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Top Statistics Program: How to be a strong candidate?

  1. Jan 20, 2010 #1
    Hey everyone! Spring semester recently started for me and I am really getting stressed out as I am trying to lay a solid plan for my future.

    First, a bit of information about myself:

    Sophomore honors student at a pretty decent state school.
    B.S. in Mathematics and Economics (4.0 GPA in both major)
    Research experience in mechanical engineering and economics (pending conference papers)
    Gates Millennium Scholar (national scholarship from the Gates Foundation that covers all expense incl. grad. school)

    I am really interested in quantitative finance, particularly statistical arbitrage using algorithmic trading. Since my scholarship will basically cover for a PhD, I do not want to get a Master's in Financial Engineering and so I wish to go straight into a PhD program in Statistics right after undergrad. I know I have two years left to worry about grad. school but I want to get a head start to make myself a good candidate for the top stats. programs (top 5).

    Currently, I am studying for the GRE and trying to get an internship in NYC this summer (did a few interviews at some banks and now waiting to hear back). I really want to do math/stats-related research but haven't been able to find a faculty that needs help or is willing to mentor me. What do you guys think I should do to better my chances in the admissions process? Will work experience or research be view better in the admissions process?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 7, 2010 #2
    Why not do a PhD in finance? Do you want to prove things like central limit theorems (and generalizations of that) or do you want to understand them and use them in finance.

    If you want to use them then do PhD in finance if you want to prove them then ........

    to improve your ability to do graduate statistics you should first try and master Real Analysis and Functional Analysis, alot of statistics is about convergence theorems which uses tools from those areas, and it does take time to master them.

    I know they will look favourably if you know a good amount of analysis/functional analysis and probability.

    Note finance uses a lot of these things also, and if you want to do something related to topics you mentioned phd in Finance is the way to go. It is also hard to get in top programs in finance as they only take 4 students per year.
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