I am currently a 4th year CS senior from a smaller liberal arts school with a small CS department. So far, I've pursued a few semesters of opportunities to do one-on-one research with my head of department, but these research opportunities have been limited to his Post-Doctoral field of work (classifier algorithms and biometric analysis).

I was hoping to get a better idea of other graduate programs that schools offer before attempting to apply to graduate school in a month or so. Is there a good way to go about this given that my school's departmental resources are so small?

  • Could you clarify your question? Are you asking what the best way is to find out about what fields of research are available in computer science, or are you asking what other fields are available in general? – 01010110011001 Nov 2 '15 at 4:00
  • I have a general idea of each research field (I've seen the graduate school websites in the application process. Fields offered include graphics, Artificial Intelligence, Computational Science, ect). but am looking more for the best way to physically research more on these specific topics. Since I only have a month left, I'm realistically looking at a "quick and dirty" sort of exposure so that I can steer my applications towards those graduate programs. Something less than a undergrad research project, but something more than a summary of that field online. – user1519665 Nov 2 '15 at 5:57
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    Why do you want to narrow your research interests at this point? – Jon Custer Nov 2 '15 at 13:20

I'm in an analogous situation. I'm one year out post-undergrad, and am applying to programs this month as well. I also came from a relatively small program, and didn't have a great idea of what direction I wanted to go in.

What I did (and this is perhaps not the most efficient), is I went to the webpages of some schools I was considering, and looked through all of the CS faculty's personal pages. Be forewarned, many of them are badly designed, but a lot of them also have a short description of what the professor's research is about, in their own words. From these descriptions, I started to get a better idea of what did and did not interest me, and it gave me specific people to mention in my applications.

Of course, this approach relies on you having a relatively small list of schools that you're considering. If your list is more than 20 or 30, I could see this becoming too much, or if you have no idea where to start, it might also not be great.

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