I did all my Gen Eds is high school, and spent six years on my undergraduate (with a gap year in my degree due to burn out and two medical withdrawals during the Fall and Spring a year later due to serious depression) taking almost only upper division undergraduate and graduate level courses in genetics, biochemistry, statistics, computer science and math. I’m a math major with a 3.71 GPA from a good state school. I have high functioning autism. I got an A in abstract algebra; however, my grades in real analysis (a core class) are sub par. In the undergraduate series of analysis I got a B- and an B+. In the graduate series of analysis I got a B+ and a B+. I have a B+ in mathematical modeling in biology, and A’s in my other math courses.

I have one year of research experience in bioinformatics, but I didn’t finish my project in the time-frame my professor wanted under the scholarship I got. My professor told me to forget the project. I am going to finish it on my own over the next two years (I have permission), publishable or not. However, my professor will NOT write me a letter of recommendation, despite saying I have very good potential if I improve my work ethic, because I did not meet his standards due to my work ethic. After failing to finish the project, I took a gap year and changed my major from Microbiology to Mathematics.

Over the next two to three years, I plan to live with my parents and volunteer in a statistics/microbiology laboratory to collaborate a lot. I hope to publish a paper in this time.

I am also going to complete 12 classes in computer science, possibly take Measure Theory, study the GRE and Math Subject Test GRE, hopefully work on a patent, and finish my previous research project as the sole author (I have permission since I did the entire project on my own under the scholarship using my professor’s idea).

I’ll be applying to a PhD in Statistics with a minor in Computer Vision / Machine Learning in two years when I turn 26. Unfortunately, real analysis is VERY important for statistics, so I don’t know how that will affect me. Maybe I can get two to three recommendations from my volunteer experience.

I want a job for money but don’t have time. Maybe, after a few months, I can get hired at the lab I volunteer in.

Questions: What do you think about my story?

Lastly, I’ve been told that my idea for getting a PhD seems superficial based off what I said above. That I seem stuck on the goal of a PhD for no reason. I’ve been told that I’ve already run into academic issues, mental health issues, and research issues, and that I have a penchant for planning my future out in detail. From this, a number of people have told me that graduate school won’t be a good fit for me. Do you support these claims? However, I’ve also had a lot of people judge my intent and say if I’m interested in a PhD then I should start one ASAP. What happens from here, especially if there’s a couple ideas in Machine Learning I want to study in depth? I want to work in industry.

This is edited from my reddit posts. I suspect this will be downvoted/closed, but I really trust you guys. If this is off-topic I promise to delete it when it is declared as such.

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