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 How good is University of Windsor(UoW right ?)'s comp science graduate program ?
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tHEbIgtHEb




PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2015 7:26 am   Post subject: How good is University of Windsor(UoW right ?)'s comp science graduate program ?

Hi, I just found this forum and just spent about an hour going through different posts because they were just that interesting but I digress. I am a final year undergrad student studying comp sci and am looking into applying for a master's program in canada. Though since my aggregate is barely over 70% I know that I won't be getting into University of Waterloo(UW) for sure. I've been doing a lot of research and talking to consultants and looking at my profile all of them feel like I can get into UoW and have a chance of getting into McMaster.

I am in a considerably below average school right now, but that had it's own set of benefits, but I do not want to end up making the same mistake again. The reason I am asking if the comp sci master's program (with the co-op) is good is because I intend to transfer over credits to waterloo if I do end up in Windsor. My biggest question after the first one being that is that a good idea ? Or am I better served doing something else ?

If you made it till here then thanks for reading !
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Tony




PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2015 2:08 pm   Post subject: Re: How good is University of Windsor(UoW right ?)'s comp science graduate program ?

Fairly different situation -- years ago, in undergrad, I changed majors while at UWaterloo and transferred from one faculty to another. The only courses that transferred were those that covered _all_ of the material (e.g. class with topics a,b,c,d will not transfer as credit, if UW's class is covering topics a,b,c,x). Even then, you must have achieved 70%+ in the class. I've lost a lot of credits while staying in the same school -- it sounds that transferring from anywhere (other than perhaps UofT) would be even more challenging.
tHEbIgtHEb @ Fri Jan 16, 2015 7:26 am wrote:
Or am I better served doing something else ?

What are you looking to achieve?
Latest from compsci.ca/blog: Tony's programming blog. DWITE - a programming contest.
Dan




PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2015 4:14 pm   Post subject: RE:How good is University of Windsor(UoW right ?)\'s comp science graduate program ?

For graduate school you should be picking the university based on the faculty you want to work with and their research area. A big part of getting accepted into grad school is actually talking with the faculty members you are interested in working with as they will have a very large say in if you get accepted. Grades are secondary so long as they are reasonably over the minimum requirement and will not adversely effect your chances for external funding (e.g. OGS and NSERC).

If this is for a thesis based masters then transferring would be a rather bad idea as you would need to find a new supervisor and possibly a new research topic. Most of the work towards a thesis based masters degree is the research and writing of your thesis and is not something that is easily transferable.

For course based it is important to understand that graduate courses are not conducted in the same manner as undergraduate courses. Graduate courses are often based around the research interests of the faculty member teaching them . This means different universities will have rather different grad courses depending on the research interests of their faculty.

As Tony implied above, what you should do is heavily dependent on what you are trying to achieve.

If you are looking for a job in academia (e.g. professor or researcher at a university) you will need to take a thesis based masters and then go on to a PhD. In this case where you got your masters will not matter compared to your publication record and the research you have conducted. If this is what you want you should apply to any thesis based masters programs at universities that have faculty working in areas you are interested in. You should also e-mail the the faculty members with your CV and transcript and try to discuss the possibility of working with them before you apply.

If you are looking to get a masters to help you get an industry job, you should carefully consider if a masters would help you achieve this goal. If the job is not research related, it might be more beneficial to have strong work experience on your CV then a masters degree. Graduate degrees, even course based ones, are a significant investment in terms of both time and money that may never pay off in the long run. I only recommend going for a masters in this case if the job you want requires it or there is some specific research area you are interested in that you wish to work in (e.g. computer vision).
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tHEbIgtHEb




PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2015 9:08 am   Post subject: RE:How good is University of Windsor(UoW right ?)\'s comp science graduate program ?

Hey thanks for the replies guys, sorry got caught up with a lot of work and couldn't reply sooner. Your anecdote about transferring was exactly the kind of thing that I was on the look out for. It made my decision much clearer. I am going to wait and apply for the next year's session while working at a web dev startup, should help with experience, though it won't be in the field I want to do my masters in.

I am looking into doing a coursework based master's in machine learning and data science. Though I have another question, when you mentioned that I should get in touch with the professors in the universities I want to attend, would telling them about some of the personal projects I have been working on by myself be a good idea? Like showing initiative and such?

