I discovered an interest in computer science during my junior year undergraduate internship. At that time, I knew I wanted to study computer science but not without finishing my undergraduate degree in business. Shortly after graduating, I began to look at multiple computer science master’s programs, one of which was at Cal Poly. The most eminent trait of the Cal Poly program was its focus to best prepare engineers for the workforce. Whether this was a result of the “learn by doing” philosophy, or high standards and a rigorous curriculum, I knew that my time and effort to earn a master’s degree in computer science will be most effectively spent at Cal Poly.
Upon completion of the computer science master’s program, I intend to pursue careers in industry and academia. Combined with my background in business, the valuable skills of software engineering, to be learned in the master’s program, will propel me into vital roles in organizations spanning a multitude of industries. I have a passion for learning that is coupled with a passion for teaching. The difficulties I’ve experienced and overcome, as a non-native engineering student, will enable me to better connect with and encourage troubled students; a valuable trait among teachers of all educational levels. A computer science master’s degree will help in such pursuits.
During my undergraduate studies, I was able to maintain a cumulative 3.15 GPA while living completely independently and working over 40 hours a week. Since graduation, I have continued to support myself while paying for the prerequisite classes I’ve taken thus far. Balancing school with work has been an obstacle; I hope you will take this into consideration when evaluating my GPA and GRE test scores. A portion of the difficulty lies in enrolling for courses that are not only unpredictable due to the “crash-only” course availability for non-matriculated students, but the course fees are challenging to pay without any tuition assistance. With this in mind, the stumbling blocks I have been able to navigate throughout my academic endeavors have better prepared me for graduate studies. I have been told that graduate school, when compared to undergraduate school, is more about perseverance than performance. This is one reason why I see myself fit for the computer science master’s program.
Exploring a few thesis topics, I have found that my research interests continually include graph theory. One topic that I have discussed with Dr. Lupo and Dr. Migler involves compiler optimizations of register allocation and instruction scheduling. These two tasks of a compiler can be modeled with graphs. Converting optimizations from NP-hard to NP-complete is one aspect of research in this topic. Another potential thesis research topic is one that can be used for marketing. Modeling cliques within social networks may provide a means for companies to more effectively market a product. As a business major, with an emphasis in marketing, the latter topic would be a great compliment to my current credentials. Regardless, I look forward to researching theories of graph algorithms to solve problems that extend beyond traditional facets of computer science.
My passion for math and computer science motivates me. As a lifelong learner, a master’s degree in computer science is one of the many steps in my path that will further enhance me as an individual. With my leadership and teamwork skills, I can be a great ambassador for the computer science program at Cal Poly. I look forward to learning more.