[Haskell-cafe] admission to graduate program in CS

Brent Yorgey byorgey at seas.upenn.edu
Mon Dec 13 12:21:07 CET 2010

On Mon, Dec 13, 2010 at 12:22:25AM -0800, Johann Bach wrote:
> On Sun, Dec 12, 2010 at 11:57 PM, Johann Bach <johann.bach1127 at gmail.com> wrote:
> > Hello list,
> > I am a programmer who just got laid off. I have been studying Haskell
> > and learning a lot about CS, *as a hobby*.
> Oh, I just thought of one answer to my own question--- get a good
> score on the CS GRE. Can I get some comments as to how much that
> counts toward a strong application?

It definitely counts; in particular I think a good score on the CS GRE
coupled with a compelling essay (which explained your situation) would
make up for the lack of CS on your undergrad transcript. The
recommendations could be more of a problem since those generally carry
a good deal of weight.  Perhaps you can think creatively about
recommenders who could speak to your curiosity, self-motivation, work
ethic, and other qualities that would make you a good researcher, even
if they can't specifically speak to your qualifications in CS.

If you think you would do well in a graduate program in CS, then you
are probably right: your task now is to think creatively about how to
prove it to others, given the constrained medium of the grad school

Best of luck (and I will insert here a little plug for the programming
languages group at U Penn, which is fantastic =)


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