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Why did you choose UC Irvine for your M.S. studies?

I did my B.E. (Information Technology) from University of Mumbai before coming to Irvine. A lot of universities offer software engineering as a specialization in computer science, but do not consider software engineering as a stand-alone discipline. This leads to the universities providing more courses that are focused towards computer science and very few courses on software engineering. UC Irvine, on the other hand, offers a curriculum that is geared specifically towards software engineering. Additionally, the program at UC Irvine forms a perfect blend between the practical and research worlds, thereby allowing the students to make a more knowledgeable decision about their future.

What has been your favorite class so far, and why?

The three classes I took in my first quarter at UC Irvine were my best classes so far. Those classes were software engineering, software architecture and user interface design and evaluation. The mix of these three classes gave me a smooth transition into graduate research-oriented studies. While Software Engineering was highly research-oriented, User Interface Design and Evaluation moved into more practical applications, and Software Architecture provided a combination of both. These classes also helped me decide the next classes that I wanted to take in my program.

Have you done an internship? If so, where and in what role?

I am current doing an internship at Microsoft Corporation at Redmond, Wash., and my role is program manager intern for the licensing team of the operating system group’s enterprise and security division.

Have you been involved in research? If so, what project?

I am doing my master’s degree with a thesis under professor Andre van der Hoek. My project is analyzing the efforts spent by developers in integrating a code snippet into their project.

What has been the best part of your experience so far?

Interacting with the professors at UCI. Every professor here has immense knowledge about their research area as well as the overall discipline and is willing to share that with the students. In addition, the weekly seminars have professors from other departments and schools talking about their research, which gives the students an overall idea of where the field is headed.

What has been the most unexpected part of your experience?

When I first started at UCI, I had just moved to the United States. Being an international student, I had expected that it would be challenging to adapt to the graduate school system in a new country. Fortunately, my adviser, professors, staff and fellow students made the move seamless.

What are your aspirations for the future?

After my master’s, my aspiration would be to work as a program manager.

What is your advice to prospective M.S. students who might be interested in the program?

UC Irvine is known to be a research-oriented university, and software engineering at this school is no different. While the program does allow you to take an industry-oriented approach, it still has a strong research aspect to it. If you like this combination and can adapt the quarter system, UC Irvine’s software engineering program is definitely something you should consider.