MS Statistics, Chinese, Mathematics

Very much aware of the competitive nature of your MS Program in Statistics at XXXX University, I hope to be accepted nevertheless on the basis of my background and preparation; a stellar student, I am certain that I can excel in your program at Harvard. I will be finishing my undergraduate studies in Applied Mathematics at the University of XXXs coming June and currently hold a 3.75 GPA. I am also employed by the Mathematics Department at UXXX serving as a Grader for upper division courses and homework as well as a tutor for students in lower division Calculus courses. Your program at Harvard is simply unequalled in breadth and depth, especially in the areas in which I most hope to make my professional mark: Bayesian statistics and graphical modeling. Thus, studying under such distinguished faculty as Professors XXXX and XXXX would be an especially great honor.

I have my heart set on attending XXXX for three principal reasons. First and foremost, I see it as the finest program of its kind; secondly, I am most in awe of the research undertaken by your faculty since it inspires me with ideas of my own. Finally, distinguished XXXX Mathematics Professor XXXX is a good friend of my family, and he has encouraged me to apply to your Statistics Program. Due to his personal recommendation, I recently had the great privilege of being interviewed by the co-director, XXXX.

I want very much to attend graduate school in Statistics rather than pure Mathematics because I am a firm believer that one should study in the area in which they feel the greatest passion; and for me this is statistics and its applications, especially Bayesian methodology, non-parametric and Monte Carlo methods. I seek the fullest and most creative immersion experience possible in real world applications of statistical methods and I see XXXX as the best choice, especially for learning as much as I can about Data Science (Big Data, Analytics) and their real world applications. I noticed on the website of your department that there is a “Computational Foundations” branch of the “XXXX Graduate Statistics Course Family Tree”, which will help me to achieve the cutting edge in computational skill in machine and computer science.

I seek to contribute to the advancement of both science and technology and I see Statistics as the bridge between the two, helping to make the application of science as effective as possible. I realize that I have some catching up to do since my undergraduate major was not Statistics. In the next two quarters, however, I will be taking computational statistics, data analysis and inference, and linear programming courses, in addition to completing six undergraduate-level statistics courses. I am asking for a chance to prove myself at the Masters level and I feel that my extensive background in Mathematics such as real analysis, probability theory and stochastic process, linear algebra and combinatorics is excellent preparation and will enable me to excel, especially by my second year. My central professional goal is to become a professor/researcher at the University level in Statistics with special consideration to the relevance and utility of Statistics for human and economic development, particularly in China.

There are a growing number of critical issues in China which will be better resolved with the help of statistics theory. One especially salient example is traffic and the hope for advances being made in intelligent transport control. Nowadays in China you can find traffic jams in every city, especially in my hometown Hangzhou. It is not uncommon to spend 40 minutes driving 5 miles in Hangzhou. Even ambulances cannot get through the traffic. Thus, it would be a special privilege for me in the future to work in the area of better estimating the evolution of traffic flows which is strongly based on Bayesian network and graphical modeling. With the help of robust statistical models, route planning and traffic signal controlling could become much more precise and effective. I am very much excited by the fact that the more I learn about statistics, the more connections I see for harnessing its power to make life better for all, especially by better protecting our environment.

I have always firmly believed that accountability and a deep sense of responsibility to students are essential to being an efficient grader and/or tutor. In this quarter I am serving as an advanced linear algebra grader. Frequently, I find myself engaging in extra, sometimes time-consuming work on behalf of my students. I could not be more careful when grading homework assignments and providing precisely the feedback desired by the professor. I also invest a lot of energy in learning as much as I can about the challenges faced by students so as to help the professor prepare increasingly effective class materials; and this is especially true when the most difficult concepts or proofs are involved. For example, on the last homework assignment that I graded, I noted that many students tended to become confused concerning how to relate Herniation, real symmetric, real orthogonal, and unitary operators, so I made sure that I provided this feedback to professor. The professor thanked me for my feedback and spent extra time on this material in the next class.

I do find grading to be challenging at times, especially when I am grading proof-based homework problems which have many possible solutions since the professor only provides me with one single answer for these problems. I treat these kinds of challenges as an opportunity to deepen my own understanding of linear algebra, and if there is anything that I do not fully understand, I research it before proceeding. I most enjoy both grading and tutoring, always seeking to build connections between different concepts related to both Calculus and Linear Algebra; always searching, in particular, for increasingly effective ways to explain these connections to students.

I thank you for your consideration of my application. 

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