Monday, December 5, 2016

What Field and Where?


Since my participation in the field of computer graphics and animation is not up to my requirements, although I suppose that could change at any time, the best plan I can come up with is to go to graduate school and try to learn another trade. Many people assume that when I return to school (if I return to school) I will study computer graphics / animation. But why would I do that if the field is not being minimally economically viable? Yes VR/AR is spending a lot of money.  But how that will work out remains to be seen.

No doubt, visualization will be part of what I do in the future, no matter what direction I take. I seem to have dedicated a big part of my life to it, so why not continue?

So what field and where?

1. Field

If it involves computer science, then it might involve computer security, computational biology, machine learning, autonomy, or image understanding. All these fields are very important and interesting. If it involves being able to teach, then a terminal degree in art, the MFA, is useful. It would also be entertaining to get. In a previous life I studied economics and it is clear to me that the world economists are morons and a half, it might be fun to get an advanced degree in it. All my life I have studied history. Why not a PhD in that? Finally, RAND has a graduate institute.  I could probably get in, and try to work on a variety of RAND projects.  I see this as form of regression to a happier time.  The plan is to apply to as many of these as I can afford and have time for. Since I have no money, the final list will no doubt be shorter than the list here.

2. Work

Well one reason one might not want one of these degrees is the fact that I will not get employment after graduation.  But then I probably will not get employment whatever I study. 

3. Where?

All graduate schools are ageist and deliberately so. The ability to get accepted to an elite school such as MIT, Stanford and so forth is zero. I still may apply because I am stubborn and I hate their behavior and I want them to reject me to my face. The good news is that there are many schools where I can get a good education. Any major research university will do. How about UCSC, or NYU, or Columbia, or UNC? Where else do you suggest?

4. How?

To get into a top school, I need the best recommendations. My grades got me into Harvard the last time I tried, and god only knows how my GREs will go, but the last time I took them I did well. So it comes down to my essay and the recommendations.

As usual, my essay will be brilliant for those who have a brain and hopeless for those who are conventional and are terrified of someone who thinks differently.  But I have no plan to sanitize it for the small brained as it would do no one any good.

I am told that the only recommendations that are considered by admissions committees are recommendations by colleagues and peers: in other words, if you are applying for a CS school, you need recommendations by a tenured professor in CS. Anything else will be ignored. Unfortunately, while I know quite a few professors of CS, only one has agreed to write a letter of recommendation.

5. Other strategies

The MS programs are easier to get into, I might volunteer to go do a MS before the PhD to reduce risk. The average PhD candidate will be offered a fellowship. I will offer to do all this on government loans, that may make it easier to admit me. By admitting me they immediately get a graduate who has won an academy award. I am probably responsible for 1/2 billion in revenue based on my work. I will emphasize that I probably would have had at least 5 patents if I had had the money to file.

6. What happens after?

By the time I graduate, I hope to have at least one if not two books published (The details of that for another time.  The first book is well underway).  I will have social security, maybe a tiny income if I keep writing books.  If I get a job, I can repay my govt loans.  If I do not work, then they can come take it out of me.

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