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A Student’s Perspective Charalampos (Babis) E. Tsourakakis 3 rd Year Graduate Student Open House February 26 th , 2010
Congratulations! Carnegie Mellon University is a historical university with living history. Herbert Simon Alan Frieze Avrim Blum Manuel Blum Tom Mitchell, Head of MLD Carlos Guestrin John Lafferty Alen Newell Stephen Fienberg Larry Wasserman Admission highly competitive!
Few Words about the Speaker International Student (Hellene, ECE NTUA) 2007 -2009 worked with Christos Faloutsos on Data Mining (Tensors, Graphs and Large Scale Data Mining using Hadoop) Switched at the end of the second year. Now, Algorithm Design (TCS) Manifold Learning (ML) Breast Cancer Evolution (App) Gary Miller e. g. , Miller Primality Test Russell Schwartz e. g. , decoding human genome
Typical Timeline at CMU Change/add advisor Immigration course: (if you want) Data analysis faculty gives talks, project, you choose advisor speaking skills ( get MS) Start doing research! (publish 1 st paper) time 0 1 Propose Summer internships 2 3 Coursework: 5 core courses: • Intermediate statistics, ML • Stat ML, Algorithms, Data mining +3 electives (1 from statistics) Finish! TA for 2 classes 4 5… Conduct research Enjoy dept. tea gathering and TGs
Choosing your Advisor(s) Very critical choice for your career. Great faculty to choose from. Make a good choice by: choosing a project that excites you making sure that you and your advisor have the same research “mentality” (Ask yourself, do you like more applications, theory, a mixture of them and what proportion from each) reading papers of your potential advisors
Coursework (very flexible) Year 1: Intermediate statistics Intro machine learning Stat. machine learning Algorithms Year 2: Data mining Advanced Discrete Math: Additive Number Theory Advanced Discrete Math: Mixing times and Markov Chains Computational Methods for Biological Modeling and Simulation (Some of my electives) Many ML classes Graduate ML Statistical ML Graphical models Convex optimization Graduate AI Learning theory Bayesian methods Comp bio + learning Computational Complexity Randomized algorithms Approximation algorithms Lots of area-specific machine learning (text, bio, brain, …)
On the way to a Ph. D Requirements Speaking skills Data analysis project You have an advisor(s) who is (are) “responsible” for you Black Friday meetings You fill out a form All the faculty discuss every student You (and your advisor(s)) get feedback
Big community MLD Seminars: MLD/Google seminar Intelligence seminar Machine learning lunch ▪ organized by students Many other seminars: Theory, LTI, Robotics, … MLD weekly tea gathering TGs (Thank Goodness It’s Friday)
Pittsburgh A city which has two main advantages which are typically inversely proportional: Many things to do around, good restaurants, nice coffee shops, bars, pubs, dancing places etc. Inexpensive. Easy to travel to other beautiful cities which are near, e. g. , Philadelphia, New York City, Toronto.
Weather in Pittsburgh You can feel all four seasons while in Pittsburgh
Health Insurance Different Health Plans Basic (<~1 K for a year) Enhanced +Dental +Vision CMU Health Services UPMC My personal experience so far has been more than good.
Housing Most of the students live in Squirrel Hill, Shadyside, Oakland. Other neighborhoods: Bloomfield, Point Breeze, Regent Square. If you do not own a car, make sure that you pick a place with many buses coming by from there (e. g. , Squirrel Hill, Shadyside) Great places to live for really good prices.
Gates Hillman Center An excellent environment for conducting research, having pleasant breaks (great coffee on the 3 rd floor), interesting research discussions on a whiteboard, Tea Parties.
CMU Offers you a lot! Biking Canoeing Caving Swimming Climbing Ski (Seven Springs Resort) with student prices ~15$ Hiking Kayaking Tennis Scuba Diving Skydiving
CMU Offers you a lot! Chess Club Gym Volleyball, Basketball Badminton Dancing
Conferences! Publications Travelling. I have visited Belgium, France, Greece, Italy, Stanford, New York. Meeting Scientists from all over the world Attend highly interesting talks (some of them). Communicate your ideas, get people to learn about your research. See and explore new places.
Ithaca (C. Cavafy) When you set out on your journey to Ithaca, pray that the road is long, full of adventure, full of knowledge…. …Always keep Ithaca in your mind. To arrive there is CMU and your ultimate Welcome to goal. Congratulations again! at But do not hurry the voyage
Acknowledgements Joseph Bradley for sharing previous year’s slides. Jernej Barbic http: //www-rcf. usc. edu/~jbarbic/cmu-start. html
Acknowledgements Diane Stidle “Mother” of MLD