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Fall 2018 | MS | DataSci | GRE 320 (Q-167/V153) | 76.86% | TOEFL 113| KEC,UPTU
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Nikita.Soni Offline
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Fall 2018 | MS | DataSci | GRE 320 (Q-167/V153) | 76.86% | TOEFL 113| KEC,UPTU
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Hello, looking out for guidance in shortlisting universities.

GRE: 320 (Q-167 , V-153, AWA-3.5)
TOEFL: 113
University: UPTU (Krishna Engineering college)
Percentage: 76.86 (toppers: 82 approx - ASFAIK, UPTU has no way to find out the exact % of the topper)
Work ex- 5.1 years

UniSearch Profile: http://www.edulix.com/unisearch/user.php?uid=338465

Following are the colleges that I have been evaluating based on curriculum, ranking(us news), and location(for safe and moderate bets I had tried to focus on NY because in my awareness NY has great prospects for Data Science, please correct me if I'm wrong).

Ambitious-
CMU - MSDS
UCB - CS with DataScience & AI focus (the focussed DS program that they offer is available only online hence the CS option) - I have kept UCB in the list majorly because of >5yrs of work-ex

Not sure of in the ambitious category -
Harvard - DS (new program that starts in fall 2018)
Columbia - DS
Univ of Chicago - DS

Moderate -
Univ of Rocheter (Georgen Institute for DS) - DS
NYU - DS

Not sure of in the moderate category -
Univ of Washington - DS
Univ of Virginia - DS
Penn State - Analytics (Not sure majorly because of the curriculum)

Safe -
Syracuse - ADS
SUNY(Buffalo) - DS

I had NCSU and Stony brook in the list until I figured out it's just a certificate program for data science at these places Sad


Tagging seniors for their insights:

Dragon_Warrior
The_Observer
Edulix_Editor
Wildwayfarer
gurkanwals
(This post was last modified: 09-06-2017 08:06 AM by Nikita.Soni.)
09-06-2017 07:55 AM
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RE: Fall 2018 | MS | DataSci | GRE 320 (Q-167/V153) | 76.86% | TOEFL 113| KEC,UPTU
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Let me get straight to the point.

Pros in your favor:

1) Good GRE score, excellent quant score.

2) Your work-ex, obviously. Would be helpful.

Cons that you'll have to mitigate:

1) While your quant score is excellent, the AWA unfortunately isn't. The top programs such as the Ivies or Berkeley generally get applicants with higher overall scores. Not saying that there are no applicants with lower scores who get admitted, but to get admitted with scores lower than those in the applicant pool in a given intake, you'll have to convince the admissions committee in other wars. These can be through not just the depth but also the breadth of your experience and accomplishments, and also through a good SOP.

A few other things:

1) I don't know about Stony Brook's program, but NCSU has a pretty amazing MS in analytics program (and it was the first program of its type in the US). It's pretty similar to what many data sciences programs are structured like, but it can be completed in a year.

2) UW and UVA would be moderate to ambitious or ambitious. The Penn State program, if offered by their Harrisburg campus or their World Campus division, isn't something I'd bother or recommend applying to (for a multitude of reasons, I'd recommend applying to Penn State only if applying to a program on the main campus in State College).

3) Columbia and UChicago would be ambitious, and I'll assume so will the Harvard program be (just because of the Harvard brand).

4) Rankings don't matter much, beyond a point. For more info on this, read the threads in my signature.

1) Please mention as many details as possible about your academics, research and work-ex, in terms of projects worked on, technologies used, roles/responsibilities handled, papers published/presented, awards/honors obtained, etc. All those have to be put in the misc details section of your UniSearch profile if you expect any help on Edulix. Also, before requesting for profile evaluations, please go through this excellent post.

2) Please take some time out to read this and this thread in their entirety. PLEASE do that before asking questions about universities from a comparison perspective, or jobs, or coursework, or H-1B visas, or "placements", irrespective of which univ/department/program/major you're applying to.

"Don't be daft." - Ancalagon The Black

"With the exchange rate where it is now, it should be a strong deterrent against picking a slightly better program for a lot more tuition fees." - coolguru
09-06-2017 08:20 AM
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RE: Fall 2018 | MS | DataSci | GRE 320 (Q-167/V153) | 76.86% | TOEFL 113| KEC,UPTU
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Thank you The_Observer for a real quick response!

