Jump to content

What's my chance for IEOR PhD?


Recommended Posts

I'm a senior at a liberal arts college thinking about several Operation Research PhD programs. My background is a math major, with some mixture of applied math, statistics and computer science stuff added. I'm mostly interested in optimization and control theory.

Here is my more detailed background.

Asian male international (it couldn't get any better)

Major: Math

Major GPA (math): 3.95 . Cumulative GPA: 3.7

GRE: havent taken yet

Courses: the more likely related stuff: (Math) ODE, Control Theory, Dynamical System, Numerical Analysis, Probability, Game Theory; (Statistics) Computational Statistics, Bayesian Stat - Monte Carlo Method and some more basic stuff; (Computer Science) Machine Learning, Algorithm, Theory of Computation and some programming courses. The rest are just the purely math courses: Multivariate Cal, Linear Algebra, Abstract Algebra, Real Analysis, Complex Analysis, Functional Analysis, Analytic Number Theory, Measure Theory, etc.

Research Experience:

- A pure math REU (competitive program) doing probability theory and number theory

- An applied math REU (competitive program) doing optimization, control theory, PDE, numerical analysis.

- Over a year worth of research assistant working on math/applied math projects.

- A month internship doing data mining & computational statistics for a hedge fund.

- A year-long thesis on control theory.


- One from a math professor (department chair) that I took 3 courses with. Probably a "do well in class" letter.

- One from a math professor/research advisor that I took 3 courses with + one summer REU and several months of research assistant, o-authored 2 journal papers with him but I'm unsure how supportive he'd be about me going for a OR PhD instead of a Math PhD.

- One from a REU research advisor, co-authored 3 (working) papers with him.

- One from a math professor/thesis advisor that I took 3 courses with.


- 2 journal publications (professional journal) on probability theory and number theory.

- 3 working papers (Two of which are fairly close to journal submission. But it depends on how much time I have to spend in the next 4 months) on control theory, PDE, stochastic process.

Programs that I'm considering: (I appreciate any recommendation you guys feel more suitable for my area of interest/background?)


Stanford MS&E

Princeton ORFE

Berkeley IEOR

Northwestern IEMS

Columbia IEOR

How you guys feel about my chance at the above programs (please ignore my ignorance since I have very little idea on how competitive those programs are for OR)? My main concern is the lack of OR-related stuff in my background.

Thank you.

Edited by ORIEv2.0
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Looks good, BUT like you said, you dont have any OR stuff on your transcript. I wouldn't necessarily say that's a killer though. Do you by any chance have time left to take any optimization classes or does your coursework have any of those subjects in it? Also, what's your plan for PhD research?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks navyasw02,

I go to a small liberal arts college so we dont offer any OR class. However, my coursework does cover, to a fairly small extent, certain aspects of optimization like linear programming, dynamic programming, network optimization.

As regarding research, I'm interested in stochastic control problems on graph and continuous state space, robust optimization, applied probability and, to some extent, data mining and computational finance.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...

Important Information

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. See our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use