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  1. Hello gradcafe folks, I plan to apply for neuroscience PhD program this year. I especially want to study computational cognitive neuroscience. My BS and MS are in Electrical and Computer Engineering. I have been working as a software engineer for 6 years. I have done research in computer vision in undergraduate which I have published a paper and presented in a conference. I have little research experience in neuroscience. The only experience I got so far is doing EEG, ECG, EDA and fMRI data collection as a volunteer intern in a lab in UCSF. I am seeking for some advice in writing my unusual past experience. Here are few possible outlines in my mind: Option 1: go deep about my research in computer vision and how it can blend with computational neuroscience study without mentioning my industrial work in machine learning and my little experience in neuroscience because there is no significant accomplishments from there. Option 2: allocate 2/3 parts to my research in computer vision while briefly use 1/3 parts talking about what I learnt from my industrial work in machine learning and my little research experience in neuroscience. In this way, I can show my diverse experience and how it can prepare me for computational neuroscience study. Curious about what people think about the better way to highlight my own values that can bring into computational cognitive neuroscience. Any other alternatives are welcomed. Thank you for reading this in advance.
  2. In my SOP should address the low gpa I had during my freshman and sophomore year if I have now significantly increased my GPA? The low GPA occurred because of switching majors and major health issues.
  3. I have always been interested in my pursuing Machine Learning when I was in college. However, I was really disappointed in the quality of teachers in my undergraduate college. I grew disillusioned in what was being taught and decided to pursue my own interests in college; I researched topics by myself, made projects, learned stuff from the internet. Eventually, I was able to secure a pretty good internship as well because of my efforts. But my academics did suffer because I invested my efforts elsewhere. Now I want to apply for a master's in the specialization for ML. If possible, I will also like to pursue research opportunities in this field. No matter how passionate I describe myself in my SOP, the admissions committee is going to be skeptical of my commitment because of my low grades. I may be wrong about this, but I think it will improve my chances if I acknowledge my poor academics in my SOP, but I don't want it to overshadow my accomplishments or the hard work I put in to follow my interests. People who have faced this problem before ( or actually, anyone who has experience with these things) what would be the best way to address it in my SOP? How should I phrase/word it? Any examples are of course appreciated. Anything I should be careful of/steer clear of? Thanks
  4. Hey everyone! I'm a recently graduated law student who is looking for grad schools abroad. I got accepted to some of my top choices in Europe last year but couldn't go because of financial issues. I also applied to the US but the closest thing that I came to an acceptance was getting waitlisted by Duke. However, I really wanna try again this years and I'm vry determined. So if anybody can help me wih my SOP it would be greatly appreciated, thank you!!
  5. Hi fellow grads! I just finished writing my first SOP draft. It starts by saying that when I was little I already loved Computer Science, I taught myself how to program... Now that I am done, I am reading that many candidates start their SOP like that, making the SOP one more on the pile. From your experience or opinion, is it okay to star an SOP like this? Do you have better ideas or tips to start the SOP? Thank you!
  6. I am a engineering graduate who wants to apply for a masters in condensed matter physics. I have written a first draft of my SOP. I need some guidance regarding it. It would be great if someone can help me out regarding it. I can DM you if you are interested. Thanks in advance!
