Unanswered [8] / Urgent [0] / SERVICES
  

Graduate Posts: 8

PS for Columbia University Master of Science in Data Science (Part-time); once dismissed from PhD


orangeqq99 1 / 6 2  
Dec 27, 2018   #1
I plan to apply for the MS in DS program in Columbia University part-time. As all courses are provided in the night and my company is not far from it.

I have the following questions:
1. Do I need to clarify part-time in my essay? As they do have the same requirement bar, courses and degree for both full-time and part-time students. Do I need to address how I could manage?

2. Do I need to address how I overcome my biggest failure as I got dismissed from Economics PHD program after the first year? Or I just put what I put here: I am not ready for it hoping they won't notice it either?

3. My first-year PHD GPA is very low around 2.8 but after I transferred to Master, I got all straight A-. Should I explain this? As in my transcripts, they put PHD and master courses altogether.

to be a Data Scientist in the Health industry



I was raised up by my grandparents ever since my parents abandoned me while I was a 6-month baby. The highest education degree of my parents was my father's as a high school student who quitted in the second year. Yet I love reading and learning since kid even nobody kept telling me how wonderful the process of chasing knowledge is and how it will change my life. My grandparents raised me very conservatively, encouraging me to stay, never to travel.

The curiosity of knowledge is always the urge that helps me get where I am. After high school, despite being admitted to XX University (ranked 8 in China but 1 hour from home), instead, I chose to go as far as I could, XX University. Still a top school in China, XX is the farthest away I could get from my hometown. There I studied Economics. I don't know much about what Economics is about and my grandparents picked it for me as they thought it must be related to money. A lucky coincidence: I love economics and the view it provided for me to see the world and everyday life as an Economist. It is like a filter that you could see the world in another way and more rational and scientific.

In the 4th year, I exchanged to Sup De Co Business School in France for one year. There I studied International Business Administration and got my second bachelor's degree. It made sense so much that you learned international business administration in an international environment. After the wonderful experience in France, I decided to further pursue a higher degree. With a strong academic background in statistics and economics related courses, I got full range scholarship as an Economics PhD student in SUNY Albany. Whereas, the first year was a leap for me as I took advanced Econometrics, Microeconomics and Macroeconomics courses without taking any Intermediate courses before. But through self-learning, I passed the Macroeconomics qualification exam yet failed the Microeconomics one. I realized that I might not be ready for PhD program yet and thus transferred to Economics Mater program concentrating in Forecasting. Unlike the very theoretical setting of PhD courses, the forecasting program is full of practical use and I quickly got obsessed with using statistical models via SAS coding to solve the real-life problems. In the 2nd year, I got an average GPA of 3.71.

During my master program, I got an Research Analyst internship opportunity in DOH. That is the first time I realize how to organize and transfer the data and interpret them in a meaningful way to help people. As a member of the core team of three, we also drafted a paper: Multicomponent Approach to Evaluating a Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) Implementation Program in Five Agencies in New York and submitted for publication. In the paper, we used a multicomponent approach to evaluate a PrEP implementation program. The health area seems different from Economics, but the methods to establish the model, fit the data and analyze the data are common. The way to process, structure, and analyze data really interest me and I know that it would be the career I could pursue in my life.

After graduation, I got a position as Data Analyst in the Office Of Mental Health. There I got access to Medicaid Data Warehouse data. Using SQL querying and data mining, we monitor the performance of health plans while implementing the managed care transform. The database is large and for extracting meaningful information from relational databases, you need to figure out clear logic.

After OMH, I transferred to New York XXX-a health information exchange company. There as the first time, I used Machine learning to solve a fuzzy-matching problem. Using Supervised learning, I managed to find the duplicate records submitted by providers. This has been a long existing unsolved issue. It is hard to find duplicates using only name-address strings as identifiers without machine learning, let alone the data we collected are unstructured and manually input. It is the first time I know how machine learning could help my work. And I know that I should learn more about the methodology and algorithms behind it instead of just using the open source packages online. I want to be a package developer in the future.

Reduced cost analysis, cheap large data storage and digitization of health records made big data and machine learning application to health is demanding. Right now, in the public health, the traditional statistical analyses are still the main methodologies. But I know that big data and machine learning could certainly help us dig more in the torrent of health data we have. Directly after graduating, I will transfer my career path to be a Data Scientist in the Health industry. There I will learn how to transfer what I learned to meaningful application in health like analyze mental health records which are mostly qualitative data using NPL, use big data and machine learning to link health data in different sources, join the unstructured data from SNS and personal health devices, provide useful insights that allow superior healthcare services etc. From there, in the long-term, I will continue to work in the health sector as a data scientist for the booming health data market.

