Study Algorithms and Data Science at Stony Brook!
If you find the material presented in The Data Science Design Manual or The Algorithm Design Manual interesting or the problems in Programming Challenges exciting, you may be the kind of person who should think about going to graduate school. Graduate study in Computer Science involves courses in advanced topics that build upon what you learned as an undergraduate, but more importantly doing new and original research in the area of your choice.
Making the finals of the ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest or the International Olympiad on Informatics, or even being a top finisher in a regional contest is a tremendous achievement. It clearly suggests that you have the right stuff for advanced study. I would certainly encourage you to continue your studies, ideally by coming to work with me (Steven Skiena) at Stony Brook! My group does research in a variety of interesting topics in algorithms, data science, and natural language processing.
Stony Brook provides full financial support for all admitted Ph.D. students, including all tuition and fees plus enough of a stipend to live on comfortably if not lavishly.
Here are some hints to help you with the application process:
If you did successfully participate in a programming contest like IOI, ACM ICPC, or HackerRank be sure to mention what team you were on and where you finished in your admissions essay!
Also be sure to mention any special algorithmically-related projects or training that you have done. Have you written/published any technical papers? Have you have solved an impressive number of problems on www.programming-challenges.com, the UVA judge, or HackerRank? If so, let us know in your essay.
I am not a member of our department's admission committee, and thus cannot give you any insight what your chances of admission are. Thus it does not help you to send me email with your credentials prior to your application.
These days, every Computer Science faculty member gets a tremendous number of unsolicited emails from students wanting to know their admission chances or whether the faculty member has a research assistantship to give. As described above, Stony Brook provides full financial support for all admitted Ph.D. students, usually initially as a teaching assistant. I, like almost all other faculty, do not support Ph.D students as research assistants until after they pass our Ph.D qualifying exam, which is typically taken nine months after your arrival at Stony Brook.
If you think you are interested in working with me, feel free to mention it in your admissions essay. After you have been admitted to our department, I will be very happy to discuss our program and my research with you. Please send me email at this point.
The deadlines and forms for applying to Stony Brook are available from www.cs.stonybrook.edu Feel free to contact our graduate admissions secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org. Good luck!
So I hope you will come to join us. Oh, and by the way. Official ACM ICPC rules permit each team to contain one first-year graduate student. So while you are here, maybe you can help take us to the finals next year?
Professor, Computer Science
Stony Brook University