Top 5 Engineering School (US News)Major(s):
B.S. Science, Technology, and Culture (Yes, I got a degree in liberal arts from a top 5 engineering school
3.34Type of Student:
(Arguably) Top 30 Statistics Grad SchoolMajor(s):
3.77GRE Revised General Test:
(These are approximate, as I don't remember my exact scores, but I'll retake it anyway)Q:
Paper based on Master's Thesis submitted but not yet published. Thesis subject matter is not aligned with the area I want to pursue (machine learning, data mining) however.Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
Outstanding Teacher's Assistant awardPertinent Activities or Jobs:
Not really.Any Miscellaneous Points that Might Help:
No distinguishing features, unfortunately. I didn't take my schooling all that seriously until I was out of it.Planning to apply:
University of California, Berkeley
University of Washington
University of Pennsylvania
University of Wisconsin, Madison
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
I know I'm aiming very high here considering my qualifications, but hear me out. I've already got my M.S., so I think I really should aim high if I want my PhD to be a real value-add. Also, I plan to make contact with at least one professor in each of these departments, show them that I've done my research in their area of interest (again, machine learning and data mining), and inquire about the availability of a spot for a PhD advisee in that area. The response I get (or lack thereof) may whittle down this list, but hopefully not by too much.
I'm also pretty confident in my ability to demonstrate my aptitude and passion via my statement of purpose, and I think my presentation ability is a cut above the average statistics applicant. Of course, I also expect that a Math Subject score in the 80-90 percentile range is going to be necessary to wash over my less-than-stellar GPA, and I do need to retake the general GRE.
I'm looking for any advice on how to improve my likelihood of acceptance and your opinions on whether or not I have a chance in hell of making it into half of these programs. Feel free to offer any general career or life advice for an aspiring statistician while you're at it. Thanks much.