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  1. 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
  2. Hi, I am from India and want to pursue a Masters in Computer Science. I want to specialise in Systems and Softwares with some breadth in AI/ML. I would like to know if there is a difference in quality at Purdue Fort Wayne and Purdue West Lafayette and which one is better. I get the professors will be different, but is there too much of a difference and how is it viewed in the industry?
  3. Hi, I'm in my first semester of a professional MS program at CU Boulder (info on degree here). The program is pretty open-ended, but centers on interdisciplinary engineering & design. Buzzwords: UX/UI, human-computer interaction, and creative tech. This an expensive and pretty degree. I did this for a few reasons: 1) I really needed to broaden my job prospects/salary range, 2) I'm interested in HCI from a research standpoint (I want to be a scientist), and 3) I love engineering, but I studied psychology, and this was the best fit that I could find without having taken any supplementary technical courses. For context, I really needed to make a move. It's not particularly flattering for me to think about the other, better moves that I could have made (comp sci, comp engineering, or any other MS in applied science comes to mind). Here is the thing: I fully understand, at this point, that if I want to commit myself seriously to motivations #2 and #3, I will have to continue study on through a PhD. This makes a lot of sense to me because I want to be scientist, whatever that entails. The catch is that my Master's degree isn't nearly technical enough for me to think that applying to heavy-hitting engineering/applied sci doctorates would be easy after that. It is, however, *very* flexible and well-funded, meaning that there are labs available to me that pull from the massive engineering/applied science resources at CU Boulder. I'm at liberty to design my degree however I see fit, pretty much. I am also gaining new technical expertise, and making strong contacts -- I'm currently TAing for a neuroengineer. I am planning on spending some years working before doing a PhD in a field that I find exciting (I love frontier work like space and tech), and I'm optimistic UX/UI is broad enough that I can land that. Honestly, a career in one of these industries sounds exciting enough. But I'm stubborn, and I know I can do more. I'm looking for feedback on what kind of degrees would be the most difficult to matriculate into, given that my broader background will not apply to them in many parts. Here are some that I find incredibly compelling: biomedical engineering, comp neuroscience/biophysics, applied mathematics/systems science, computational science, and theoretical computer science. I'm always looking for the stories of people who have switched career paths or academic disciplines from seemingly diametrically opposed areas. There is absolutely no reason, in the year 2021, that this type of move wouldn't be possible. I know that a lot of these degrees might seem out of reach for me at present. In what circumstances would they not be?
  4. Hello, Thank you for your time. I am confused between selecting one of the above university. Can you please advice which university will be the best? (It would be great if you could write the pros and cons of unis.) I will be looking for job opportunities after completing my masters. According to csrankings, NJIT is at 68 and Santa Clara is at 138. Should I rely on the rankings provided by the popular sites and csranking? Thank you again.
  5. Hello, I'm interested in obtaining a second masters in computer science and I'm not sure what schools are best for me. I'm a currently finishing up a master's degree in bioengineering at UC San Diego and I developed an interest in CS. I am looking for schools that are professionally driven and dont focus too much on CS theory. Any advice or list of schools to avoid?
  6. Has anyone heard so far from EPFL? I am really anxious for this year. Have you been contacted by a prof? What are some other programs I could apply to if I don't make it to this one?
