Letter of Recommendation
Hi all! I am applying for a master's degree in financial engineering in the US. This is a recommendation letter my undergraduate professor wrote for me. Hope that some could help review it.
Dear Admission Officer,
Bruce Lee was a student in my Fall 2019 course Data Structures and Financial Algorithms, which systematically explains some classical data structures and algorithms, such as greedy algorithms and dynamic programming. In addition to mastering specific algorithms, he has also developed a logical methodology: to understand the situation, find and verify possible solutions to a new problem. This ability is instrumental in helping his future work and study. Due to his outstanding performance in class, I agreed to be the faculty advisor of his team for the 2020 Interdisciplinary Contest in Modeling (ICM). Due to our constant communication during the course and the preparation for the contest, I can fairly assess his academic ability and future potential.
To begin with, Bruce has a strong passion for learning, and his class participation is undoubtedly among the best. During class, he often asked insightful questions that inspired other students' interests. He also came to me after class to ask me about problems he encountered in class or with assignments. I felt his eagerness and seriousness towards study when he sent me messages asking questions. As a result, he got a high score of 95.
Besides, Bruce is an optimistic and communicative student with strong teamwork skills. He took the initiative to team up with two students majoring in electronics and physics so that the skills and backgrounds of the team would be more diverse. After establishing the team, he asked me to be their faculty advisor and help them with their training. Before the contest started, he organized several group studies and discussions to prepare the team for the competition. He led the group to study some classic mathematical modeling cases and conducted simulations of previous competition topics. Without complaining or showing negative emotions, he prepared for the competition meticulously in a timely manner. In addition to fulfilling his part, he maintained a very good relationship with his group members, helping them reduce the pressure during the frenzied period.
Moreover, Bruce impressed me with his leadership demonstrated in the modeling competition. In the beginning, they chose a soccer-related topic. The topic gave a data set of spatio-temporal coordinates of every event that happened in every game of a team in a season. They were asked to analyze how the members of this team interacted with each other and make some suggestions accordingly. When assigning the tasks, Bruce considered the strengths of the group members. As a soccer fan, he was in charge of prescribing some basic patterns in soccer tactics to try to identify in the data set. The student who is good at writing and Latex typesetting was assigned to write the paper. In addition, after getting the data set, Bruce first studied it and analyzed clearly how the data in it corresponded to the real game and found that some wrong data in it should be cleaned, after which he explained them to the team members. They eventually won the honorable mention in the competition. In observing their team, I found that Bruce was not only an exporter of ideas and opinions but also an excellent listener. He always listened to the other members patiently before giving targeted suggestions and discussed with the group members carefully and rationally. I was impressed and touched by these qualities, which are indispensable for academic research and further study.
As a mentor of Bruce Lee, I could see his interest and enthusiasm in academics. Therefore, I rather approve of Bruce's idea of going abroad for further study. I believe that with his ability and character, he will be able to gain further development in your program. I hope your school will seriously consider his application.
Assistant Prof. XX
Department of Computer Science and Technology
Holt Educational Consultant - / 12,303 3989
The first question that will enter the reviewer's mind is, why is his immediate work supervisor not the recommendee? Whis is the same question that I am asking. Are you applying to a non thesis and non work experience masters corse? That would be the only explanation for such a weak recommendee being used for ther letter. I say it is weak because, as a masters student, the main requirement will be 2 years work experience from the time of your graduation. A clear reference as to your abilities as a self starter and impressive work ethic in relation to advanced learning needs now takes precedence over simple academic learning and experience. While this letter is good, I am not sure if it applies to the course requirement for applicant experience.