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Ask Questions about RPI Here

joedoejoedoe 255 replies13 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 268 Junior Member
Hello everyone! I've been pretty active on this thread this year - I'm a current student at RPI. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns about RPI either here in the comments or via DM. If I don't know the answer, I'll probably either defer you to Reddit or tell you where you can find the answer. I don't work for admissions, but am very active on this forum since RPI has personally done a lot for me and I know I got a lot of help here when I was applying for college.


MODERATOR'S NOTE: Anyone is free to ask or answer questions in this thread.


edited April 2018
41 replies
Post edited by MaineLonghorn on
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Replies to: Ask Questions about RPI Here

  • annamomannamom 1304 replies145 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,449 Senior Member
    Hi @joedoe Do you know the male to female ratio for the Lally School of Management ? thanks
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  • joedoejoedoe 255 replies13 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 268 Junior Member
    @annamom Hey! I don’t know the exact number, but I’m in business statistics this semester and there are a lot more girls than in my other classes. The gender ratio is closer to 50-50 in Management, Architecture, and HASS.
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  • annamomannamom 1304 replies145 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,449 Senior Member
    @joedoe thank you.
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  • paulcordpaulcord 47 replies3 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 50 Junior Member
    How many students have there been in your largest classes? And how many large classes have you been in? Were there functional recitation sections/office hours for those recitation sections where you could easily get your questions answered?

    Have you found tutors or other academic support available & effective?

    Is there an easy way to get into Albany from RPI? Does Enterprise offer student rental cars at RPI? Do students Uber that far?

    Thank you.
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  • joedoejoedoe 255 replies13 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 268 Junior Member
    edited April 2018
    @paulcord The largest course I took at RPI was data structures which had around 200 students. The only large classes I have been in were data structures (200), intro to computer science (150), and calculus I (60). The rest of my courses have ranged from less than 10 students to around 20.

    For data structures, everyone gets broken up into lab sessions where you work on labs and homework assignments. TA's (undergraduate and graduate) also help you with any topics you don't understand. The same goes for Intro to CS. These sections usually have around 10 students and 4-5 TAs.

    Here are all the office hours, lab times, and lecture times for Data Structures:

    http://www.cs.rpi.edu/academics/courses/spring18/csci1200/schedule.php

    As you can see, there's a lot of time to ask for help. There are also two lecture sections so it's around 100 in each lecture now - when I took it we didn't have that luxury, they just jammed all 200 of us in one lecture hall. The schedule is even more packed for CS1 with tutoring hours. Also note, a lot of students don't go to lecture or drop these classes so the class size shrinks A LOT throughout the semester.

    Calculus I was different. There was one TA and one professor, which both had office hours. However. roughly half the class never went to class since they were just retaking Calculus I. Pretty much every incoming RPI student has taken calculus at the minimum before. This made it really easy to talk to the professor. In addition, there's recitation and mentoring for Calculus I - both are mandatory, where you get tutoring and take quizzes/exams. These sections can be anywhere from 3-15 students. For when I took it, they put me and five other kids that lived in Quad in the same section and we'd meet in the lounge connected to the dorms with our TA that also lived in Quad. Everyone showed up in their pjs and it was a really chill environment.

    There's also ALAC which has free tutoring in any subject or class at RPI. If you are having academic issues there are also learning assistants that can set you up with tutors at no cost. You'll only really have to pay for a tutor privately in a really niche class like Data Mining or Hydrogeology, etc.

    In terms of rental cars, there isn't specifically a service provided to RPI students for that. You can go and find one, but they usually charge an additional $60 a day cause you're under the age of 21 - so that's not cost effective. You'll meet plenty of upperclassmen that have cars and some freshman bring cars to campus anyway and park off-campus. Students use Uber and Lyft a lot to get around - it's like $10-15 to get to Albany, split it with some friends and it gets really cheap.
    edited April 2018
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  • annamomannamom 1304 replies145 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,449 Senior Member
    Hi @joedoe thanks for the responses ...Does grade deflation happen at RPI ? Is getting below 3.0 the norm? for engineering , CS students?
    Can students take classes outside of RPI, say in Summer? in particular, can they take data structures outside of RPI?
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  • annamomannamom 1304 replies145 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,449 Senior Member
    Hi @joedoe What programming language do CSCI 1100 and 1200 use? Do most of the students already knew a programming language before taking CSCI 1100 ?
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  • HermalezHermalez 18 replies0 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 18 Junior Member
    Interested at all in neural networking?
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  • love2teachlove2teach 31 replies12 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 43 Junior Member
    @joedoe I noticed mainly girls post on FB looking for a roommate. Did u just complete the questionnaire and take a roll of the dice that RPI will make a reasonable match? Trying to see if s should create a FB account. He is more of an instagram guy.
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  • reformedmanreformedman 416 replies28 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 444 Member
    edited April 2018
    I hope you don't mind that I add some answers to joedoe's forthcoming responses. My perspective might add a bit to the convo.

