Caltech Admissions versus IIT Admissions

<p>Favoring Dark Ages hackishness (in the bad sense) over real CS and software engineering techniques just bites you in the butt two ways. For example, insertion sort is easy to implement, but merge sort is guaranteed to scale better. Rewriting insertion sort in assembler isn't going to help that and you won't be able to understand it afterwards. RF circuitry is 100% nasty but that's why they teach classes on it. Honestly, I'm not surprised that guy didn't make it to MIT. He doesn't seem inclined to push his own limits, and that's fatal at any top-tier school.</p>

<p>I agree with SteelPangolin. You learn the value of abstraction the first time you try to make a substantial change in any program you've written. If he's never had that epiphany, it makes me suspect his programming might be more superficial, and not indicative of a real drive to expand upon ideas. But that might just be me being apalled at someone with so much apparent experience in Software Engineering being unable to grasp one of its fundamentals.</p>

<p>I agree with two above posts. That guy has no idea what he is talking about. Recursion is slow? Excuse me, but if you try to write everything iteratively, your code gets big, and sometimes can't fit into the cache. Thus, you won't get the speed you are looking for. Furthermore, most C++ compilers today can generated assembly that is far more optimized than if you did it by hand. Even more important is that C++ compilers will often generate faster code than a C compiler when you enter the same code under both(C Code), and compile one with C and one with C++, mainly because compiler developers spend more time improving the C++ optimizing compiler(to try and beat C's claimed speed boost).</p>

<p>anyway getting back to what sagar said (though I agree with you guys, CS theory/abstraction is important when you write programs that actually do things)</p>

<p>I was accepted to Caltech with no big awards (not even NMS stuff) and just a very big interest in math and science, and some good extracurriculars and interests. I was also, waitlisted at MIT...</p>

<p>I sent both schools color pictures of my interesting hobbies, my computer tinkering, whipmaking (hey it involves good knowledge of conservation of energy) and a marble roller coaster that one a regional award made from k'nex and paper. Now, I think that counts as tinkering quite a bit, and I have an RSI friend (going to harvard) who met Matt McGann and knows him personally that was baffeled at my waitlisting...</p>

<p>who knows?</p>

<p>Now that we are done with "which school's better debate".can anyone tell me the real financial aid situation at Caltech.(for internationals mind you).
Well according to me the american way of admitting people is better than IIT but the intensive pure science and math atmosphere at IIT is better than US schools..but I do not mean to say that the US system is in anyway bad..I mean these are two different methodologies and people who believe in the latter education (like me) want to come to the states even though they have a good chance of getting into IIT (I mean I get in the top 100 of IIT simulator national tests.</p>

I get in the top 100 of IIT simulator national tests.

That's pretty hardcore. You have my admiration.</p>

<p>The real situation for internationals is that we admit about 20-30 internationals with full financial support out of Caltech's pocket. A small additional number of full-paying internationals are also admitted.</p>

<p>Okay Ben.. I once gave you my resume and you said that with participation in an olympiad like IOI (making it to the camp) would make my chances at 60% for Caltech with aid. But I don't think I will be able to participate in IOI (though I'll try my best) but what if I get some prizes in national level comps like National Cyber Olympiad and two others. How would that help me (in %).
Let me just remind you that without IOI you weighed my chances as 30% with aid.So...waiting for your reply</p>

<p>Well, the strange thing is that you can be extremely smart but without <em>something</em> like an indication that you were actually in the top 100 on the (real) IIT test, there won't be much to distinguish you from the rest of the international applicants.</p>

<p>If you are able to score in the top 100 on the IIT test, then that would be similar in impressiveness to going to a national olympiad training camp, since the rigor and difficulty of the IIT tests is well known. (When is this test during the year?) Sending us such a score would bump your chances -- to about 60-70% again.</p>

<p>If I recall correctly, you were asking earlier why we don't value independent research that shows an ability to do something else than sit there for three hours answering pretty standard questions correctly. We do. However, we have such a strong international pool that many of those admitted have <em>both</em> a top Olympiad placement and good independent research. Thus, having only one puts you at somewhat of a disadvantage.</p>

<p>So the point of my above post is that top 100 on the IIT test is extremely impressive from my point of view... but for it to be impressive to Caltech, it has to be "official". If there were some way for you to convey to Caltech that you have such high results on the national exam, then it would help your chances a lot.</p>