->
1) While your quant score is excellent, the AWA unfortunately isn't. The top programs such as the Ivies or Berkeley generally get applicants with higher overall scores. Not saying that there are no applicants with lower scores who get admitted, but to get admitted with scores lower than those in the applicant pool in a given intake, you'll have to convince the admissions committee in other wars. These can be through not just the depth but also the breadth of your experience and accomplishments, and also through a good SOP.

- I agree on this. Though I had expected a higher score in AWA, but I knew I had messed up verbal - wan't my day Sad. Nevertheless, I will keep in mind to elaborate on my work ex in my SOP.
"Should I bother to mention any reason for the AWA/verbal scores?" - [EDIT - Got the answer to this from http://www.edulix.com/forum/showthread.php?tid=62530 Embarassed]


->
1) I don't know about Stony Brook's program, but NCSU has a pretty amazing MS in analytics program (and it was the first program of its type in the US). It's pretty similar to what many data sciences programs are structured like, but it can be completed in a year.

- The NCSU program I was referring to is https://www.csc.ncsu.edu/academics/gradu...ees/ds.php - this one is just a certificate based program.
Also, I had checked out the Analytics program you were referring to -
i) The curriculum seems to be less inclined towards the technological aspects.
ii) It required a pre-req course in Statistics - they offer a Non degree program for that but I should check more on that.
I'm not sure if I am looking at this program with the right perspective. Please help me out here.

->
2) UW and UVA would be moderate to ambitious or ambitious. The Penn State program, if offered by their Harrisburg campus or their World Campus division, isn't something I'd bother or recommend applying to (for a multitude of reasons, I'd recommend applying to Penn State only if applying to a program on the main campus in State College).

- I was referring to the Great Valley's MPS program in data science - http://greatvalley.psu.edu/academics/mas...d-schedule
Though, I find the curriculum here as well a little less on the technical aspects.
Again, would need your help here please.

->
3) Columbia and UChicago would be ambitious, and I'll assume so will the Harvard program be (just because of the Harvard brand).
- Right. So I am still trying to figure out the ambitious ones I should go for.
I am thinking to go for 3 safe, 3 moderate and 3 ambitious (not very strict on the distribution or the total number of applications)

->
4) Rankings don't matter much, beyond a point. For more info on this, read the threads in my signature.

- I agree. Since I was not much aware of all the universities, I had taken the help of ranking and location post curriculum filtering. I am absolutely fine with additions/removals from my list please.

Thanks once again! Smile
(This post was last modified: 09-07-2017 12:07 AM by Nikita.Soni.)
09-06-2017 11:53 PM
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RE: Fall 2018 | MS | DataSci | GRE 320 (Q-167/V153) | 76.86% | TOEFL 113| KEC,UPTU
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I like the fact that you're spending time looking through things on your own and thinking things out Smile A lot of people don't bother doing any of that, and it's no fun helping those sorts out because we end up spoon-feeding them (which is what none of us is here to do).

Anyway, to answer your questions:

Quote:Should I bother to mention any reason for the AWA/verbal scores?

Honestly, no. Very few people can manage to successfully pull the "I had a bad day" reason off in an SOP. Unless you're one of those people, all it comes across as to a reader, is a load of whining, which nobody wants to read. So, just lay off it, unless you can be very convincing about why you have a lower score/academics.

Quote:Also, I had checked out the Analytics program you were referring to - https://www.csc.ncsu.edu/academics/gradu...ees/ds.php

Actually that one is a concentration in the MS CS program. It's not a stand-alone certificate. The certificate blurb at the bottom of that page pertains to the fact that after you complete the certificate requirements comprising of the data science track, you'll get a printed certificate about having completed that track. To know more about my views on an MS-CS specializing in data sciences, versus an MS in data sciences, read through the thread I've linked to in the last blurb of this post.

Quote:i) The curriculum seems to be less inclined towards the technological aspects.
ii) It required a pre-req course in Statistics - they offer a Non degree program for that but I should check more on that.
I'm not sure if I am looking at this program with the right perspective. Please help me out here.

I'm pretty sure you cannot enroll as a non-degree student on an F-1 visa, and unless you're already in the US on a visa such as an H-1B. Confirm with the NCSU grad school though.

Quote:I was referring to the Great Valley's MPS program in data science - http://greatvalley.psu.edu/academics/mas...d-schedule
Though, I find the curriculum here as well a little less on the technical aspects.
Again, would need your help here please.

Read through the 2 threads in point #2 in my signature, below any post of mine. The 2nd thread should tell you more about why I'm so averse to non-main-campus programs, especially if they are located in smaller towns. That's why I said unless you're applying to a program at the main campus in State College, PA, do not apply to Penn State. The Great Valley campus is in Malvern, which is near Philly, but it's a pretty unknown campus so I wouldn't bother applying to it.

