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ANerdHasNoName

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About ANerdHasNoName

  • Rank
    Decaf

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  • Location
    Singapore
  • Application Season
    2018 Fall
  • Program
    Computer Science

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  1. ANerdHasNoName

    Help with a sticky situation

    I might be encountering a similar situation... My internship is ending soon and if I attend grad school, I'd attend next Fall which means I have a good 6-7 months of free time. Since there's a higher chance I'm attending a Masters program - astronomical fees! - I need to earn as much as possible (my parents can pay for it but I don't want to rely on them completely). My parents as well as some colleagues in my current company have advised me to go for a full time job and then when its time to leave for grad school, just resign, giving reasonable notice, of course. The logic is that if I say I am leaving after 6-7 months, people won't hire me. I suppose I could go for shorter contracts like a research assistant of some sort but in my country I could easily earn twice that amount as a software developer. To me, getting a full time job and later resigning seems like the logical thing to do but like @samman1994, I'd feel rather guilty. Since I ultimately want to immigrate, it wouldn't matter much to me if I burnt this bridge (I'd rather burn this bridge than to defer grad school). I'd just feel bad for leaving. To those who have experienced this - what did you do during that awkward gap between undergrad and grad school?
  2. ANerdHasNoName

    Advisor gone AWOL

    Please bear with me if a similar topic has already been posted - I'm on the verge of a nervous breakdown. My advisor, the one who would be my strongest recommender, has basically gone AWOL. I asked for the letter about 2 months back and he said he would write it in time for my Dec 15 deadlines. I even met him the past week and he was suggesting some schools that I should check out and stuff. Afterwards, its like he just dropped off the face of the earth. I know that it's ok if our LORs arrive a little late, but in the event that I still cannot get him to submit his LOR, what should I do? And how long should I wait to contact him? I'm a little hesitant to rush him because I'm afraid then he wouldn't write me a strong letter; he thinks I'm not ready for a PhD and asked me to apply for Masters programs and I'm afraid this opinion might be reflected in the letters. PS. All final exams are over now in my university and students have gone for their vacations - I thought he'd have more free time now. I have a "backup" recommender but he's someone I never worked with directly so the letter would be rather generic.
  3. Hi, I apologise if I'm posting in the wrong place but application deadlines are approaching and I'm freaking out! I'm applying for Columbia's CS PhD program and there was a transcript section that said to mail our official transcripts as well as scan and electronic copy. However, I'm an international student - my transcripts are in English, but they aren't using the US 4.0 scale. The instructions for that section wasn't very clear as they said to mail "official" transcripts which I'm assuming are sealed with your university stamp/sticker on the envelope. However, they also said in their FAQs that we have to get our transcripts converted to the 4.0 scale. Anyone applied before and knows what they want? If they require the conversion, then I have a very tight schedule to get the conversion done in time for Dec 15. Another question I have is, can I apply for a Masters and PhD at the same time through MICE? I know for the PhD applications they ask if we would like to be considered for the MS program if we didn't get in but I recall the MS applications are considered on a rolling basis. Hence, I would like to apply for the two separately and wouldn't mind paying that extra application fees. If any international students have applied to Columbia before, please help me! I have emailed a bunch of times over the past month or so and did not get a single response.
  4. Hi all, It has been quite the journey for me to post on this forum. I tried creating an account multiple times but got some type of error before successfully creating it using a gmail account. Anyway, I'm from a senior year undergraduate from Nanyang Tech in Singapore and I'm considering a PhD in the US (in machine learning). As the deadlines approach in a couple months, I can't help but wonder if I have chosen the right universities to apply to. Some background about me: 3.54/4.00 cGPA (approx.) I was on the accelerated program, completing a 4 years bachelor degree in 3.5 years Specialisation in intelligent systems and data science (machine learning, data science, intelligent agents, those sort) about 1 year ++ research experience in machine learning due to my senior thesis submitted a first author paper of said research to a conference recently (but let's not assume it'll get accepted) working on a short 2 month long research project with a prof in the US (via Skype and stuff - his alma mater includes Boston U and MIT, though I'm sure he's been out of academia for some time) Started my own business in my second year of college Have an internship with IBM on software developing, but could potentially work on some machine learning related stuff GREs: not yet taken, but I am confident of scoring well TOEFL: some universities may not require this from Singaporean students but I'm also confident of scoring well (since English is my native language) LORs: 2 strong/relatively strong letters plus 1 from a prof who asked me to draft the letter so he could sign (I guess its up to me to make it a somewhat strong letter) I don't think my GPA is great, but I was on the dean's list for my final year of studies. For what it's worth, some of my uni's undergraduate level courses are taken by masters students so maybe it is somewhat equivalent to a graduate level course in the US. These are the universities I have currently narrowed out (in order of preference): Columbia University NYU UCLA UPenn Boston U Stony Brook CUNY Graduate Center If anyone has any suggestions on which universities I should add or remove from the list or just anything in general, feel free to comment! Grad school admissions aren't exactly straightforward so I'm having a little trouble deciding on which universities I should apply to. Oh and I should mention, I was offered a PhD position in my current uni but it isn't exactly my first choice. --------------------------------------------- On another note, I am concerned that my nationality might be a problem, especially after Trump took office. I am originally from Malaysia, but immigrated to Singapore as a baby. I've had a permanent residency status in Singapore for my entire life, but never converted to a citizen so my nationality is Malaysian. As you may or may not know, Malaysia is a largely muslim country. I didn't think this was a problem until a bunch of my friends mentioned it. Will this pose as a problem for grad school applications?
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