Friday, March 28, 2008

Univ of MD Grad Student Visit Day

Today was UNIV OF MD GRAD VISIT DAY for computer science grad students. We invited the students who got into UNIV OF MD Grad School in Computer Science for a free lunch and some talks about he program and such, in the hopes that they will come.
  1. This is a relatively new concept for most schools. When I was applying to grad schools I do not think any school did it. Now many of them do. And now we all have to do it because everyone else does it.
  2. Does it work? Depends on what `works' means. Students do get more information and hence can make a better choice. Whether this is good or bad for UNIV OF MD or any particular school is hard to say.
  3. I am happy with the lack of propogandizing we do. We present Maryland honestly. Also, the prospective students get to talk to the students already here to get a true picture.
  4. Many of the students who come to the Visit Day have already decided to come to UNIV OF MD so they are just here for the free lunch. I even met one today who already decided NOT to come and was here for the free lunch. Its a good lunch, but not that good.
  5. On a related note--- many more students now have done research as a ugrad then when I went to school (I got my ugrad degree from SUNY Stonybrook in spring 1980.) The good thing about this is that if a student says, for example, I want to work in AI they have a better idea of what that means then they used to.
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  1. It's also grad student visit day at Carnegie Mellon today. Hope Maryland doesn't lose too many recruits because of this. (Actually a Maryland student came to CMU earlier this week, probably because of the conflict.)

  2. We had grad student visitor day at UC Irvine last week. I think the concept is catching up. Besides the free lunch, some of the grad students had to put up posters. IMO, most students would have done their homework before applying to schools, so not sure if its a big thing.

  3. Doing your homework is not always a substitute for going to class.

  4. The bad thing about saying "I want to do AI" is that although you have done AI reserach, you probably haven't done any other kind of research, and so still cannot say (with any degree of confidence) that I like AI more than theory.

    Personally, I wonder what non-complexity research is like :)

  5. I know when I went to visit days, I didn't know the right questions to ask. I also had a really bad experience at one school that caused me to to go (wrong travel directions + snow), and I ended up not considering it. That was probably a mistake.

  6. wrong travel directions + snow

    Cornell has probably improved the process since then.

  7. These visit dsys have been in existence at various places for at least 20 years -- maybe not 30 years, though.

  8. Re: #4: Ehh. When you get someone who applies to UMd grad program for the free lunch, then I'll be impressed.

  9. I would say the visit day process does not benefit those schools that tend to have harsher winters. I know Cornell definitely suffers from this (from my personal experience from visit day '06).