I had a thought recently that I might want to go back to school for a PhD in Statistics - I'd probably be interested in predictive analytics and mathematical statistics with a bit of data visualization stuff. I'd have to scramble a little, as I would only have a little more than two months to get recommendations and put together an application. I couldn't get into a terribly awesome place, as my elite undergrad uni is too far in the past for anybody to remember me (and I didn't ask people to write recommendations and file them away) and the shitty place I'm kinda taking classes at right now because work pays for it is full of shitty profs nobody knows. I thought of this because I saw, while poking around stats papers and reading up on R packages that a guy whose work I really liked (Hadley Wickham), turns out to be a recent PhD graduate of Iowa State University, and I thought, well, I could totally get into ISU! It turns out they have a top ~20 stats program, so maybe I couldn't with my current application profile (I was only familiar with their math department, which is "meh", from having taken a few courses there). Anyway, I have a few ideas about where I would apply - mostly "blah" schools that have a decent person who does what I want and are in specific locations - and I might talk to my advisor (at shitty school) to see what he says. The thing is, I'm used to making money, and the wifing unit might have a hard time making money if we move (she has a hard time making money now), and one can't feed two people on a grad student stipend even if you get a good gig in the summer - and there's five years
of that. And I like making money.
But this also makes me wish I hadn't gotten rid of some of my old textbooks. Royden would come in handy, not to mention Rudin.
So I'm in the midst of A Dance with Dragons. I still like it. I definitely see some room for critique compared to, say, the first three books, but it's worth reading. We borrowed it from the library and a bird shat upon it while I was reading outside. That is bad.
I'm supposed to play War of the Ring tonight after class, but the guy's wife was in the hospital last night, so maybe we're calling it off.
We might have a project coming through at work that involves actually doing some Real Math (okay, statistics, which isn't real math, it's applied). I'm having my guy go through the hoops with IT to get them to let me install R and whatever packages I might need to do real math. It's free and it's standard, should be easy to trick them into letting me install it. I would also start using it to make graphics for non-"analytics" projects since I find R-scripting easier than having to figure out how to do VBA properly - I'm talking about crunching around with data and generating dozens of images and doing stuff with them. Maybe I can trick work into buying books for me?
Went to dentist yesterday: need to floss more.
Need moar moneys.