Quote:So I am still trying to figure out the ambitious ones I should go for.
I am thinking to go for 3 safe, 3 moderate and 3 ambitious (not very strict on the distribution or the total number of applications)

I'd say for the ambitious ones, consider CMU, Berkeley, GaTech, NCSU, Cornell and Columbia. For moderate ones, I'd pick between NYU, Northwestern, UW (Seattle) and UMN. For safes, my picks are USC, UNC Charlotte, IUB, Syracuse and ASU. Compare all those programs in terms of core courses, concentrations offered, electives, etc., as well as the costs, and then come up with your initial list. Also, go through this thread where I've talked about a few things just a while ago.

1) Please mention as many details as possible about your academics, research and work-ex, in terms of projects worked on, technologies used, roles/responsibilities handled, papers published/presented, awards/honors obtained, etc. All those have to be put in the misc details section of your UniSearch profile if you expect any help on Edulix. Also, before requesting for profile evaluations, please go through this excellent post.

2) Please take some time out to read this and this thread in their entirety. PLEASE do that before asking questions about universities from a comparison perspective, or jobs, or coursework, or H-1B visas, or "placements", irrespective of which univ/department/program/major you're applying to.

"Don't be daft." - Ancalagon The Black

"With the exchange rate where it is now, it should be a strong deterrent against picking a slightly better program for a lot more tuition fees." - coolguru
(This post was last modified: 09-07-2017 01:54 AM by The_Observer.)
09-07-2017 01:43 AM
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RE: Fall 2018 | MS | DataSci | GRE 320 (Q-167/V153) | 76.86% | TOEFL 113| KEC,UPTU
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Thanks The_Observer for being super-fast with your replies. Appreciate it! Really.

(09-07-2017 01:43 AM)The_Observer Wrote:  I like the fact that you're spending time looking through things on your own and thinking things out Smile A lot of people don't bother doing any of that, and it's no fun helping those sorts out because we end up spoon-feeding them (which is what none of us is here to do).

Smile Thanks.
At this stage, I prefer knowing what I am getting myself into. (Much of prior unawareness -during my undergrad and (to some extent) post that- has been a stimulant in the change of notion.


Quote:Should I bother to mention any reason for the AWA/verbal scores?
Honestly, no. Very few people can manage to successfully pull the "I had a bad day" reason off in an SOP. Unless you're one of those people, all it comes across as to a reader, is a load of whining, which nobody wants to read. So, just lay off it, unless you can be very convincing about why you have a lower score/academics.
Yeah for this I had edited my earlier post - but I think I forgot to mention the answer as 'no'. But still, thanks for re-iterating.

Quote:Actually that one is a concentration in the MS CS program. It's not a stand-alone certificate. The certificate blurb at the bottom of that page pertains to the fact that after you complete the certificate requirements comprising of the data science track, you'll get a printed certificate about having completed that track. To know more about my views on an MS-CS specializing in data sciences, versus an MS in data sciences, read through the thread I've linked to in the last blurb of this post.
I read your post - http://www.edulix.com/forum/showthread.p...pid1440289
I read "a DS program or a MS CS with a declared DS specialization (more on this later in this post)" - Although, I'm sorry I could not find that 'more' in the post later - Did I read it wrong?

Also, I had emailed NCSU regarding the Track in DS course (I wanted to verfiy if it is STEM-certified), and their reply (still confusing to me) was -
"The Data Science track, Security track, and Software Engineering track are concentrations, not specialty master's degrees, and are valid tracks only for students enrolled in the non-thesis Master of Computer Science (MCS) program, either on-campus or via distance education. As explained on their respective description pages, all three tracks consist of 31 credit hours of coursework, the selection of which is defined by the requirements for each track.

Upon completion of the MCS degree, the graduate may request a letter of certification from the Computer Science department for successfully completing the particular concentration's requirements.
"

Quote:i) The curriculum seems to be less inclined towards the technological aspects.
ii) It required a pre-req course in Statistics - they offer a Non degree program for that but I should check more on that.
I'm not sure if I am looking at this program with the right perspective. Please help me out here.

I'm pretty sure you cannot enroll as a non-degree student on an F-1 visa, and unless you're already in the US on a visa such as an H-1B. Confirm with the NCSU grad school though.

