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PHD Statistics, Econometrics

I am a graduate student at XXU and will finish my Master’s Degree in Mathematics in May of 2012. I am devoted to the idea of pursuing a lifetime career in statistics and hope to be accepted to the PHD Program in Statistics at the University of XXXX. With my undergraduate degree in economics, further studies on a graduate level in preparation for our program, and my professional experience to date, I feel that I have an excellent foundation for pursuing a doctoral degree in Statistics. My long-term goal is to be able to use statistical models to solve problems arising in fields ranging from biology to physics and computer science, and UXX is especially appealing to me because of its reputation in these fields.

My dedication to the field of statistics was confirmed by a course in econometrics. I particularly enjoy using data to better understand the world around us, to see the connections and patterns in research results, and I love the thrill of arriving at counterintuitive conclusions through logical deduction. My senior thesis, an empirical investigation of the effects of intellectual property rights on development, helped me to arrive at a much better understanding of controversial trade issues, using regression techniques such as three-stage least squares, seemingly unrelated regressions, and sample splitting and threshold regressions.

Upon completion of my undergraduate studies, I began working as a Business Operations Analyst, using large-scale data analysis projects in Excel, and working with teams of colleagues, streamlining budgets to improve processes for presentation to investors. I also began taking part-time courses at Brooklyn College in Linear Algebra and Ordinary Differential Equations in preparation for my Master’s Program at NYU. As a graduate student, I have developed a solid foundation in basic probability, Monte-Carlo methods and stochastic processes. I have a well developed understanding of both computational and theoretical aspects of linear algebra and the implications of the Central Limit Theorem. And I have developed a keen interest in data mining with the integration of different areas of mathematics into our quest for more powerful statistical tools and models.

Most recently, I have begun working on a thesis investigating non-equilibrium fluctuations in simple particle models of diffusion, using a variety of applications of numerical methods for solving differential equations and programming in Fortran. I have also been serving as an instructional assistant for an undergraduate course called “Probability, Statistics and Decision Making” as well as grading for an undergraduate calculus based course in probability. These experiences have helped me to more fully appreciate how much I look forward to a career as a university professor.

I believe I am a good match for the Statistics Program at UXX because of my shared interest with faculty members, especially data mining and component analysis (PCA); I have been especially intrigued with applications to machine learning in this area since attending a seminar on the subject. In my “Scientific Computing” class, I got the opportunity to explore PCA more in depth for a project in image compression and lately I have also become interested in high-dimensional data analysis and low rank matrix completion. It would be a special privilege for me to conduct research in this area under the supervision of Professor XXXX. I have learned some especially fascinating uses of Monte Carlo methods in statistical mechanics through my research for my thesis and I would be interested to pursue further research in this area under Professor XXXX. Finally, Professor XXXXa’s work on Large Deviation theory has also piqued my interest.

Holding onto a job while pursuing my education, has greatly enhanced my time and performance management. In my first semester as a part-time student at XXXX, for example, I worked over sixty hours a week. The fact that my performance in courses gradually improved over the time is a testament to my high level of dedication, perseverance, and organizational skills. I am determined to achieve my career goal through pursuing my PhD degree at a top university and will be eagerly awaiting a response.

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