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Robotics: MIT vs. CMU vs. Georgia Tech


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Hey everybody,


I'm interested in robotics, particularly mobile robot perception and navigation (computer vision, SLAM, planning, etc.), and was recently accepted into MIT (AeroAstro SM->PhD), Carnegie Mellon (Robotics Institute PhD), and Georgia Tech (Robotics PhD). (By the way, this was my second time applying to grad school. I tried my senior year of college and got into 0/12 schools, so goes to show you to keep trying.)


Although my background isn't in AeroAstro, I've been leaning towards MIT because the AeroAstro department there has a strong autonomous systems progam and I have an existing relationship with an AeroAstro professor. However, I've heard some (admittedly vague) rumblings about the department that make me a tad nervous. One specific thing I've heard is that the quals process is brutal and is used to weed out students from the PhD program. I've also heard that if you have a choice between MIT EECS and AeroAstro, you should always pick EECS (because the EECS department is just better in general?).


Can anybody here comment on these perceptions? MIT AeroAstro was my first choice, but CMU RI and Georgia Tech are awesome as well (just attended the Georgia Tech visit and was very impressed). Also, if I wanted to go into academia in robotics, would having an AeroAstro degree hurt me at all (versus a robotics degree from the other schools)? My research interests are very much on the CS side of robotics.





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I cannot really answer your question, but I must say that I have heard this same information regarding MIT AstroAero. I got a friend who's doing his PhD in mechanical and he told me this story over and over. However, I don't know if it is actually true or not.

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  • 4 months later...

I'm curious as to what you did between getting shot down by 12 schools and getting accepted by the big ones?  I'm in more or less the same boat and am looking to pull a zombie-cat.

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