Information for Students

  1. Research group
  2. Applying to the statistics department
  3. Requesting letters of recommendation
  4. Scheduling a research meeting

Research group

Current members

Lei Ding

Lei Ding

Ph.D. in Statistics

Robert Granger

Robert Granger

Ph.D. Data Analysis Qualifier

Aaron Cohen

Aaron Cohen

Ph.D. Data Analysis Qualifier

Haoran Liu

Haoran Liu

M.S. in Statistics

Mackenzie Turner

Mackenzie Turner

B.A. SPEA
CEW&T's Emerging Scholars REU

Alumni

Jia Wang

Jia Wang

M.S. in Statistics (2017)
Ph.D. student in Biostatistics at SUNY Buffalo

Arash Khodadadi

Arash Khodadadi

M.S. in Statistics (2018)
Data Scientist at Advanced Microgrid Solutions

Michael McBride

Michael McBride

B.S. in Statistics (2018)
Software Developer at Epic

Applying to IU Statistics

I generally have no special powers when it comes to being admitted to M.S./Ph.D programs. At IU, Ph.D. students are admitted to the department with funding before choosing an advisor later in their program. If you are interested, I encourage you to apply to the program via the department website.

If you want to learn more, your best bet is to email the student services specialist, Kelly Hanna. She can often answer your questions better than I or put you in touch with the appropriate faculty member.

Requesting letters of recommendation

I frequently get requests for letters of recommendation, and I’m generally happy to comply. However, if I taught you for one class two years ago, it is unlikely that I can provide useful information to a recruiter or admissions committee member.

In order for me to write, I will need at least two weeks notice before the first deadline. I will also ask you to provide some information. I’ve found that this really helps me to write convincing letters.

  • A list of all (or as many as you currently know) positions to which you are applying along with deadlines and some idea of how the letter gets there. (Do I email someone or does some system ask me to upload things in an automated fashion?)
  • A recent CV or resume.
  • A personal statement or cover letter (likely the one you’re sending in one of the applications)
  • Answers to as many of the following questions as possible:
    1. For what class(es) have I been the instructor, and how did you distinguish yourself in my class(es)? Any particular experiences you remember that I should be aware of that make you look good?
    2. Please choose four adjectives that you think describe you well and provide a brief self-recommendation (2–3 sentences).
    3. What are some of your academic accomplishments?
    4. What are some of your nonacademic accomplishments?
    5. What makes me particularly qualified to write a letter for you?
    6. What makes you particularly qualified for these positions?
    7. What are your long-term goals?
    8. If you are a Ph.D. student, give me a brief synopsis of your thesis work (the abstract is fine). What have you accomplished since you proposed? What is the motivation for your work? Where do you see this work going? Any target applications?

Given enough lead time, I’m happy to help you create or edit some of these materials. Even if time is short, I’ll do my best, but I strongly recommend taking advantage of university resources.

Scheduling research meetings

I have found the following procedure tends to result in more productive meetings. If you would like to meet to discuss your project:

  1. Please, consult the calendar below.
  2. Send me a written document and a time to meet via Slack.1

Suggested best practices

  • Your proposed time should
    1. be available in the calendar.
    2. begin between 09:00 and 16:00 Monday through Friday
    3. be at least 24 hours in the future.
  • Ideally, your document should
    1. contain a section summarizing takeaway points of our previous meeting including next steps.
    2. describe what you have done to address those points or give concrete reasons for why they could not be addressed.
    3. if you were asked to read a paper, summarize the paper and relate it to your project.
    4. discuss what you might do next and why.
    5. list questions you would like to discuss.

Public calendar

  1. If you need to join, you can follow this link. Be sure to use your indiana.edu or iu.edu email account. ↩︎


Daniel J. McDonald © 2019. All rights reserved.

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