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Please, Critique my 5th take on SOP

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I am prospective PhD student. I am more interested in Europe side labs. My area of interest is Computer Vision. I have written this 5th draft, and yet, I am not very confident if it is good enough. Please feel free to write your comments, critiques, experiences and expectations.


  • PS:1. Names of the institutions and labs are avoided
  • PS:2. Things cleared with hash(#) are intentionally left so to fit to specific lab I would apply to.



Statement of Purpose

Introduction and Motivation
My long and enjoyable interaction with computer science goes back one decade when I first learned to program. My initial motivation in studying computer science was its formal, rigorous and mathematical nature. The concept of applying mathematics in the real world has fascinated me since childhood and therefore I chose to pursue B.Sc. Computer Science. After three years, passing a very competitive national exam, I got admitted to the ************** for the M.Sc. program, where I got a completely different perspective of computers and mathematics and their applications in the real world. I was naturally attracted to the world of computer vision and computer graphics. I have been working in the computer vision area for the last three years. My main research interests are related to #################.

My motivation for pursuing research related to computer vision stems from seeking to find solutions to practical problems, and my intuitive feeling that I have the potential to change the way people interact with visual data. I aspire to develop intelligent algorithms that perform visual perception tasks such as human motion recognition, scene understanding ... etc.

Research Experience
As a full time researcher at ******************** – LABS, taking the first step towards my goals, I started with researching the problem of Human Action Recognition. I have devised a new way of solving this problem with 82% accuracy. This method has roots in human body kinematics and particle motion from computer graphics. This algorithm is used at present to demonstrate our group's ability and achievement at *********** LABS. I have mastered machine learning techniques in preparation for my future research work. In another project, while working on remote sensing, I successfully invented a new method, which detects power lines from a HD camera of UAV in real time. This will be used as is in an “**A_FAMOUS_PROJECT**” project. Through original research, I also have these two inventions to my name which I expect to be published in prestigious journals in 2016.

I also have a strong understanding of 3D graphics. I have worked on GPU device drivers and written my own game engine for Android using OpenGL ES 2.0. Additionally, during my masters degree, I gained valuable experience in operating system development.

Teaching and Leadership
Teaching comes naturally to me; my mother has been a teacher for twenty two years. During my masters, I taught mathematics to senior high school students. They found it very motivating and appreciated the fact that I always enjoyed explaining how the real world is full of mathematics. I have mentored two M.Tech students with their project work and am currently leading a team of three people at *******. In general, my friends and colleagues find me very motivating and a person with a positive attitude.

Why #### LABS/Department/Group

##### Depending upon group/lab this paragraph will vary a lot. But in general, I will browse through their publications and will read at least one paper related to my interests and will mention the same. Also, I will mention a name of the professor I would like to work with. ####

For me, problem solving is an experience unmatched by anything else. It would give me immense pleasure to be able to contribute to this subject. My experience reflects few open problems which motivated me, and which I will continue to work on. In addition, as happened frequently at ######, interacting with the members of your group will give me an invaluable opportunity to broaden my horizons and work in many exciting areas of research. Having decided that I will engage in a career in research, I am aware of the kind of dedication, resilience and resolve I will have to show. I feel that I am adequately prepared for that, both in having the technical qualifications and the right mindset for doctoral level research.




Please suggest the changes you think are important.

I have a good experience in Operating Systems and Computer Graphics but I am concluding it in couple of lines. Should I mention more about it?I think CV will be a better place to write more details.


Thank you in advance!!



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It's a good start, but it needs a better introduction and better organization between ideas. Ideally, the SOP shouldn't have sub-headings (Introduction, Motivation, etc.) - it should just flow smoothly and naturally between paragraphs.

Edited by rising_star
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Hi grad_sugar,


I think you have some solid work here, but I feel like your justification for liking mathematics since childhood is a little cliche. For me, your second paragraph (discussing your motivation to pursue further education) is stronger than the first paragraph. Admissions are probably used to seeing individuals write about how they loved their area of interest since childhood, so it might help to think of some other way to begin your SOP.


The section on research experience is a little choppy. I completely agree with StudyStar. You need to try and find an effective way to transition between sentences and paragraphs.


Finally, for teaching and leadership, I feel that you should mention more specific examples that exemplify your skills. For example, WHY did students find your teaching techniques motivating?


Hope this helps!

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