  7. (Sorry for another chances thread, if anything I'm just curious what people think...) Hey everyone, I'm applying for a masters in CS and would love to know what people think are my chances at some of these places/come from any similar backgrounds. Residency: Cal Purpose/Reason for applying/Writing: I've been working as an ML engineer for a few years after graduation, but I really want to go back to get a masters in AI. I am aiming to focus on adversarial AI/robustness/correctness and secondarily programming by example/NLP. For professional (i really think formal learning in secure AI is critical for me to implement this stuff in industry) and personal (its been a dream of mine to get a masters) reasons. Writing: SOP/Personal Statements are strong cause i've been working on them for several months and gotten them edited many times. They'd be stronger if i had more experience, but i think i've done the best with what i have. Education (2013-2017): UC BerkeleyBS in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS)GPA: 3.525 Major GPA: 3.4 Last 2 years GPA: 3.7 Bunch of Fs/Ds on my transcript (like 4 i think). I retook everything I got an F or D in, and those gpas^ are with those taken into account, so if you use an averaging method or something my gpa is probably much worse. I'm basically just convincing myself it doesnt matter, lol, even though I know it does. Went through hell sophomore year and talked about it in my personal statements where possible. Last two years i at least managed to get As/Bs for most classes, although actually my biggest worry is that I got a C+ in Machine Learning, and that's what i'm trying to specialize in. 🙃 GRE : 169 quant 167 verbal 5.5 writing (even though most places aren't accepting it anyways) Research: Here's where it gets a tiny bit better. Name on conference paper in the digital humanities (NLP + data viz to help answer questions about a religious text) freshman year. Wasn't really a great contribution or anything but at least its there. Then, two preprints in the field i'm interested in (adversarial ML), coauthored with some PhDs in a seminar i took. Both rejected from ICLR/NIPS (were close :/), and honestly we didn't push them forward after that but are on arxiv and cited by other folks at least. I'm playing those up a bunch and hoping they get read lol.Experience:-3 years of experience at a startup. Started as a software engineer, ended up as "senior machine learning engineer", only one in company, have lots of experience building software features there. Gave a talk at 2 conferences as well -1 year of experience as a 'machine learning engineer' at a FAANG company - Github is like meh, few NLP projects I put up there but nothing of note 😕 - Volunteer crisis counselor + on board of a (religious) nonprofitLetters of Recommendation: - Undergraduate compilers professor, I did really well in his class and was a course reader the semester after. Think he likes me enough tho probably still gonna be somewhat vague cause i haven't talked to him in a while - Professor who worked with me at the startup, he's a gem of a person and we've talked a bunch. I think his letter will be positive. He's super well known, not in the ML field, but still. - My manager, who managed me for 3 years at startup + current company. His letter will be extraordinary, we're close friends and he knows me very well. Schools: UCLA Berkeley (M eng, not MS) CMU (MS AI, MS CS, MS IIS) U of I Northwestern (MS CS for now, professional MS AI later if i dont get in other places) Georgia Tech UMass Amherst U Maryland U of W Professional masters program SUNY Stony Brook NYU ETH Zurich (why not, i know some german, and can pretend i'll be able to afford it) thanks
  8. Hello, My background is somewhat unconventional and I am having a very difficult time narrowing down the range of schools to apply to that I would likely get in. Especially since most graduate school profiles are vague on their admission statistics, it is difficult to determine what is a likely possibility of acceptance. I am unsure of which schools to target, if some of these masters programs are too ambitious, or if I am selling myself short. Right now, my school list includes the University of Texas, Texas A&M, Colorado Boulder, University of Chicago, Boston University, University of Houston, and a few others in between this range. Here is a glimpse of my profile: Degrees: BS Industrial and Systems Engineering at Texas A&M, GPA: 3.11 (I understand this is low due to my first semester in college; I can justify it the application). BS Computer Science through Oregon State University's Post-Bacc (Online program), GPA 3.75 GRE: Quant 166, Verbal 150, Writing 4.5 Work experience: Data analyst: 1.5 years Manufacturing engineer internship: 1 summer Research assisting: 6 months, no publications. Demographic: US citizen, female Firstly, I am unsure of how my GPA will be evaluated since I will have two technical degrees from different universities of varying difficulties (one being a traditional bachelor's degree and my computer science degree being online) and with the distinctive gap between the two grade point averages. Secondly, my work experience isn't exactly software engineering. In my data analyst job I developed a Microsoft PowerApps platform and in my research position I programmed in Matlab to evaluate EEG signals. While these projects lead me to pursue my post bacc computer science due to the programming nature, I currently lack the experience of having a position completely devoted to software engineering. Any advice is welcomed! I keep going back and forth on selecting schools to apply to due to all of the uncertainty of my application statistics with the current degree programs. Thanks in advance for any help!
