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Masters Computer Science, Information Systems

July 12, 2015

My goal is to become a leading software engineer in the computer networking industry. To attain my goal, I intend to pursue a higher degree in Computer Science with a concentration on networking and hope that this might be in the most highly prestigious program available, which I believe is at XXXX University.

My interest in applied science dates back to my high school years in Vietnam. However this interest rapidly developed into a passion the more I learned in my undergraduate studies. I became awestruck at the potential that recent innovations in computing present especially in the area of computer networking. I particularly enjoyed the computer system courses such as Computer Network, System Architecture, Operating Systems, Computer Security and Compiler each one galvanizing my desire to explore the subject further.  Not many people are fortunate to find that their work is a pleasure but I am one of those lucky few. I was determined to excel and to acquire a solid and very thorough understanding of my subject at XXXX U and found pleasure in doing so.  My interest in my subject is such that I found no difficulty or reluctance in devoting time to extra studies of texts, periodicals, attendance at conferences and technical talks and this degree of enthusiasm brought me straight A grades throughout my time at XXXX U.

During my time at XXXX, I was involved in various research projects, one which was particularly interesting related to Surgical Robotics during which I programmed the gravity counter-balance API to control movement. I was also appointed to lead a team that entered the ‘UC Santa Cruz DEEP Robotics Design Competition’ during which we constructed robot hardware with jumpers and sensors to achieve specified goals and programmed the autonomous and controlled period of the robots using C/C++. In addition, I acted as a volunteer assistant to several Ph.D. students during the course. I thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of the Bachelor degree program and took every opportunity to participate enthusiastically in the program and I undertake to do so in the Master’s program should my application be accepted.

I graduated from XXXX in the top 4% of my class with a High Honor degree (GPA of 3.91) and then eagerly accepted an offer to work at Network Cisco Systems as a Software Engineer. It has been a great joy to apply my theoretical knowledge to real world projects.  I have been involved in many new and exciting projects in which I have had the opportunity to design, implement and testify many different models of network protocol, comparing their performance to provide optimized solutions. An example of these projects was the implementation of a Traffic Analyzer for our internal protocol called AMM Messages. The project required a challenging target performance of the handling of 300k messages per second, which requires a very efficient design in the analyzer so that traffic is not dropped. I loved the challenges involved and relished the opportunity to apply several areas of theory such as multithreading, hyperthreading and advanced data structure in a real network center.

Apart from optimizing the performance at software level, I also worked further down the system on platform and to utilize many hardware features. I made significant modifications to the standard Network Controller Driver to enable the Zero-copy interface to overcome the bottleneck of system call from kernel to user space and thus greatly increase the overall throughput. I tried many designs before I reached the set targets but, as usual, knowledge and skill coupled with patience and determination paid off and I delivered.  I know that every project has its lessons and that these should be carefully considered and recorded so that the dividends that experience brings are never wasted or lost but are carefully ‘banked’ for future use especially at this early stage of my computing career.

My academic and professional experiences to date have exposed me to a significant amount of team working which I enjoy. I am aware that a good team will be better than the sum of its parts and am interested in the dynamics of successful teams. While I expect my part in a team endeavor to be acknowledged, I also ensure that the input of other team members is generously recognized. While I enjoy team working, I am equally happy to work alone when a situation calls for it.

I have happily studied, worked and socialized with people from many different social and cultural backgrounds and look forward to extending this experience within the program. I have travelled to several Asian countries and look forward to extending my exposure to different countries and their cultures in the future. I get on well with people and have a well developed sense of humor.

Computer networking has already provided a plethora of useful applications such as Voice over IP, Video Streaming, Video Conference and Smartgrid, to name a very few. However we are still at the threshold and there remains enormous potential for research that will provide more and more innovations. I see this situation as calling for technical leaders who can convert good ideas to overcome problems into practical and working solutions. It is my long term goal to be such a leader by becoming an expert in network architecture. One of my dreams is to design new system architecture that is essentially dedicated for network processing, targeted in utilizing all the features to support high performance network profile such as TCP Segmentation Offload (TSO), Large Receive Offload (LRO),  FCoE etc. in software level, while also enhancing security and efficient use of computing resources. Although the industry environment has provided me with an excellent grounding in project handling and practical programming skills, I realize that it is necessary for me to return to the academic world to fulfill my long term plan. Thus my immediate goal is to join a top level Master’s program with a networking focus.

The XXXX Master’s offers a great program HCP form which engineers such as myself can have the opportunity to continue working in industrial projects while increasing our academic knowledge. XXXX’s reputation is second to none in computing and can provide a faculty and facilities which cannot be equaled. I am particularly interested in the work of Professor XXXX and his extensive and fascinating research in high-performing networking and service engineering in his Network Architecture Lab. which is my specific area of interest.

I am aware that such a prestigious program will attract numerous well qualified applicants and the committee will be required to make some very difficult decisions. However I do believe that I am an excellent candidate. My grades in my Bachelor degree studies will provide assurance of the very high degree of intelligence and diligence that I apply to my work and the natural abilities and characteristics that I can bring to the program such as self motivation and determination; I have substantial and successful research and project experience that will be directly applicable during the program. But my main recommendation is a deeply felt passion and enthusiasm for computer science and for pushing its boundaries to discover many applications for the general good. I am convinced that my passion will translate into highly successful participation in the program and a profitable outcome for me, my class and the department.

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