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Dual concentration in statistics and pure mathematics. Statement of Purpose for MS in Statistics

hm1234 1 / 1  
Jan 30, 2019   #1
Hi everyone,

Below is the SOP for a master's program in Statistics I will be applying to.

I would greatly appreciate any feedback you might have. Thank you!

studying statistical concepts - SOP

Throughout my academic studies, I have been primarily motivated by two ostensibly distinct concerns: developing a deeper understanding of the social world, on the one hand, and finding the non-obvious patterns and relationships underlying concrete phenomena, on the other. It was the latter objective that initially led me to pursue pure mathematics as my undergraduate major at the University of *****. Whereas my high school math curriculum was mostly focused on direct computation, my college coursework utilized a sufficient level of abstraction to reveal the fundamental properties behind mathematical concepts, and, in turn, the higher connections among them. The elegance of these mathematical results, as well as their ability to locate simplicity within complex systems, is what kept me consistently fascinated with the subject. However, I found myself lacking a reliable academic space in which I could explore mathematics contextualized in broader social issues.

This changed when I took a statistics course in regression analysis, which seamlessly reconciled my previously independent areas of interest. At once, I was participating in a project evaluating a pressing socio-economic issue, namely the gender wage gap, through statistical frameworks, as well as learning how linear algebra methods and the convenient mathematical attributes of linear systems facilitate a clearer understanding of multivariate analysis. Studying mathematically-derived statistical concepts, such as maximum likelihood and hypothesis testing, in the context of regression models, elucidated for me the non-dichotomous relationship between theory and application and how each informs the other. From here, I sought to broaden my knowledge of the field through coursework in statistical computing, design of experiments, and time series, where I undertook projects building probabilistic models for stock valuation and examining algorithms used in movie recommender systems.

Since completing my undergraduate degree, I have had the opportunity to work as an analyst in the data-driven field of business intelligence, utilizing tools such as SQL and R to develop actionable reporting that highlights overall trends in performance and communicates opportunities for improvement. From employing cohort analysis in determining customer lifetime value to identifying profitable marketing channels, my work has comprehensively emphasized the importance of data visualization in conveying an effective narrative; recognizing one's audience, in addition to the nuances in the data itself, allows for a more compelling and insightful story that deepens understanding on the small and large scales. On the whole, working as a data analyst has enabled me to continue practicing what I enjoy most about statistics - extracting patterns and meaning from otherwise impenetrable datasets - while actively engaging with real-world problems.

In order, however, to be able to formulate and tackle the challenging and diversified problems, facing not only business intelligence, but the increasingly data-centered world at large, I find graduate studies in statistics to be requisite. Enriching on both the personal and professional levels, pursuing a master's program would serve to strengthen my theoretical foundation, as well as provide exposure to more advanced data analysis methodologies. The MS degree in mathematical statistics at Florida State University offers a particularly suitable opportunity for me to achieve these goals, as a rigorous coursework in subjects, which include advanced probability and distribution theory, will reinforce my statistical intuition and capacity for abstract thinking. The power of abstraction, in my view, lies precisely in its ability to create statistical value by developing generalizable ideas and models that can facilitate correspondences between different areas of study. The diversity of research taking place at the statistics department at Florida State University constitutes the ideal environment to learn and realize these connections, and I am excited to hear about pioneering work by faculty members in topics like high-dimensional data analysis and spatial statistics. Moreover, as I seek to gain practical experience in the statistical processes I study, the support and training provided by resources such as the Statistical Consulting Center would be deeply beneficial.

All in all, my undergraduate dual concentration in statistics and pure mathematics - including a course background in real analysis and abstract algebra - and my professional experience in a data-driven setting, give me confidence that I will thrive in Florida State's rigorous mathematical statistics program. I hope to be able to utilize the excellent opportunities provided by the university to further my long-term career goal as a statistician who effectively leverages statistical theory to represent and ultimately resolve critical problems of societal-wide interest.
Holt  Educational Consultant - / 10,531 3446  
Jan 31, 2019   #2
HM, if you skip the second paragraph you will end up with a straightforward statement of purpose that is on the mark when it comes to emphasizing your motivation, purpose, undergraduate skills, and professional experience. What is lacking in the essay is your short to mid-range career plan covering 5 years after your graduation from the MS course. You have to indicate a professional application to boost the future career goals aspect / purpose of the academic reason for your advanced studies. Your essay is quite informative and impressive. It shows that you have given ample thought to your choice of major, how your academic background relates to it, and why you believe this is something that can help you increase your skills as a Statistician.

The inclusion of the career objectives will further strengthen the consideration for your application. If you have any undergraduate and professional achievements, it would be useful to note those data in the essay to prove that you have the academic foundation and professional talents to assist you in completing this course. If not, it won't matter as your description of your undergraduate and professional skills are strong enough for consideration.
OP hm1234 1 / 1  
Jan 31, 2019   #3
@Holt Thanks so much for your response! Very helpful advice - I'm going to work on revising my statement to incorporate a clearer explanation of my immediate career plans/academic accomplishments that will replace some of the unnecessary info in the second paragraph.

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