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CS PhD — Don't know where I am competitive


herring

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Stats:

Small, well-rated but little-known Liberal Arts College. Math/CS double major.

GPA: 3.55, cum-laude

Math/CS GPA: 3.75/3.7

Research: 1 REU in high-performance computing, 1 summer at MIT in the same research area, produced a poster for a conference.

One excellent rec, two positive recs

GRE: 770Q/620V/???

GRECS: don't know yet but 93% on practice exam

Should have a well-crafted SOP with a clear direction, applying to fellowships.

My professors don't have much advice to give me because they live a fairly sheltered LAC lifestyle.

I have no idea if I should be aiming for top-10 schools, because every CV I check has 3.9+ GPA's

Is this is a reasonable list, or do I risk getting no-offered? My GPA worries me. Are there any schools with good high-performance/parallel/algorithms departments I should check out before I finalize my list?

MIT

Berkeley

Illinois

Cornell

Brown

Wisconsin

JHU

Colorado

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  • 3 weeks later...

You're too hard on yourself. You seem to have a great record. Nix the subject GRE though.. those don't mean anything. Your GPA is a bit on the low side, but not enough to keep you out of anywhere. The most important thing is the show your research aptitude. I am a PhD at Illinois and you seem like you have a shot here, (depending on the strength of your research).

Regarding your list, for your research area (not my research area) you may check out UPenn. I'll talk to my languages friends and get back to you later.

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You're too hard on yourself. You seem to have a great record. Nix the subject GRE though.. those don't mean anything. Your GPA is a bit on the low side, but not enough to keep you out of anywhere. The most important thing is the show your research aptitude. I am a PhD at Illinois and you seem like you have a shot here, (depending on the strength of your research).

Regarding your list, for your research area (not my research area) you may check out UPenn. I'll talk to my languages friends and get back to you later.

Thanks! Apps are in... I added GATech, subtracted Cornell + Bezerkeley

I'll update once I know where I'm in

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  • 1 month later...
  • 1 month later...

Overall:

Applied to six schools (MIT / UIUC / UW-Madison / GA Tech / Brown / CU-Boulder)

Accepted by three (UW-Madison / GA Tech / CU-Boulder)

Rejected by MIT/UIUC/Brown

My decision is Wisconsin vs. GT ...

Wisconsin isn't guaranteeing funding, but I may get an outside (epic) ra-ship... if I do, I'm leaning towards there, simply because I'm scared of Atlanta.

Wish I applied to more places ;) arghh

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You're scared of Atlanta? Jeeze. Atlanta is awesome...maybe a little less awesome now that last call is so early, but if I have had amazing times anywhere it is Atlanta. Round about 2003/2004 I think I didn't actually see the light of day for 3 months straight, I was too busy being out all night. If you like sunshine and a social life choose Atlanta. I've never once had a problem there with crime. I've had my bike etc stolen more times in the years I have lived in Cambridge, UK...

If you are the kind of person who is visibly afraid of being robbed all the time, you clearly look like a mark and are going to get mugged anywhere. Pick the school you like, don't go on unsustainable city reputation.

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Yeah, Atlanta is a great city and much safer than its reputation suggests. No one that I've known has ever been a victim to a mugging or other violent crime. The worst that's happened is that a couple of people have had their cars stolen. As long as you don't do stupid things like walking around alone at 2 in the morning listening to your ipod in a place where people are known to get mugged (there are a couple of hotspots not far from campus that are easy to avoid), then you'll be fine. I've spent three years here and never once had any trouble, and I'm the kind of person that walks around alone and takes public transportation late at night. Come and visit the city if you can and you'll see that you feel plenty safe here.

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