BabyDietCoke Posted May 1, 2021 Share Posted May 1, 2021 (edited) Student Type: Domestic student Applying for: Applied Math and Statistics PHD Fall 2022 Undergrad: Relatively Unknown Liberal Arts Major: Biochemistry and Economics, Minor: Mathematics GPA: 3.7 (Biochemistry 3.8, Economics 3.85) I had a late encounter with mathematics my Senior year and completely redirected my focus towards Mathematics. Along the way I've found an affinity for applied mathematics (scientific computing stuff) and statistics (on the theory side). As such I'm a pretty non-traditional student, I won't be including the many biology/chemistry courses nor the plethora of economics courses I have taken (it feels pretty irrelevant now, just fun stuff to know I guess). Anyways, I'll include some of the courses I took during a gap year at my local top 30 university before starting my Master's at a top 50 liberal arts program. Unfortunately, I won't be able to take many more courses directly aligned with statistics (perhaps an Intro to ML course) as I have ran out of courses that I can take that I offered this coming school year... Master's: Mathematics GPA: 3.99 (Over 11 Courses for the Past School Year/Summer) Undergrad Math: Calc 2/3 (A-/A-), Linear Algebra (A), Intro Statistics (A), Intro to Proof (A-), Abstract Algebra 1 (A), Complex Analysis (A), Abstract Linear Algebra (A-), Real Analysis 1 (A), Real Analysis 2 (A), Topology (A-), Numerical Analysis (A), Numerical Linear Algebra (A+), Probability Theory (A+), Mathematical Statistics (A+), Differential Geometry (A), Mathematics of Data Science (A), Topological Data Analysis (A). Graduate Math: Abstract Algebra 1 (A-), Measure Theory (A-), Complex Analysis (A+), Uncertainty Quantification (A), Markov Chains and Mixing Times (A). Remark: The A+ are quirks of my current institution, they do not impact GPA, but serve as indicators of maintaining above a 98%/strength in coursework Planning to Take (At Least Up to Fall): Algorithms, Computational Geometry, PDE 1, Graduate Numerical Linear Algebra, Graduate Numerical PDEs Research: Starting this summer, part of Master's Thesis. Focused on differential equations on Fractals. GRE: 170Q, 164V, 6W Letters of Recommendation: Three different letters of rec, one with who I am doing research with over the summer. (They all have a strong connection with some departments I am considering) Applying to: I don't know, yet General Questions: What range of schools should I be considering for PhD programs (Applied Math or Statistics)? Are there any gaps in my coursework or application? I fear that my weakest part of the application will be a lack of strong research experience... I wish to apply for PHD programs in either Applied Math or Statistics because I have become really interested in the ideas of applying Harmonic Analysis to estimate underlying densities, high dimensional probability, as well as scientific computing as a whole (extremely interested in the use of tensors for numerical multilinear algebra). I'm still figuring out the precise direction that I am most interested in, it's all so cool! Edited May 1, 2021 by BabyDietCoke Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

AC1 Posted May 2, 2021 Share Posted May 2, 2021 Though there are others here in this forum who can comment better than me, but I think that you have quite a strong math background to be accepted into some decent Stats PhD programs. I believe that you have a solid chance at programs beyond the top 10 stats PhD programs and some top ranked Biostats PhD programs (except the top 3). Also very few people have research experience before they apply for a PhD so I dont think that's going to be a problem. I would also add in some core stats courses like Stats inference as well if its possible. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

trynagetby Posted May 2, 2021 Share Posted May 2, 2021 (edited) Depends on your matsers institution. If your masters at was like UIUC/UCDavid/UTAustin/Rochester type of schools and your recs are good I'd say apply to most of the Top 10 why not, you have a great math background. If it was at like wakeforest, you should be more conservative. Edited May 2, 2021 by trynagetby Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

StatsG0d Posted May 3, 2021 Share Posted May 3, 2021 3 hours ago, trynagetby said: Depends on your matsers institution. If your masters at was like UIUC/UCDavid/UTAustin/Rochester type of schools and your recs are good I'd say apply to most of the Top 10 why not, you have a great math background. If it was at like wakeforest, you should be more conservative. I don't agree with this at all. Wake Forest is a very reputable school and there's a list of institutions that their Master's graduates end up attending, many of which are very prestigious. Not sure if you're trying to actually take a knock at Wake Forest in particular or if you were just oblivious to this fact. I think the OP has a great chance at top-20 programs and a small but nonzero chance at a top-10 stats. I could see them getting into any/all of the top-5 biostats programs. Their mathematics knowledge is extremely deep--far deeper than the vast majority of domestic students. They have a letter writer with connects at the institutions in which they are applying. Got a perfect GRE Q and writing score. This is a really strong profile IMO. The biggest problem is going to be that it seems the OP has quite specific research interests. I think it will be difficult to find a good program that aligns with these interests. OP: I recommend you apply broadly (a couple in the top-10, most in the 11-30 range, some in the 30+ range to be "safe"). I do NOT advocate for speaking about your specific research interests in your statement of purpose, because I think if it's not a departmental interest they will be likely to reject you. Simply say you're interested in high dimensional statistics or something. trynagetby 1 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

BabyDietCoke Posted May 6, 2021 Author Share Posted May 6, 2021 Thank you for the responses and advice. I think I will spend the last year at my M.Sc program taking courses in the CS department (I've been true most of the sequences being offered next year) and try to build up more of an understanding of algorithms and perhaps ML (from an implementation standpoint). Side question, is it worth taking the Math GRE? I've taken it before when I was less mathematically mature and did horrendous, like 60th percentile, but that was when I haven't taken much math yet. I think I can hit above 80 percentile, but I don't know how vital the Math GRE is for Statistics programs compared to when applying for Pure Math programs. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

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