25 November 2008

Useful Tips#2

5) Write for an audience of faculty or professionals in the field (1-2 pages-single spaced)

6) Remember that your writing will be clear to you- but will it be clear to someone else who only has the written word to go by

7) The statement of purpose is an opportunity to “stand-out” from the crowd

8) It is an opportunity to showcase your writing abilities, but also your critical thinking skills as you relate your background to field of study

9) The objective is to gain acceptance- every sentence should be written with this in mind

20 November 2008

Useful Tips #1

General comments:

1) Importance: The statement of purpose is always important but is relative to other aspects of application.

2) Time consuming: the statement of purpose needs several revisions- with outside review and input

3) Attempt to provide personal information that is not specifically provided elsewhere in the application

4) The tone is moderate but serious and ambitious (not too cheerful or too morose) and avoid humor unless you are sure- use first person (I, me, my)

5) Write for an audience of faculty or professionals in the field (1-2 pages-single spaced)

15 November 2008

Sample SOP #3

The key to all sciences is unquestionably the question mark. To the word How? We owe most of our greatest discoveries. Wisdom in life may perhaps consist in asking ourselves on all occasions: Why?”

(Sample Quote)

Honore de Balzac.

From the very first day of their lives the one thing that every human being has been utilizing and continues to do so is their power of communication. Communication with its boundless sphere of activities controls every aspect of human life regardless of its size or complexity. Today wireless communication is revolutionizing the world of modern communication in ways that we would never have imagined only a few years before and I would very much like to be an active part of this revolution and further my interest in this particular field at your esteemed university.

From my school days I have been an ardent activist in getting things done as a group and perhaps this was the point in time when I first acknowledged the importance of effective communication. I was fortunate to study at P.S.B.B Senior Secondary School, ranked one of the country’s top schools, till my tenth standard. As head of the schools quiz club and Cultural Secretary I was able to improve my people skills and understand the essentials of working in a group. Choosing the science stream for standard eleven and twelve was not very difficult as Physics and Mathematics have always held their sway over me and continue to do so.

My interest in the field of communication was kick started during a demonstration in high school by some of my fellow classmates, which showcased the sheer power of communication over long distances and remote controlled operation of devices. Though many of the projects were mere displays of existing low-level concepts the keenness exhibited by the students had me dreaming about the endless possibilities of communication. Seeking to translate my dreams to reality I set about working on a Low Power AM Radio Transmitter. Though the concept was simple and the implementation straightforward it was instrumental in teaching me how to work in a team and provided me with an amateurish satisfaction of having accomplished something of immense importance.

The successful completion of this scheme ignited a spark in me and I couldn’t see it dying down at any point in the future. The choice of Electronics and Communication Engineering (E.C.E) at the undergraduate level was an easy one. It was the most suitable course as it had Communication as one of its core areas, while electronics is infinitely important at the implementation stage of any communication model. My exposure to the courses Signals and Systems, Communication Theory and Systems, Digital Communication have led me to appreciate the intricacies involved in this field. The mini project on Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC’s) provided another means of appreciating the significance of teamwork. I was extremely privileged to be able to visit the ISRO facility at Bangalore while on an industrial visit, where I had an enlightening tour accompanied by a lecture on communication systems and wireless communication. By this time my interest in Communication had matured into an active enthusiasm to learn more and do more in this area. Further industrial training sessions at the Airports Authority of India (International Division), TVS Electronics and Larsen & Toubro Ltd. (Telecom Division) and an industrial visit to BHEL (Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd.) served to enhance my passion in this field to a higher degree.

My current final year project titled “A Multipath Interference Mitigation Technique for High Speed Packet Transmission in WCDMA Downlink” aims to devise a means of suppressing multipath interference using OVSF Code Characteristics in a WCDMA downlink. Interference free data transmission positions itself high on the agenda of any modern communications company and WCDMA being at the forefront of wideband digital radio communications of Internet, multimedia, video and other capacity-demanding applications was an enticing prospect to carry out a project on. Furthermore WCDMA provides new service capabilities, increased network capacity and reduced cost for voice and data services providing more reason to probe this area of study.

