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Hi guys,

I'm very glad I came across this great website. I just finished my undergrad and wanted to know how my profile looks. I went to a small liberal arts school and my research interest is mainly in the application of algorithmic processes (AI, machine learning, genetic algorithms, formal grammars and Markov models, etc) to music composition. I double majored in computer science and music and have a minor in mathematics.

Due to family finance circumstances, I will be working for an investment bank for one year before applying to graduate school. I will be taking the GRE this summer-the old one, and I will not be taking the CS GRE.


Cumulative GPA: 3.71/4.00

Major GPAs: 3.73 for CS, 3.95 for Music

My GPA isn't too bad, but I would have had like a 3.9 if I had not been stupid in sophomore year and taken senior-level courses without the necessary prerequisites. My GPA took a big dive soph year and I spent the next two years trying to bring it back up (which is really hard as we all know!!)

Research: My school is small, so it was difficult to do research in the exact area until my thesis year (senior year). My thesis is a study of algorithmic music.

Freshman Summer: Worked with an MIT Media Lab PhD candidate to produce a multimedia exhibition (a combination of art, computer science and audio)

Sophomore Summer: Worked with engineering policy department on urban policy simulation software.

Junior/Senior Year: Worked on an extensible sandbox tool to enable generation of algorithmic music both with and without human input. I will be releasing some code as open source software this summer. I will also be building (possibly) a webapp for it.

Publication: None so far, but I will be working with a professor in CS this summer and hopefully get something out. I will not be a first author though.

Recommendations: I will be getting one from my thesis adviser, another from a professor whose specialty is Machine Learning (I will be working to apply machine learning techniques to algorithmic music composition this summer), and one more from a music faculty probably.

Awards: Full scholarship, dean's list, CS awards, blahblah

Other Activities, the important ones:

-Summer internship at a top investment bank in the Technology division

-Lead developer for academic research/collaboration web application

-Developer and translator for many other OSS projects and documentation

-Tutor/TA for intro CS, music theory, and Japanese

I want to know where I stand for top 20-ish schools, and also if anyone knows good programs for computer music I would love to know about them. Thank you for your time!

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I think you have a very strong profile and should deifinitely apply to top 20 schools. You should apply to professors whose interests match yours and show that you have broad capabilities without being too limited. This lab at UCSD may interest you : http://cosmal.ucsd.edu/cal/ You can also look at overlapping areas like Human Computer Interaction, Machine Learning and Data Mining.

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