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Schools Undergrad CS Programs in Arizona?

  1. Sep 1, 2016 #1
    I live in Arizona and will be transferring to a state university next semester (I'll be starting in Jan. 2017). I've managed to get all of the introductory credits that I need completed at a community college for much cheaper than at university, so things have gone well so far in that respect. What I want to ask is this: does anyone here have any particular opinion about which of the 3 big state universities in Arizona have the best CS program for undergrad? There's Arizona State University (ASU), the University of Arizona (UofA), and Northern Arizona University (NAU) which I am trying to choose between. ASU would be the most convenient option as it is closest, but if there's a better program elsewhere, I would certainly consider that as an important part in making my decision. Also, my goal is to go on to study and work in machine learning, so if there is a school where I can focus on that most effectively, then that would also be an important factor in where I decide to go.

    Hopefully someone on this forum has some experience or knowledge which can help me make a good decision on which school (if any) is the best to transfer to with CS and machine learning in mind. My own cursory research has shown that UofA is probably the best option (ASU doesn't seem to have a good reputation for various reasons, and NAU is pretty small in comparison to the other 2 big state schools, and therefore somewhat lacking), but I just wanted to see if anyone here had any experience/advice to offer on this before I make a decision.

    Thanks for reading, and I appreciate any input anyone has to offer.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 1, 2016 #2


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    I'm currently at U of A, but I'm doing Optical Engineering, not CS. I suppose I could ask around the CS department, but I expect we both know what they'd say. :wink:
  4. Sep 2, 2016 #3
    Haha, yes I suppose one should be cautious of bias in all life situations, but I'm sure they would have some choice things to say which would be informative regardless (though I wouldn't want you to go too out of your way on my behalf, certainly). In any case, I'm starting to think of UofA as the more likely option (not to disrespect ASU and their great resources though). Over the next few weeks, I'll probably try to do a little more in depth research on the faculty in the CS departments at each school and see if there is anyone in particular who I would really want to learn from first-hand.
  5. Sep 2, 2016 #4


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    Well, if you have any questions about U of A feel free to ask. I'll answer them if I can.
  6. Sep 2, 2016 #5


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    If you're interesting in Machine Learning, ASU is actually a more natural choice. ASU has an entire research group dedicated to Machine Learning. Lastly Dr. Liu is one of the foremost experts in social data mining. My peers out in the west coast recruit heavily from ASU computer science program. What they enjoy the most is the balance between theoretical and practical application.

    While this may not necessary matter at the undergraduate level, I mention this to emphasis that overall reputation is one thing, but individual reputations of a specific program is another.
  7. Sep 2, 2016 #6
    Really? Didn't know that. I guess ASU might be my pick after all. And yes, I suppose ASU's bad rep stems primarily from everyone thinking of it as a 'party school.' I'll have to look into their CS program more closely than I have. Thanks for the info.
  8. Sep 2, 2016 #7
    Definitely. Thanks!
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