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Non-Traditional Applicant


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Hi, I have a B.S./M.S. in mathematics and am just finishing a PhD (top 15) in economics.  The work that I've been doing has been at the intersection of econometrics, computational finance, algorithmic game theory, and machine learning.  I am thinking about doing a second PhD in computer science.  I'm 30 years old, and didn't take the computer science core in college (although I did do plenty of discrete math).

Reading briefly over some threads, i'm getting the impression that doing a second PhD in computer science is a no-go.  Can anyone confirm this? I read some things about 50% attrition, and it seems like you have to be someone's slave in a research group from day 1.  I also don't get this thing about publishing while in undergrad -- I wonder what kind of "research" these kids are actually doing?  Are they just coding up some shitty software projects? 

It also looks like I'd have to spend the first year taking UG courses.  On the other hand, I would be pursing the PhD (or master's) purely for the pleasure of it, and I'm willing to go to a lower-ranked school.  Does anyone have any anecdotes about non-traditional students in your PhD program?  Thanks.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi deus-ex, I am in a similar situation. I have a B.S. in applied math and currently working on my master's degree in statistics, and my thesis is somehow related to computational finance. I applied to only one school for CS program, although I know a lot of my colleagues, especially those interested in machine learning, apply to CS PhD programs. I am also curious how the life of CS PhD would be like. 

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