How reputed is UWash's Statistics department?

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How reputed is UWash's Statistics department?

Post by Enigmatic » Tue Jul 19, 2016 3:05 pm

Hi everyone,

I will be joining the Statistics PhD program at Univ of Washington this fall. I am curious about the reputation it holds in the research circles. It might seem odd that I'm asking this after deciding to join the program, but my reasons are below.

I'll be co-advised by two professors. One is a joint professor in statistics, CS, and EE. She is highly regarded in machine learning: especially Bayesian methods and time series. My co-adviser is from the applied math department and specializes in numerical optimization and applications in ML.

My undergrad was in electrical engineering. Recently the department got back to me that a committee was formed to assess coursework, and I have to do a number of theoretical statistics and probability courses to catch up in the first year. This will reduce my research time and I am also not that keen on theoretical statistics, since my interests are in applied machine learning and optimization.

I have a few options after discussing with my advisers: (a) I can choose to be in statistics, focus on coursework and TA my way for the first year, and get into research mode from next year; (b) I can switch departments to either applied math (my co-adviser's home dept) or EE (where my primary adviser has an affiliate appointment). This will give me a bit more flexibility in coursework and allow me to start research right away.

I am not 100% sure about academia vs industry post PhD. How reputed in UW statistics with regard to faculty positions? Does the distinction between statistics, applied math, and EE matter for industry (I'll be working with the same advisers regardless of home dept)? Should I stick with stats or move? Thanks!

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