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MS Biostatistics/Statistics Profile Evaluation


burd
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Undergrad/Graduate Institutions: University of Texas at Austin

Major: Mathematics

Cumulative GPA: 3.82 cumulative; 3.75 in major

Type of Student: Domestic White Female

Math/Stats Courses: 
Multivariable Calculus (A-), Probability (A), Linear Algebra (B+), Mathematical Statistics (A), Stochastic Processes (A), Applied Regression Analysis (A), Biostatistics (A), Real Analysis (A), Differential Equations (B)

Got credit for Calculus I and II so hopefully that doesn't matter too much considering I've needed calculus in nearly every class since?

Also going to graduate with 18 hours in CS classes (data visualization, basic programming in python, databases, mobile computing and numerical analysis)

Quantitative/ Programming Courses:
Elements of Computing (A) - this was basic programming in Python,

Elements of Software Design (A) - more Python,

Elements of Data Visualization (A) - included SQL, R, Tableau

Elements of Databases (in progress) - SQL, Python, BeautifulSoup, learning to understand how cloud services such as AWS work

2 more classes next semester: Numerical Analysis in C and Mobile Computing where we will have to create a fully functioning app.

I feel very confident in RStudio and pretty good about SQL as well. I think my coding in Python is decent but could definitely use some brushing up.

GRE: Just took today and am incredibly upset.

Quant: 160 - obviously don't have the percentages yet but this is much lower than I planned. This was my only run and I had a lot of anxiety surrounding it. Just couldn't get in a clear headspace due to anxiety.

Verbal: 160.

Don't have analytic score yet but  I think it'll be > 4.0  at least. My first essay was pretty mediocre but I felt my second one was pretty good.

Research Experience: 125 hours over the summer in a Human Development and Family Sciences lab; worked on coding in SAS and SPSS to calculate BMI percentiles for the teenagers in the study; also helped organize a small team to put together data for the professor's grant analysis.

Recommendations: 1. The professor I worked with over the summer. She was surprised I completed the BMI percentiles task and said she expected that from a graduate student.

2. Applied Regression Professor - feel like it will be good? He said he'll discuss how I did in the class and my work ethic (i'm hoping the second part is what really stands out)

3. Stochastic processes professor who is very well-known; I can't say it'll be very personal or good but I hope that's offset by others who I feel know me more personally.

4. My Real Analysis professor. I had him for a class over the summer and he's just a really sweet guy. It might not be glowing, but I feel he can attest to my mathematical ability due to my work in the course.

 

Other tidbits: I have worked about 20-30 hours per week consistently at my part-time job as a front desk attendant at a recreation center. This isn't really all that relevant, but I included how my daily encounters with the homeless people there have motivated me to pursue biostatistics in my personal statement. It also explains some Bs during my sophomore year as I was getting used to working. I'm mildly concerned about the B+ in linear algebra; however, I am taking Applied Linear Algebra this semester to brush up on those skills.

Currently a TA for Biostatistics where I grade and assist with lecture and lab.

Programs I'm applying to based on order of preference:

  • University of Washington (biostatistics) (MY DREAM SCHOOL) but I'm feeling very discouraged atm with getting in due to my low quant and I won't have time to retake :( .
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison (biostatistics)
  • UT Health Science Center (biostatistics)
  • Rice University (statistics)
  • Oregon State University (statistics)
  • Colorado State University (statistics)
  • University of NC - Chapel Hill  (biostatistics)
  • Baylor (statistics)
  • University of Texas Dallas (statistics)

* Some of these schools only have a statistics program but with biostatistics electives; I marked whether I'm applying biostatistics or statistics.

Thank you so much for reviewing. Please let me know if I should consider any other schools/drop some of these because honestly if it isn't necessary to keep schools like UT Dallas and Baylor I'd be thrilled with dropping them. Lat note: I won't have time to retake the GRE for my top 3 schools (of course >:( ); however I will be retaking it ASAP for other applications.

Edited by burd
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Just wanna say that your GPA is great and your grades in those classes are all stellar. Everything about the coursework is top notch.

Just to note, your first LOR sounds perfect to describe your aptitude, but the other three are very wishy-washy. Make sure to give them your personal statement/cv/resume to ensure they speak to what you've written so it seems they also know you. This is especially important because they've known you for one class—talk to each one of them and make sure you have an idea of what they're gonna say.

Unfortunately, your quant score is not good at all... I say this with a heavy heart because mine isn't great for all the economics/statistics programs I'm going to applying for... I recommend you retake it (I've done it 3 times, most recently this past Thur. Nov 2), hopefully, some of these schools admissions are Dec. 15+ so you can sneak another one in because you'll have a better shot (21 days from your last exam is when you should take it). All (top) schools have verbal ranges starting somewhere around 157, quant around 166, writing usually 4 (again, top schools), however, these are usually the median or mean scores, but most of them are right-skewed.

With all this said, really put a lot of effort into a killer personal statement. I personally have been advised to not put many stories in mine, or otherwise to make mine very succinct. Make every one of them tailored, read professors research papers to make them applicable, state why you want to study there, with whom, what aspects of the program appeal to you, etc.

 

I'm not entirely sure how interacting with homeless people goes into your personal statement—I say this having been homeless—what are you gonna say, you wanna help the homeless with statistical models? lol...

Best of luck, we may meet at Rice since I'm applying there!

Edited by I_Charge_by_the_foot
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I sent my CV and personal statement to all of the professors. What i discuss in my personal statement is more about how I felt the lack of care is related to the difficulty in properly assessing the problem with current sampling methods. I heard you should provide an anecdote to make your personal statement interesting so I was definitely stretching. However, my personal statement still needs a good amount of work and I'll be taking it to my university's writing center early next week to get it looked over. Honestly, maybe I'll just rework it completely.

Sadly, applications are due December 1st for my top 3 programs  However, considering that you receive quant/verbal scores immediately, I was considering throwing an extra sentence in my personal statement to discuss the scores if they improve on the next run.  However, I'm not sure if that is really appropriate?

Edited by burd
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