Academics has in no way diminished my participation in extra-curricular activities both at the school and college level. I was part of the NCC (National Cadet Corps) in school and the NSS in college. I am currently the joint secretary of my college quiz club and have been actively involved in the organization of our college’s annual symposium for the last two years. I am confident that I will exhibit the same level of commitment while pursuing a Graduate course and request you to consider me for admission into the MSEE Program beginning Fall 2007 at your esteemed university with full financial support.

10 November 2008

Sample SOP#2

I intend to undertake my graduate studies at The University of Rochester, and focus on the Fiber Optics and Optical Communications research area. My experiences over the course of my undergraduate study have been instrumental in influencing and narrowing my interests to this field.

I have always taken an avid interest in Communications right from my high school level. It was because of this that I pursued my undergraduate study in the field of Electronics and Communications. I stood in the top 0.1% of my school and this helped me secure an admit at ************ which has consistently been rated as the best institute among the 250 private engineering colleges affiliated to The Anna University.

In my second year, my zeal for communications increased further when I was exposed to the operational fundamentals of a Telecommunication Network at ************, the World's 7th largest Telecommunications Company. The experience gave me insights into the multifarious prospects that the communications field has to offer in terms of research and innovation.

As I delved deeper into my subjects, I became aware of the importance of practical experience. After great scrutiny of my academic credentials and aptitude, I was accepted as an Intern at Reliance Communications, India’s largest CDMA operator. Here, I was part of the Operations and Management (O & M) Team wherein I interacted with engineers from Lucent Technology about specific issues concerning Optimization and Management of CDMA Networks. This inspired me to do a project on one type of Optimization – In Building Solutions. The project aimed at achieving optimal signal levels in coverage deficient areas within a multi-storey building. After 3 months of rigorous planning and testing, the system is now fully functional and is serving more than 2000 customers a day. The assignment instilled a great sense of accomplishment and satisfaction in me. It helped me realize that improvisation, systematic work, patience and perseverance are the hallmarks of a good researcher.

It was during my stint at Reliance, that I was introduced to the inherent potency of Fiber Optics and Optical Networking. With additional background study, I have come to realize that this technology, which is already a key component of most communication networks, is here to revolutionize communications. I really cherish the unforgettable experience I had when I worked on Characterization and Simulation studies on Optical Components and Network Elements at Andromeda Communications Pvt. Ltd. I am now certain that I want to pursue a career researching the Fiber Optics & Optical Communications field. Accordingly, I have been attending special lectures and seminars on ‘The emerging trends in Optical Communication’ conducted by my project advisor, Dr.V.Nagarajan. Furthermore, the ‘Optical Communications’ course in my present semester is helping me to learn the basics of this field. The reading that I am doing beyond the purview of my syllabus has increased my enthusiasm for this subject in leaps and bounds and has spurred me on to do a project in the same.

Currently, I am working on a research project – ‘IP Over WDM’. In this project, our team is trying to directly interface WDM with IP after eliminating the intermediate layers like SDH/SONET and ATM. The solution proposed is to incorporate one or more advantages of these eliminated layers into the IP protocol itself by making use of WDM Technology. The project has taken me a step closer to realizing my ambition of working on the latest technology in Optical Communication. I strongly believe that different applications should harness the explosive capacity of this technology to their advantage.

I hope to further my research in Optical Communications by pursuing an M.S. Degree in Optics in your prestigious institution. I chose this university because I find that it not only has the entire infrastructure one needs for research, but also is a very reputed place of learning for this specialization. I am confident that with my high interest levels in the subject, I will be able to significantly contribute to the ongoing research at the Institute of Optics. I hereby request you to consider me for admission into the M.S. program and I look forward to being associated with The University of Rochester. I will indeed deem it a special privilege to be a part of it.