Right, I cannot do that prior to the start of my degree program - therefore adding to my confusion Sad
May be I will drop an email to them post the clarification of the difference between the 2 courses (Apologies, but I am depending on you for this one Neutral )


Quote:I was referring to the Great Valley's MPS program in data science - http://greatvalley.psu.edu/academics/mas...d-schedule
Though, I find the curriculum here as well a little less on the technical aspects.
Again, would need your help here please.

Read through the 2 threads in point #2 in my signature, below any post of mine. The 2nd thread should tell you more about why I'm so averse to non-main-campus programs, especially if they are located in smaller towns. That's why I said unless you're applying to a program at the main campus in State College, PA, do not apply to Penn State. The Great Valley campus is in Malvern, which is near Philly, but it's a pretty unknown campus so I wouldn't bother applying to it.

Ok, I did not realize that great valley is not the main campus - my bad.
I think the value people(on different forums) were adhering with the MPS program solely at Penn State blurred the reasoning based on location/campus of my brain.

Now I have 2 minus points for this course - i) location ii) curriculum -this was not that bad but since another point has added up I'm thinking to skip Penn state now.

Quote:I'd say for the ambitious ones, consider CMU, Berkeley, GaTech, NCSU, Cornell and Columbia. For moderate ones, I'd pick between NYU, Northwestern, UW (Seattle) and UMN. For safes, my picks are USC, UNC Charlotte, IUB, Syracuse and ASU. Compare all those programs in terms of core courses, concentrations offered, electives, etc., as well as the costs, and then come up with your initial list. Also, go through this thread where I've talked about a few things just a while ago.

Ambitious:
I have gone through Columbia's curriculum and I like it.
Cornell I had checked but cannot find it in my notes- will revisit.
Need to check on GaTech's offerings.
CMU and Berkley seem to be intact in the list.

How about Harvard?
I had gone through Stanford as well - logic says not to waste money but intuition says even if it is wasted I will save the regret of not even giving it a shot Razz

Moderate:
Need to check Northwestern's and UMN's curriculums/programs.
I like NYU and UW(Seattle).
I will keep NYU, and save the spot UW may acquire for later.

I see that you have blatantly ignored Univ of Rochester Rolling Eyes - any specific reason?
The curriculum and because it is in NY were the triggers for me to have this on the list.
http://www.sas.rochester.edu/dsc/graduate/ms.html

Safe:
Syracuse stays.
USC is out because I have read/heard a lot on the cost it takes.
I need to check on UNC, IBU and ASU.

Is SUNY buffalo not a good option?
(This post was last modified: 09-07-2017 08:05 AM by Nikita.Soni.)
09-07-2017 08:02 AM
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RE: Fall 2018 | MS | DataSci | GRE 320 (Q-167/V153) | 76.86% | TOEFL 113| KEC,UPTU
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Quote:I read "a DS program or a MS CS with a declared DS specialization (more on this later in this post)" - Although, I'm sorry I could not find that 'more' in the post later - Did I read it wrong?

Aah yes. I thought I'd forgotten something. Blame it on a lack of sleep and trying to type in an Uber on the way to work. In any case, what I meant to say by "holistically if a person with a solid CS background has good data science/analytics/statistics experience, they might find it easier to get into a DS program or a MS CS with a declared DS specialization (more on this later in this post)" was this: someone who has some statistics/analytics/DS work-ex is better-off than someone who has none. Someone with a CS background (in general) is probably better-off for any MS in CS program, generally speaking, as compared to a humanities major, especially if they didn't have a CS-heavy courseload in their UG degree or CS-related work-ex. So, as far as I can think of this, the pecking order for a MS CS program with a specialization in DS might be as follows (and keep in mind that this is a very simplistic example, and an example alone): at the top are people who have relevant work-ex and academics, who are able to convincingly explain in their SOP why the program is a good fit for them in terms of their career goals, and why they're a good fit for the program with their skills and experience. Next up are folks who might not have had a lot of formal coursework in their expressed area(s) of interest in their SOP - which is what I meant by "declared specialization" - but those who can still convince the AdCom that they're a good fit, either because they have work-ex in related fields or because they've taken MOOCs or something like that. After that are the folks who have neither a lot of relevant coursework, nor a lot of work-ex in an area relevant to their declared specialization in their SOP, but still their SOP highlights their accomplishments and interest enough, and is backed up by an affirmation of their potential to succeed in their LORs, that the AdCom might want to give them a shot. The last up are folks who have very less work (either through courses taken in the past, MOOCs, or work-ex) that's relevant to their declared specialization in the SOP, and those whose SOPs aren't convincing enough or very generic and/or cliched. Remember, that an SOP at the graduate level always needs to be very focused, and you have to mention 1-2 specializations in it, why you're interested in them, and how your past experiences and skills align with them. Unless those things are highlighted in your SOP, it won't be convincing enough, and you will be rejected, especially if you have no other redeeming factors in your favor (such as the presence of very relevant work-ex or research experience which might give the AdCom an implicit insight into your potential to succeed in your specific concentration/declared specialization area even though you might not have mentioned the suitability outright). That's why relevant coursework taken in the past or work-ex is always very valuable - given you're able to relate it to your declared specialization during your MS and your post-MS short-term and long-term goals in your SOP.

