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Fall 2022 ECE/EECS PhD Profile Evaluation


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Applying for PhD program in Communication Engineering/Communication Network. I would highly appreciate any thoughts, comments, advice, and evaluation.

Major: Electrical Engineering (Communication Engineering)

Undergrad Education: Top university in Vietnam, 8.32/10 (Classified as Very Good, but not outstanding even when compared to my classmates, not to mention my graduation batch. I don’t know my relative ranking either.)

Graduate Institution: Top engineering institution in France (CentraleSupelec – Paris-Saclay University, consistently ranks 2nd in Europe in my major according to ARWU subject ranking)

Grad GPA: 17.1/20 (I guess anything above 16 in France would be considered as Highest Honors)

Courses (mostly A and A+): Probability - Matrix Analysis - Optimization - Game Theory - Information Theory – Digital Communications - Multiple Access & MIMO - Resource Allocation - Wireless & AdHoc Networks - Channel Coding

Research Experience: first author in 2 papers (1 in a top international conference (WCNC), 1 in a top domestic conference). Another one right now under submission (about a currently novel and hot topic in the field)

Work Experience: Starting to work for Intel Vietnam from May 21 (so would be > 0.5 year experience by the time of application). Although the job is not very relevant (Quality Engineer), I hope having Intel in my CV would serve me well in the future US job market.

Recommendation Letters: 2 from my research supervisors in France and Spain (strong, would play critical role to my application). 1 from my previous bachelor advisor. Will try to get at least 1 from my coursework professor in France. Hopefully 1 backup from a Vietnamese prof. in UK who I barely met through a summer school, but is well-known in the field (> 12k citations)
Several prizes and awards during undergrad & grad education.

Interest: Mathematical modelling of communication networks, Resource allocation, Communication networking/engineering. (Would like to work on higher layers of the OSI model)

Demo: Male Asian
Test: 324 GRE (156 V – 168 Q – 4.0 W), 7.5 IELTS (Speaking 6.5 only)
End goal is an industry job in the US, and I am very unlikely to apply for any non-US school.

PhD Program Considering:

  • Pennsylvania State (PSU)
  • Ohio State (OSU)
  • Arizona State (ASU)
  • Virginia Tech (VT)
  • Cornell Univ.
  • UT Austin
  • Univ. of Virginia (UVa)
  • Univ. of Southern Calif.
  • UMich
  • Columbia Univ.

ASU would be my safe choice since I have a slight connection with one Professor here, thus he could pick me with ease. My dream schools are PSU, OSU and UT Austin because of the excellence of my target professors’ research, and their research topics are cool as well. Currently my concerns are:

  • Is one safe school too few? Should be 2, 3 or 4? Can VT be considered a safe choice in my case?
  • Are those dream schools out of my league? Our should I target even better universities?
  • I still have much time until the application season, should I invest it on improving my test scores or anything else?
  • Are there any programs here which don't sound like a great fit with my interests and profile, or any not listed here which could be a fit?

Many thanks!                                                                              

Edited by OneStepCloser
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