I got admitted to Georgia Tech’s OMSCS program :-) Yay. I will be starting this Jan 2021 from Spring 2021.
Why an MS now?
When I started my career, I had a lot of half baked knowledge when it came to CS and programming. Gradually I was able to improve over time, but I felt (still feel) that I lack the proper grounding when it came to foundational knowledge. I lacked knowledge on databases, algorithms and data structures, networking, understanding programs/computers at a low level and also the theory behind CS. This made me to decide pursuing a higher education in CS.
My options included writing GATE (National level entrance exam for masters education in India), go for a full time MS, search for part time programs. Given that I wanted to continue working to support my family, full time programs were out of the option. I didn’t want to go for GATE because it meant that I had to prepare for 10 subjects on my own and go through the stress of the exam and the ranking, it would be JEE all over again. I just didn’t want that. Additionally, if I did succeed on the first attempt, then that would mean I would be losing 2 years of full time income, on top of prepping for interviews at the end of 2 years. MS was just too expensive for me to try out and USA’s scenario wasn’t exactly encouraging for me. Thus I started looking for part-time programs. Geogia Tech’s OMSCS stood out very much. And this was a top ten MS program in USA, which was just $7000. I knew that I could manage the costs if it is spread over 2-3 years. I gave my TOEFL exam and asked for recommendation letters from a manager and previous professors. Thankfully, I was accepted into the program without much hassle. It was really encouraging to know that I was admitted and that I had a chance to learn CS properly in a structured environment.
Courses I am interested in
I looked at OMS Central and found the following courses to be interesting. I chose them in the rough order of Rating, Difficulty, Workload. I am interested in taking the Computing Systems Specialization rather than the others since my interests lie more towards CS/machines than with ML.
|Course Link||Course||Difficulty (1-5)||Workload (hrs/week)||Rating (1-5)||Choice|
|CS 6200||Graduate Intro to Operating Systems||3.65||17.68||4.43||Yes|
|CS 6210||Advanced Operating Systems||4.15||16.41||4.17||Yes|
|CS 6290||High Performance Computer Architecture||3.71||14.39||3.86||Yes|
|CS 6220||Intro to High Performance Computing||4.47||19.23||4.48||Yes|
|CS 6515||Graduate Algorithms||4.28||19.9||3.9||Yes|
|CS 8803 O08||Compilers - Theory and Practice||4.88||29.38||4||Yes|
|CS 7210||Distributed Computing||Mostly yes|
|CS 6340||Software analysis and testing||3.3||12.96||3.3||Mostly yes|
|CS 6601||Artificial Intelligence||4.2||22.53||4.24||Maybe yes|
|CS 6291||Embedded Systems Optimization||3.59||15.81||3.53||Maybe yes|
|CSE 6250||Big data for health||4.47||29.98||3.89||Maybe yes|
|CS 6260||Applied Cryptography||3.61||13.7||3.7||Maybe yes|
|CS 6460||Educational Technology||2.88||14.35||3.98||Maybe|
|CS 6265||Information Security Lab||4||17.5||3.25||Maybe|
|CS 6262||Network Security||3.07||12.85||3.06||Maybe no|
|CS 6242||Data & Visual Analytics||3.15||14.67||3.11||Maybe no|
|CS 6250||Computer Networks||2.44||8.21||3.54||No|
Out of the above, I still have to choose 4 more courses depending on availability and interest. Other than that I hope to have a broad exposure to CS either through OMSCS or through self study.
This google sheets link gives the availability of each course per semester. I think I will be taking GIOS/HPCA in the first term.
Looking forward to a happier year in 2021 compared to the lousy 2020.