Aug 212011

Computers are my preferred domain since very young age. I am in touch with computer since I was in 6th grade and was quite fascinated with computers as I learn to play with BASIC, LOGO, DOS and Paint brush. In 8th grade I won internet quiz at interclass level and reached till interschool level. It was then I realized that I could go ahead and make my career in computers. I started working with computers trying out AUTOCADE, Coral Draw, MS-Access, FoxPro and windows 3.1, which was too much for 8th or 9th grade student in the developing country like INDIA where one will be overwhelmed on having a glimpse of computer. The extraordinary developments in this field, both in the hardware and especially, in the software area, have further stimulated my interest and have encouraged me to choose the Computer Engineering as the main field of my university study. So Computer Engineering was an obvious choice for me after High school.

I enrolled Computer Engineering department inL.D.Collegeof Engineering affiliated toGujaratUniversitywhich is one of the topmost and oldest colleges inGujarat. I deeply concentrated on building a strong foundation in the various areas of computer engineering, which helped me to get mature as an engineer. Now I am quite fluent with computer languages such as c/c++, Java, VB and I am currently working on c# and .net technologies in internship.

My undergraduate studies require me to undertake a wide range of project and seminars. One of my great achievement was when I participated in a national level competition INVITE coordinated by GIL-Gujarat Informatics Limited and IBM. I develop a MISS-Management Information System for Promoting and Nurturing Sports for the competition and got certificate for the same. This project aimed at handling various scholarship schemes of Sports Authority of India. We provided a complete handy interface and powerful system for handling schemes and printing reports. My other project works are Revised DOS using c/c++, Online merit list generation using java-servlet and MS-Access, Online college Admission using ASP, Medical store management using VB and MS SQL server and online results onMobileusing WML.

(Please see attached Resume for Details of Project Work)

Artificial intelligence has been my area of interest since start of my career in Computers. I gave seminars on Human Computer Interaction and Artificial Intelligence. I also developed minor projects like Artificial Chat and Othello v/s Computer to support my thesis in my seminars. I also presented a white paper on Computer Vision as a part of my undergraduate curriculum. All these work strengthen my foundation in artificial intelligence. My current goal is to continue my work leading to a good research.

Apart from academics I have actively participated in extra-curricular activities. I was member of computer society of India (CSI) and actively participating in activities of CSI. I won technical quiz organized by CSI Ahmedabad Chapter. I was member of the winning team of Quiz on IBM Tools sponsored by IBM. Along with quiz completions I also participated in Open Software Competition in LAA TEQNIX a national level cultural festival. Two consecutive years I took part in LAA TEQNIX, though I was not able to win I was always among the top competitors.

In the beginning of my final year I have got a job offer from Cognizant Technology Solutions a leading MNC through campus interview. However my career goals have led me to draw conclusion that it is better to get understanding of my field of interest and indulge myself in research. I look forward for research work in Artificial Intelligence during my MS and then follow it to PHD. However for my MS degree I remain open to other topics as well.

My goal is to make a career in Research and have satisfaction of being at the forefront of ever growing field. To ensure that I have right start in this direction I need technical skills which a US graduate education would provide which is hard to get in India due to lack of funds and resources. Your university offers a program in MS which is a perfect blend of theory and research work. Researching your university on website I discovered that I will get unique opportunity for learning and self growth that your University will provide. Being brought up in Ahmedabad, a virtual capital ofGujarat, and educated throughout in English medium it is my belief that with my knowledge and experiences I too can contribute to class activity and enrich vibrant culture of Southern Illinois University. It would be great honor and a chance of a lifetime for me if I could complete my degree at Southern Illinois University.


In conclusion, I feel the graduate study at your University will be the most logical continuation of my future goals. It therefore will be my prerogative to secure an admission in your University with possible financial assistance. I am certain that I will match the high standards set by your university.


Purvag G Patel        

(Applicant-Computer science)

                                           (Fall 2007)

Aug 212011

I prepared this list when I applied for Visa interview in 2007.  This might help new students applying for visa. I was going for Southern Illinois University; customize per your requirements. Such question does make a lot of difference, I was asked few of the questions for this list. Make sure you are well prepared and be confident. It is alright to look into interviewers eyes and talk. Best Luck.

1. Why the specified university (Why SIUC)?

  • My major of study is computer science and particularly computer graphics and Artificial intelligent. So I looked for the university which provided me a right blend of both and computer science department of SIUC fit in to my criteria.
  • About SIUC – Founded in 1869 – Southern Illinois University Carbondale ranks amongIllinois most comprehensive public universities.
  • Other major criterion for selecting the college is that they offer wide range of courses and I felt that they help in both practical and research field.
  • The Department of Computer Science has extensive facilities for instructional and research use at its disposal with support of good computing facilities, graphics lab and other labs.
  • Plus work of following professor impressed me and I am keen to work with them

    Carver, Norman F., III, Associate Professor

    Ph.D., Computer Science,U.of Massachusetts, 1990

Current Research Interests: Multi-agent systems, sensor interpretation, knowledge-intensive control of AI    systems.

