UT-Austin vs. Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

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Discus: College Search and Selection: March 2004 Archive: UT-Austin vs. Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
By Amathew27 (Amathew27) on Wednesday, March 10, 2004 - 04:38 pm: Edit

I have been accepted into both colleges for Computer Engineering but I having a tought time choosing between the two. Austin would be more convient because I live in Dallas, but I am not sure which one to choose.

By Qwerasdf (Qwerasdf) on Wednesday, March 10, 2004 - 06:55 pm: Edit

UT Austin by FAR. If you want to put Cal Poly SLO against even a UC, that would be like UCI. Not that great.

By Ktoid (Ktoid) on Wednesday, March 10, 2004 - 07:17 pm: Edit

Don't kid yourself. Cal Poly is comparable to any UC minus Berk and LA at least for engineering majors. I would go with Austin because of the fact that it is so close to you, but if you want to get away, cal poly is a great school.

By Amathew27 (Amathew27) on Wednesday, March 10, 2004 - 10:46 pm: Edit

Any other comments?

By Savedbythebell7 (Savedbythebell7) on Wednesday, March 10, 2004 - 10:51 pm: Edit

Cal Poly SLO, the location and weather is much nicer. I think it just depends where you want to work, if you wanna work in California, go for Cal Poly, if you want to work in texas go with Texas.

By Tcolgate (Tcolgate) on Wednesday, March 10, 2004 - 11:11 pm: Edit

Austin is the greatest city of all time

By Thedad (Thedad) on Thursday, March 11, 2004 - 02:52 am: Edit

Well, even hyperbole is Texas-sized.

I don't think the difference between Cal Poly and UT is as great as some people might suggest. Sure, I'd probably give UT the nod intrinsically. But. If you look at education in the broader sense, experiencing life in a very different part of the country is nothing to be sneezed at. (N.B., this is one of the driving--or flying--reasons my D is looking to leave California and go to school in New England.)

The island of Austin being an exception, Texas is pretty damned parochial in outlook. Even a relative California backwater like SLO, not exactly the cutting edge, is going to be more cosmopolitan than most of Texas. A cranky fwiw.

By Utgrad2002 (Utgrad2002) on Thursday, March 11, 2004 - 04:14 pm: Edit

I'd say UT, but I'm biased b/c I went there and LOVED it! If you have any specific questions about UT that you want answered, I'd be happy to help!

By Xiggi (Xiggi) on Thursday, March 11, 2004 - 04:23 pm: Edit

"SLO more cosmopolitan than most of Texas."

To understand parochial, one must leave the boundaries of his village every once in a while, especially if one boundary is an ocean.

Obviously "most of Texas" might very well mean Texas minus every city of more than 50,000 souls. California has many great attributes but the California uber-alles credo reeks of an "ubermenschen" self admiration society.

An equally cranky fwiw!

By Amathew27 (Amathew27) on Thursday, March 11, 2004 - 06:37 pm: Edit

If I were to go to either college, Which one would give me the best education and the best possibility of being employed after graduation?

By Qwerasdf (Qwerasdf) on Thursday, March 11, 2004 - 09:30 pm: Edit

Cal Poly SLO DOES NOT compare to Berekeley or LA. It compares to Irvine.

By Ceo1093 (Ceo1093) on Thursday, March 11, 2004 - 09:56 pm: Edit

I would definetely go with Austin!

By Amathew27 (Amathew27) on Friday, March 12, 2004 - 01:30 am: Edit

I am interpreting that is 4 to 3 in favor of UT, anyone else wanna add their opionon?

By Xiggi (Xiggi) on Friday, March 12, 2004 - 11:14 am: Edit

Count again :)

By Thedad (Thedad) on Friday, March 12, 2004 - 11:34 am: Edit

Xiggi, I hope you wind up out here in California. I do not exclude cities of larger than 50,000 from my comment.

