I have a chemical engineering background from IIT and will be applying for OR this fall in the US. I want to do an MS not a PhD. I have done research projects in the past which are computational(about quantum computing), analytical( about pattern formations, reaction diffusion), astrophysics( Time dependent density functional theory TDDFT calculations), currently working on mathematical modelling of membrane separations( thats chemical engineering finally!). But as you can see none of these projects have been DIRECTLY in OR. I have done an ADVANCED level course in optimizations though which created my interest in this field. plus my gpa is 7.8/10 :( i know c,c++, verilog, vhdl, sml and am pretty good at MATLAB and mathematica. no official publications. :( how do you think i go about ANY help sincerely and greatly appreciated...

asked 20 Oct '10, 21:28

bissi's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

edited 24 Oct '10, 16:05

The most important thing is to know what kind of topics interest you, for example Berkeley does not offer project courses for Masters level so most of the students end up taking very theoretical PhD courses. On the other hand a school like USC has a successful systems engineering program for their Masters students but their academic placement for PhD graduates does not measure up to some of other good schools. Cornell as far as I know runs totally separate programs for their MS and PhD. (these are my observations and I do not really have stats to back these up, so do some more research about these schools)

It looks to me that your background is sufficient for a degree in OR. you only need to find out which topics in OR might be interesting to you and which universities are good at those topics.

Your degree from IIT will definitely be a very positive item on your resume and will be counted favorably. Also as a Berkeley grad student I feel obliged to discourage you from going to Stanford as their football team cannot stand a chance against Berkeley (I am joking Stanford's OR program is Ok)

Also there are many threads on OR-exchange around this topic make sure you take a look at them as well.


answered 20 Oct '10, 22:09

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Mark ♦
accept rate: 9%


Stanford's football team may do fine as long as the refs pay attention to laterals and not the Stanford band this time.

(20 Oct '10, 23:13) Paul Rubin ♦♦

thanks mark. the joke scared me before the parenthesis began!

how much would my gpa affect admission.. i know its an obstacle but how do i make it into 'something in the background' gre is due yet 2 weeks to go so maybe the score would help you answer more clearly?

(21 Oct '10, 15:08) bissi

ah and just to clarify i meant Indian Institute of technology, Delhi not Illinois if you took it that way!

(25 Oct '10, 18:22) bissi

I would not worry about the fact that your previous research projects have not been in OR. You are probably ahead of many MS program applicants in that you any research experience whatsoever. The only question there is whether you are prepared to work on practical problems rather than studying the fabric of the universe. :-) (If you were applying toa PhD program in OR, working on research problems disconnected from reality might not be considered a hindrance.)

Similarly, I doubt very many applicants to MS programs have prior publications -- in fact, not very many applicants to PhD programs have prior publications -- so that too is not a drawback.


answered 20 Oct '10, 23:12

Paul%20Rubin's gravatar image

Paul Rubin ♦♦
accept rate: 19%

thanks a lot Paul.that was encouraging.

i am sorry i didnt understand what you meant by "fabric of the universe" please elucidate...

(21 Oct '10, 15:05) bissi

It was a reference to your astrophysics research project, which is probably a bit more abstract (or at least abstruse) than any research project you would encounter in OR.

(22 Oct '10, 19:00) Paul Rubin ♦♦
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Asked: 20 Oct '10, 21:28

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Last updated: 24 Oct '10, 16:05

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