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MS Statistics, Chinese, Mathematics

I hope to be accepted very much aware of the competitive nature of your MS Program in Statistics at XXXX University. Nevertheless, based on my background and preparation as a stellar student, I am sure I can excel in your program at Harvard. I will finish my undergraduate studies in Applied Mathematics at the University of XXXs in 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 and a tutor for students in lower-division Calculus courses. Your program at Harvard is unequaled in breadth and depth, especially in the areas where 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 a great honor.

I have my heart set on attending XXXX for three principal reasons. First and foremost, I see it as the most acceptable program of its kind; secondly, I am most in awe of the research undertaken by your faculty since it inspires me with my ideas. 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 recommendation, I recently had the great privilege of being interviewed by the co-director, XXXX.

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

I seek to contribute to the advancement of both science and technology. 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 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 and completing six undergraduate-level statistics courses. I am asking for a chance to prove myself at the Masters's level. My extensive background in Mathematics, such as fundamental 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 particular consideration for the relevance and utility of Statistics for human and economic development, particularly in China.

A growing number of critical issues in China 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, traffic jams are found 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 on better estimating the evolution of traffic flows which is firmly based on a Bayesian network and graphical modeling. With the help of robust statistical models, route planning and traffic signal control could become much more precise and effective. I am very excited 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 believed that accountability and a deep sense of student responsibility are essential to being an efficient grader and tutor. In this quarter, I am serving as an advanced linear algebra grader. Frequently, I engage 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 possible about the challenges students face to help the professor prepare increasingly effective class materials, especially 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 the professor. The professor thanked me for my input 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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