Hi everybody, I have written a SoP for the application to MSc in Computer Science at EPFL. I would like to get some feedback.
These are the guide lines provided by the university:
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've read that is very important to follow them. It's the first time for me writing this kind of thing and I don't know if something could be improved to fit perfectly the guidelines.
Statement of Purpose for Master's Degree in Computer Science
Computers nowadays are being used in ways that were unpredictable just a few years ago, ranging from predicting the protein structure to mining and trade cryptocurrencies. Computers by themselves are nothing more than well designed circuits that would not be really useful if they were not ruled by a major player: the software. Indeed, I have always thought that writing and designing was one of the most difficult and, at the same time, powerful ability to archive in our century.
I clearly remember two experiences that marked me and meant the beginning of my deep passion for the world of computer science. The first one happened back in the first year of my bachelor's degree. I programmed a little multiplayer version of the game called Snake and I asked some friends of mine to install it. They genuinely enjoyed the game and I was very impressed about that. At that moment I felt for the first time something that most programmers love about developing, that is the exaltation of being able to create something out of nothing. The other experience is complementary with this one. In 2018 I won a residency grant for the "Informatici Senza Frontiere" festival and I felt lucky to be at Federico Faggin's conference. I remember that day like it was yesterday, he spoke about the importance of a right ethics in the field of information technology. He explained how recent exponential development of artificial intelligence and big data analysis could have malicious applications with the purpose to harm uninformed people. He also illustrated his theory about awareness and described it as a fundamental property of nature like the electric charge. In his view any machine can not be aware of itself thus defining an impassable limit for the development of artificial intelligence. His lecture inspired me and has frosted my aspiration to undertake a research career and find answers to unresolved questions like him.
As a matter of fact, since last year I have been working as a software developer at my university's spin-off called "Svelto!" under the guidance of my mentors and Professors; here we deal with mobile and web development and machine learning. Here I have had the possibility to enhance my skills as a programmer and to apply the knowledge gained during my past years of studies in real world projects. During this period, I have acquired experience in developing full-stack web applications with different technologies and in the area of data cleaning and data preparation. At the same time, I have continued my studies at the master's degree exploring fascinating and exciting fields. Personally, one of the most attractive areas of study is computer vision. I find a lot challenging to describe the world's properties from images and I love how it merges into one discipline different mathematical topics. During my personal research I have found a lot of intriguing projects like Google's DeepPose for human pose estimation and Facebook's DETR for object detection. Another engaging area that has catched my interest is distributed computing. I have been exploring it through independent study, and consequently I got in touch with technologies like MapReduce for big data analysis and GFS, created to handle the tremendous amount of data generated by Google. This discipline is really engaging from both system design and algorithmic point of view. For both these subjects I would definitely like to learn more about and I am convinced that I will build my academic research on these fields. From this point of view, the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne is the best and the most valued place where I can reach my goals. Indeed, I could study exactly where prolific research groups have their offices - such as Prof. Pascal Fua's Computer Vision Lab which is working on research like modelling the human brain and studying the position and the connection between neurons for automatic semantic segmentation and tracking over time; Prof. Rachid Guerraoui's Distributed Computing Lab which studies applications for interesting new technologies, like state machine replication using RDMA, and tries to find ways to enhance the safety of the artificial intelligence system.
I am aware that the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne demands top level standards from its students, and I also know how much commitment is needed to complete this path. Yet I am confident that I possess the motivation, and the preparation requested to fulfill it. In conclusion, I strongly hope to join this Master Program next year so I can start a new path that surely will bring me further my expectations and will help me become a proficient scientist.
Thank you very much!
Holt Educational Consultant - / 14,217 4648
You spent all of the essay discussing your academic background that you forgot all about the career strategy presentation. You have to present a discussion regarding your 5 year career plan and how you plan to achieve it through the completion of this course. The idea, is to present the importance of this course to your career in the future. Since you have decided to study this course, that means you have a career direction in mind. Discuss that, focus on how your undergraduate subjects specifically prepared you to take this course. From there, discuss your current career path and how you see it moving forward or changing direction due to the knowledge you will be acquiring. Portray yourself as a passionate career person who is looking to become trailblazer in this profession within 5 years.