  7. I plan to apply for a scholarship and Could someone to help me for advice SOP? as below : My passion with data science started to grow when I studied Master’s degree. I found that big data is powerful tools which can help business with analyzing the mass of data and making decisions. With the ability to analyze new sources of data, businesses are able to analyze information immediately. Such first insight of how data is more essential for organization incited me to delve further into the field. Because of love in data over the years, I have been able to devote the time and energy to academic accomplishment. I have A- and B in Business Intelligence and Database Management respectively. In addition to focusing on my own studies, I also learned to program in Data Mining, which in turn, fascinated me to apply the concept in my project “Statistics of student resignation based on 2007 - 2012”. The project uses components such as Microsoft SSIS. I have run into roadblocks using this process, which led me to an alternative approach which relies on using staging tables. Moreover, During my job at ABC company as a BI Analyst, I have effectively designed an interactive reports project which showcases client's sales performance and at the same time provides them which help CEO in business decisions. It was be achieved by cleansing data from different sources by executing the process flows and use OWB to manage metadata for generate reports. Now I am working at TEST company in the position of Data Management. To drive the performance of leasing business, I assigned to design new ER diagram where I solved data structures problem relating to Leasing business. Apart from these, I have also effectively generated unstructured data into client-specific format with the data tools such as SAS. For the SAS BI project, I was introduced to the concepts of ETL, analysis of variance and design of experiments which were used to relate the factors considered, analyze the differences among the different user requirement and perform on dashboard. I aspire to work as a data analysis, and University of ABC would enable me to realize aspirations and interests that exceed my existing career. Furthermore, with the reputation of high quality education is the main factors which have encouraged me to apply this university. In the future, I would like to share my knowledge from what I have learned through the University of ABC for student in Thailand and share vision of working towards a more just and equitable world. Finally, Completing this degree studies at university should provide the experience for me to achieve my aspirations Thank you for this review
  8. Hi all, I'm revising my SoP for grad programs in Human-Computer Interaction and would be extremely grateful to get any feedback/criticism before submitting. Is there anyone in this field who can spare a few minutes going through my SoP and maybe suggesting a few things. More than happy to swap/review other statements- even if in different areas. Thanks in advance!
  9. Looking for someone who has been admitted into top HCI programs to review my SoP. Any feedback would be great!
  10. Hi Folks, I thought I might set up a place where we can request feedback from our peers should any of us be interested. My PI is being a bit slow in returning critique for mine, so I'd be up to doing a swap with a couple other users for some preliminary feedback. Let's rock it this cycle! 🤘
  12. Hi! This is my first posting on Gradcafe. This site has been a tremendous help for me to prepare for my application, so I want to first thank you guys for that I'm an international student applying for English PhD program for Fall 2021, and I know it's late to ask this, but I was wondering how specific my research interests should be in my SOP. In my 500-words SOP, I stated my area of interest and topics I would like to further explore by asking multiple questions I want to address in my PhD (which I think are a good fit with the faculty of the school I'm applying to), but no specific texts. While others who'd proofread my SOP have told me they think it's pretty competitive, my MA thesis advisor is telling me my research interests should be much more detailed, almost like a thesis proposal for a dissertation. I'm afraid it means I'll have to write the SOP all over again to fit the word limit at this stage of the application, and now I'm worrying over whether to write my research interests anew as my advisor said. Can anyone give me their opinion on the matter? + I'd really appreciate anyone who'll proofread my SOP. Thanks!
  13. Hey guys! I've been working on my SOP for PhD (BA holder) in cultural anthropology for over a month now and the more I read it, the less I believe in it. I'm on a tight turn around (Dec 1st) and could really use some guidance! The one program requires a 500 word SOP/Personal statement and the other wants a 1000 SOP + 500 words on what I assume is a personal statement. If anyone would be wiling to take a look please send me a message and I'll get you what I have. Also, good luck to everyone out there who is nearing the end of their application process, you can do this (simultaneously trying to tell myself the same😅) !!
  14. Hi, I am applying to PhD programs in Biomedical Engineering. I want to cite my papers in my Statement of Purpose. This was advised by my current research advisor. How should I do so, I dont want to keep bothering him. Currently, I have: Then I have a references page at the bottom. Are there other ways to do so? Also I am not a first author on these papers, I am second and 4th for context. Thank you in advance.
  15. Hello folks, I’m looking for brutal critique to my PhD statement of purpose. Reason being: all family and friends are not in academia and think my SOP is grrreat, and I know there must be something to improve. Also imposter syndrome. Any takers? I’ll DM it, love yew.
  16. Hi everyone! I am getting ready to apply to MS programs in HCI and I am wondering if there is anyone who is willing to look at my SOP. I have been editing and reading over it for three weeks now and would love if someone can provide me with another set of eyes and outside perspective. Thanks so much!
  17. Hey, I'm applying to a design program at stanford and looking out for people who can read my essay and let me know their impression of how it looks. Open to SOP exchange and critique yours as well. Thanks
  18. If anyone here has applied to Penn State for their Ph.D. in English program and you know about this, please clarify for me. I would really appreciate it. Thanks! So on the English department's website, it says that a SOP (1-3 double-spaced pages) is required. However, when I went to start the application, the portal says that part of the documentation required is a personal statement with the following prompt: "Why do you want to pursue a higher degree in English studies at a time when the Liberal Arts are often less valued than science and technology?" This doesn't sound like a SOP prompt either way, so I'm just confused. Do they want this in addition to the SOP? Also, it says that a CV is required when the website does not ask for one. I have already written my SOP, so it would really suck if I had to rewrite it based on this prompt or add a personal statement when it didn't even ask for one in the first place.