Holt [Contributor] - / 7,489 1927  
Dec 28, 2018   #2
Qin Qin, this is a very lengthy essay that combines information for your statement of purpose and a few details that can be used for a personal statement. If you want to create a more appropriate personal statement, then you will have to write a new essay that better addresses the requirements of that type of essay. For starters, you do not need to present an autobiography to the reviewer. You can start your introduction from the point where you first enrolled in an MS course then failed at it. In response to your second and third question, you must address those aspects in this essay to clarify to the reviewer that you are not a first timer when it comes to this course. You must also address the issue of your grades being a mix of courses that cover both the PhD and masters fields as that is not how American universities function with their graduate courses. With any luck, you might even course credits because you already took certain classes and passed those previously.

Try to address the issue of you getting dismissed from the program after the first year. Don't be melodramatic about it though. Just explain why you were dismissed and how you overcame it. Then include a reference as to how you plan to use that experience to become a better student this time around.

With regards to the part-time reference, if there is no difference in course load and requirements, I do not see any need to mention that at all. The student designation is not important in this instance. Although, you could refer to the choice of university as having a relation to the proximity of your workplace to the campus. That would be part of the university choice presentation towards the end of the essay.

Set aside this current version of your PS for possible revision into a SOP. That would be the better use for this piece of writing that you completed.
OP orangeqq99 1 / 6 2  
Dec 28, 2018   #3
this current version of your PS for possible revision into an SOP. That would be the better use for this piece of writing that you completed.

Hi, Holt
Thank you for your helps. I will rewrite it. As Columbia University did require Personal statement on their website, should I still revise it into an SOP?

Concerning the length, it did not say any limit I should stick to, do you think I should cut it down?
Thanks.

Best,
Qin
Holt [Contributor] - / 7,489 1927  
Dec 29, 2018   #4
If a personal statement is not required, then you should work on revising this essay to become a statement of purpose. Use the same instructions I gave you above in response to your questions to get you started. Omit the parts that I told you were not necessary in the presentation. Allow yourself to focus on the actual purpose of your higher studies. Develop a true purpose for your desire to complete this course. The purpose should be both academic and professional in presentation. Respond to the 5 basic requirements for a proper SOP. These requirements are:

1. The purpose for your advanced studies;
2. Your undergraduate preparation in terms of classes related to the MS course;
3. Any undergraduate accolades you may have received that shows your qualities and traits as a student;
4. An explanation of your undergraduate thesis (if related to your chosen MS course. If not then omit it)
5. Pertinent work experience;
6. Reasons you chose the university (include a masters thesis subject overview if possible);
7. A 5 year career idea that you hope to achieve through these studies.

These guide questions should help you create a more appropriate SOP for the university. I'll be happy to review the new essay when you finish it. Just add it to this thread and make it urgent so that I can attend to it at once.
OP orangeqq99 1 / 6 2  
Jan 3, 2019   #5
Hi, Holt

I am a little bit stuck while continuing with my essay.
As for your advice: 2. Your undergraduate preparation in terms of classes related to the MS course;
3. Any undergraduate accolades you may have received that shows your qualities and traits as a student;
4. An explanation of your undergraduate thesis (if related to your chosen MS course. If not then omit it)
I tried to revise it according to these advice, but I have a master degree already and worked as a data analyst for 3 years. Why should I put so much emphasis on my undergraduate? It was back 10 years ago. You wont doubt how much I could still remember. And when I tried to talk about undergraduate accolades I was once proud of, now it just reminds me how childish I was.

Shouldn't I put emphasis on my working experience, and if any academic related, focus on my master?
thank you for your helps,
Qin
Holt [Contributor] - / 7,489 1927  
Jan 4, 2019   #6
The undergraduate focus is meant to show that you have been building on your academic knowledge in relation to your professional goals. The reason why I want you to strengthen that is because it is the foundation of your professional goals, experiences, and master studies. Yes, you should also focus on your masters degree to a certain extent. However, showing the balance of the prior undergraduate experience to support your abilities as a masters degree student will help to heighten the idea that you are a strong person when it comes to academic considerations. The approach that I was suggesting was meant to do that. What seems childish to you may be of importance to the reviewer. Most specially since you were once dismissed from your PhD course. That is why I am leaving no stone unturned in proving your academic proficiency. However, if you do not feel that it works with the way you want to write the paper then you don't have to follow it. Mine is only free advice so you can use it, or not. It all depends upon what you want to present in the paper because in the end, it is all about what you want to say about yourself, not how I want you to say it in your paper :-)
OP orangeqq99 1 / 6 2  
Jan 8, 2019   #7
Hi, Holt
thank you for your explanations. It all makes sense. The website's editing service is only grammatical polish? Could it help me shorten my content? It looks like my essay is too long and I am struggling with making it shorter myself. also is it only one-time service? can I send it back and forth with edit and advice? Thank you.

Best
Qin

We can do it all - from custom writing / research to editing/revising. Please use the SERVICES link above to order, thank you!
OP orangeqq99 1 / 6 2  
Jan 10, 2019   #8
Hi, Holt
this is my new version. It is lengthy I know. I will buy the service to shorten it later. But before that, could you check if all the contents are good?

what should I add or delete? Thanks for your help.