  9. Hi Everyone! I was wondering if I could get some advice on what tiers of schools I should apply for? I am going to apply for an MS in stats OR CS (Fall 2021). Demographics: Eastern European Undergrad: McGill Major: Joint Honours Mathematics and Economics GPA: 3.72 overall, Math major GPA: 3.73, Econ major GPA: 3.65 Coursework: MATH: Calc 3, Advanced (A,A), Honours Algebra 1, 2, 3, 4 (A,A-,A,B-), Honours Analysis 1,2 (A,A-), Honours ODEs (A), Honours Probability (A-), Honours Nonlinear Dynamics (A), Honours PDEs (B), Honours Statistics (A-). ECON: Honours Econometrics I (A-), Honours Econometrics II (A-) and other Macro/Micro classes CS: Only took one Foundation of Programming class but currently I work in data science. Professional Experience: Working at a top tier consulting firm as an analyst/junior data scientist, mainly doing NLP and participating in building/deploying web apps on Azure/AWS. Doing a lot data cleaning and engineering. This mainly the reason I started considering CS or Applied Computing masters. Letters: I can get a very strong letter from a Senior Data Scientist colleague or form a DS Partner in the firm. Unfortunately, I did not do undergrad research but still can get good recommendation letters from my professors. GRE: Current GRE results V:155 Q:163. Planning to retake it. I am wondering what tiers of schools would be best to apply for? Which schools should I aim for and which should I keep as a plan B? I am mainly look for schools in the US and UK. Thank you very much for your help!
  10. Hello! Has anyone heard from TUM regarding Wintersemester 2020/21 masters admissions? and does anyone have any idea how long it takes to hear back about admissions from TUM after your documents have been sent to the intended department? Any information would be highly appreciated, thanks in advance!
  11. I am mainly interested in Machine learning and Computer vision. The confusion exists as I am told ETHZ is clearly better in terms of research, so that will help if I decide to go for a PhD later. On the other hand, job opportunities are much better in US, so if I dont go for a PhD, UCLA holds an advantage.
  12. Hi everyone! I'm having a lot of trouble deciding which M.S. in Computer Science (with a focus on computer security) I should pick. Here is the list of the programs I've been accepted to: University of Waterloo - fully funded University of Virginia - $2000 fellowship, (potentially, i'd get in-state tuition, which is ~20k/year. out of state tuition is ~35k/year) Georgia Tech - no funding (~20k/year) University of Utah - no funding (~20k/year) University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign - no funding (~35k/year) UMD College Park - no funding (~40k/year) Georgetown - no funding (~40k/year) So that you get an idea of my financial situation, my parents are willing and able to pay for tuition/living expenses at any of the universities that I've been accepted to. That said, I don't want to burden them with an excessively high tuition fee when there are more affordable options. I feel like, in most situations, people are stuck between attending a fully-funded program at a lower-ranked school and an unfunded one at a more prestigious school. In my situation, what I imagine to be the most prestigious school on the list (Waterloo) is the one offering me funding. At Waterloo, I wouldn't have to search for any RA/TA positions because I'll already be doing research with a specific professor and TA-ing. I feel like most people would commit to that school immediately. But for some reason, there's something holding me back. I don't know why. Do I just not like the town that much? Am I worried that I'd feel out of place or not perform well compared to the types of people who usually get accepted there? Do I not want to live in the cold? I don't know. Maybe all of the above. UVA is most likely going to give me in-state tuition. They also offered me a fellowship, which, although not significant compared to the tuition, makes me feel like they were at least trying to attract me to their program. There's also a high likelihood that I'd be able to get an hourly position as a masters teaching assistant. It's also in a scenic location with a lot of nature, which I like, and is also pretty close to a lot of my family who live in the D.C./northern Virginia area, so I could potentially visit them often. That said, I'm not really a fan of what seems to be a preppy(?) culture at the school, although maybe that matters more at the undergraduate level. None of the other schools offered me funding or awards, and I'm not sure how likely it is that I'll be able to secure a TA/RA position there. I'd really appreciate your advice. Where should I go, if I want to go into computer security?
  13. Hi, I have received admits from both these universities. Considering the fact that Santa Barbara rent is on the higher side (living is double of Blacksburg rent), and has only 50% waiver if you get TA, unlike Tech which gives full waiver, but UCSB has a great systems research group compared to tech. I am inclined towards systems + ml research. Which university would you suggest? I am inclined to go to UCSB, but I don't know if the higher cost justify the research group and the location.
  14. Hello there 🙂, I'm seeking to apply for Computer Science PhD next fall. Here are the list of questions that I have : Does it matter if I have research experience on a different topic than what I'm interested in? I am interested in ML/NLP but most of my experience was done on cloud computing I have written multiple research papers but most were from individual studies. Only one is currently being reviewed for publication, I am unsure whether if it will get published tbh. Does my non-published papers matter and is it a good idea to list them on my CV? Tips on reaching out to Professors at target Universities I feel awkward when communicate via email especially at someone I don't know I also have read up some of their papers and I would like to ask them a few questions regarding about it. How should I approach this? Tips on writing statement of purpose How to brag but not sound egotistic....? Is it a good idea to talk about individual research/studies that I've done on my own? Does your undergrad school matters when applying for doctoral program in other Universities? Tips on CV? Thank you!
