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Fall 2018 | MS | CS | GRE 335 (Q-168/ V-167/ AWA-5.5) | 9.2 CGPA | MU
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blazing_forehand Offline
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Post: #1
Fall 2018 | MS | CS | GRE 335 (Q-168/ V-167/ AWA-5.5) | 9.2 CGPA | MU
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Hello,

I am a final year engineering student at a premier Mumbai University college (now autonomous), SPIT

9.2 CGPA
GRE: 335 (Q-168 V-167 AWA-5.5)

Internship Experience:

2-month internship as Solution Architect Intern at Amazon Web Services

Projects:
Done multiple college level projects on Android, Python, etc

Conferences:
(This was before engineering, but was worthwhile nonetheless)
Presented proof of concepts at international security conferences

LoRs:
1 strong LoR from Project Guide
1 moderate LoR from college faculty
1 work LoR from manager

Which colleges can I target?

Currently I am thinking of the following (need to shortlist further):

UT Austin
UCSD
GTech
UCLA
NCSU
Stonybrook
Northeastern/Northwestern
USC

What are my chances at these colleges?
09-11-2017 11:45 PM
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RE: Fall 2018 | MS | CS | GRE 335 (Q-168/ V-167/ AWA-5.5) | 9.2 CGPA | MU
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Nice profile. Personally, even though you have a great profile, I'd recommend getting some work-ex before applying, if possible. Not only would it help you getting into better schools, but it would also help you when you apply for internships/full-time jobs down the line.

With your current profile:

UT Austin - ambi
UCSD - mod-ambi
GTech - mod
UCLA - mod-ambi
NCSU - mod
Stony Brook - The place name has two words, and this one is mod-ambi
Northeastern - safe
Northwestern - ambi
USC - safe

Consider adding a few more schools such as UMN, NYU, Rutgers, Wisconsin, UPenn, UChicago and probably even the likes of Rice, Columbia, Dartmouth and Brown.

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 these three threads 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.

I love to read, and then I regurgitate. I write - a lot - as my posts here and on other outlets would show. I do not make apologies for what I write (and how long it is). I do not sugarcoat things either. I don't tolerate vague questions, for any reasons - ignorance arising out of an inability to locate information when the necessary tools to do so (i.e. the internet, libraries, university websites, other forums/bulletin boards, etc.) are readily available, is not any kind of an acceptable excuse.

"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: 09-12-2017 04:33 AM by The_Observer.)
09-12-2017 04:32 AM
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Post: #3
RE: Fall 2018 | MS | CS | GRE 335 (Q-168/ V-167/ AWA-5.5) | 9.2 CGPA | MU
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(09-11-2017 11:45 PM)blazing_forehand Wrote:  Hello,

I am a final year engineering student at a premier Mumbai University college (now autonomous), SPIT

9.2 CGPA
GRE: 335 (Q-168 V-167 AWA-5.5)

Internship Experience:

2-month internship as Solution Architect Intern at Amazon Web Services

Projects:
Done multiple college level projects on Android, Python, etc

Conferences:
(This was before engineering, but was worthwhile nonetheless)
Presented proof of concepts at international security conferences

LoRs:
1 strong LoR from Project Guide
1 moderate LoR from college faculty
1 work LoR from manager

Which colleges can I target?

Currently I am thinking of the following (need to shortlist further):

UT Austin
UCSD
GTech
UCLA
NCSU
Stonybrook
Northeastern/Northwestern
USC

What are my chances at these colleges?
Great CGPA, Great scroe in GRE.
UT Austin- Highly Ambitious( Needs a research oriented profile)
UCSD - Ambitiously Moderate (Top school lots of applications , research profile would have made it moderate)
GTech Ambitious( Research profile would have made it moderate)
UCLA Ambitious (Regardless of profile, this school can't be in moderate category)
NCSU Moderate
Stonybrook Ambitiously Moderate
Northeastern Safe
Northwestern Ambitiously Moderate
USC Safe
Consider schools as The_Observer in addition to the above . All the best

Infobank
TUM | TUB | Chalmers | KTH | Western Ontario
Destination: TUM
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if my post helps
09-12-2017 11:46 AM
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RE: Fall 2018 | MS | CS | GRE 335 (Q-168/ V-167/ AWA-5.5) | 9.2 CGPA | MU
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Thank you for the replies. A few more queries:

1) Would you suggest taking a year off to get some work experience and/or carry out some research work?

2) Also, currently none of my projects are related to ML/AI, which would most likely be the field I would be applying to. I am assuming that to be a major drawback, how big of a factor is it really?

3) Even if I do take up a job, it most likely will not be in the field I would be applying to. Does work experience still matter then?

