1997-01-28 - Re: Best Computer School?

Header Data

From: Derek Atkins <warlord@MIT.EDU>
To: Erp <erp@digiforest.com>
Message Hash: b3e992aad5b2e713427da445a61580dce8a9298888254fccdc347bb582e22a17
Message ID: <199701282246.OAA05596@toad.com>
Reply To: N/A
UTC Datetime: 1997-01-28 22:46:19 UTC
Raw Date: Tue, 28 Jan 1997 14:46:19 -0800 (PST)

Raw message

From: Derek Atkins <warlord@MIT.EDU>
Date: Tue, 28 Jan 1997 14:46:19 -0800 (PST)
To: Erp <erp@digiforest.com>
Subject: Re: Best Computer School?
Message-ID: <199701282246.OAA05596@toad.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

Erp <erp@digiforest.com> writes:

> On Mon, 27 Jan 1997, SpyKing wrote:
> > This is a little off topic but maybe someone can help. I've got a teenage
> > son (HS sophomore) who's interested in majoring in computer science in
> > college with a particular interest in cryptography. He's leaning toward MIT.
> > Any suggestions from list members as to colleges to investigate? 
> Well in reference to MIT..  I hope he has a 4.0 in highschool, is an
> allsport, has a 1600 on his SAT's, and a prefect on his ACT..  Just to
> even think about going there..  Let alone to include how well he'll have
> to do on his interviews etc..  Also you may wish to have him look again at

This is really exagerating.  You do not need a 4.0, 1600, etc. to be
admitted to MIT.  Sure, you need good grades, but a 3.6 average and
1350-1400 SAT scores is perfectly adequate to be admitted to MIT.  You
can think of being admitted with even lower scores, if you stand out
in some way.  MIT admissions looks for well-rounded students.  You're
much better off being a writer/artist/musician than being on the
science or math teams.

> what he wants to be before he goes to some major college such as MIT,
> because tuition at MIT costs approx 100,000$/4 years.  Personally that is
> a hell of a lot, but then again *shrug*...  I recommend going to a local

It may be alot, but then again MIT is one of the best schools in the
world (I'm not going to be egotistical enough to say it *is* the best,
even tho Consumer Reports rated it such for the last N years).

> small college, get his associates, see if that is what he still wants to
> do, then go on from there.  I know many people that started in Computer
> Science and died after the first year.  
> Now colleges that are good for Computer Sc ience..  I have heard that RIT
> is good..  but I'm nto sure on that..  I know pretty well positive that
> MIT is excellent, but when you get down to the basics MIT is more of an
> engineering school than a science/philosophical school which Computer

This is untrue.  The computer science department at MIT is really
good.  As are the sciences, and even business!  The MIT Sloan School
(Management and Economics) was rated #1 last year.  The EECS
department (EE and CS are together) is top notch, too.

Ciro Maria <cmaria@stevens-tech.edu> writes:

> Yeah Stevens Institute in Hoboken. Its pretty good I got there. Also
> Caltech is good, I don't really know which else.

When I looked at Caltech, their Engineering (and computer science)
really lacked.  They were excellent for the Sciences (Math, Physics,
Chemistry, etc.) but their engineering school wasn't as good as others
I was looking at (both EE and CS).  Things may have changed in the
last 8 years, however.

Spyking, my advise to you: Look around at many schools.  Go visit
them.  Talk to the students there.  Talk to the professors.  Talk to
graduates.  The more information you and your son have, the better
decisions you and he can make.

Personally, I loved MIT -- it was the right place for me.  It isn't
the right place for everyone.  Make sure it is the right place for
your son before he applies.  For what it's worth, I wanted to go to
MIT my sophomore year in high school, too ;)

Good Luck,


       Derek Atkins, SB '93 MIT EE, SM '95 MIT Media Laboratory
       Member, MIT Student Information Processing Board (SIPB)
    Home page: http://www.mit.edu:8001/people/warlord/home_page.html
       warlord@MIT.EDU    PP-ASEL     N1NWH    PGP key available