Quote:Also, I had emailed NCSU regarding the Track in DS course (I wanted to verfiy if it is STEM-certified), and their reply (still confusing to me) was -
"The Data Science track, Security track, and Software Engineering track are concentrations, not specialty master's degrees, and are valid tracks only for students enrolled in the non-thesis Master of Computer Science (MCS) program, either on-campus or via distance education. As explained on their respective description pages, all three tracks consist of 31 credit hours of coursework, the selection of which is defined by the requirements for each track.

Well, mail them back and ask them what the CIP code for the MCS program is. Then, see if that CIP code is in this list:

https://www.ice.gov/sites/default/files/...m-list.pdf

And that goes for every single program in the US, offered by any university. Each university has to designate each program they offer, with a unique CIP code. That CIP code is constant across universities and programs for a given field of study/concentration. So, any program from any university with a CIP code on the above list is eligible for the 24-month STEM extension.

Quote:It required a pre-req course in Statistics

The concept of a pre-req course is very simple. All it means, is that the pre-req has to be completed before the program starts. Meaning, it doesn't have to be taken at the university you end up at. It just means that before you start the MS, you should know the content of concepts in that university's assigned pre-req. For example, for most universities, a pre-req course in statistics generally covers concepts such as probability, means/medians/averages, permutations and combinations, linear regressions, ANOVAs, 1 and 2 (and in some cases, 3-way) regressions, as well as concepts such as hypotheses and confidence intervals. I'm pretty sure you must've covered those things in your UG degree (being an engineering graduate from India), so in any university application (not just NCSU's), if you're asked to show you have statistics pre-req completed, mention which course(s) in your UG you covered all those concepts in. But, just to be on the safer side, you can (and should) mail each school you're thinking of applying to, and get the exact syllabus of each pre-req course each program expects you to have completed before starting it. That way, you can address any deficiencies by taking MOOCs (if the university accepts MOOCs as a valid way to complete pre-req requirements; many don't) or the appropriate courses at a local college before the first semester starts.

Quote:How about Harvard?
I had gone through Stanford as well - logic says not to waste money but intuition says even if it is wasted I will save the regret of not even giving it a shot

Harvard and Stanford, as I'm sure everyone here is very well aware of, are two of the best schools in the world. Unfortunately, that means they both get an insane number of applicants every semester, and a lot of them have really good profiles. In light of that knowledge, I'd say your GRE score will be a bit on the lower side (and you don't even have very relevant work-ex, that might've offset a lower GRE score otherwise), which is why I intentionally left them out. But again, it's your money and your life, apply to any school you want to Smile We will try our best to give you our opinions based on the best of our knowledge, but if you want to take risks, you should go for it!

Quote:I see that you have blatantly ignored Univ of Rochester Rolling Eyes - any specific reason?

Because I'm, in general, not a fan of the upstate NY schools, for a variety of reasons. The crappy weather is a factor (albeit not a top one), but the fact that schools in NY state define "full-time student status" as 12 credit hours a semester means that your life will be miserable. I am definitely a proponent of learning as much as one can, especially during one's MS, but not at the cost of your social life and sanity. I mean, 12 credits a semester (or 4 courses) can definitely be done, and I've done it as well, but I wouldn't recommend taking that kind of a workload for more than a semester or two.

Quote:The curriculum and because it is in NY were the triggers for me to have this on the list.