  19. I really need some solid advice on my SOP. I don't really have anyone to review the essay, so it would be a big help. TIA One summer break, as I was sitting in my room watching my country’s election coverage, I realized that the coverage lacked any substantive information. As an avid follower of international politics, I expected the networks to cover information on policy proposals, the future impact of those policies, and most importantly, polling data. However, the information presented was very trivial. This realization inspired me to scour through swathes of data from a wide range of sources and try to understand it and interpret it to come to a meaningful result. As I was going through this process of collection and interpretation, I realized that I loved it, and as I began looking into issues I felt they had a deep impact on my country’s development but received very little statistical research. Issues such as floods, earthquakes, and landslides were highly relevant, and social issues such as discriminatory practices received very little attention. So, I wanted to do something that could help prevent such disasters and bring those neglected social issues to light. Even though I was pursuing an engineering degree, I felt that my true potential lied in the Statistics field, and thus, decided to pursue a Master’s degree in Statistics. With a keen interest in Science and Mathematics, I always wanted to pursue a career in a STEM field, and I was fortunate enough to secure a merit-based scholarship from the Government of YYY to study Aerospace Engineering. During my undergraduate years, I strengthened my mathematics foundation, where I studied topics such as Advanced Calculus, Ordinary Differential Equations, Linear Algebra, Probability, and Statistics. I feel the mathematical courses that I studied have adequately prepared me for further graduate studies in statistics. The experiences I had during my undergraduate years have a profound effect on my life and career goals. My initial exposure to inferential statistics was during a small class project, “Aircraft Systems and Instruments”, where I collected data regarding aircraft crashes in the past few years in my country, XXX; and tried to find a correlation between them. Even though it was a small scale project, I was proud of the work that I had done. While studying engineering, I was further able to understand the power of statistical science. I learned about the use of statistics for risk assessments and quality control. In addition, I gained knowledge about the use of predictive analysis for satellite collision and avoidance systems and predicting the trajectory of space debris and meteors. While going back and forth between X country and Y country, I experienced the effects of disasters such as floods, cyclones, landslides, earthquakes, and other severe effects of climate change. And I felt that climate models could have been formed using concrete ground data, which could have been utilized to predict the effects of climate change and provide forewarning to the people in affected areas. Similarly, the massive problem of caste and gender discrimination pertaining to all of South Asia can be brought to light with proper statistical research. Keeping these experiences in mind, I aim to dive deeper into such vital issues during my graduate program, primarily by focusing on Bayesian statistics and computational statistics. I see statistics as a field of science that can overcome various scientific constraints and provide effective results. In my few weeks interning at AAA Airlines, I mostly worked at the data collection division under maintenance and engineering. During the internship, I learned a lot about data classification on an industrial scale and the real-life application of the data. The work mostly comprised recommending the maintenance engineers the need for periodic checks and replacement of parts based on the provided data. In line with my preparatory work for graduate studies, I took a “Data Science with Python Specialization” course through Coursera to further my knowledge in the emerging field of data science. Here, I got an introduction to machine learning, data mining, social network analysis, and data visualization using Python. Besides Python programming, I have programming experience in simulation software ANSYS, MATLAB, SQL, and C++, which I feel will be an asset during my graduate studies. As the world continuously becomes more data-centric, I feel that my limited knowledge of statistics will inhibit my ability to further my goals, and the arrival and haphazard management of the COVID-19 crisis has further ignited my thirst for statistical knowledge. In this data-centric world, high-level decisions are being made and will be made based on complex models, and I want to be in the center of such a decision-making process. I intend to work professionally in my country’s federal government and aid the government in various developmental works through data analysis based on advanced statistical methodologies and algorithms learned during the MS program. The MS degree in Statistics at the University of XXX will provide me with a platform to realize my goals and enhance my statistical skill set. Your program offers rigorous coursework and provides a wide range of research and training opportunities. I would be able to work with leading scholars and academics having a wide range of interests and perform real-world data analysis and research. With a multicultural environment and vibrant outlook, I feel that the University of XXX will be an ideal environment for me to pursue a Master’s Degree. To conclude, with my strong mathematical background and passion for statistical research, I believe I am ready to pursue a graduate degree in Statistics.
