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PhD programs

 
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In the next three years or so, I will be completing my Masters in Computer Science. The school I am attending does not offer PhD's however. When I first started, this did not matter but now I am very seriously considering the doctoral route.
My question is this, does anyone know of any resources that I may peruse to determine the top schools. I think USA Today or something similar had a list but I cannot find it now. I am interested in finding out where certain schools rank as far as PhD in Computer Science. I would appreciate any and all links.
Thanks and Kindest Regards,
 
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Why are you considering this route? A PhD isn't the next step after a masters degree, it's a whole different direction. What do you expect to get from having a PhD?
PhDs should not be picked based on school, but rather by research. You shouldn't think about a PhD in CS, but rather, a PhD in some particular area (e.g. compilers, graph theory, etc). Then find a school/professor who is strong in this area. For example, U. of Arizona isn't considered a great school in general, but if you want to do astronomy, they're one of the top.
--Mark
 
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The CS program in University of Maryland is
one of the best in the country. You can take
a look of its website.
 
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why does it take 3 years to complete a master in computer science , its usually 2 years and some universities has the programme for one year for students with very high grades like at least A- avg .
anyway phD will take many more years if u r good probably 2 or 3 years , if u r just okay probably 4 or 5 years or even more.
u also need to find a field in computer science to do the thesis and research on like AI, OS theories, multimedia, computer grahpics etc...
I know a topic called E-Commerce Micropayment system that was used as a phD research topic in the university I was in.
Carnie Melon university is quite famous with computer science, Standford, MIT they are all pretty famous in the fields of technology.
but I highly doubted u can get accepted into them
or u won't be asking questions in here.
 
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I believe Carnegie Mellon U has been one of the top, if not the top, overall in CS.
Paul
 
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Hello,
I always thought it depended on school lab facility with full of equipments and school richness in library. The topic is the one you picked.
Regards,
MCao
 
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Here is a list of a few toppers:
http://www.usnews.com/usnews/edu/grad/rankings/phdsci/phdsciindex_brief.php
If you want to know more ranks, you will have to buy.
Here is another good source:http://www.cra.org/statistics/nrcstudy2/rankcs.html
IMHO, today's PhDs are just as over-produced as Java programmers
[ July 18, 2003: Message edited by: J. Yan ]
[ July 18, 2003: Message edited by: J. Yan ]
 
Billy Tsai
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majority of phDs end out going back to universities to teach.
 
Mark Herschberg
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Originally posted by Billy Tsai:

but I highly doubted u can get accepted into them
or u won't be asking questions in here.


Ahem, I ask questions in here, and I happened to go to one of those top schools.
--Mark
 
Billy Tsai
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which one did you go to?
I want to go too!
what I meant is if he doesn't know whats the formal time period of a master degree properly and doesn't even know whats are some good universities in USA then I dont think he has the capabilities to go to those top ones, because smart ppl will find out those facts by themselves.
I dont think i am smart and even I know about what universities are top ones in US.
in fact I got declined by two universities to do a master degree.
 
Mark Herschberg
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Originally posted by Billy Tsai:
which one did you go to?


Smart people can find that out for themselves. ;-)

Originally posted by Billy Tsai:
what I meant is if he doesn't know whats the formal time period of a master degree properly


And what is the formal period? Most I know take 2 years. Some take 1 or 1-1/2. Those who do it part time can take 4-5 years. So what is the right time?

Originally posted by Billy Tsai:
I dont think he has the capabilities to go to those top ones, because smart ppl will find out those facts by themselves.


I believe he is trying to find out those facts. Reputation often plays a part in school selection. For that, you often just need to ask people.
Knowledge and intelligence are two different things.
--Mark
 
Matt Cao
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Originally posted by Billy Tsai:
majority of phDs end out going back to universities to teach.


