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CMU Qatar-based Experienced Researcher, Spring/Fall 2014 Admissions


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Hi Guys,


This is my first posting on the GradCafe forums. After spending many years procrastinating over applying for a PhD, I'm planning to apply for Spring/Fall 2014, and preparing this year. 


I did my undergrad from a not-so-great Engineering College in India, but gained admissions to the MS by Research program at IIIT-Hyderabad (a top CS school in India) in 2007. I successfully completed the MS in 2009, and published a paper at the IEEE/ACM International Conference of Supercomputing (ICS), a top-tier conference for Parallel Computing. My research work was on accelerating algorithms on GPUs and my work was even featured at nVIDIA's GPU Technology Conference in 2010.


Meanwhile, I took up a job as a Research Analyst at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar for the past 3 years. I have been working on Cloud Computing and have 2 papers published at IEEE Cloudcom. In total, I have about 5 research papers at good venues.


In addition, with my boss (a CMU associate teaching professor), have designed a course on Cloud Computing which is being taught online to over 50 students at CMU's main campus in Pittsburgh (including MS/PhD students in CS).


My GPA during my MS  wasn't great (7.5/10) but I did well with my research and dissertation. My job is CS research-oriented as well. I'm prepping for the Spring 2014 season. Any advice? Do I have a shot at the top schools? I do have contacts within CMU-P, including professors that I can talk to directly. In addition, what schools should I be looking at? I'm planning to apply at MIT/Stanford/UCBerkeley as well as UCDavis/USC/UIUC/UMD. Any other schools I should be considering?


Any advice would be great.

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