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Research topic & project

Danish Shaukat
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 16, 1999
Posts: 340
Hi all !
I've got a BS(CS) degree.I'm applying for MS(CS) that may lead to a Phd. In my application i have to mention some "Proposed Research area/topic".
I'd like to mention something that might help me in my career as an applications engineer.
Your suggestions are welcomed.
Apart from this i also have to mention some project. In my BS i developed a mobile stock trading system using j2me as my final project. So will this kind of thing do well or i need something more advanced. I guess it should also be something that helps me in my career in the industry.
Again, your valuable suggestions are welcomed.
Regards
Danish
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
A BS, masters, and PhD are all very different, and from your posting, I suspect that you may not have a clear understanding of the distinction. Generally speaking.... (meaning some schools or cultures may have different views, correct or incorrect)
BS
General knowledge of the subject. This is more in depth then having read, say a book on it. Understand the fundamental ideas, practices, and terms. Can follow advanced topics.
Masters
This is decidated work in some specialied area of the field. It usually involves a greater degree of knowledge in the area. In CS, typical subjects might be: compilers, cryptography, graphics, caching, networking protocols. At some schools this work is simply exposing the student to the detailed knowledge, but not necessarily doing anything new. At other schools, the student does work in a research gorup under a professor and asissts with the new research in a new area.
PhD
This degree is given for new work in a field. typically the work is extremely narrow in focus, just look at some thesis titles to give you an idea; a typical one might be something like "Non-linear caching strategies for DSP chips." Most people working in indsutry don't need PhDs. I mention this because it's rare to see someone going for a PhD to help advance your career in the software industry. (It will, however, help if you want to go into computer science, which is research based.)
Typically, when proposing an area of research, it's usually more academic. This is very true for a PhD, less so for a masters. Now grad school will accept you just b/c you want to make a better mobile stock trading application. They may be interested if you want to rsearch wireless networking topologies, or look to expand wireless bandwidth. Do you see the difference? For a masters you may be able to get away with something more immediately practical, but that's doubtful for a PhD is CS.
(Sidenote: I'm not implying a PhD is not practical, just that the implacations of most PhD work will not be realized in a commercial sense in the short term.)

--Mark
 
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subject: Research topic & project