Research masters in London

[Sumon] sumonsmailbox at
Sat Aug 18 13:51:09 BST 2007

From: "Gareth Kirwan" <gbjk at>

> Subject: RE: Research masters in London
> He is deluding himself, judging by the dozens of Perl wielding applicants
> from Bangladesh whose CVs I'm currently drowning under.

That is very interesting. Because I wrote about forming a Perl group in
Bangladesh in BDOSN (Bangladesh Open Source Network) and I was told that no
one else codes in Perl. I thought I have a clear idea about the software
industry in Bangladesh, but seems like I am wrong. I am delighted to know
that other people are using Perl in Bangladesh, but again I am really
surprised.  Could you give me more info about that?

He should also refer to himself in the first person more.
> Adding that to "question talking" can produce some of the most irritating
> soliloquies:
> "Does Todd want to go to the park? Of course Todd does, Todd loves the
> park!"
> ( add in referring to yourself as a common noun and you've got ... well,
> The
> Todd )

Anyway, to the point, Why do you want to do so?

I did that because I did not know that is so wrong to do. May be I should
say sorry to the group. After all we have cultural differences. I do not get
many things that are intuitive to most of you.

I wouldn't imagine you could get a master's degree that is so specialized in
> not only a field, but also a language.
> Having said that, there was the degree in Northerness recently...

I am little bit confused about this topic. I understand that if I said that
I want to get a masters degree that covers all of the four fields that I
mentioned, would be foolish. I just wanted to give a general idea what I am
interested in. I do understand that programming languages do not bind to
research courses. But again Perl is a good language to implement web
crawlers and data harvesting agents, right? Could you help me by clearing to
me how I could be more smart with my seek for advice? I am really confused
and embarrassed. Did you help me? or refused to help me?

Someone else helped me with some really helpful advices. He emailed me
personally, but I am taking the liberty to put that here, because someone
else might get benefited.

From: Robert Rothenberg <robrwo at>
> Date: Aug 17, 2007 11:36 PM
> Subject: Re: Research masters in London
> From my own experience quitting my programming job(s) in the US and moving
> to the UK to for a new life as a PhD student, I would suggest that if you
> want to do it right, you do the following:
> 1. Look at recent (last few years) papers relating to search engines,
>    web-crawling, and data-mining.  You'll quickly find that the topics are
> very
>    broad, and narrow down the topics that you are interested in.
> 2. Come up with some specific research questions.  Rather than something
>    value like "a research...related to search engine, web crawling, data
> mining
>    or information retrieval", you should come up with specific hypotheses
> that
>    you would like to answer, "can this X algorithm for doing Y be
> implemented
>    more efficiently?"
>    Having read some recent papers, you should have plenty of ideas for
>    future work.
>    Also pick questions that have straightforward yes/no answers (after
> all, you
>    are supposed to be doing scientific research) and can be answered
> within
>    a one or two-year master's programme.
> 3. You'll note that some of the papers are written by people associated
> with
>    schools in the UK, particularly ones whose work is relevant to the list
> of
>    questions you'd like to work on.   Look at the authors' websites. Pay
> attention to
>    their recent publications (maybe read more of them and refine questions
>    from no. 2 above).
>    Also pay attention to recent activities: does the professor regularly
> go to conferences
>    or give talks or participate in other activities related to the area
> you want to research?
>    Look at their department and school websites as well.  There might be
> studentships
>    available, perhaps in the area you want to research.  There might also
> be other
>    people in the department.
>    Some departments also post a list of research topics that they are
> looking for students
>    to work on (and may have funding for).  Do any of these topics match
> your interests?
>    Also, make sure the department has the sort of master's programme that
> you'd
>    like.  Some schools have one year programmes, others have two year
> programmes.
>    Some programmes are part-taught programmes, some not.
> 4. Presumably you'll have decided that you'd like to study with some of
> these researchers.
>    Write to them, tell them that you'd like to study with them, and tell
> them some of
>    the questions you'd like to study (presumably some of these questions
> match their
>    interests).
> If you've done all of these properly, the people you write to will see
> that you are a *motivated* person who has some *awareness of current
> research* and *specific questions you'd like to investigate*, and have
> bothered to write to *specific* people who work in that area (as opposed to
> spamming all employees of computer science departments in dozens of
> universities, which happens all too often).  This will make a very good
> impression on them, and will greatly increase your chances of being
> admitted.
> It will also mean that you have done the legwork to find the department
> and potential supervisors who will most fit what you want to do.  You'll be
> a lot happier.
> As for specific cities in the UK, don't worry too much. UK schools tend to
> collaborate with each other, and with other European schools, with respect
> to research.  So focus more on schools and people where you can do the
> research you want, and less on the specific city in the UK.  It's easy
> enough to travel around the country anyhow.
> FYI, While your work experience is a plus, Perl is generally not a popular
> language in the academic community (depending on the field).  You may have
> to learn to program in functional or logic or constraint programming
> language, which is radically different from an imperative language like Perl
> or Java.
> Good luck on your future endeavors!
> Rob

Saifullah Mahmud Sumon

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