I am applying to Carnegie Mellon University Africa to Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering (MSECE). I am interested in Machine Learning and Data Science, particularly in Natural Language Processing and Recommendation engines. I always believed that CMU is the temple of science and technology in Africa because by bringing world-class education from united state to Africa they have attracted all brilliants mind from all over the world to Rwanda from professors to students. Back in college, I dreamed about studying in one of the top university in World, I’m sure CMU is that university I was looking for, because as a CMU student I will have the privilege to work with brilliant professor like Patrick McSharry and collaborate with him on his research about big data revolution in Africa.
My interest in Mathematics started when I was in High School were I studied Mathematics and physics, after earning my diploma I decided to study engineering at university in order to apply all the principles I have learned in secondary school. The Introduction to Algorithms and data structure course was the turning point for studies because it helps me to discover my passion for computer science and programming. Courses like Introduction to java programming, Software engineering, and Software Development, Database modeling, Introduction to statistics, Introduction to Data Mining and advanced mathematics for engineers have been my favourite at university and I performed better in those courses, but unfortunately there were just introduction courses but as I was hungry for knowledge I want more about them I started doing personal research and I come across data science and Machine learning.
Since the day I heard about Machine learning and data science I become passionate about that particular domain not just because it is was buzzword but I like the fact that it’s more than one domain or one scientific discipline but it brings together many different domains and helps scientist for all those domains to collaborate and find solutions that are going to impact lives of people around the world. For my final year project in undergraduate, I have worked on a data science project with the theme: Mining educational data to improve student orientation to university . This project give me a solid understanding for core machine learning principles and expose me differents challenges machine learning engineers are facing today and that is the reason why I have decided to pursue my study in that area.
Recently, a lot of exciting developments have taken place in machine learning. The use of recurrent neural network have emerged as powerful techniques for the development of natural language processing and many others application such as chatbots, language translation and text to speech applications . More recently, Sequence-to-Sequence Models has been used to significients results in language translation . I find them very fascinating and intend to work with problems of a similar flavor to solve some problems we are facing in africa such as access to education, financial inclusion, health diseases etc After earning my master degree It would also be wonderful to have the opportunity to share with others that feeling of pleasure and joy, through teaching especially in my country and other african countries in order to build the next generation of Africa tech leaders.
My few experiences with teaching, as a tutor for developer communities and studies groups like ForloopRwanda and AISaturdaysKigali , have evoked favorable responses and have been thoroughly enjoyable. As a software engineer, I have worked for 2 years as application developer as a freelancer and in different startups, this experience helps me to strengthen my knowledge in software development and apply what I have learned in university to solve real problem companies are facing. Beside work had a privilege to be involved as a community manager, trainer and meetup organizer for different communities such as forloopRwanda, AISaturdaysKigali, and GDG Kigali. My job includes organizing meetups, planning lessons plan materials and motivating young one to be passionate about computer science, data science, and programming in general. This experience with community strength my leadership skills and helped me to improve my communication skills. A good research career can only be built above the firm foundation of a good education. With my long term goal in mind, my immediate objective is to work towards a Master Degree in Machine Learning.
My background in computer science , my working experience as a software engineer, my passion for mathematics, data science, my desire to return back to my country and inspire the young generation and community and to solve African problem using technology makes me ideal candidate for this master and I would consider it my privilege to be able to pursue my master studies at Carnegie Mellon University Africa and avail of the excellent infrastructural facilities and research opportunities it has to offer. I am sure that the stimulating academic environment and interaction with the distinguished faculty at CMU-Africa will prove immensely fruitful and facilitate my development as an individual expert in my field.
I feel that cmu has a lot to offer me, and at the same time, I am confident that I would be able to make a positive contribution to ongoing research work at CMU. Having decided that I will engage in the pursuit of a career in Machine Learning and Data Science, I am fully aware of the implications. I am aware of the kind of dedication, resilience and resolve that it calls for. I feel that I am adequately prepared, both in having the technical qualifications, and in having the right mind-set for master level Research work. I look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship with Carnegie Mellon University Africa.
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