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  1. I just graduated with a B.S. in CS (a SUNY state school, but Top 40 program in Computer Science) Stats: 3.27 UG GPA, have not taken GRE yet. Had a rough first semester and junior year causing the GPA to be lower than desired. Research Exp: 1 summer REU in data science at a Top 10 school and a small semester project at my home institution. Interests: ML, NLP, Data Science, as well as Distributed Systems. Have taken a challenging courseload during my undergrad, including two graduate courses in NLP and Logic My desired schools: Michigan, USC/UCLA, Washington, Illinois, Maryland (College Park), Minnesota, Rutgers, UPenn, Princeton, Purdue, UMass Amherst, Penn State, Wisconsin, Northwestern, Ohio State, GA Tech My question is do I stand a chance applying for a PhD at these schools, or if I have to choose between applying to only the PhD or MS program, I should apply for the MS instead? Also being that I am currently taking a break after graduating, should I be looking at ways to improve on my research experience before applying?
  2. Yes. Any research experience is research experience which will help your application when it is viewed by the committee. Maybe talk about how the previous research you did influenced your current interests?
  3. Recent CS grad who is planning on applying to PhD programs in the near future. While I have some research experience (including an REU from this past summer), I'm currently taking a gap year to recharge before applications and was wondering if it is possible to gain more relevant experience in the months that I do have before applying. I have one work offer, and am interviewing for another potential company (software developer/consulting, not research related), in addition to sending apps for research assistant positions at a couple national labs. Any advice on a path that I could take for the next few months? I'm thinking of going on the research route, but any other suggestions? Should I keep applying to national labs? Would it be a good idea to try and ask professors at my previous undergrad for opportunities?
  4. I've been reading about how grad students need a hobby/activity or two outside of their department to stay sane. I'm considering applying to PhD programs for CS, mainly at schools that are much bigger on sports, including football, than my current undergrad, so I'm pretty sure I might do/try out for marching band when I get to grad school. Has anyone successfully done this? Is it doable, and would it raise flags with advisors?
  5. So, I am currently taking a grad class as an undergrad, which is in one of my areas of interest, but it is also known to be very difficult. I have no idea where I stand in the class aside from the first assignment, which I didn't too well on (at least compared to the average), and the next two homeworks I haven't been feeling too confident either. I plan to discuss with the professor, but I am worried I may get a B-, if not lower, based on the distribution from past semesters that this class was offered. What implications may this have on me getting into (hopefully) grad school?
  6. I will be starting my last semester of CS/Applied Math undergrad soon, and hope to eventually apply to PhD programs. I do have one REU under my belt, but I still feel I'm lacking on research experience especially from my home institution. Will it be possible/worth it to get research experience in the semester I have remaining, or if not, post graduation but before applications to grad programs?
  7. I recently completed an REU, and while I don't think I'll get a publication from it, I still think I want to ask one of the people (if not two) for a recommendation for when I eventually apply for CS PhD programs. Generally, when is the best time to do so, as I am taking a gap year after graduating at the end of this year.
  8. So, due to a rough freshman semester and a tough third year, where I got a little depressed, I suffered two separate hits to my GPA, it is now a 3.26. I have three/four more semesters to try and bring it up, so hopefully I can get it to a 3.3-3.4. Additionally, I was divided whether to go for a MS or PhD, I always knew I wanted to go to grad school, but while I earlier dismissed the idea of going to PhD in my freshman year because I was scared off by the commitment, I have begun revisiting the idea and learned I need research experience, so I started off with a small research group in my university this semester. The project isn't exactly related in terms of what I want to pursue in grad school, but I'm worried so far I'm not doing/contributing much and I won't get to a publication or good enough recs before graduation/application season next year, combined with my already low GPA. My desired schools: Michigan, USC/UCLA, Washington, Illinois, Maryland (College Park), Minnesota, Rutgers, Upenn, Purdue, Wisconsin, Northwestern, Ohio State My question is do I stand a chance applying for a PhD at these schools, or if I have to choose between applying to only the PhD or MS program, I should apply for the MS instead?
  9. ^^ +1 this. As an undergrad, I kind of had this question myself, but I don't really see this as too much of a bad/awkward thing. I'm planning on going to grad and I'm pretty sure I'll be in extracurriculars (marching band!!) where everyone's an undergrad (for the record, I know there's others who do/have done this, so I know I won't be alone :))
  10. So, does anyone here have any extracurricular commitments? Do you guys do things like play club sports, be a part of a marching band, etc.? Looking at grad schools (particularly in B1G and Pac-12) for my Masters in C.S. and wanted some insight as to what life is like at such places.
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