    @annamom
    Is getting below 3.0 the norm? for engineering , CS students?
    Getting less than a 3 certainly happens but not unusually more than you'd find at any other institution renown for it's excellent education like Cornell, GeorgiaTech or MIT. Data Structures for example is way more difficult at RPI than at a local school near us as a matter of fact. The high level of rigor is par for this course, no way around it.
    Does grade deflation happen at RPI ?
    With that said, I don't believe grade deflation is prevalent. Can't prove otherwise but in light of the previous, you'd expect lower grades, but there's the nuance that RPI takes in highly qualified students that are capable to handle the rigor. Look at THIS LIST. I'm so proud of my kid hitting his books so hard enough to get on that list. Here's another LIST
    Can students take classes outside of RPI, say in Summer? in particular, can they take data structures outside of RPI?
    Yes, they can. My son will be taking two classes over this coming summer because they aren't too closely related to his major so he want's to have an easy rigor level on them. You need to check THIS WEBSITE to see if your intended college has the class as acceptable by RPI first and then double check by having your student talk to his advisor just to get confirmation. Click on STATE and then click on GET INSTITUTIONS. On the next page you then click on the INSTITUTIONS and pick which school you want. That will tell you which classes RPI accepts. Make sure to see if the full 4 credits fully transfer or if only 3 of the 4 do.
    What programming language do CSCI 1100 and 1200 use?
    1100-Python and 1200-C++. If your student took ap-computer science A, then it was taken with Java and that is an acceptable replacement for csci-1100. If your student took ap-computer science principles it was also in Java and that will be used for a csci elective therefore he would have to take 1100 anyway.

    A special note about the csci-1100 that is on Youtube. The RPI's professor for 1100 has the full course available on youtube and my son watched it over the summer before coming in as a freshman. On his first day of class the professor told the class that if you watched that series, 'it is poson'. With the new version of the program it turns out that it is very different from the current version. Not sure why it doesn't get removed but for what it's worth, I think it did more good than harm since he had ZERO background in programming before RPI and did very well regardless having watched it.
    edited April 2018
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  • joedoejoedoe 255 replies13 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 268 Junior Member
    edited April 2018
    Hey! @reformedman hit the nail on the head. CSCI-1100 is in Python. CSCI-1200 is in C++. No programming language is required prior. However, DO NOT take data structures first semester if you don’t have any experience. In my opinion, that’s gonna severely hurt your GPA/record if you mess up. I took CSCI-1100 first semester and it helped prepare me a lot for data structures. Some people do take it without experience, but it’s a very fast-paced course and those people don’t get very much sleep. Students fail that course that already have a lot of programming experience, so it’s not for the light hearted.

    In terms of the roommate situation @love2teach if they want Facebook is a great way to find a roommate. However, the questionnaire is also fine. Most people I know just got assigned a roommate and it either worked out or they found other friends elsewhere to hangout with.
    edited April 2018
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  • annamomannamom 1304 replies145 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,449 Senior Member
    edited April 2018
    @reformedman and @joedoe Thank you.

    We visited during the Accepted Students Celebration. DD met with her friend's brother who is dual major in CS and an another area. He told her the problem with CS is that the GPA could get below 3.0, but it is okay with those companies who knew CS at RPI is difficult. I did not buy the last part as it would eliminate a lot of companies (and I do not doubt the brother's ability). I was not part of the conversation, hence wasn't sure. I looked into reddit and found a few posts on low GPA, hence I am concerned.

    @reformedman the dean's list helps.

    The Accepted Students Celebration is well run. The enthusiasm of the students is contagious. DD felt the connection and wanted to commit. However, I have my reservation (not because of the school or the GPA) and wanted her to visit a few more colleges.


    edited April 2018
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  • joedoejoedoe 255 replies13 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 268 Junior Member
    edited April 2018
    @annamom It's possible to do well in RPI CS, it's just more difficult than at a state school which is why many companies flock to RPI. I would attest though that lower GPAs are fine. I have around a 3.0 GPA and got multiple co-op and internship offers from IBM, some startup companies in NYC, and a large defense company. Some members of my fraternity also got jobs at Amazon with low 3.0 GPAs out of RPI CS. As long as you have over a 3.0 cumulative it's fine for the large tech companies. If you meet the minimum GPA, they will only base the rest off your resume and interview, if you get one.

    At other colleges, I've heard these same companies won't hire you unless you have over a 3.5 minimum. I also know a lot of people that have landed very high paying technology jobs with below a 3.0. It'll only really affect your first-time job or internship at like Google, NVIDIA, or Intel, which are all very competitive. Granted, either way, I've spoken to friends that have done Google interviews that had very high GPAs that still didn't land jobs there - you need to be at the top of your university to get hired there, regardless of institution.
    edited April 2018
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  • paulcordpaulcord 47 replies3 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 50 Junior Member
  • annamomannamom 1304 replies145 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,449 Senior Member
    edited April 2018
    I am checking my understanding here..
    a. It is easy to change major and change school with the exception of CS
    b. If a student is not a CS major, the student needs to get a B or above in data structure in order to change to major in CS.

    Therefore, does it mean that it is better to declare CS major before school begins?
    Does it mean that if the student gets below a B in data structure, the student can still remain a CS major? (I understand the argument if a student cannot get B in data structure, the student should not major in CS anyway, but it is not my question)

    My kid does not really have an intended major, but I suspect she may eventually do CS (or ITWS) along with business, but I like her to have an option to be begin with.
    edited April 2018
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