Joe’s trek on GT OMS CS

Looks like school & work kept me pretty busy, as I haven’t had an opportunity to post an update in over a year. For context on this blog, please see my first post: My Journey to Georgia Tech’s OMSCS Program by Joe Falkson on Joe’s Trek through online education and GT OMSCS.

On December 11th I became one of the first graduates of the Georgia Tech online master’s in computer science program–my specialization was in Computational Perception and Robotics. Twenty of us graduated this month out of the ~400 members of the pilot cohort (about 250 of the original cohort remain enrolled in the program). One of the reasons why the initial graduating class was so small was that students have been averaging 1.4 courses a semester, presumably due to the combination of rigorous coursework and that most students are working full-time. The entire degree cost me a total of $7,000. As someone who graduated undergrad with 80-90k in debt, the price was key for me, and the rigor was the same as the in person program.

During the program I learned so much and completed many projects, which included:

  • Implementing Machine Learning and Computer Vision algorithms from scratch
  • Reproducing (or attempting to) reinforcement learning research from publications decades old
  • Constructing an AI which solves Raven’s Progressive Matrices .
  • Developed machine learning based trading algorithms

Above is just a taste of what I was able to work on throughout the program. On average, the program took me 25-30 hours a week over a two year period to complete, but I have no regrets. I have learned so much, developed a great community of like minded peers with whom I stay in touch, and have broadened my academic horizons.

The complete list of courses I took to complete my degree were:

I would without hesitation recommend this program to anyone interested. The rigor is the same as that of the on campus program, the support network is huge (I was in quite a few helpful and supportive study groups), and the course quality of is extremely high (all courses are offered via the Udacity platform).

What’s next?

I look forward to using my newfound free time to get back into running, read, and take up several side projects leveraging the skills that I have learned from Georgia Tech. I have always considered myself a lifelong learner and don’t plan on that mindset changing anytime soon. The plethora of knowledge and learning opportunity available on the internet these days is truly amazing. If you still don’t believe me (or need more examples beyond Georgia Tech) check out this TED talk on Scott Young, who gets an MIT education for $2,000.

Finally, a huge thank you Georgia Tech for pioneering this affordable masters degree.

Wishing everyone a happy and healthy new year!

Some useful links on the program:


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