4) Any other universities you could suggest?
09-13-2017 10:08 AM
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RE: Fall 2018 | MS | CS | GRE 335 (Q-168/ V-167/ AWA-5.5) | 9.2 CGPA | MU
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Quote:1) Would you suggest taking a year off to get some work experience and/or carry out some research work?

Only if you don't get employed in a run-of-the-mill ITSM job. If you can get involved with a research project, or employed with a product company or startup, then that's worthwhile, IMHO. If neither of those possibilities looks doable and/or possible, then I wouldn't wait a year.

2) Also, currently none of my projects are related to ML/AI, which would most likely be the field I would be applying to. I am assuming that to be a major drawback, how big of a factor is it really?

Well, it depends on a lot of factors. At the top schools, people would be applying with experience (either research experience, or work-ex) in a field relevant to their intended specialization, the exceptions being folks such as yourself with brilliant GPAs and test scores, but who are rather undecided on what they want to do. Now, to be very honest, a grad applicant is supposed to have some idea of what she/he wants to do in grad school, which is why the SOP plays a critical role. People with relevant research or work experience might find it a little easier to use that relevance to more easily relate to the MS they are applying to, but I don't think it's impossible for someone without relevant experience to justify wanting to get into a given program and specialization. That said, it is undoubtedly going to be harder for you than for someone who has some background in AI/ML/NLP/etc. Your profile is good and will prevent you from getting rejected outright from some of these top schools, but to go all the way, you're going to need to convince the AdCom in the SOP even more than someone else with relevant experience needs to. In that sense, yes, it is a big factor, but not one that cannot be overcome if you play your cards right.

3) Even if I do take up a job, it most likely will not be in the field I would be applying to. Does work experience still matter then?

Yes, and no. Yes, because like I said above, relevant experience is always beneficial in applications. But, in the long run, unless you plan to do - and are sure to do - just one thing during and after your MS, what you do before it, wouldn't really matter as much. Non-relevant work or research experience, while not being comparable to relevant experience, is still better than no experience at all in admissions. So, in that sense, it would matter. But, for the purpose of getting internships during your MS and full-time jobs after it, it's okay if you have something non-relevant to your MS specialization (and here, prior work experience matters much more than not, and even more than it matters for grad admissions). From that perspective, while non-relevant experience will not benefit you as much as relevant one in the short-run, it definitely wouldn't hurt in either the short- or the long-run, and would be beneficial regardless of what you want to work in, in the long-run. So, if you have the option of working at a startup or a product company or some research job now, before your MS, I'd recommend you consider taking it up, even if it isn't related to ML/AI (of course, assuming you're not going to be working for a company like Infy/TCS/Wipro/L&T as a code monkey or worse, in an offshore support role).

4) Any other universities you could suggest?

Could, oh yes, definitely. But I won't. Please go through the UniSearch and UniSuggest systems here on Edulix, as well as other threads, and come up with names of some schools that have been categorized as safe or moderate for other people. Then, go through the univ and program websites for each of them, see if you like the specific program, and if yes, add that to your initial safe and mod list. Then post that entire list here. But you have to do all this legwork on your own here. We're not here to give stuff to you on a silver platter. Ask for help if you need it, but you all need to be able to explain the rationale for adding each school on your list to it,
and explaining why you'd like to get into each specific program, because that's how you'll start building your SOP for each program. If you don't like the program structure, coursework or research being conducted at a school, it doesn't belong on your list, as simple as that. But you're the only one who can and should make that call, so get to it. We can only help you estimate the possibility of someone with your profile getting into the schools you'd like to apply to, after you've done all this background research.

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 these three threads 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.

I love to read, and then I regurgitate. I write - a lot - as my posts here and on other outlets would show. I do not make apologies for what I write (and how long it is). I do not sugarcoat things either. I don't tolerate vague questions, for any reasons - ignorance arising out of an inability to locate information when the necessary tools to do so (i.e. the internet, libraries, university websites, other forums/bulletin boards, etc.) are readily available, is not any kind of an acceptable excuse.

"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
09-13-2017 10:48 AM
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Post: #6
RE: Fall 2018 | MS | CS | GRE 335 (Q-168/ V-167/ AWA-5.5) | 9.2 CGPA | MU
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Update to profile:

9.2 CGPA (Topper's CGPA: 9.82)
GRE: 335 (Q-168 V-167 AWA-5.5)
TOEFL: 117 (R-30 L-29 S-28 W-30)

Internship Experience:

2-month internship as Solution Architect Intern at Amazon Web Services

Projects:
Done multiple college-level projects on Android, Python, etc

Conferences:
(This was before engineering, but was worthwhile nonetheless)
Presented proof of concepts at international security conferences

Possibility of a paper being published (in ML)

LoRs:
1 strong LoR from Project Guide
1 moderate LoR from college faculty
1 work LoR from manager

Important factors for me are:
1) I am looking for non-thesis MS courses as I want to join the industry post MS
2) Cost.
3) Availability of TA/on-campus jobs. (Does previous TA experience count?)

