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Stat PhD among UMN, PSU and Rutgers


Vincent_Guo

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Dear all: 

I got the stat PhD offer from UMN (Minnesota), Rutgers, and Penn State U but am not sure which one is better for me. My future plan is to get a position in academia and my research interest is basically theoretical statistics (like learning theory, high dimensional stat, applied prob, etc).

For now, I consider Rutgers as my best choice. These 3 programs are at the same level so I think only the faculty and their research matter. Rutgers have APs who graduated from top 5 stat programs like Wharton, Stanford, and Harvard. Cun-Hui Zhang also works at Rutgers, who is one of the most eminent professor in the community. I could choose both junior faculty and senior faculty as my advisors. Compared to Rutgers, UMN has Hui Zou and Tiefeng Jiang, who are also doing fascinating research, likewise Runze Li at PSU. However, I think there are more faculty at Rutgers doing *theoretical* research and I could probably get more guidance from them. Last but not least, I think New Jersey is a good place for life, close to NYC and not freezing cold. It benifits even if I decide to go to industry in the future. 

What is your opinions about this? I think it is hard to make the decision and in particular, I have some quesitons below. 

1. How is the research and faculty in the field of theoretical statistics compared to Rutgers and UMN? 

2. As for seeking a job at industry, which one is the best? 

3. I will probably get the offer from U of Toronto as well. Is it a good choice to pursue my PhD degree in Canada? I heard that a US degrees is better than Canadian degree in terms of looking for an academic position in North America. 

Thanks in advance for your reply. 

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