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Georgia Tech/Michigan/UIUC/UCB/UCLA/UCSD/USC/ Case or Austin for Computer Engg

barca2018barca2018 42 replies9 threads Junior Member
Very fortunate that DS20 has been admitted to these fantastic programs for computer engineering. We are instate for the UCs and so we know them pretty well . We were hoping to visit the out of state schools during spring break. That is obviously not happening. We have checked the rankings etc. but that alone IMHO is not enough to pick a school. Cost really is not a factor but we are not keen to throw money away, if we don't have to. If anyone has any input regarding these choices, it would be much appreciated.
20 replies
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Replies to: Georgia Tech/Michigan/UIUC/UCB/UCLA/UCSD/USC/ Case or Austin for Computer Engg

  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan 13057 replies29 threads Senior Member
    If you aren't keen to throw money away, I'd pick one of the UC's. My personal order of preference would be Cal, UCSD, UCLA. Cal is obviously in the Bay Area tech hotspot.

    Don't see the point of paying more for the other options.
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  • firmament2xfirmament2x 500 replies4 threads Member
    @barca2018 . . . I don't think Berkeley has Computer Engineering, or just straight hardware. They have EECS, which is presumably both software and hardware. I'm sure most CE majors at UCSD and UCLA do study coding also though. And UCLA's is a new major having started it in 2017.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 81002 replies727 threads Senior Member
    UCB EECS allows the student to choose upper level courses to emphasize any of a range of subjects within EE and CS, including computer hardware as well as other things like computer software, power systems, and communications and signal processing.
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  • barca2018barca2018 42 replies9 threads Junior Member
    @ucbalmus Thx that is our understanding as well
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 81002 replies727 threads Senior Member
    Assuming that you have been admitted to your desired major at UCB, UCLA, and UCSD, and these are much less expensive than the other options, it makes sense to move these to the top of the list.
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  • barca2018barca2018 42 replies9 threads Junior Member
    @ucbalumnus: The admission to all the schools including the UCs is directly to the desired major, except of course Michigan that admits to COE.
    I agree that based on cost alone the UC's should be on top of the list, except Case where there is pretty decent merit scholarship. Tech seems to have a great Co-op program that can lower cost and from what we have heard, Michigan seems to have a different energy, not sure if it is worth 120K though :)
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  • sushirittosushiritto 4956 replies18 threads Senior Member
    Generally, the advantages to UMich would be smaller class sizes, easier access to advisors, easier switching majors/schools, cheaper and more plentiful housing options post-freshman year and a winning athletics program. No budget problems, no protests and the TA’s get paid. :wink:

    Disadvantage to UMich is OOS cost and weather. As a CA family, we decided on UMich.
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  • barca2018barca2018 42 replies9 threads Junior Member
    @sushiritto Thanks that is very helpful
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  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan 13057 replies29 threads Senior Member
    UMich isn't exactly known for it's small class sizes. It may depend on major but CompE isn't a small obscure one.
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  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan 13057 replies29 threads Senior Member
    BTW, @firmament, CompE majors everywhere tend to have both hardware and software classes.
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  • sushirittosushiritto 4956 replies18 threads Senior Member
    edited March 26
    UMich isn't exactly known for it's small class sizes. It may depend on major but CompE isn't a small obscure one.

    Compared to an LAC? No, of course not. I’m judging based on what my kid tells me and the CDS. Student-faculty ratio is 15:1 at UMich. Cal and UCLA are 19:1 to 20:1. UMich ratio has been stable at 15:1 for at least 20 years. Cal and UCLA have crept up over the years.
    edited March 26
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  • Rivet2000Rivet2000 1266 replies3 threads Senior Member
    Cal in state will be hard to beat. You should consider Cal as your benchmark. If there are clear reasons why u see anther school as better than Cal, go for it.
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  • firmament2xfirmament2x 500 replies4 threads Member
    @suhiritto. . .

    Some reasons why student/faculty ratio doesn't tell the whole story of class size:

    -- In my example from earlier, a lecturer (or, say, two) can teach a class with five sections at different day and time, or teach one. A lot of colleges would rather have just one class, because it will ease classroom bookings and other logistical matters, like scheduling finals. The more class finals there are, the greater chance of day-and-time conflicts for individual students. It could free up their schedules for a combination of classes, but there are also time constraints related to a week. So in this example, there is no difference in student/faculty ratio, but the course per my example, has approximately 1/5 of the enrollment in five sections, compared to the course offering having one.

    -- There are research-based institutions and teaching-based ones. Obviously for the latter, there don't have to be as many faculty because they're not as concerned about propping up the college's rankings of departments by producing research. The typical community college in CA has really small classes, but their student-faculty ratio is guaranteed to be not very good.

    -- The universities with a greater proportion of grad students to undergrad will mean lesser allotment to undergrad students. But don't expect many colleges to distinguish between the two by reporting student/faculty ratios for only undergrads.

    -- What comprises the faculty in the ratio? Contracted faculty obviously don't count in the figures. But Cal and UCLA obviously have a good proportion of these as do other colleges who are not counted in full-time faculty.