This is a list of colleges I am pretty sure of applying, and the factors I have taken into account to decide on the college:

1) Georgia Tech (Course, Cost, Rep, Seniors)

2) UCSD (Course, Location)

3) UCLA (Course, Location)

4) USC (Course, Location, chances of getting in, seniors)

5) Stony Brook (Course, Cost, seniors)

Following is a tentative list I need to choose from to bring my list to 10 colleges:

1) ETH Zurich
2) UIUC
3) UT Austin (great program, low cost, and great rep)
4) Purdue
5) UMass
6) Northeastern
7) NCSU (They are famous for Networking and Analytics, courses which I am not interested in)
8) UCI

I also looked at Dartmouth and Brown, and liked their programs but their cost is too high. Same goes with NYU, Columbia, and UPenn. Could you help in categorizing these, and whether the factors considered are correct?
(This post was last modified: 10-11-2017 07:35 PM by blazing_forehand.)
10-11-2017 02:08 PM
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RE: Fall 2018 | MS | CS | GRE 335 (Q-168/ V-167/ AWA-5.5) | 9.2 CGPA | MU
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Which of the following universities would you recommend applying to? I understand that the first 3 in the list are too ambitious, but I am keen on applying because ETH and UT Austin have very good programs and are affordable.

(10-11-2017 02:08 PM)blazing_forehand Wrote:  1) ETH Zurich
2) UIUC
3) UT Austin (great program, low cost, and great rep)
4) Purdue
5) UMass
6) Northeastern
7) NCSU (They are famous for Networking and Analytics, courses which I am not interested in)
8) UCI

I also looked at Dartmouth and Brown, and liked their programs but their cost is too high. Same goes with NYU, Columbia, and UPenn. Could you help in categorizing these, and whether the factors considered are correct?

Tagging seniors:

The_Observer
Chirantar
Dragon_Warrior
MSmaverick
gurkanwals
(This post was last modified: 10-11-2017 07:35 PM by blazing_forehand.)
10-11-2017 03:01 PM
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RE: Fall 2018 | MS | CS | GRE 335 (Q-168/ V-167/ AWA-5.5) | 9.2 CGPA | MU
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Update: Got a paper in ML accepted at an IEEE conference, ICSCET 2018.
I am looking to pursue ML in my Master's.

Following is my final list:
UCLA
ETH Zurich
UT Austin

UCSD
Georgia Tech
UMass Amherst
UW Madison
University of Maryland at College Park

USC
Northeastern University
Stony Brook

Would you recommend swapping in TAMU for either UMCP or UW Madison?
Which one out of UT Austin and UIUC is a bit less out of reach? I saw the batch size(profiles.asee.org) at UIUC to be considerably larger than at UT Austin, but I liked the non-thesis course at Austin better.

How much does the paper change the earlier evaluation?

Tagging seniors:
The_Observer
MSmaverick
Edulix_Editor
Chirantar
Ajay V
11-13-2017 03:05 PM
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RE: Fall 2018 | MS | CS | GRE 335 (Q-168/ V-167/ AWA-5.5) | 9.2 CGPA | MU
11-13-2017 03:11 PM
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RE: Fall 2018 | MS | CS | GRE 335 (Q-168/ V-167/ AWA-5.5) | 9.2 CGPA | MU
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(11-13-2017 03:05 PM)blazing_forehand Wrote:  Editing inline
Great profile overall

Update: Got a paper in ML accepted at an IEEE conference, ICSCET 2018.
I am looking to pursue ML in my Master's.

Following is my final list:
UCLA
ETH Zurich
UT Austin

UCSD
Georgia Tech
UMass Amherst
UW Madison
University of Maryland at College Park

USC
Northeastern University
Stony Brook

Would you recommend swapping in TAMU for either UMCP or UW Madison? - Yes, if you wanna have a more balanced list. But you've got a very good profile, so I believe you should get admits from some, if not a majority of these universities (though I'm a rookie, and that may be a reason for my optimism).
Which one out of UT Austin and UIUC is a bit less out of reach? I saw the batch size(profiles.asee.org) at UIUC to be considerably larger than at UT Austin, but I liked the non-thesis course at Austin better. - I'm not sure about this, but I've heard UTA has an IITian bias (any good college would have that, but still a bit more for UTA I've heard). UIUC doesn't need GRE I suppose, if that's so it nullifies one of your strengths, doesn't it. Though if I'd to drop one, I'd drop Austin.

