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Master of computer science - EPFL SOP; the objectives you wish to reach through your studies

bestlife 1 / -  
Nov 21, 2022   #1

statement of purpose


I plan to apply to EPFL master of computer science. I wrote the initial statement of purpose. It is my first time writing statement of purpose, so feel free to criticize and give advices ^^. It may have some issues with English, sorry about that.

Here is how EPFL describes SOP: "The statement of purpose should not exceed 1000 words. You are required to describe your academic background and your career strategy. Please be precise about the objectives you wish to reach through your studies at EPFL."

I wish to pursue graduate studies at your institution, because I think that Master's degree will help me to reach my goal, namely switching to academia, developing and becoming a researcher. I was always fascinated with the beauty of mathematics and attended advanced physics-mathematics school to deepen my knowledge and skills. I attended math olympiad classes during high school years and have successfully participated in National Mathematical Olympiads, first qualifying for the 3rd round and then becoming one of the winners of it (placing 5th) in the 12th grade. I decided to use math background to switch to computer science on undergraduate level and apply the knowledge to real world problems. I liked when computer science subjects involved mathematics.

It was data structures and algorithms course when I first realized how well math and computer science can coexist. I could realize that math fields like number theory, combinarotics, calculus, linear algebra were so crucial and meaningful for programming and for global real world problems generally. It was so fascinating to learn that the well-known RSA algorithm, which is heavily based on number theory, plays a big role in today's security. Among the other courses I followed, there were several more which captured my interest: Theoretical Informatics, Artificial Intelligence, Information theory.

During my undergraduate studies I had a chance to join a group of artificial intelligence classes with the primary aim to discuss AI research papers and do presentations. We talked a lot about constraint satisfaction problems, considered markov chains and papers related to machine learning, covering introductory topics like linear regression, logistic regression, support vector machines, neural networks. That is when I got more interested in theoretical parts of computer science.

Besides studying I tried to broaden my knowledge and try new things and get experience in industry by joining local companies (transport, banking and telecommunication industries) as a java developer, where I would be able to apply some concepts of computer science to real world projects. I tried to write clean, maintainable and efficient code.

First job was at Azry, local company, where I develped new HR system among with other interns. I worked as a back-end developer, writing efficient and maintainable code. Second job was at Bank of Georgia, where I worked in the payments system squad, developing payment systems used by more than 100000 users on a daily basis, maintaining, developing, improving them and dealing with huge load issues. Third job was at Magticom, where I got more experience with networking and some concepts back-end development.

I always found algorithms fascinating as I can put my good mathematical background and theoretical knowledge to practice. I usually compete on well-known competitive programming platforms like Codeforces where I am in the top 3-4%. Besides I have competed in Google Code Jam (participated around 36000 programmers) where I placed in the top 8%, Google Kick Start Round A - top 15%, Google Kick Start Round B - top 3%.

Also I always had keen interest in advanced mathematics topics because it is very interesting and crucial for theoretical computer science. Besides university coursework I studied real analysis and abstract algebra, because I believe that deep knowledge of these subjects leads to better understanding of certain topics and wider view of things. For example, real analysis can be helpful in machine learning and gaining knowledge in algebra can lead to better understanding of information theory. I have covered topics like real and complex number systems, basic topology, numerical sequences and sets, continuity, sequences and series of functions, The Riemann-Stieltjes Integral, etc. Group theory, rings, Euclidean domains.

Besides I wanted to start theoretical research and I joined algebraic topology classes, where we had seminars once or twice a week and were preparing topics for presentation. The classes covered group theory, category theory, chain complexes, chain maps, chain homotopy, exact sequences, etc. We had to take some topics and create presentations. I prepared presentations about morphisms and chain complexes.

During undergraduate years I was a member (contestant 1) of the university team for the International Mathematics Competition for University Students (IMC 2020), where I was awarded with the third prize (top result in my team). Also was a top GPA of the faculty among 2020 graduates. I want to develop a research career and switch to academia. I think EPFL can give a great opportunity for this. Another intention of mine is to apply for your Research Scholars Msc Program.

I am certain that application to EPFL is the best possible way to accomplish my goals and I hope that you find my previous work experience and academic qualifications well-suited for a Master's degree in Computer Science.
Holt  Educational Consultant - / 14,648 4752  
Nov 22, 2022   #2
The academic background goes too much into the youth of the applicant. Start the academic background from college when actual STEM classes became involved in your learning process. It will help the writer better consolidate his academic experience with his first job. He should not neglect his on the job training as a part of his academic background. Being a masters student, the expectation is that the candidate has attended relevant local and international seminars in relation to his course of interest. These non-academic learning paths count towards masters course preparedness as it strengthens the professional experience of the applicant. These combined educational and professional immersions should all lead into the discussion of the career strategy of the applicant. Something that is not presently discussed in this version. The lack of a proper career vision, aside from the incorrect background discussion are the reasons the candidate might be disqualified from the consideration process.

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