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I am applying for MS CS for the fall 2018 session. I am confused about which university I should choose from these four options - Columbia, Gatech, USC and Pennsylvania. My primary interest is in the are of machine learning and AI. Here are my stats - 

 

University - JIIT Noida Sector 62

CGPA - 6.8/10 (My mother was admitted due to some illness for 3 years during my college, so there is a steady decline in grades, and the trend is apparent in my transcripts. Amounts to approx 74%)

GRE - 323(Q:165, V:158, AWA: 4.0)

TOEFL - 107

Resume - RESUME_Final.pdf

Can somebody guide me and give me some realistic chances of acceptance. I am leaning towards Columbia and Gatech, but I don't have any knowledge of their acceptance rates.

 

Regards,

Piyush Kathuria

Edited by PiyKat

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I don't think you are competitive enough for GT and Columbia.  Do you have any publications in NIPS/ICML/ICLR? Are you letter of recommendations from famous researchers? Otherwise consider applying to lower ranked programs. It's especially difficult for foreigners to get accepted, like 5 times less likely than US citizens and the acceptance rate for US citizens at top tier programs is around 3-5% so...

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Hey,

I have good LOR's from two professors. Both of them are active in their area of research, but none of them are particularly famous. I am applying to NYU so I am not applying to Columbia. Do you think Pennsylvania State and USC are more feasible?

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NYU has one of the strongest Deep Learning and Computer Vision programs and faculty. One of their professors is the head of Facebook's AI Research team. Thus, it is incredibly competitive, even more so than Columbia. I think you should have a decent chance at Pennsylvania State but USC might still be a reach because they place more weight on GPA from what I've heard. Anyways, good luck to you and happy new year!

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On 12/30/2017 at 4:22 PM, PiyKat said:

Hey,

I have good LOR's from two professors. Both of them are active in their area of research, but none of them are particularly famous. I am applying to NYU so I am not applying to Columbia. Do you think Pennsylvania State and USC are more feasible?

Since they are not famous, they are not that likely to add to much strength regarding your application. You have a series of matching projects, but it seems that your percentile of grades might be a drawback and the school is not well known. Even though MS programs in tops schools may recruit a number of students, I don't think it's wise to apply for only the four top schools. You can keep the four top choices, but I would recommend you to add at least six schools with somewhat lower rankings (like NEU, PSU). However it's okay if you would only like to attend top-tier schools, but you should take the risks and only do that when getting full rejections does not matter you.

Besides I would strongly recommend you to compress your CV. I don't think a reviewer in the application committee would have the time and patience to read such a long (and low-density) thing in face of thousands of application files. For example, you should eliminate the ``Tools/Techniques Used'' section, and try to express each aspect of a project in one or no more than two lines. Usually one should not write a CV longer than two pages unless he/she is a distinguished expert boasting tremendous amounts of important experiences and awards. After all, information density matters and thus you need to keep concise in paperworks.

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