How much does the paper change the earlier evaluation? - Makes your profile more complete, doesn't change a lot with respect to colleges I think.
Do wait for other seniors to comment since I'm an applicant myself.
Tagging seniors:
@[The_Observer]
@[MSmaverick]
@[Edulix_Editor]
@[Chirantar]
@[Ajay V]

11-13-2017 06:30 PM
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RE: Fall 2018 | MS | CS | GRE 335 (Q-168/ V-167/ AWA-5.5) | 9.2 CGPA | MU
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I need some advice on university selection. I am looking to select 2 out of the following 4:

1) UIUC
2) UT Austin
3) University of Maryland at College Park
4) Cornell

I believe apart from UMCP, the rest are highly ambitious for me. However, UMCP also has a very small batch size which means it would be highly selective. On the other hand, UIUC has a considerably larger batch size, despite being highly ambitious.

Cornell is a fully funded program, and has around 10 MS students at one time, so it is again highly selective.

UT Austin has a slightly higher average accepted GPA than mine, but a lower GRE score. In any case, I would put the chances of getting an admit at the same level as Cornell.

I am still not able to pick 2 out of these 4.

Following is my infobank profile:
http://edulix.com/unisearch/user.php?uid=339296

(Note: Information on batch sizes from University websites and profiles.asee.org)

Tagging The_Observer Chirantar

@[Ajay V]
For me, it's down to UT Austin's course (which I found to be better) v/s UIUC being slightly more gettable.
Waiting for seniors to reply before making a final call.
(This post was last modified: 11-17-2017 09:18 AM by blazing_forehand.)
11-17-2017 09:14 AM
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Post: #12
RE: Fall 2018 | MS | CS | GRE 335 (Q-168/ V-167/ AWA-5.5) | 9.2 CGPA | MU
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Which programs are you applying to at all those places?

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 these three threads 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.

I love to read, and then I regurgitate. I write - a lot - as my posts here and on other outlets would show. I do not make apologies for what I write (and how long it is). I do not sugarcoat things either. I don't tolerate vague questions, for any reasons - ignorance arising out of an inability to locate information when the necessary tools to do so (i.e. the internet, libraries, university websites, other forums/bulletin boards, etc.) are readily available, is not any kind of an acceptable excuse.

"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
11-17-2017 09:34 PM
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Post: #13
RE: Fall 2018 | MS | CS | GRE 335 (Q-168/ V-167/ AWA-5.5) | 9.2 CGPA | MU
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The_Observer

MS CS in AI

Cornell: Thesis option
UIUC: Thesis option

The above two don't have a non-thesis option

UMCP: Non-thesis option
UT Austin: Non-thesis option
11-18-2017 01:46 AM
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RE: Fall 2018 | MS | CS | GRE 335 (Q-168/ V-167/ AWA-5.5) | 9.2 CGPA | MU
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Actually both Cornell and UIUC do have non-thesis options, just that the programs have a different names. For Cornell, you want to look at their M. Engg. specializing in CS, and for UIUC, the MCS.

I'd apply to those 2, but I'd pick UT Austin over UMCP.

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 these three threads 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.

I love to read, and then I regurgitate. I write - a lot - as my posts here and on other outlets would show. I do not make apologies for what I write (and how long it is). I do not sugarcoat things either. I don't tolerate vague questions, for any reasons - ignorance arising out of an inability to locate information when the necessary tools to do so (i.e. the internet, libraries, university websites, other forums/bulletin boards, etc.) are readily available, is not any kind of an acceptable excuse.

"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
11-18-2017 02:11 AM
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Post: #15
RE: Fall 2018 | MS | CS | GRE 335 (Q-168/ V-167/ AWA-5.5) | 9.2 CGPA | MU
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The_Observer

3 out of the 4 schools I listed are highly ambitious in my opinion. In choosing 2 out these 4, I am ready to take a chance with one highly ambitious and having the other as slightly more gettable.
Reasons for choosing these 4 options:

1) Cornell: This is the longest shot in my opinion, but the MS program here is fully funded. That by itself is a huge factor for considering it.

2) UT Austin: It was categorised as highly ambitious in my initial profile evaluation, but the cost is on the lower side, one of the best universities, and they have a good program with a non-thesis option.

3) UIUC: I had dropped this in favour of UT Austin as a highly ambitious university. However, UIUC's class size is almost 10 times that of UT Austin. Purely from a numbers perspective, UIUC is the more sensible option.

4) UMCP: I had this in my list as an Ambi option and was pretty sure of applying to it until I saw that it had a low acceptance rate, and the class size was on par with UT Austin. Also, they seem to evaluate MS applicants on the same level as PhD applicants, as per their website.

Let me know your comments on each.

Thanks
11-18-2017 02:17 AM
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