I ask because now I have the time to do all of that, work on my profile and improve myself in all those areas I find myself to be lacking in.

Thanks again!
Dan




PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2015 7:14 pm   Post subject: Re: RE:How good is University of Windsor(UoW right ?)\'s comp science graduate program ?

tHEbIgtHEb @ 19th January 2015, 9:08 am wrote:
I am looking into doing a coursework based master's in machine learning and data science. Though I have another question, when you mentioned that I should get in touch with the professors in the universities I want to attend, would telling them about some of the personal projects I have been working on by myself be a good idea? Like showing initiative and such?


Contacting the professors is more for thesis based programs where you would be working more closely with them (can depend on the program/university). Most graduate school applications do have a "statement of purpose" section where you can include such things and it still would not hurt talking to a professor even if you are going course based. They could at least tell you more about the department and the program if they have time to meet with you.

Your personal projects are also a good thing to list on your CV/resume in general, especially if you have worked on open source projects.


Well waiting a year would probably not hurt your chances, graduate schools are looking more for your potential as a researcher and student then work experience (unless it is research related). As stated in the last posts it is important to have a clear idea of what you are trying to accomplish. What are you aiming to do with a masters degree in machine learning and data science?
Computer Science Canada Help with programming in C, C++, Java, PHP, Ruby, Turing, VB and more!
tHEbIgtHEb




PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2015 10:43 pm   Post subject: RE:How good is University of Windsor(UoW right ?)\'s comp science graduate program ?

What I intend to accomplish with the masters in machine learning and computer science is to learn more about the subject, understand it's intricacies and apply it in a professional setting.

For example right now I am working on a prototype application which takes commute times over a period of time, plots them and then makes some predictions based on it. It's just a fun project which I thought would be neat and useful for me to learn about supervised machine learning.

I intend to work in a web application setup applying all these principles to the applications I develop or have a hand in developing.
Tony




PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2015 1:44 am   Post subject: RE:How good is University of Windsor(UoW right ?)\'s comp science graduate program ?

That description is generic enough that it doesn't matter what school you'd go to, or even go to school at all.

A typical web startup tops out the use of statistics with A/B tests. If the core technology relies on complicated enough statistics that warrant machine learning, that will likely be a dedicated role (with minimal development of the application itself). It's not clear if that is actually what you are looking for.

To clarify your objectives -- would taking a Machine Learning course via Coursera ( https://www.coursera.org/course/ml it's a really good course) and applying that on your job be enough?
Latest from compsci.ca/blog: Tony's programming blog. DWITE - a programming contest.
tHEbIgtHEb




PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2015 4:21 am   Post subject: RE:How good is University of Windsor(UoW right ?)\'s comp science graduate program ?

I do agree, that in most places there isn't a lot of machine learning and statistical analysis to be done. But I want to study the subject because I am interested in it. Though obviously that isn't much of a reason, but rather a motivation.

Also I have already followed the coursera course that you linked. That was the course which made me want to further continue my studies in the field.

Plus right now I am just an intern at a web dev startup. I can continue here but it most probably won't have anything to do with any sort of statistical analysis. It's my own interests that I want to pursue and later if possible get a job in.
Tony




PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2015 12:18 pm   Post subject: RE:How good is University of Windsor(UoW right ?)\'s comp science graduate program ?

If your main motivation is interest, then your studies will be mostly self-directed anyway. It seems silly to do an expensive (in terms of time, effort, lost course credits) transfer (or delaying application by a year), unless you think one University will be a much better fit.

To be fair UWaterloo is better recognized in the industry -- it's likely easier to get interviews with UW (or UofT) on your CV, than anything else in Canada.
Latest from compsci.ca/blog: Tony's programming blog. DWITE - a programming contest.
tHEbIgtHEb




PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2015 1:54 pm   Post subject: RE:How good is University of Windsor(UoW right ?)\'s comp science graduate program ?

I agree, that is a major motivation for me to transfer. But I hear from a friend of mine that even Windsor is a pretty good school. I will get in touch with my friend's cousin who did his master's in comp sci there and get in touch with the professors too as Dan mentioned.

Thanks for your replies, it really helped me make up my mind as to what to do.
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