Hi Billy,
Not all schools have space for them.
Regards,
MCao
 
Jason Kretzer
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Thanks for the advice everyone. The Masters program I am enrolled in will take me close to four years to complete because it is a part time program geared towards working professionals. The classes are all taught in the evening.
As for my capabilities, Billy, you infer a great deal from very little and other than this, I will not dignify your insulting with any further response.
I am getting a head start on figuring out exactly what it is I would like to research in a PhD program. My plan was to go like this. First, find out a ranking of some of the top schools. Hopefully, I will be able to find a list with about 30 or so. Then, I am going to narrow it down to about 5 schools based on factors such as cost, distance, etc. Next, I am going to lokk through those schools' websites and get them to mail/email me their research specialties. Finally, I will see if any of them appeal to me and apply to the respective school(s).
Right now, I am leaning towards the Software Engineering process followed closely by Network Theory. I am also highly interested in Network Security.
My main goal in achieving this is to teach. I really liked teaching and I am even certified to teach high school. Programming paid more though. So, I am looking to combine the two.
Thanks for the links J. Yan.
Any more thoughts?
Kindest Regards,
 
Mark Herschberg
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Originally posted by Jason Kretzer:
Right now, I am leaning towards the Software Engineering process followed closely by Network Theory.


I would be interested in hearing what you find on Software Engineering Process programs. Almost no one in academia works on it. The SEI at CMU is probably the best place for this. I know of only one professor at MIT (Daniel Jackson) who does work in this area.
--Mark
 
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which one did you go to?
Smart people can find that out for themselves. ;-)
Ans: Masters degree in EE/CS from MIT
 
J. Yan
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Originally posted by Jason Kretzer:

My main goal in achieving this is to teach. I really liked teaching and I am even certified to teach high school.


Basically try your best to get into the top ones, so that after graduation the chances you can get a faculty position in big research-based universities will be relatively larger. I think the bottom line might be top 30. If you can get into a top 30 � 50 program, you probably will still be safe to get a position in a regional university where the highest degree to offer is masters, but hard to say for the schools after top 50.
The competition to be admitted to a decent CS Ph D program is pretty strong (stronger than the past three years) this year, and you will have to be fully financially prepared yourself because many schools lost a lot of funding to support Ph D students due to the bad economic situation. It's also a tough and long journey. Here is a good article from Prof. Douglas Comer at Purdue:For anyone considering a Ph.D. in Computer Science

Just my 2 cents & Good luck
 
Mark Herschberg
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Don't just look at a schools overall ranking. Instead look at their ranking based on what you want to do. You say you want to teach (which I presume means a faculty position). Look at the top schools and then see what percentage of their graduates go on to teach (as opposed to working in industry), and see where they go.
You have a specific goal in mind. Find the statistics on as many correlating factors as possible, and use that the help select schools.
--Mark
 
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I would suggest to find out before you try to go for Ph.D, what is your employment is going to look like after you are done. Find out what research labs are hiring people with the knowledge you would have after Ph.D. program. Unfortunatelly there is a lot of study program which are not going to lead to employment. The fact that you do your Masters part time suggests that you need the money to support yourself.
I am not sure if you will be able to do your Ph.D. part time. I would consider it as well before you commit to the program.
If you decided to go for Masters because the job market is bad and you want to get yourself on a different level, and different job market in Computer Science, I would consider other fields, if you are going to commit 10 years ( 4-5 masters plus Ph.D ) of your life to study something.
 
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Jason:
I think if you really like teaching, you should get a Ph.D. from a good, if not top school and go for a faculty position. Make sure you think through all the cost (monetary, family, life etc) before you do. A rigorous Ph.D. program can suck a lot of from you. For example, I know a Ph.D. graduate from CMU CS years back who almost worked from 10 to 12 (AM that is) everyday thruout there.
However, if you think you may wind up doing developing/management in industry after Ph.D., think twice before you spend years in the ivory tower. It probably won't worth it. A smart MS with 5 years of hard working/learning is more useful than a fresh Ph.D., if I am the boss hiring.
In terms of money issues, I think it is hard to say in certain that working in industry makes you richer than a professor (after the bubble burst). Some professors who have good funding or be able to attract consulting fees can be really rich. I know personally a prof. who pays himself double salary during the summer from his funding. It is okay since he is paid only for 9 months by the school. So he basically gets paid for 15 months a year. And he doesn't work as hard as we programmers at all (And between you and me, he takes vacation too in the summmer).
Good luck!
 