NY state <> NYC. NYC is the hotspot for finance jobs, and other associated jobs in the financial sector, therefore there are quite a few tech jobs there (in big companies and startups alike), but NY state (and more so the upstate region near Buffalo/Rochester) is completely different. There is insane competition for jobs in NYC already, and nobody would really care about you being from UoR or RIT or UB or whatever, even if you're in NY state, if you're applying to jobs in the city, and aren't from Columbia/NYU/CCNY/CUNY/etc. The 2nd thread in point #2 of my signature talks about that. If you're applying to a hyper-competitive place such as the Bay Area, the metro NYC region, Chicago or Seattle, then unless you're from a nationally renowned school (such as Harvard, Stanford, Penn, Duke, Berkeley, Princeton, Columbia, Dartmouth, Brown, Yale, etc.) or from a local one, the school you went to is the same as anything else. So, that being the case, why spend so much money and effort on an expensive private school like UoR, or a school like UB in a horrible location, where you're guaranteed to have almost no social life at all? I mean, if you'd been paying that much money for a school like Columbia, UChicago, Northwestern, Harvard, Stanford, Princeton, Cornell, CMU, Penn, Yale, etc., I would at least say that's well worth it because of the brand name. Spending all that money going to upstate NY to attend UoR isn't what I'd do - no offence intended to UoR, which is an excellent school, but I'd say there are much more cost-effective options apart from that one, and you don't need to apply there just because that one is in NY state. And FYI, that's also why, although I did mention Syracuse as a possible safe option, I mentioned a few others in the same category, all of which will come out to be less expensive than Syracuse and are not in upstate NY.

1) Please mention as many details as possible about your academics, research and work-ex, in terms of projects worked on, technologies used, roles/responsibilities handled, papers published/presented, awards/honors obtained, etc. All those have to be put in the misc details section of your UniSearch profile if you expect any help on Edulix. Also, before requesting for profile evaluations, please go through this excellent post.

2) Please take some time out to read this and this thread in their entirety. PLEASE do that before asking questions about universities from a comparison perspective, or jobs, or coursework, or H-1B visas, or "placements", irrespective of which univ/department/program/major you're applying to.

"Don't be daft." - Ancalagon The Black

"With the exchange rate where it is now, it should be a strong deterrent against picking a slightly better program for a lot more tuition fees." - coolguru
(This post was last modified: 09-07-2017 09:01 AM by The_Observer.)
09-07-2017 08:56 AM
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RE: Fall 2018 | MS | DataSci | GRE 320 (Q-167/V153) | 76.86% | TOEFL 113| KEC,UPTU
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Okay! I get most of the points you have made. And they make a lot of sense! I will act accordingly!

I'm still not clear on the difference between NCSU's 2 progams on DS/Analytics:
https://www.csc.ncsu.edu/academics/gradu...ees/ds.php (I like the curriculum for this course better)
http://analytics.ncsu.edu/?page_id=1799 (the curriculum is here- http://analytics.ncsu.edu/?page_id=123)

PS: I will ask for the CIP code.

Also, I had another question - may be a naive one but I will still go ahead and ask.

So what if I plan to take the MOOCs related to DS/Analytics post my application submission? Because the application time is already here and I do not want to end up ruining both.
Can I still mention of such MOOCs in my SOP?

And, how are we supposed to give evidence of completed MOOCs?
(This post was last modified: 09-07-2017 09:16 AM by Nikita.Soni.)
09-07-2017 09:12 AM
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Post: #8
RE: Fall 2018 | MS | DataSci | GRE 320 (Q-167/V153) | 76.86% | TOEFL 113| KEC,UPTU
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https://www.csc.ncsu.edu/academics/gradu...ees/ds.php

That program is an MS in CS (non-research) with a specialization area, or concentration, in data sciences. It is not a full-blown DS/Analytics program. It is administered by the department of Computer Science, and as such has core CS courses a student would need to take in that program. The DS part of that program is just the courses in DS you can take as a part of the concentration (or DS track).

On the other hand, this following program is a full-blown Analytics program: http://analytics.ncsu.edu/?page_id=123

The MSA program is administered by the department of Advanced Analytics here at NCSU. As you can see from the structure, that program only has analytics courses, and no courses you can or would need to take on topics like algorithmics, databases, etc.

Please let me know if you have any other questions, or if I've misunderstood your confusion and answered differently from what you wanted.

Quote:So what if I plan to take the MOOCs related to DS/Analytics post my application submission? Because the application time is already here and I do not want to end up ruining both.
Can I still mention of such MOOCs in my SOP?

