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B. comp sci after b. and m. math

  1. Feb 5, 2014 #1

    michael.wes

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    Gold Member

    Hello,

    I am writing to ask for some academic career guidance. I am interested in doing research in cryptography at the PhD level. At present, I do not have much in the way of formal computer science, but I have programmed during internships/co-op positions and during a few undergraduate courses.

    My background is in pure mathematics (bachelor's) and cryptography (master's). Most of the departmental groups I've looked at are in the realm of computer science, so I would have to write CS comps, e.g. on complexity theory, languages...

    My question is this: how do you view a candidate who has gone back to retrain in computer science after having spent 7 years to get a bachelor's and master's of mathematics in order to go direct into PhD comp. sci? Do you know of successful examples of this route? Is this generally considered a bad idea?

    I see several options after another bachelor's without going into PhD... but I somehow feel unfulfilled, and I enjoy doing research, so I want to explore every possible avenue.

    I appreciate any comments/suggestions/criticisms. If I am being too vague, please also let me know.

    I should probably also include:
    math bachelor's last 2 years GPA: 77
    math master's GPA: 80.8
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 5, 2014 #2

    D H

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    What country are you from? If you are from the US or Canada (except maybe Quebec; they follow something intermediary between the European and US/Canadian models), no. This is silly. Just apply for the PhD. You might have to take a few undergrad comp sic classes to catch up with your counterparts, but not multiple years worth. Perhaps not even a year's worth of such courses.

    If you're from Europe, the answer is probably no as well. Do the math. A PhD already puts you a bit behind the eight ball economically. Going back to get another bachelor's degree will put you even further behind.

    Just dive in. Convince the program you have what it takes to do PhD level research, and with a tiny bit of catch up work will be ready to take the graduate level classes needed to pass the comps.
     
  4. Feb 5, 2014 #3

    D H

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    That's just my non-expert advice. If you want expert advice, go talk to someone on the computer science PhD admission committee in your school.
     
  5. Feb 5, 2014 #4

    michael.wes

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    I'm from Canada

    This is generally my feeling as well; I simply am a bit taken aback by some of the 'FAQ' and admissions information on the web pages for some/most of these schools.

    Agreed, and I have thought about this for some time. I was coming close to the point where I thought I might have to come to terms with not being able to do the PhD because the only way is too costly, and a lot of things would overlap with what I already know.

    This is indeed my preferred course of action; I have thought about/researched some potential supervisors at other schools.
     
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