BrownianEmotion Posted November 2, 2016 Share Posted November 2, 2016 (edited) · Hi all, I've been a lurker on here for a while, and I wanted to get a better gauge about what schools I can/should apply to for a PhD in either Statistics or Operations Research. I'm interested in statistical simulation problems that arise naturally in Actuarial Science. On a more practical side, I am interested in bringing the simulation and statistical techniques from Financial Engineering to Actuarial Science. I’d love to hear your thoughts. EDUCATION: o Major: Actuarial Science and Mathematics with a minor in Computer Science from University of Wisconsin o GPA: 3.73 overall, 4.0 in Actuarial Science classes, ~3.8 in Math classes o Relevant Courses: Calc III (AB), Intro to Probability (A), Proof-based Linear Algebra (AB), Stochastic Processes (A), Real Analysis I (AB), Stochastic Calculus (AB), Mathematical Statistics (A), Intro to Computer Science (A), Actuarial Mathematics I and II (both As), Loss Models (A), Interest Theory (A) o Currently in Linear Programming, Numerical Analysis, Real Analysis II, Regression, and Data Structures o I plan to take Measure Theory and possibly an Integer Optimization course next semester RESEARCH/RELEVANT ACTIVITIES: o Currently involved in a research project with an Actuarial Science professor comparing Machine Learning methods with more traditional GLM as applied to Actuarial Science. I oversee the coding (in R) and the conceptual picture for the ML side of the work. We will likely not have a paper until the end of the school year. o Programming: Proficient in R, MATLAB, and Java o Two actuarial internships, one at a smaller life insurance company, another at a bigger property/casualty company doing insurance claim modeling in R using Markov Chains. o I've also graded for two different Actuarial Science classes, and tutored introductory Statistics and Calculus, as well as passed three actuarial exams. GRE/Letters of Rec: o GRE: 164Q, 162V, waiting on writing o I have one excellent letter of rec from an Actuarial Science professor who I have graded for and who I am working with. Two other letters of rec, one from a professor I am taking a class with now and took a class with last semester who knows I am a good student, another Stats professor who I had a class with who I have asked for help with graduate school. Likely that they might not be particularly stellar except for the first one. Schools: Statistics PhD: o University of Wisconsin o UC-Berkeley o Duke o Wharton o John Hopkins o UNC-Chapel Hill INSTORE o CMU Operations Research PhD: o Columbia IEOR o Princeton ORFE o Stanford OR (dream school) o Cornell OR Do I have a chance at these schools I've listed? Is it too top heavy? What should I add/take off? Also, should I retake the GRE? I really don’t want to if I don’t have to…. But I will if my chances are far too low. Edited November 2, 2016 by BrownianEmotion Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Residuals Posted November 2, 2016 Share Posted November 2, 2016 (edited) What you have going for you is UW-Madison reputation in math and statistics. Many UW-Madison students place in top grad programs. Though there are overlaps (sort of) with statistics and OR, they are not the same (one being data discovery and the other more emphasis on optimization). Are you sure of which of these two different paths you are interested in? Your math courses are fine with a few 'AB' blemishes. Are you getting letters from an actuarial plus two statisticians? Or actuarial, math, statistics? I ask because you are shooting for very math-centric programs, so it would be good if you have a letter from a math prof (preferably a proof based course). If you are shooting for Berkeley, why not Chicago stats? I say this because Chicago has a long tradition in economic/finance related applications. Like Berkeley, Chicago doesn't require the GRE math subject test (just recommends like Berkeley). The department might take interest in your interests. But with this said, I think you should consider some safety schools. Case Western has strong reputation in OR (actually, the first OR PhD in the country): https://weatherhead.case.edu/degrees/doctorate/phd/operations-research/ Stats safety -- Penn State, Columbia, UCLA, Temple (in B school) Edited November 2, 2016 by arima Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

rlatngus Posted November 13, 2016 Share Posted November 13, 2016 On 11/3/2016 at 8:25 AM, arima said: What you have going for you is UW-Madison reputation in math and statistics. Many UW-Madison students place in top grad programs. Though there are overlaps (sort of) with statistics and OR, they are not the same (one being data discovery and the other more emphasis on optimization). Are you sure of which of these two different paths you are interested in? Your math courses are fine with a few 'AB' blemishes. Are you getting letters from an actuarial plus two statisticians? Or actuarial, math, statistics? I ask because you are shooting for very math-centric programs, so it would be good if you have a letter from a math prof (preferably a proof based course). If you are shooting for Berkeley, why not Chicago stats? I say this because Chicago has a long tradition in economic/finance related applications. Like Berkeley, Chicago doesn't require the GRE math subject test (just recommends like Berkeley). The department might take interest in your interests. But with this said, I think you should consider some safety schools. Case Western has strong reputation in OR (actually, the first OR PhD in the country): https://weatherhead.case.edu/degrees/doctorate/phd/operations-research/ Stats safety -- Penn State, Columbia, UCLA, Temple (in B school) Columbia and UCLA are safeties for stats? Do you know a reasonable estimate of the acceptance rate for the safety schools you listed? Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

BrownianEmotion Posted November 14, 2016 Author Share Posted November 14, 2016 On 11/2/2016 at 6:25 PM, arima said: What you have going for you is UW-Madison reputation in math and statistics. Many UW-Madison students place in top grad programs. Though there are overlaps (sort of) with statistics and OR, they are not the same (one being data discovery and the other more emphasis on optimization). Are you sure of which of these two different paths you are interested in? I'm interested primarily in simulation and statistical questions that arise naturally in Actuarial Science. In particular, I'm interested in applying simulation-based optimization under uncertainty to Actuarial Science problems and comparing with traditional methods, as well as developing new, faster, and more exact simulation techniques for insurance companies. In addition, I am interested in dependence modeling for high-dimensional data that tends to be heavily skewed, which is more characteristic of insurance data. With both of these, I have an overall goal of applying Operations Research/Financial Engineering concepts to the field of Actuarial Science and reconciling any differences between the literature. On 11/2/2016 at 6:25 PM, arima said: Your math courses are fine with a few 'AB' blemishes. Are you getting letters from an actuarial plus two statisticians? Or actuarial, math, statistics? I ask because you are shooting for very math-centric programs, so it would be good if you have a letter from a math prof (preferably a proof based course). The second professor I listed is a math professor. The courses I took with him were Stochastic Caculus and Linear Programming. Although Stochastic Calculus wasn't strictly proof-based, there were a fair number of proofs in the course. I think he can attest to my proof-writing because of my class participation in both courses. On 11/2/2016 at 6:25 PM, arima said: If you are shooting for Berkeley, why not Chicago stats? I say this because Chicago has a long tradition in economic/finance related applications. Like Berkeley, Chicago doesn't require the GRE math subject test (just recommends like Berkeley). The department might take interest in your interests. But with this said, I think you should consider some safety schools. Case Western has strong reputation in OR (actually, the first OR PhD in the country): https://weatherhead.case.edu/degrees/doctorate/phd/operations-research/ Stats safety -- Penn State, Columbia, UCLA, Temple (in B school) Thanks for the help! I will definitely look into some of those. Do you think I have a chance at the schools I've listed? Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

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