Yes, you can, but don't exceed a couple of sentences talking about MOOCs. Also, as I said in my previous post, each university and department sets its own policies regarding acceptability of MOOCs as far as pre-requisites are concerned. In addition, not every school considers a MOOC to be equivalent to an in-class course, so you're more than welcome to talk about them a bit, but keep in mind that doing so might not add anything to your profile for admissions. It also depends to an extent on which MOOC you took, who taught it, what the program content was, and whether you just audited the MOOC or paid and took all the tests and exams that went along with it. In general, a MOOC that was just completed by seeing the recordings/lectures, and one in which you didn't take tests or exams that were graded, is little better than no MOOC, if at all. I can sit through a 1000 lectures and say I know what was taught in them, but that's no use because that's just my word. What actually matters is if some authority graded your knowledge of the topics and content of the MOOC, and that's evident if you have a certificate of some sort after completing the MOOC that attests that your tests/assignments/exams were graded, and mentions the grade you got. In those cases, mentioning MOOCs in the SOP might actually be useful (especially if you have no formal coursework in the areas the MOOCs were in, and if you need to show prior preparation in those areas for grad study).

Quote:And, how are we supposed to give evidence of completed MOOCs?

As I said above, the best way when taking a MOOC is to pay to take all the graded tests/assignments/exams, and then mention the grade(s) you got in the MOOCs you got, in your CV. Keep in mind here that I've said in your CV. That is because you can add a section in your CV that mentions all the MOOCs you took, but you cannot - and should not - do that in your SOP. An SOP has to be very to-the-point, and you cannot talk about all the MOOCs you've taken, in it. In the SOP, talk about at most 1 or 2 MOOCs, the ones that are the most relevant to the specific program you're applying to, and then too, don't exceed 2 sentences in any case, like I said earlier. Universities don't generally ask for evidence when it comes to MOOCs, so unless they specifically ask you to send them any such documentation (e.g. MOOC-related certificates), do not send them anything relating to MOOCs. Mentioning about the grade you got in the MOOCs in your CV and SOP is more than enough.

Also, don't bother giving any extra information after you've submitted the application and everything is marked as complete. At any point after submitting the application and sending your documents/test scores, etc., if anything in your profile changes, and if you think including it will add some strength to your profile, then first email the grad school of the university and the program, and request them to give you permission to do so. DO NOT SEND IN ANY EXTRA DOCUMENTATION ON YOUR OWN! It is highly irritating and very unnecessary for an applicant to send in documents not asked for, especially after the application has been marked as "completed". Doing so will add extra processing and delays in the evaluation of your application, so the admin staff isn't going to be happy about it (and rightfully so, because most grad programs generally get thousands of applications). The least you can do, as an applicant, is to be polite about it, and ask nicely whether you can do so, or in the least, give them a polite heads-up (but again, I'm not a fan of directly sending in extra documentation without getting approval from the department first) This includes details and/or grades of any work or academic projects or MOOCs that you take after the application has been marked as "complete". The point I'm trying to make here is, that MOOCs might not matter for much anyway, but if you do take them, try to take them before you submit the application. If you take them after that point, keep in mind that they might not even be looked at for the purposes of admissions, and that you should always focus the most on the real stuff that actually matters in your application (such as transcripts, LORs, SOP, test scores and your CV), rather than MOOCs which are quite simply, nice to have.

1) Please mention as many details as possible about your academics, research and work-ex, in terms of projects worked on, technologies used, roles/responsibilities handled, papers published/presented, awards/honors obtained, etc. All those have to be put in the misc details section of your UniSearch profile if you expect any help on Edulix. Also, before requesting for profile evaluations, please go through this excellent post.

2) Please take some time out to read this and this thread in their entirety. PLEASE do that before asking questions about universities from a comparison perspective, or jobs, or coursework, or H-1B visas, or "placements", irrespective of which univ/department/program/major you're applying to.

"Don't be daft." - Ancalagon The Black

"With the exchange rate where it is now, it should be a strong deterrent against picking a slightly better program for a lot more tuition fees." - coolguru
(This post was last modified: 09-07-2017 09:27 PM by The_Observer.)
09-07-2017 09:20 PM
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Post: #9
RE: Fall 2018 | MS | DataSci | GRE 320 (Q-167/V153) | 76.86% | TOEFL 113| KEC,UPTU
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Okay I think I understand the difference.

And on MOOCs, what I had in my mind - I plan to take the Machine Learning course by Andrew Ng on Coursera post my application process, so should I mention anything about it?
09-09-2017 07:12 AM
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Post: #10
RE: Fall 2018 | MS | DataSci | GRE 320 (Q-167/V153) | 76.86% | TOEFL 113| KEC,UPTU
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In your SOP? Sure, if you can talk about it in a single line, then yes.

If you're planning to finish the MOOC after completing your application, and then telling the university about it, then like I said earlier, no.

