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Statement of Purpose - Applying for M.S. in Machine Learning Graduate Programs in the US.

darknight99 2 / 2 1  
Sep 17, 2017   #1
Hi guys,

this is my Statement of Purpose for applying one of available Machine Learning Graduate Programs in the US. looking forward on your feedbacks!


my skill in machine perception area

My excitement about computer science world began to flourish when I did my undergraduate thesis. Under the guidance of Prof. RRFFGGHH, I developed an estimator algorithm using dual Kalman Filter method, in purpose of estimating the State of Charge (SoC) and State of Health (SoH) of a lithium battery used in electric vehicle to give an accurate estimated value, resulted in less than 1% error rate compared to actual data. This research experience gave me a solid picture on how we can utilize machine learning algorithms to improve human's quality of life in so many sectors.

Every time I learned about existing realm of science and technology, artificial intelligence has always been my estuary. The next leap of my machine learning (ML) mastery journey started when I attended an Applied Machine Learning workshop created by one of prominent ML research groups in FFF. I got a comprehensive understanding on how k-nearest neighbors, decision tree, linear & logistic regression and several other theoretical ML algorithms, as well as statistical approach like Bayesian statistics to solve real-world problem.

My huge interest in data science led me to shift my work to a more data related role after previously spent 1 year with business team to understand business foundations and best practices. I'm currently working as Business Intelligence Analyst - Logistics at EEEE, a hyperlocal transport, logistics and payment startup, based in Jakarta. My main objective is to give relevant insights to business users on what we need to fix and improvements we can do in every aspect of the business. I enjoyed every discussion and analytical sessions with every stakeholder on how to give a delightful experience to our customers, drivers and partnered parties. At logistics, we initiated the first booking consolidation project, which gives the ability for a driver to take multiple packages at the same time. This effort translated into 40% distance saving, compared to normal delivery service. On another occasion, I got the chance to be involved in the implementation of Hilbert Curve algorithm to solve our supply-demand imbalanced ratio. We used the algorithm to mark the most demand-dense area on the spatial and temporal perspective, and gave our drivers additional incentives on the marked area so that every customer in every corner of the city can get a driver on the right time. After we implemented that, the conversion rate went up by 10%.

My education background is engineering physics, which essentially a major that learns every aspect that has a relation with physics that can be directly applied to solve real-world problems. Engineering mathematics, signal processing, automatic control and probability and statistics were some of my favorite courses back then in my undergraduate years, which I believe by having these foundations, it will help me to ace the courses on a graduate level.

My ultimate goal in life is to build a better society using Artificial Intelligence (AI). I believe everyone in this world is meant to do something that brings positive impacts to the society, be it a chef who cooks dinner to refugees in the concentration camp, or as a lecturer who teaches students in several courses and doing impressive projects with other faculty members. However, I see that the majority of people were not doing what they want to do and instead, keep doing what other people told them to do. This is insane. I really believe that everyone deserves to do what they love, and I do believe that AI will play an instrumental role in bridging the gaps. Unemployment seems to be an issue here, but I believe its implementation will generate thousands of new jobs that never existed before.

As a form of support on achieving artificial general intelligence as the highest goal of AI, I would like to focus my research and contributions on machine perception area. I would love to know how computers can mimic human senses and how we can utilize this invention to help in improving human's quality of life.

On a more concrete context, I want to contribute in digitizing Indonesia's documents. The reason was born when a friend of mine lost his id card and need to create a new one. Initially, I thought it will take 2-3 working days to get my new card, or perhaps a week at max, assuming the workload were anomalously high. Surprisingly, it did not happen as expected. I took him more than 10 months to get his new id. It got me into thinking on what might be the issue. Among the several potential issues, one of the most crucial was that the majority of the process was handled on physical documents, which has so many disadvantages such as accessibility, security, and environmental aspects. I have a dream where every single paper in Indonesia has a copy in form of digital version. I can imagine how less our effort will be in keeping the documents in the right place, accessing a specific document without needing to remember in which shelf I put it last time and do a quick but thorough audit to every document according to guidelines and compliance. I believe this issue can be solved by implementing computer vision algorithm to all of the documents in Indonesia before we start shifting into a fully digital documentation ecosystem.

I have tried to create the solution using Convolutional Neural Networks through self-study on several Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) such as Coursera, Udacity, etc. But then I realize it was not enough. In order to build a scalable solution that has the level of reliability needed by the society, a more fundamental understanding of machine learning and machine perception is needed, and I believe I can get that through a conducive and supportive research environment at the university level. Therefore, an M.S. in Machine Learning is the logical culmination of my interest in Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence in general.

XXX got my full attention for making my vision become a reality. I pick XXX after several discussions with XXX graduates in YYY and alumni of my undergraduate college, and I believe XXX is the best place for me to grow and share ideas with people. With Machine Learning Department on its belt, I strongly believe I will get a perfect environment to hone my skill in AI field, with support from great research atmosphere, exceptional peers, excellent infrastructure, and great lectures yet mentors. Over there, I'm interested in being one of the contributors of 'QQWWEE' research project. Moreover, I am interested in joining WWEEDD and also looking for opportunities to work with RRRR because of her numerous experience in implementation of new learning algorithms in machine perception area.

My plan after graduated from XXX is to implement and sharpen my skill in machine perception area by working at a cutting-edge startup company in the US as a data scientist, in order to gain world-class exposure in tech industry while doing research on it at the same time.

Holt [Contributor] - / 8,568 2485  
Sep 18, 2017   #2
Gibran, your hypothetical discussions are good. Your thesis project is impressive, and your ambition to digitize the records of your country is admirable. However, there is no professional application to your current line of work indicated. Are you not gainfully employed in a related field at the moment? There is a lack of reference to the applicability of your plans to your current career, which is usually the connecting factor between a masters course and the potential student. How and where do you plan to implement the digitizing of the records in this instance? Are you employed at a relevant government agency? If so, you need to explain that connection rather than simply having your friend's experience as a frame of reference. That is the weakest reference one can give in his quest for a masters degree. We need a professional foundation for your interests. Do not us the AI reference that you wrote as your first reference point because that is so severely under developed in presentation that it seems to be misplaced in the overall context of the essay.

You also do not need to name your thesis adviser in the start of the essay. That is of no interest to the reviewer, unless your thesis adviser will be attaching a recommendation letter for you. Otherwise, only the project objective and end results are of importance to the paragraph. As for your plans after graduation, you need to signify that you will start the company in your home country instead of the United States. Just in case that you need to submit this paper to the U.S. consul, you need to make that clear from the start. You do not plan to stay in the United States, you plan to go home immediately after graduation.

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