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PHD Profile Evaluation


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Type: International asian female 

Bachelor&Master Institution: Undergrad at top 30 US school (according to US News)

Major: Double major in Data Science and Math

GPA: 3.97/4.0 

Courses taken

Calculus, Linear Algebra, Real Analysis, Probability, Statistics courses (with coding components), CS courses like Data Structures, Algorithms, all A's

Research experience:

1.     Work with a phd student in freshman summer on Graph Neural Network (read the materials, but my part of the work is mostly front-end, did not turn into a paper)

2.     Be in a project with a professor working on Transfer Learning (work during school year is very lowkey) since sophomore fall, then more research work during sophomore summer (currently), but doesn't write a paper for publication

3.     Upcoming senior honors thesis in Math

Other experience:

1.     One internship with an AI company in medical field (start-up, work is mostly research)

2.     TA for a computer science course

3.    One data science internship with a data-driven NPO (research environment, but also no paper came out of it)

Other information

1.     Have a blog on TowardsDataScience, wrote some well-reaching articles (although more like tutorial-style articles)

2.     Graduating college a year early (don't know if this is a plus or a minus)

3.     Presented about a small machine learning project for a conference (not a conference on machine learning/ cs) with my mentor

4.     A small school-level data science award

GRE: Quantitative >= 165

LOR: 3-5 (1 from senior thesis advisor, 1 from prof in department I've been doing research with, 1 from internship supervisor who has a good record of publications in the field and also has a phd from stanford, 2 other letters to be chosen from my mentor/another internship supervisor/my academic advisor who all know me from average to well)

I'm trying to get an idea what my school list should be based on what I'm having currently. I already have an idea of the research topic I want to pursue in the future to write about in my SOP, which aligns closely with the research experience I've done. I've received advice that rec letters are most important, but I think many applicants have that, as well as really good research background/publications, so I'm trying to see where I'm standing. I appreciate any help in advance!

Edited by is_a_PHDapplicant
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This looks good to me. The next step would be to select schools that are going to be the right fit for you. Fit is everything. In addition to a rigorously written SOP and strong LORS, admissibility to the program will depend on the alignment between the research you would like to conduct and the research focus of the program. You can have the best application ever, but if the fit is not there, you might not get admitted. Faculty research should serve as a guideline instead of school rankings.

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  • 3 months later...

Hi, just want to bump this again for recommendation of schools. I already have a list but I'm still trying to add some more/gauge my chance at different schools. One thing changed from the profile above is that I end up having 2 different research projects this semester (one for senior thesis, one with another prof), both in a field that's a blend of math and cs. I've been doing independent work so far and my progress has been good, so I think my profs will write decent rec letters at least. What school tier should I focus on (assuming that my research interest fits the department there)? Thank you

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