1) Please mention as many details as possible about your academics, research and work-ex, in terms of projects worked on, technologies used, roles/responsibilities handled, papers published/presented, awards/honors obtained, etc. All those have to be put in the misc details section of your UniSearch profile if you expect any help on Edulix. Also, before requesting for profile evaluations, please go through this excellent post.

2) Please take some time out to read this and this thread in their entirety. PLEASE do that before asking questions about universities from a comparison perspective, or jobs, or coursework, or H-1B visas, or "placements", irrespective of which univ/department/program/major you're applying to.

"Don't be daft." - Ancalagon The Black

"With the exchange rate where it is now, it should be a strong deterrent against picking a slightly better program for a lot more tuition fees." - coolguru
(This post was last modified: 09-09-2017 07:41 AM by The_Observer.)
09-09-2017 07:40 AM
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Post: #11
RE: Fall 2018 | MS | DataSci | GRE 320 (Q-167/V153) | 76.86% | TOEFL 113| KEC,UPTU
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I guess I did not make myself clear. Sorry about that.

Yes, I meant in the SOP. Though my concern is that since it is something I plan to do in future - should I mention that as is? Will they just take it at face value that I plan to complete the course in future? So should I mention about the future aspect is the doubt.
09-09-2017 07:56 AM
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Post: #12
RE: Fall 2018 | MS | DataSci | GRE 320 (Q-167/V153) | 76.86% | TOEFL 113| KEC,UPTU
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I think of it this way: sure, this is something you're planning for the future, and that it might even be something you might not end up doing, but then again, so is an MS in the first place. Now, I know the two things aren't directly comparable, but the point is that if talking about one set of plans is good, then why not another? Especially if you can talk about it in a line, and then if you can use the next line to tell the AdCom why that MOOC would help in your MS.

That said, just talking about something that may or may not actually happen isn't of much use. So, mention the fact that you're planning to complete a MOOC, in your SOP, but don't expect it to make much of a difference. Nevertheless, if the choice is between not mentioning it at all, or mentioning it where it may or may not matter, I'd pick the latter, because there isn't any harm in doing so.

1) Please mention as many details as possible about your academics, research and work-ex, in terms of projects worked on, technologies used, roles/responsibilities handled, papers published/presented, awards/honors obtained, etc. All those have to be put in the misc details section of your UniSearch profile if you expect any help on Edulix. Also, before requesting for profile evaluations, please go through this excellent post.

2) Please take some time out to read this and this thread in their entirety. PLEASE do that before asking questions about universities from a comparison perspective, or jobs, or coursework, or H-1B visas, or "placements", irrespective of which univ/department/program/major you're applying to.

"Don't be daft." - Ancalagon The Black

"With the exchange rate where it is now, it should be a strong deterrent against picking a slightly better program for a lot more tuition fees." - coolguru
09-09-2017 08:35 AM
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Post: #13
RE: Fall 2018 | MS | DataSci | GRE 320 (Q-167/V153) | 76.86% | TOEFL 113| KEC,UPTU
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Okay then I will mention it if there in no harm - because that was the only concern.
Thank you!
And I liked that analogy! Smile

So I am working on my colleges and will start work on my SOP. I'll update once I finalize the list.
Do you (The_Observer) also help in SOP evaluation?
09-09-2017 08:40 AM
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Post: #14
RE: Fall 2018 | MS | DataSci | GRE 320 (Q-167/V153) | 76.86% | TOEFL 113| KEC,UPTU
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I used to, very regularly, in fact. This year, I may or may not be able to do that, depending on my workload a few weeks from now. Contact me about SOP evals next month or so, and I'll have a better idea then.

1) Please mention as many details as possible about your academics, research and work-ex, in terms of projects worked on, technologies used, roles/responsibilities handled, papers published/presented, awards/honors obtained, etc. All those have to be put in the misc details section of your UniSearch profile if you expect any help on Edulix. Also, before requesting for profile evaluations, please go through this excellent post.

2) Please take some time out to read this and this thread in their entirety. PLEASE do that before asking questions about universities from a comparison perspective, or jobs, or coursework, or H-1B visas, or "placements", irrespective of which univ/department/program/major you're applying to.

"Don't be daft." - Ancalagon The Black

"With the exchange rate where it is now, it should be a strong deterrent against picking a slightly better program for a lot more tuition fees." - coolguru
09-09-2017 08:43 AM
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RE: Fall 2018 | MS | DataSci | GRE 320 (Q-167/V153) | 76.86% | TOEFL 113| KEC,UPTU
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Okay! I will do that!
Thanks a lot! Smile
09-09-2017 09:02 AM
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