SANTTUcurriculum vitae
08 Oct 2018

My first ‘Statement of Purpose’ that fetched a seat at Aalto University in Finland

Note: I don’t know if this statement of purpose is a good template to follow. However, this SOP of mine, which took several days to write fetched me a seat at my dream university in Finland to pursue a masters program in Machine Learning in the year 2010.

Statement of Purpose

When I was fourteen (2002), I was gifted with something that changed my life: a Pentium-3 computer. Some of my best days were spent knowing it and playing games and surfing the web for necessary information. This kindled an interest in computers in me. Since then I started exploring more about computers in web and reading books on troubleshooting whenever I faced any problem. I did not want to be an amateur in this cyber era and therefore wanted to explore things and know more about computers.

The philosophy of computer science, “to make computations easier/mechanical and to provide a foundation for mathematics” is what I find most appealing about Computer Science. This intriguing philosophy conveys that learning is a constant process in Computer Science, which adds to the already immense potential for innovation that exists in this field.

My undergraduate education has provided me with a strong and comprehensive background in Computer Science and has also brought about considerable maturity in my outlook. In the four years of study, I have strived to learn various concepts of Computers and its related topics. I believe that self-learning, discussions on the concept and sharing of knowledge with others, helps in better understanding of a concept. After evaluating myself after completion of my undergraduate studies, I have decided to pursue a Masters in Computer Science leading to a doctorate. I have come to this decision after carefully considering my academic background, my areas of interest, and my ultimate professional ambition, as a research professional at an academic or commercial, research-oriented organization.

My interest in Computer Science was rejuvenated with the subject Neural Networks. As a part of the curriculum, I have done a Mini project, “Handwritten character recognition through back propagation algorithm using Artificial Neural Networks”. I and my team have investigated a few uses of neural networks, configured under the Back Propagation Algorithm. We developed a software for the task of detecting Handwritten Characters especially signatures which can help in identification of forgeries or frauds. This guided independent work has given me a good understanding of the theoretical, experimental and computational skills required in Computer Science.

In my major project, I have worked on Clustering algorithms in Data Mining, ”Implementation and Analysis of the K-means Algorithm using different similarity metrics for Document Clustering in Text mining”. This work made me more enthusiastic towards the research field. My work proposed new measures of distances which had less time complexity. This is the time where I have analyzed myself that I am good at computational mathematics, which is a necessity for a computer science student. This work made me feel proud and more confident about publishing a paper on it in the mere future. My main fields of interest are Data Mining, Artificial Neural Networks, Human-Computer Interaction, Object Oriented Analysis and Design, Software Engineering, Database management System and Automata Theory, However, for my MS degree, I remain open to other topics as well.

I have always been an active participant of seminars and was also the representative of our class, hence shared a good rapport with my lecturers and fellow students. Participation in various co-curricular and extracurricular activities has led to the development of a multifaceted personality and has equipped me with strong interpersonal skills. As a part of annual technical fest held at our college, I and my team members designed a game, one way out, which received a huge response. We designed the game in, though we do not have a course on C# as part of our academics, because of eagerness to learn new things and technologies, we opted to do it in C#. Organizing this event taught me that the basis for good work is self-reliance, teamwork and very importantly, time management. Moreover, I am a Web Developer (PHP); I initiated a redesign of our static college website to an interactive one and received appreciation from the management.

There are various reasons why I would like to join your school. Firstly, your school has got an ample number of researchers who work on the development of various fields in Computer Science. The extensiveness of research done at your school would allow me to pursue my interests in-depth with talented researchers. Secondly, it has always been my dream to study in a good institute in Finland because of the education methods there, as heard can help a student to develop in all the fields, i.e. in all-round development.

Apart from my research interests, I enjoy a variety of pursuits. I have always enjoyed playing volleyball and listening to music. Apart from being the president of various clubs and societies in school, I have also been actively involved in organizing our department’s annual symposium and National level conferences. These experiences have given me an opportunity to develop my leadership skills. I have also been an active participant in extracurricular activities, represented my school, department and college in a number of events.


Yours Sincerely
Santosh Tirunagari
December 2009

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