  15. Hi All, I am really confused between the 2 programs. My end goal is to be in a leadership position of a tech company. Currently, I am leaning towards UPenn as CIS is a well established general degree whereas MSAII is super specific. To be honest, I like MSAII's curriculum better. Any inputs would be much appreciated. Thank you!
  16. Hi every one, I created this thread to share our results and our background and probably level of stress 😱
  17. Had a skype call with a professor from Huddersfield University. We got along really well, she was interested in my research proposal. But no official admission offer from the University yet, after 2 weeks. Is this normal?
  18. Have you guys received your official letter yet? Query for international students: Have you received your I-20?
  19. I want to apply for PhD program in mechanical engineering at Stanford. Furthermore, I want to conduct research in the area of computer vision and computer graphics with application to robotics, manufacturing and mechanical industry. However, there are not any professors in mechanical engineering department who conduct research in this area, most of the relevant professors are in Computer science or electrical engineering. Is there a way to highlight my intent to conduct interdisciplinary research with a professor outside mechanical department in the Statement of Purpose without negatively impacting my chances to receive an offer of admission? Is applying for PhD in mechanical engineering but not intending to do research with a mechanical engineering professor viewed negatively? Thanks!
  20. I had been rejected from UT Austin's on campus MS CS for Fall 19 and they offered me an online MS admit instead. The program is new, starting in Fall 19. While I have an admit from another lesser ranked school, Austin was my first choice. I have heard Georgia Tech allows you to convert from the online program to the on campus one after a year. Can I join the other school and transfer to UT Austin's on campus MS CS after a semester? What do they usually look for when transferring schools? I know its a long shot, given that I have already been handed out a reject, but wanted to know my options and chances. Thanks in Advance.
  21. Hello everyone, New to the gradcafe and first time posting here. I am hoping to get some advice on what colleges (Top 10, 20, 30, 40+ rankings) I can aim for based on my application (GPA, GRE, LOR's all described below). I am hoping to apply for a Master in Computer Science this year and start in Fall 2019. I am an international student who attended UC San Diego from 2012 - 2016. I graduated with a degree in Chemical Engineering with a Cumulative GPA of 3.065 (just met the cut off!) but major GPA is 3.65. The reason my major GPA is so much higher than my cumulative is because of a couple of reasons: When I first moved from Mumbai to San Diego, I found it difficult to adjust to the change in culture and the education system out here. Back home in Mumbai, India the approach to studying is more theoretical where as at University is was more application based. I did not enjoy my GE's much and did not pay much attention to those grades and thus got C's in quite a few of them (even got an F in one course which I retook and replaced with a B). However, half way through my sophomore year, I had a change in mentality. Was feeling more acclimated to the culture and decided that no matter what course I took going forward, I am going to aim for better grades. Long story short, my GPA really started boosting up beginning of my junior year. I got provost honors (GPA 3.5+) for my last five quarters at UC San Diego. Due to the last two years of classes being major focused, which I really enjoyed and did well in, my major GPA during graduation was a 3.65. I want to switch field from Chemical Engineering to Computer science due to the research I did in my senior year. During my undergrad (and a little bit after graduation while I was looking for jobs), I was doing research with one of my Chemical Engineering prof's in the NanoEngineering dept at UC San Diego (for those of you who don't know, the Nano and Chemical Engineering dept at UCSD is one dept and thus prof's teach courses in both programs and are usually doing research that applies topics from both fields). During this 9 month project, I was working on writing C++ simulation code to model the diffusion of nano-particles within polymers. Additionally, I also used a lot of python and matlab for data analysis work. I had no prior experience in programming before and taught myself C++ and python to conduct this research with some assistance from my prof's Phd student. This project concluded after 9 months since I found a Job and my professor got a better job at Duke University and moved to North Carolina. Once that project ended, I wanted to learn more about computer science and explore programming more. Since then, I have taken classes in Java, C, Assembly, Data Structures, Discrete Math (UCSD + community college depending on availability of courses) I have completed all lower division courses a CS Undergrad is expected to take and am starting to take some upper div courses at UCSD this fall. I have received A's in all but one of those Computer Science courses (which was a