    My point is that student-faculty ratios can be and are gamed also, and they don't tell the whole story of class size.

    How this relates to Cal and UCLA v. Michigan? I kind of doubt that Michigan has materially smaller classes.
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  • coolguy40coolguy40 2730 replies8 threads Senior Member
    If you go out of state, you ARE throwing your money away. It's triple the tuition for no additional benefit. That's the definition of throwing your money away. Plus, don't expect that the economy is going to make a quick rebound after this virus. The last thing you want is to start school only to transfer back because a parent got laid off. This is a good time to go some place affordable.
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  • sushirittosushiritto 4956 replies18 threads Senior Member
    @firmament2x I assume these top public schools are all alike. They may both game (or not) "the system." But only Cal has been caught for misreporting statistics:

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/christopherrim/2019/07/26/uc-berkeley-removed-from-us-news-college-rankings-for-misreporting-statistics/#166d7af27578

    According to the CDS's:
    Class Sections:

    Cal 3,121
    UMich 4,165

    That's a big difference in the number of sections offered.

    Class section sizes:
    Cal
    Under 50 81.5%
    50-99 8.5%
    100+ 10%

    UMich
    Under 50 82%
    50-99 10.7%
    100+ 7.3%

    In terms of subsections:
    Cal
    Under 50 students 97.9%

    UMich
    Under 50 students 99.3%

    I guess it depends on what someone would consider "material."

    And in terms of going forward, I more confidence in UMich in keeping their numbers consistent, because their endowment is larger than the entire UC system.

    UMich will obviously be more expensive. But as I said, my kid has relatively easy access to her advisers for her STEM major and two minors and hasn't had a problem getting her classes.

    And she'll likely graduate at least a semester early w/o having to take a full load at any time during her 3 1/2 years there. That'll save at least a semester's worth of tuition.
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  • sushirittosushiritto 4956 replies18 threads Senior Member
    coolguy40 wrote: »
    If you go out of state, you ARE throwing your money away. It's triple the tuition for no additional benefit. That's the definition of throwing your money away. Plus, don't expect that the economy is going to make a quick rebound after this virus. The last thing you want is to start school only to transfer back because a parent got laid off. This is a good time to go some place affordable.

    There's a lot of us (roughly 45% OOS and 3% International) throwing our money away at UMich. :smiley:

    We saw value, especially this year (sophomore) when my kid had multiple options of off campus housing at extremely reasonable lease rates, if you're willing to room with others. Her and her roommates had a local broker show them multiple properties for lease, though ultimately decided not to use this local broker or lease any of those properties.

    And then there's the obvious attraction to UMich/B1G sports program (football, basketball, hockey) for us, evidenced by the football attendance numbers below:

    According to ESPN:

    Cal-Stanford 48,904
    UMich/Ohio State 112,071 (on Thanksgiving weekend)
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 81002 replies727 threads Senior Member
    edited March 26
    The CDS numbers may not be too accurate for the specific courses of interest to the student. Class schedules, if they are publicly accessible and show class sizes, would be a better way to see.

    Michigan's class schedule at https://ro.umich.edu/sites/default/files/timesched/pdf/FA2020.pdf does not list class sizes, but the number of discussions attached to each lecture can give an idea of class sizes. For CS (as opposed to EE), large class sizes should be expected. The UCs may have larger class sizes, but the difference would be hundreds versus more hundreds, probably not that material a difference.
    edited March 26
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  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan 13057 replies29 threads Senior Member
    sushiritto wrote: »

    There's a lot of us (roughly 45% OOS and 3% International) throwing our money away at UMich. :smiley:

    Most of whom do not have cheaper in-state options offering the brand/prestige/opportunities of UMich.

    No so true for a CA resident who got in to Cal, UCLA, and UCSD for EECS/CompE
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  • sushirittosushiritto 4956 replies18 threads Senior Member
    edited March 26
    sushiritto wrote: »

    There's a lot of us (roughly 45% OOS and 3% International) throwing our money away at UMich. :smiley:

    Most of whom do not have cheaper in-state options offering the brand/prestige/opportunities of UMich?

    No so true for a CA resident who got in to Cal, UCLA, and UCSD for EECS/CompE

    That’s clearly not accurate. Did you look at the UMich map:

    https://admissions.umich.edu/apply/freshmen-applicants/student-profile

    The largest amount of OOS students come from FL, CA, NY, IL, OH, CO, TX, etc. The better question is what states don’t have a cheaper option with similar prestige than UMich, which generally gives little aid to OOS students?
    edited March 26
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  • firmament2xfirmament2x 500 replies4 threads Member
    @sushiritto . . . The schools at which UMich does well in California are good to elite private high schools and excellent public ones. It isn't typically going to get the really top-notch student from these schools -- your daughter undoubtedly notwithstanding, especially from the former. With that said, UMich is a great university and it has high standards overall, but probably not from its CA cohort.

    I wasn't accusing UMich of having gamed the system with respect to student-faculty ratio. I doubt if it does. That's usually something middle-upper-tier private universities would do related to the metrics of college rankings, so they can try to ascend them. It's evident that UMich, as well as UCB, UCLA, UCSD, don't care to engage in this.

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