Columbia GS vs USC Viterbi

Good point.

For GS, if the student is attending as a full time (12credit hrs or up), student can apply for on campus housing. They have a checkbox on the application.
For USC, I believe lot of transfer students live off campus.

That’s not quite right. The hottest field in CS is AI/ML and a PhD (or at least an MS) is almost a necessity in that field (unless you just want to be implementing someone else’s models).

There’re also different types of MS degrees based on thesis requirement. MS degrees without a thesis isn’t much different from a typical BS degree other than the requiremenet for some more advanced coursework (which advanced undergraduate students could also elect to take). And they are cash cows. Thesis-based MS, on the other hand, is a different animal.

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University housing for Columbia GS students not guaranteed:

University housing for USC transfers also not guaranteed: Home Away from Home

Seems to be first come/first serve.

So true! I spaced making that distinction! It’s usually part of my MS discussion. It’s one of the several reasons my son stayed at Cal Poly and didn’t go to Stanford for his MS.

I can see getting a Master’s in AI/ML. The question was whether a PhD was necessary, and I don’t believe it is. The biggest impediments in AI/ML aren’t algorithms, but gathering more data and processing power. The few CS PhDs working in industry rather than academia I knew were either doing the same kind of software development people with bachelor’s and master’s were doing, or were off working on some kind of project that was so “out there” that they produced nothing of commercial value.

Thinking about it a little more, a PhD probably wouldn’t be a bad idea if you want to pursue quantum computing.

Just like the term CS covers many different subfields in CS, the term ML is used very generally and broadly to refer to many subfields within ML. If a student wants to be involved in advancing the frontiers of knowledge and research, PhD is still the best path toward that goal. The main problem for these students at the moment is to get into one of the top programs in the area. Their acceptance rates make getting into Stanford as an undergrad like a cakewalk.

Quantum computing is an entirely different animal. Even the simplest task of programming quantum devices will require radically different skills/knowledge that most software engineers today won’t know what to do with them.

Thank you for the suggestion! It seems none of the universities will guarantee my housing.

Contact them and ask about what help they provide with off campus housing, finding roommates, etc. (if any - they might not help at all but knowing that ahead of time could be a tipping factor)

Thank you! I will do it.