B+). Now, I do understand that since I am switching fields, some universities may have me take some more undergrad courses in my first semester/summer session which I am fine with. In fact, that is why I want to go for a Masters program so I can get a formalized education that covers all the fundamental topics in the field. I am also looking to work on some sort of research project in my masters so am looking for a 2 year program. Here is a list of my credentials so far Graduated UCSD, BS Chemical Engineering: Cumulative GPA 3.065, Major GPA 3.65 GRE Scores: Quant 166, Verbal 153 AWA 4.0 LORs: All the people mentioned below confirmed that they will write me really strong letters of recommendation Prof I did research with in my senior year for 9 months while talking Computer science courses at community college, I got to know one of my professors really well and he is now the dept chair of Computer Science at the community college. I recently spoke with him and he suggested I should apply to top 10 schools like UCBerkley, UCLA, UCSD etc and will write me a LOR to help with that My supv at work who I have been working with since Feb 2017. Since joining my current company, I have successfully completed a lot of projects independently and helped him foster strong working relationships with other dept's which prior to that were falling apart leading to no progress at work. My boss has also confirmed that he will write a really strong letter of Rec I have received A's in all but one computer science course I took so far (I have been taking these courses while working my current job full time 40+hrs/wk SO: with that in mind, what colleges would you recommend someone like me to apply for? I really like the program at Harvard Eng because it is a two year MS that allows you to work on a project for the second year under an advisor in the dept. I'm not sure how different admission's committees will view my application since I am applying from a different field from my Bachelors and that my cumulative GPA is on the lower end for most top 15 schools in the nation. Any advice is highly appreciated! I tried my best to provide all the information I thought would be necessary to evaluate my current situation but let me know in the comments if there's any more questions you have! Thanks!
  22. I have been accepted to the dual MS program in Journalism and Computer Science at Columbia University. Columbia Journalism school has offered aid of $36,250 for 2018-19. Even if I manage to get the same amount for 2019-20, then too the remaining expenses (including tuition and living) is about $150,000. Coming from a middle class family in India, it is impossible for me to pay this much fees. I asked the office of admissions and financial aid at the J-School if they could increase the aid amount, but they turned down my request. There are certain universities like Chicago and UPenn where students can take loans without showing any collateral and the university stands as guarantor. Is a similar plan available for students at Columbia? I was going through the website of Student Financial Services, Columbia University where I came across a list of recommended lenders: http://sfs.columbia.edu/files/sfs_new/content/financial-aid/17-18-Lender-Chart-International-Grad-as-of-06-12-17-CompF.PDF I would like to know the general opinion among students about taking private loans from these lenders. I have also heard about Prodigy Finance and MPower Financing. They don't require co-signers for the loan. Which is the best option to go for? I have also read that students go for Teaching Assistantships to reduce the financial burden. It will really help if someone can clarify what the assistantships are about and how much work is involved in it.
  23. Hi, I have been corresponding with a potential supervisor from UCalgary and he gave me the go ahead to submit the application, also said he'd follow up on my application at the appropriate time. Since then I have submitted my application and relevant documents. Calgary recommends contacting a supervisor before applying so where do my admission chances stand now?Besides UCalgary I have applied in Carleton University only. Should I apply elsewhere just to be safe? I am so confused! Please suggest some universities which would be a sure shot for my profile. Details: Btech in CSE CGPA 8.28/10 GRE 308[155Q, 153V] AWA 4 TOEFL 110 One year+ Work experience Lots of community work Few extracurricular activities Good LORS and SOP
  24. Hello, I have secured admission in 1. MSCS from CMU and 2. MEng in EECS from UCB with specialisation in Visual Computing and Computer Graphics with $16,000 grant I am confused between the two as I am not sure if a one-year MEng program would be treated equivalent to an MS, when it comes to job prospects. My aim is working in the industry, preferably industrial research at places like Disney Labs, or Dreamworks Research. I am pretty sure I won't be doing a PhD in the near future, at least. Will UCB give me an edge as the program is industry centric with an intensive capstone project in a specialisation of my choice? Or will CMU be better being an MS degree (but with only course work)? Any advice would be really helpful, thank you in advance!
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