  20. Hi all, I am planning to apply to PhD in a couple of universities in the States and Canada in Spanish literature. I have written my first draft of SOP. Would anyone help me out by revising the same?
  21. Undergrad: Big State School ranked around 150 Major: Mathematics, with Minor in Computer Science GPA: 4.0 (Two more semesters to go) Student Type: International Male (South Asian) Courses: Calculus Series, Into Linear Algebra, Differential Equations, Proofs and Logic, Discrete Mathematics, Undergraduate Advanced Calculus Series, Intro to Programming, Object Oriented Programming, Data Structures, Data Science in Python, Data Visualization in R, Database System, Elementary Number Theory, Group Theory, Mathematical Statistics I, Mathematical Statistics II, Analytic Number Theory, Complex Analysis, Probabilistic Number Theory. Currently taking Graduate Real Analysis I, Probability Theory I, Proof based linear algebra. Will take Real Analysis II, Probability Theory II, Topology next semester GRE General: Taking third week of October. Hoping to 165+ in quantitative Math GRE: Not taking Research: Proved a small result in analytic number theory with my advisor. Participated in summer research program at The Fields Institute where I worked in Arithmetic statistics. I worked primarily in simulation and generating data where I wrote parallel programs in C++ using OpenMP and MPI and used supercomputers to perform simulation. Got some interesting results, currently writing a paper to submit. I am also currently working in probabilistic number theory with my another advisor and we proved an interesting result, currently brushing up the work. I have a decent background in computation and pure mathematics, which stat grad school seem to value a lot. But I do not have a strong background in the thing that matters most, statistics. Letters of Recommendation: I think I will get strong letters from all three people I have worked with. Programs Applying to: Statistics PhD My questions are: 1. I initially thought I would do number theory in grad school, but as I started working in probabilistic number theory and arithmetic statistics, I found out that I loved working in problems in statistics and applied probability more and I also realized how powerful statistics is (for example we were able to generate data and verify a conjecture with statistical analysis that seemed incredibly difficult to approach with traditional mathematical tools). Should I just be honest in my statement in purpose and say I how I got interested in statistics but do not have any narrow interest figured out but will take classes in grad school and see for myself what I enjoy most? Or should I write some pretentious crap about how I am interested in some fancy sounding field and want to work with X,Y,Z professor? But I guess being honest I might not be able to convince the admission committee that I am a good fit for their department. 2. Although I have a good research background, I do not have any publication till now. Opportunities just came by and I went on doing multiple projects than sitting down to write up the results and finalize the work. Depending upon how hard I can work, we might be able to upload 3 papers in arxiv while submitting our application but I wont have a manuscript of my strongest result. Will I be able to make a case for me in good school if I do not have any publication? But both I and my advisors will be able to give brief but precise account of exact works I have done and results I have proved. 3. Since I come from a department which has almost never sent a student to top schools, do I stand a chance at top programs? I think I have worked incredibly had during my undergrad but there is always a reputation of school that might potentially hurt me. 4. All three people I have worked with are number theorists, and if I ask for fourth the person that will be able to write the best letter for me is my probability theory professor. I took two statistics class with the same professor, got A in both, but do not have great relationship with the professor. Does not having letter of recommendation from a statistics professor send a bad message? Sorry for the long ramble!
  22. Hi, all! I just wrote a statement of purpose for my application for Yale's Classical Art and Archaeology program and I wanted to know if anyone would be willing to look it over? I know it's a bit rough in places but I'm a bit stuck on knowing how/where to polish it. Thanks in advance!
  23. Hi all, I've been unable to find what the difference is between a Statement of Purpose (SOP) and a Statement of Interest / Statement of Research Interest. I've seen a lot on this forum re: SOPs but does anyone have any advice on writing a standout Statement of Interest? The program I am applying for is requesting a Statement of Interest but does not specify any further than a character limit. Thanks in advance!