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I am considering going for a PHD also, I had a master degree in one of top 20 CS schools( ironically I was in a PHD program, and I did not consider myself a researcher and felt bad wasting professor's money and hope and trust. So I got my master and found a job, then I was laid off last year).
My GRE expired and I hate to take it again. Last Friday one of the professors from local school asked me to take his class before he can make a decision whether he can accept me as a PHD candidate. The field is distributed system and client-server computing. It is an interesting area and also my favorite area. But I am still hesitated since I know: to do a PHD is not only a degree like a Master or a Bachelor, it is entirely different path. You have to take more responsibility and know what you are doing. also you have to think whether you have commitment problem.
One of my friend in Stanford has been working on his PHD for 11 years, he is so frustrated. he thinks he ruined his own life. He is a smart guy, got his bachelor and master in top school. But I think he (just like me) lacks self-discipline. He was consider genius for problem solving, but he just can not handle a bigger project. People are smart in different way, you have to think what you are good at.
My question is: the school I am considering going is a private, nobody-know school. I do feel a little bad but I really like the professor, I wonder how much the rank of the school matters.
 
Billy Tsai
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I applied for Master degree in informatio technology in 3 universities and 2 of them are top universities and pretty famous in the region but third one is a no name university and not famous and infact i never heard of it b4 until this year but i got officially declined by those two good universities into master degree program but i got accepted by the not famous university
but I turned down the offer from that not famous university because i dont think their quality is good.
 
Mark Herschberg
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Originally posted by Edelweiss Cierniak:

My question is: the school I am considering going is a private, nobody-know school. I do feel a little bad but I really like the professor, I wonder how much the rank of the school matters.
;) ;)


It depends what you want to do. If you want to go into industry, a big name pays off on your resume. If you want to go into academia, then the professor makes a huge difference!
When you apply for faculty positions you generally do it by simply going to the school for a day, giving a talk, and chatting with other people throughout the day, where you spend 20-30 minutes with each person. Do you think they really make a 5 year tenure track offer to someone based on just that information? Of course not. During the proceeding years, they've been talking with their colleagues at other schools--at conferences, when reading papers, or just when talking to friends. Your professor is a fairly large factor in the reputation you get, and consequently, your job.
--Mark
 
Jason Kretzer
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The SEI at CMU is probably the best place for this. I know of only one professor at MIT (Daniel Jackson) who does work in this area.


Hmmm, I thought it would be more widespread.


The fact that you do your Masters part time suggests that you need the money to support yourself.


That is correct. Right now I have much and many college loans and I need the money to pay them off. After they are gone, which consequently will be the around the same time I finish my Masters, I won't need to make quite as much. Thus, a stipend would probably be enough, on top of what my wife makes. I plan to do a PhD program full time.
Money afterward won't really be an issue in my case(that is if I can get an assistantship / fellowship).


I think if you really like teaching, you should get a Ph.D. from a good, if not top school and go for a faculty position.


That is exactly what I have in mind. Here is my story for those who would like to hear it.
I am originally from an economically depressed area. It is a rural area with little to no industry never mind a tech sector. However, I love the area and want to move back there. I tried to go back after my first Bachelor's in Chemistry but as with most jobs in the area I made barely over minimum wage. Shortly after that, a tech support call center was put in the area. I applied and since I knew more than most of the locals, I was offered an internal sysadmin position -- making $6/hour. I did not take that job.
My wife then wanted to get her Masters degree, so we decided to move to a metropolitan area. She got her Master's and I got a second Bachelors in Computer Science. I am now in the Master's program.
For a while we were faced with a decision, how can we make any type of money in such a depressed area ? My wife, with her degree in Social Work, will have no problem but I would not be able to find any type of tech work other than that mentioned above.
The answer came when we remembered that a little distance away(about 30 miles) are two fair sized colleges. So why not teach? I already have a certification to teach high school chemistry and I like to do it.
This way I can have it all. I can live where I want and stay in the field!
So wish me luck!
Cheers,
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