   Hexmoor, Henry , Assistant Professor 

Ph.D., Computer Science, University at Buffalo, 1996

Current Research Interests: Artificial intelligence, multi-agent systems, cognitive science, mobile robotics, knowledge representation and reasoning.

 2.    Which universities did you applied?

  • I applied in six universities got acceptance in 5 and there is only one reject fromFloridaStateUniversityand acceptance from
    • Illinois Institute of Technology
    • SouthernIllinoisUniversity
    • KentStateUniversity
    • UniversityofGeorgia
    • MississippiStateUniversity

3.    Why Reject from FSU?

They might have found my GRE score not what they required. They have mentioned on the website their they needed score above 1100 but I still applied in there.

4.    Why do you think you got Acceptance in these universities?

  • I felt that what might have impressed them is my statement of purpose which reflected I was quite clear in my interest for specialization AI and graphics.
  • Then other factor might be my project work which I have carried out during my under-graduate studies which got reflected in recommendation letters from the faculty and through my CV.

5.    What is your GRE score?

  • Its 1080. (If he asks for the copy). Sure Sir here it is.

6.    Where do you undergraduate form?

I am currently in final semester of B.E. Computer Engineering from L.D.Collegeof engineering which is affiliated to GujaratUniversityand it is ranked among top colleges in Gujarat. I gave final semester exam on 2nd of this month.

7.    Who is sponsoring you?

  • My parents

8.    What does your father do?

  • My father is currently working in PWD (Public works department) – Gov. of Gujaratat the post of under secretary at Sachivalay in Gandhinagar. He’s a ME gold medalist – civil engineer from MS University.

9.    What is your father’s income?

  • My father’s annual income is about ** lacs which he draws from his salary and other investments.

10. How many siblings do you have?

I have only one 6 years younger brother.

11. Do you have any relatives in USA?

No sir.

12. What is your family’s income?

My family’s annual income is about ** lacs


  • My father’s annual income is ** lacs
  • He draws salary of ** lacs
  • Through his saving and investments with a modest return of 8% and also GPF he earns ** lacs


  • My mother’s annual income is ** lacs
  • She has got annual income of about ** lac from agriculture
  • And remaining income of about ** lacs from the investments and PPF

13. Why don’t you do this course in your country?

  • Their are too few post graduate institute in Indiaand that too they don’t offer wide variety of courses and flexibility as American universities do.
  • Plus US universities offer a better public research in AI and GRAPICS and got world wide reputation which I could not find in here.
  • Exposure to the foreign culture and leaving there will help me develop my personality and studying there will add value to my career.

14. What will you after completing MS?

  • IT sector in Indiais growing at a rapid pace in Indiaand there will be shortage of skilled worker in India.
  • So after coming back to India with my MS degree which will increase my professional values I see no problem in getting jobs in one of the MNC like TCS, wipro, Cognizant, infosys, wipro, etc .

15.  Why study in USA?

  • I think that studying in USAwill add value to my career. I believe this because USAhas
    • world class learning institutes
    • wide variety of study choices
    • worldwide recognition
    • very good training & research supported by industries

 16.  Do you have scholarship?

No sir , I don’t have one right now.  But I am going to try to get one like teaching or research assistance ship will help me become better in my field.

17.  what is your undergraduate percentage?

Sir, its 63% avg. of last seven semesters.

18.  How will you pay 2 years fees?

Considering the fee of $15000 and other expenditure of $8500 i.e. total of $23500 per year and that’s make up $47000.  We have got liquid funds of around**** $ as bank balance, LIC surrender value, father & mother PPF and stocks holding values to cover up the fees of other expenditure that will be occurring during the visit for two years.

19.  Tell me how can u prove that you are going to come back?

I have mainly two reasons.

  • Indian Software Industry: Indian industries are on rice like never before. According to leading report there will be demand of 4.7 lacs trained I.T. Professionals per year and this will make companies offer the highest packages.
  • My family: I strongly believe in Indian culture and I would like to live with my family and friends inIndia.

20.  Have you got any job?

I am a fresher, so I don’t have any job right now. But in campus interview I did have an offer of job from Cognizant Tech. But my goal is to pursue MS degree so I will not be accepting the offer.

21.  Have you ever been to US?


 22.  Do you know anyone in your university ?

Ms. Georgia L. Marine Norman
Chair’s Assistant, Graduate Program Assistant, Department of Computer Science

She has assisted me through out my admission process and I have been in contact with her through mails.

23. What if I reject your VISA?

Sir, I don’t think so you are going to do so. But still if u reject my visa I think that I will re-apply and come back to u soon.

24. Where your parents completed their studies?

Father: ME Gold Medalist Civil engineer from MS University.

Mother: MA in HINDI from MS University.