Saturday, April 28, 2007

Computer Science at CalTech - EDC

Computer Science at Caltech

The computer science department at Caltech consists of a small group of students, faculty and staff. The small size and collegial atmosphere at Caltech facilitates close working relationships among faculty and students, and encourages novel interdisciplinary research. Students are encouraged to tailor their programs of courses and research to fit their specific needs. Students often collaborate on large projects, but each student is treated as an important individual, with unique goals, drives and needs.

Research emphases are in algorithms; communication protocols, concurrent computation, and networks; graphics and human-computer interaction; novel computational substrates, including quantum mechanical computers and molecular computers; VLSI, with a specific emphasis on asynchronous and analog VLSI; high-confidence systems, including fault tolerance, program verification, and security; information theory; learning theory; computer vision; and large-scale scientific computing. Projects frequently involve connections with other disciplines such as Physics, Biology, Mathematics, Mechanics, Control and Dynamical Systems, and Electrical Engineering.

Undergraduates are encouraged to do research. Many have papers in conferences or journals. The opportunity for close collaboration with faculty and graduate students on research, the flexibility of developing your own research and course structure, and outstanding facilities, makes Caltech an ideal environment for motivated undergraduates.

Graduate study in Computer Science is a full-time program. Students are admitted only with the Ph.D. as the degree objective, although an M.S. degree is a required step in the program. Students join a research group and participate in research from the very beginning, so it is important that applicants have a defined area of interest before applying. The first year emphasizes course work and master's thesis research. Students in their second year complete their master's thesis preliminary to the candidacy examination. After passing the candidacy exam, students devote their time to research on the doctoral dissertation. The program requires a minimum of three academic years of residence.

Applications are accepted once per year, no later than January 1st, and reviewed at that time for admission and financial aid for admission the following September. In order for all candidates to receive equal consideration, unofficial evaluations of likelihood admission will not be made. Applications are reviewed after all credentials, including recommendation letters and official copies of test scores, have been received. GRE scores are required, with a subject test of the student's choice strongly recommended. It is strongly recommended that applicants take the GRE in October to allow enough time for Caltech to receive the scores by January. Early submissions are encouraged as application reviews are already in progress in December.

Applications are encouraged from fields other than computer science, but applicants should be aware that the program is mathematically and scientifically oriented. Students who hold a Ph.D. degree from another institution are not normally admitted to graduate standing at Caltech to pursue a second Ph.D. degree.


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