1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Can anyone give some suggestions about my SoP?

  1. Dec 5, 2015 #1
    Hello. Can you give me some suggestion about my statement of purpose for graduate application. Thank you in advance :)

    Imagine a young lady sitting contentedly facing to the computer with codes and papers on the screen line by line. It is the epitome of my past two years, most time of which has been dedicated to academic research. During this period, I developed a nuanced understanding about the significance of research, which to me, has become a meaningful way of exploring the brand-new concepts and innovation based on my bold imagination, rational derivation and scientific experiment.. Above all, I realized scientific research is no longer the privilege of only a few super smart people, but can be achieved through my perseverance and tenacity. Interested in computer science for a long time, I decided to scale new heights both academically and professionally in this field through a Ph.D. program.

    My enthusiasm in programming stemmed from a group coursework in my sophomore year, when our group was requested to implement a submission system in the course Data Structure. Staring at the computer screen with constant type and build-debug, for the first time in college I stayed up all night to finish a project despite the ample time left. A sense of accomplishment overwhelmed me after large amount of coding, which enticed me to choose a professor whose research was close to programming and computing instead of circuit design as my advisor when embarking on my graduate study.

    Then in my first year of the graduate study, I began my first formal research project. In the project, I was in charge of creating the desired experimental pattern by using real clients in a live streaming evaluation platform. The process of meditating and communicating inspired me to formulate the solution in discrete time scale with distributed scheduling mechanism. Besides, my tendency to solve technical problems in implementation or simulationindependently, instead of seeking help from others immediately, further enhanced my skills in searching materials and programming. This experience sparked my interest in scientific research, through which I recognized my potential to be more than a coder, but a researcher, and generated the idea of pursuing a Ph.D. degree overseas, where I can gain more inspiration in a more culturally diversified and open academic environment.

    After completing the project above, I joined the Live Streaming in Mobile Ad-hoc Networks project. It was supposed to be a long-time independent research under the guidance of my supervisor; however, as the plan was adjusted later, I was expected to finish the process from solution, evaluation and writing paper within three weeks. Though a hard period, the result was rewarding: two papers published and the opportunity to attend the 11th IEEE International Conference Ubiquitous Intelligence and Computing in Bali, Indonesia. There I gave two oral presentations to share our researches, and met many renowned professors and elite students whose professionalism and wide vision strengthened my determination to pursue a doctoral program abroad for more sophisticated knowledge and broader horizon.

    With this inspiration, I joined the project about Networking Scheduling in Data Center Networks (DCNs) and earned a chance to cooperate with scholars from Nanjing University. To propose a new topic, I devoted four months to doing literature review on DCNs and often stayed up in the lab to analyze and implement algorithms established in some influential papers, such as Varys, Baraat and Aalo. By devising a representative example to indicate the divergence between flow completion time (FCT) and job completion time (JCT), I realized the “smallest-flow-first” mechanism applied in most flow-level schedulers, such as Varys and Aalo, may elongate average JCT in big data compute clusters, which established a foundation of the motivation in the project. Through dozens of revisions, a sound topic is finally determined and a paper submitted to SIGCOMM is in preparation. This experience deepened my understanding of the big data computer cluster as well as its development trends and current research achievements, all of which shaped my research focus in DCNs.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2015
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 6, 2015 #2


    User Avatar
    Education Advisor
    Gold Member

    Was it ever?

    The biggest flaw appears to be your English to me, it needs a lot of polish. Adjectives that don't need to be in there, grammar, continuity of thought... etc.

    You've also covered quite a bit about where you've been, and not a whole lot on where you hope to go with your PhD. I'd be left with questions like, "what about the program you're applying to appeals to you and where do you hope to fit in?" Are they doing DCN work? You've shown an ability to do research, and that you're prepared for a doctorate program, you just need to fit how it's all relevant to the program you're applying to.

    Just my opinion.

    It's definitely not the worst SOP that's been posted here.
  4. Dec 6, 2015 #3
    Thanks for your suggestion.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook