Ohio State are also matches, but these program seem to be more competitive than similarly ranked schools. I wouldn't worry about one bad math grade in a non important class at all. There are a couple programs in Baltimore and others in surrounding states depending on how far from Virginia you're willing to go 

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