I was raised up by my grandparents since my parents abandoned me while I was a 6-month baby. They raised me conservatively, encouraging me to stay, never to travel. Thus, after high school, despite being admitted to Jilin University (ranked 8 in China but 1 hour from home), instead, I chose to go as far as I could. Still a top school in China, Sichuan University is the farthest away from my hometown.

During my undergraduate, I found economics and was hooked instantly. I also assisted the head professor of my department with a research project on strategies of international trade development of Sichuan Province. My role was to provide the professor with the research materials, literature review, data cleaning and quality assurance. This was the first time I got a hand-on experience with data. In an effort to continue studying and experience Europe, I enrolled in a university in France. I quickly found an intern in the marketing department of Adhesion Group, a winery distribution company. This work was a little bit time-consuming, and my school courses were very difficult. While in France, despite what might seem like a low overall score, my score was actually the highest of all ten Chinese exchange students, and only four of us were awarded diplomas.

With an excellent academic performance in statistics and economics related courses, I got full range scholarship as an Economics Ph.D. student in SUNY Albany. Whereas, the first year was a huge leap for me as I took advanced courses (600 level and above) without taking any Intermediate courses before. But through self-learning, I passed the Macroeconomics qualification exam yet failed the Microeconomics one. I realized that I might not be ready for the Ph.D. program yet and thus transferred to Economics Mater program concentrating in Forecasting. The sunny side about my one-year Ph.D. courses was that I have learned advanced Economics methodologies, economic mathematical models and advanced Econometrics. I think it will provide me with a strong background with statistics and mathematics for the requirement of the Data Science MS program.

Using failure as fuel for success, after transferal to Master, I studied all the prerequisite in far ahead and put my efforts into it. Unlike the theoretical setting of Ph.D. courses, the forecasting program is more of practical use and I quickly got obsessed with using statistical models via coding to solve the real-life problems. In my final project, using the data from FRED and Department of Budgets, I used robust structural models and dynamic stochastic equations to forecast the real GDP. The model is based on both theoretical macro models and some empirical formula. The structure model is employed because of the set of related and interdependent economic indicator variables to forecast those macro-variables. In order to increase the forecasting power of this structure model, Granger Causality test and Monte Carlos Method were used to select variables which explain the variables I want to forecast. My grades were being a mix of courses that cover both the Ph.D. and Master fields. Yet for master field, I got an average GPA of 3.7.

During my Master, I was also a research analyst in NYS Department of Health, AIDS Institute, Office of Program Evaluation and Research. That is the first time I used data to help people with decisions and policy. As a member of the core team of three, we drafted a research paper: Multicomponent Approach to Evaluating a Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) Implementation Program in Five Agencies in New York and submitted it for publication in peer-reviewed journal. In the research, we collected data, cleaned and created an analyzable database, join with other databases and used multivariate regression to determine the key factors that affected the effetiveness of the medicine. The health area seems different from Economics, but the analytic methods are common. The methods to process, structure, and analyze data really interest me and I know that it would be the career I could pursue in my life.

Working as a data analyst in the NYS Office of Mental Health, we monitored the performance of health plans and providers while implementing the managed care transform using SQL querying and data mining. I carried independent analyses like identifying the population for over usage of ambulance services and monitor if the providers got paid enough and so on. The Medicaid database is large and for extracting meaningful information, you need to equip with advanced coding skills, clear logic, data analyses skill and interpretation of the data results to your audience.

What push me more forward was after I worked for New York eHealth Collaborative-a health information exchange company, whose database is statewide of healthcare data from hospitals and facilities and third-party data sources--not only Medicaid, not only structured data. I managed to use machine learning to solve a fuzzy-matching problem, which has been long-existing unsolved. Using supervised learning, I managed to find the duplicate records submitted by providers. It is hard to find duplicates using only name-address strings as identifiers without the help of machine learning, let alone the data are unstructured. I believe machine learning is the life-saving technology that will transform healthcare. I am so aware of this as I work in a health information exchange company. the problem is that machine learning isn't routine in healthcare because of the complexity and limited availability of data-and the lack of access to highly skilled data scientists and teams required to turn that data into meaningful improvements.

It is why I want to go to Columbia University MS in data science program to back up my knowledge of big data and machine learning. The curriculum is a perfect match for the problems I want to solve in my work and the location is also a plus. Directly after graduating, I want to be a Data Scientist and apply what I have learned to health field like analyze qualitative data in mental health records using NPL, use big data and machine learning to link health data with unstructured data from SNS and personal health devices, provide useful insights that allow superior healthcare services, predictive algorithms and machine learning can give us a better predictive model of mortality, medicine effectiveness and etc.. etc.


Home / Graduate / PS for Columbia University Master of Science in Data Science (Part-time); once dismissed from PhD