OT: University/college recommendations?

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Greetings Grin

For several reasons, I recently dropped out of university here in the UK where I was an undergrad; I'm now reapplying to different universities here in the UK, but I'm also interested in applying further afield, particularly to universities in the 'States; whilst I have a short list (not a shortlist Rasp) of universities in the 'States I'm already interested in, I was wondering whether anybody from this forum could provide any recommendations?

In general, I'm looking for a course the core of which will be computer science, but which offers the option of taking course components from outside that discipline; I'm particularly interested in courses which have course components covering - or institutions which have a history of research into - AI, AR, and robotics; oh, and I'm interested more in receiving an education than in receiving the pretty piece of paper at the end Rasp

Mark Bishop
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Post: #2
Sealfin,

I'd recommend Edinburgh Unversity http://www.inf.ed.ac.uk - they are one of the top rated Informatics departments in the UK, and have a very strong history of AI and Linguistics reasearch, as well as Computer Science.

Also, the physics department is home to EPCC, the Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre http://www.epcc.ed.ac.uk which is where I work.

Cheers

- Iain
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Thanks IBethune! As it is, Edinburgh is already on my list of UK universities to apply to; I'm more interested in recommendations of universities on the other side of the pond Rasp

Mark Bishop
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I can't help but mention that I think the US education system, all the way up through college, sucks. I've met so many people who've received masters degrees who are some of the *dumbest* people I've ever met. They're just giving away degrees to anyone who pays and is willing to jump through their stupid little hoops. I can't say that it's like that for every university here in the US (and certainly engineering degrees will be a little higher quality), so take my criticism with a grain of salt, but definitely watch out for quality if you're looking for a real education.

Whatever you wind up doing, good luck! Smile
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I'll somewhat second what AnotherJake said.

My job here at school is helping CS and SE Masters students with their theses, which sadly usually means doing most of the programming for them. I can't directly speak to the quality of the Masters program--maybe it's great and the students are just lazy--but I'm really not impressed with the students that they graduate or the level of commitment they demand. You could blame the undergrad programs for not preparing them better, but in that case they really shouldn't be getting their Masters or at least not until they actually learn something. I could somewhat understand making the undergrad a test of endurance, but a Masters should mean something.

</endrant>

But that's just my experience with one school. It's entirely possible this is highly unusual.
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Being an American doing a four year degree in Ireland, I'd like to point out: idiots everywhere are receiving MAs, not just in the USA.

America has some absolutely fantastic third level institutions, with some really great programs.

Take a look at Cooper Union in New York. It has a very strong engineering school (in which you can focus on the CS stuff in which you're interested). It's for hard-workers. Plus, it's free.
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I'm currently an undergraduate at MIT and I am very satisfied with what it has to offer. The students that I have met in the M.S. and Ph.D. programs here are incredibly talented. Also, AI is an especially important field of research here since much of the earliest AI research began at MIT. If your hell-bent on getting a good education, I can't recommend it strongly enough. Just my $0.02.

-Nevada
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MIT has a rock-solid reputation. However, isn't it exceptionally difficult/expensive to get into MIT? I had a buddy who went there -- man, that guy was incredibly intelligent.
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It is exceptionally difficult to get into (keeps getting more so every year, actually), but financial aid excellent. MIT is paying almost all of my education, while Bill Gates paying the rest. Unless you happen to be particularly well-off, they are typically quite generous.
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I'm in search of colleges right now also and some other pretty rock-solid schools (for CS at least) include Stanford, WPI, RPI, and RIT.

Nevada - Would you mind posting your SAT/ACT scores, high school GPA, ect... (also anything that helped to get in)? I'm semi-considering MIT, but I don't think I'd get in. :-P
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University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (my school, what what!) has a top 10 undergraduate and graduate CS program. #5 undergrad from US News according to here http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreview...t-computer
Alex
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bronxbomber92 Wrote:I'm in search of colleges right now also and some other pretty rock-solid schools (for CS at least) include Stanford, WPI, RPI, and RIT.

Nevada - Would you mind posting your SAT/ACT scores, high school GPA, ect... (also anything that helped to get in)? I'm semi-considering MIT, but I don't think I'd get in. :-P

Rather than focus on a particular case (me) I'll give you some median/average statistics. The median ACT score seems to be around a 33-34, while the median SAT score seems to be around 780 (Math) and 740 (Reading). They apparently don't put too much weight on the writing part. You will also need three SAT subject tests. I don't have statistics for those, but mine were 800 (Math level II), 780 (Physics), and 750 (Chemistry). You'll also probably need a perfect (or at least very near perfect) GPA and some good recommendations from teachers.

Finally, the most important part (even more so than the stuff above) is the essay. An excellent essay with decent academics will probably give you as much of an edge as someone with excellent academics and a decent essay. Even if you are a little discouraged, another application probably won't hurt you. The worst they can do is say no. This is pretty much a universal truth when applying to college.
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Post: #13
Thanks Nevada! I just took the SATs today, so I'll see how my scores compare :-P.
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