I’m an incoming master's degree student at a top 10 computer science (CS) program. I’m applying for PhD programs. I think that people doing ML/AI have an unfair advantage when it comes to the number of papers they can publish.
My research has been mostly in the area of theory and algorithms, where you either come up with a proof for your theorem/algorithm or you don’t. I think this is significantly harder than what most undergrads do in ML/AI. I have seen tens of students with publications in ML, but 0 students with publications in complexity theory, for instance. I know that at there are people who have published papers in theoretical CS, to but my point is it’s rare (and hard).
Do PhD admission committees at the top 20 CS schools take this into account when they look at a student’s previous research experience? More generally, how is a student’s research experience evaluated?