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Which of these is a better graduate school for graphics in computer science...

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I've been applying to several schools for graduate work in computer science. My interests are graphics, physics simulations, interactive simulations, and artificial intelligence.
I currently work in Information Technology and could use a lot more training in my computer science areas of interest. These are two of the best looking offers I received.

[color=#008000]Does anyone know if the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) or Ohio State University is better if I decided I wanted to focus on the animation side of graphics programming (possibly interactive)?

It sounds like Ohio State has historically had a strong suit here, but I was concerned some of the animation professors may have left in recent years.
Ohio State does have a broader study in graphics, however.


UPenn (http://cg.cis.upenn.edu):
--Ivy League institution
--#17 in Computer Science
--3 professors that heavily focus on animation (or games). Also has a more expansive game development program.
--4 total graphics professors. It sounds like their graphics and game development programs are very well respected.
--They may have stronger AI - I saw 3 computer vision professors
--Admission to masters program. This Masters of Science of Engineering is NOT easily transferred to a PhD program at UPenn, but it is possible
--Financial support can be applied for but is limited for masters students. Tuition cost is $55,000 for degree (probably 2 - 2.5 years).
--Industry connections look very good - Pixar, Dreamworks, Disney, Electronic Arts, Microsoft, Sony, Activision, Blue Sky Entertainment

Ohio State University (http://www.cse.ohio-state.edu/research/graphics/ and http://www.cse.ohio-state.edu/~parent/)
--Was noted for being a public institution with a rigor comparable to an Ivy League institution - a "public Ivy"
--#28 in Computer Science
--Only 1 professor that directly focuses research on animation. They do have more breadth in areas of graphics, however (animation, science, medical, computational geometry).
--7 total graphics professors. From what I'm hearing their graphics program is probably premiere.
--They don't have as dedicated of a "game development" program but they do have classes in it, and the courses teach the main topics one would need to know.
--The AI does look innovative - the computer vision project identifies suspicious behavior of thieves in parking lots. I know they also do sound analysis.
--Admission to PhD program. It is possible to downgrade to a masters if necessary by petitioning a committee.
--Full tuition waiver and stipend (with PhD program and Graduate Teaching Assistantship position). Without a waiver I think out of state tuition is $26,000 / year, but it may be cheaper.
--I have seen very good industry connections - Graphics: Pixar, Dreamworks, EA Games, NVidia, National Labs. AI: BAE, Texas Instruments, Microsoft. Their graphics graduates historically have had a major impact on the film industry.

I also received offers for a masters program at Texas A&M (#47 in CS) and the University of Southern California (#20 in CS).
One of the main concerns now is the economy and jobs. If I did a masters degree, there is a chance I could perform my current job part time remotely while pursuing the masters degree.
As for the PhD it can be useful for becoming a researcher in some companies.

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"Better" is subjective. YOU have to decide which school is "better" FOR YOU.
See this forum's FAQs - there is information there on how to make the judgment call you are asking others to make for you.
(Hint: you have to identify numerous criteria, not only one, for this betterness - and some of them may actually be cons rather than pros.)

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I apologize for asking too broad of a question. What I meant to ask is - Do people think Ohio State University or the University of Pennsylvania has a better repuation for animation for computer science now?

The University of Pennsylvania seems to have more professors that study topics in animation now, but Ohio State University seems to have had more of a historical influence in years gone by and has more professors in graphics in general now.

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What I meant to ask is - Do people think Ohio State University or the University of Pennsylvania has a better repuation for animation for computer science now?


What is "animation for computer science"?

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I meant programming the 3D movement and rendering of objects, often done in movies but possibly applied to video games (interactive play or in cut scenes).

I said computer science because I meant the more technical side of it (programming, math, etc). There is also an "art side" of it, but I wasn't interested in this focus.

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