  24. Hello, everyone! I'm currently in the process of writing my SOP. If anyone is able to review my SOP and offer suggestions/comments, please PM me. I'd appreciate it! Best, The Sailor Scholar
  25. This statement of purpose draft is in application for UC Denver Master of Architecture program. A critique would be appreciated. Criticism is not taken to heart negatively, I am looking to improve. *Questions: Do you suggest refraining from personal pronouns? Should italic typeface be removed?* Statement of Purpose (750-1000 words required, word count: 752) Entering undergraduate studies at the University of San Diego as an aspiring student of architecture, I naturally drew towards the history, theories, and conventions of architecture. Undergraduate Studies focused on the bonds between form, function, and materiality to form spaces with practical value. Studying abroad in Italy, a career path became apparent in the surreal environment created by the duality of San Siro Stadium design and user response when attending an AC Milan soccer game. After returning to the university from Italy began an internship position with Studio E Architects. The professional internship experience provided a foundation for moving into a seminar for undergraduate thesis proposals, research methods, and design process. The undergraduate thesis focus came from Rem Koolhaas' manifesto on Manhattanism outdated erotic masculine position exhibited in New York's Downtown Athletic Club. While the undergraduate thesis proposal was an overall success, personal architectural design strengths and weaknesses became clear. Pursuing a Masters Degree at the College of Architecture and Planning offers architecture knowledge in a professional environment and opportunities to strengthen these weaknesses. Seeking to become a licensed architect knowledgeable on the ARE 5.0 six divisions of current architectural practice is an academic focus. The program prepares for licensing by "the discovery, communication, and application of knowledge in the discipline of architecture by integrating theory and practice." The integration of theories and professional practice is essential for constructive critiques and responding to the practice's evolution. Enrollment in technological and professional base lecture courses will provide chances to learn the in-depth history of architecture, LEED Certification process for sustainability, and manage Building Information Models. Design studios will develop comprehensive designs form program analysis and critical stances on programmatic issues in architecture. The ARE 5.0 Practice Management Business Operations discusses staff utilization rate and the importance of junior staff possessing billable skills for a high percentage rate. In the internship experience with Studio E Architects, most of the work revolved around preliminary design and construction documentation using architecture design software like AutoCAD, Revit, SketchUp, and Adobe Creative Suite. With an introduction to the industry-standard software programs, the graduate program design studios will advance personal skill sets in these programs. The Four Studio Track curriculum balance of design studios and lecture courses will sharpen billable skills, provide knowledge on the six divisions of current architectural practice, and expand networking opportunities with practicing professionals in the Denver Metropolitan area. As a Colorado Native, obtaining a Master's in Architecture from the College of Architecture and Planning will expand networking through hands-on training and real-world engagement in Denver's architecture community. Joining the AIAS CU Denver Chapter will provide more networking events and opportunities to compete in design competitions. The program's liberal arts structure, in collaboration with Denver's metro, provides a means of research and network for career success with an opportunity to focus on sports facilities, arenas, and convention centers. After attaining a Master's, the initial short-term career goal is to become a licensed architect with passing the ARE 5.0 exam and accumulating AXP hours. As an avid sports enthusiast, a long-term goal is a position with a firm specializing in sports facilities and arenas similar to Populous. A firm like Populous requires a keen eye for details from applicants and employees; thus, application resumes and portfolios must consistently convey their design methodology and exhibit a unique personality through architectural design. As a goal-oriented individual, the final result is a motivation for completing tasks toward a set purpose. Motivation thought setting goals also produces a high-quality Standard of Care in both professional work and academic environments. Enrollment in the Master's program is a step toward achieving both career goals. Understanding BIM and advancing Autodesk software comprehension is a short-term academic goal for improving portfolio quality, which assists long-term academic goals like an internship and mentorship program. Along with Architecture, the Japanese language and culture is a longstanding interest, which will be further studied during graduate school to open opportunities abroad. A career in architectural design for sports arenas, facilities, and convention centers has been inevitable since childhood. Youth sports coaches often said, "keep your head in the game," for I was preoccupied with design thoughts inspired by the environment of sports entertainment. Attaining an NCARB-accredited Masters Degree from the College of Architecture and Planning is an essential step towards a license and increasing the 2% of Black American architects. Career advancement opportunities will open to the competitive edge of a licensed Black American Architect ambitious to provide refreshing cultural awareness and innovative program design theories for architecture.
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