CalPoly does suffer from something of a small-town syndrome but even the Asian presence is going to be startlingly different from Texas as a whole, which the last time I checked is not a participant in the Pacific Rim economy, outside of plundering the state of California with a manufactured energy crisis. CalPoly may be four hours away from L.A. but it still gets some of the cultural splash of being in a state that has no majority ethnicity and most people don't weird out about it. I used to live in a neighborhood that within a 10-minute drive had storefront signs in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Farsi, Russian, Hebrew, Spanish, French, Ethiopian...the Vietnamese was further away.

Matthew, I don't think your question of "best education" and "best possibility of being employed" aligns with "which school?" It depends on what your major is, what you make of your opportunities, what you take from your college experience. The way you frame your questions assumes a model of education where different colleges provide different grades of intellectual motor oil that's poured into your brain for four years. It doesn't work that way.

By Amathew27 (Amathew27) on Friday, March 12, 2004 - 12:29 pm: Edit

Good point, Thank you Thedad.

By Thedad (Thedad) on Friday, March 12, 2004 - 01:48 pm: Edit

Btw, Mathew, I don't want to suggest that UT *isn't* the best place for you. For all I know, it may well be. I'm just very wary of cut-and-dried conventional wisdom that correlates with either arbitrary rankings or is influenced by which school everyone has heard of.

By Xiggi (Xiggi) on Friday, March 12, 2004 - 02:18 pm: Edit


As you know, I have tremendous respect for your opinions, especially when we disagree. As I said, I recognize that, despite obvious shortcomings, California is a great place to live. I enjoy visiting California and I would not mind going to school in California. However, I believe that some of your criticisms of Texas are unfounded. I am afraid that your information on cities like Dallas, Houston, San Antonio -only to name a few- is a bit outdated.

As far as the economy and the employment picture, I believe that I could make a case that Austin will provide superior possibilities than San Luis Obispo, especially in the computer science industry. Extend the geography to the triangle Dallas/Austin/Houston and the situation would not even be comparable.

Lastly, I noticed the inference to the fabricated energy crisis being a California-Texas issue. You are absolutely correct in that Enron and El Paso Energy played a role and contributed to the problems by using rogue methods. However, you should also try to understand the role that utilities in the Northwest played in the California energy problems, as well as the role that Californians played by refusing or delaying the building of local plants. Lastly, portraying PGE and SCE as innocent victims would be a farce. They paid the price for their lack of vision and arrogance: who plays with fire ends up with burned fingers!

By Thedad (Thedad) on Friday, March 12, 2004 - 02:41 pm: Edit

Xiggi, a good friend is a highly placed official in Dallas city government. You'd like him...he's a Republican. :)
A TAMU grad, btw.

Outside of Austin itself, Texas culturally should be labeled "Existential Despair." Wait a sec...I'll go crayon my map to that effect right now. I mean, they have a wide range of perspectives...if you compare them to Oklahoma.

And, no, PGE and SCE aren't completely innocent...but the master minding of the looting was centered in Texas corporations.

What you say is true about employment opportunities is true if one things in terms of employment around where one goes to college. I encourage a more national outlook or at least a broader outlook.

By Xiggi (Xiggi) on Friday, March 12, 2004 - 03:16 pm: Edit


Discussing the causes of the energy crisis of California is complex; concluding that market manipulations were the ONLY cause and that it was ONLY orchestrated by El Paso Energy, Enron, Reliant Energy, and Dynegy is overly simplistic.

Since you live in Los Angeles, you might want to explore the finances of the Munipical Utility District of LA for the years 2000 and 2001. You will discover that they reaped HUNDREDS of millions of profits by selling electricity to the other two "giants". You may also expand your research to check other GOVERNMENT owned utilities like Bonneville Power and the utility company of Alberta Canada. Then, check the finances of Calpine (a California corporation), SEMPRA (another CA) or Duke Energy (NC) and see how they benefited from the botched attempt to deregulate the market in California. Lastly, did you ever hear about the aluminum smelters that shut down in the Northwest to sell power to California while making 500 millions?

It is a fact that Texas is a dominant figure in the energy business, but believing that the majority of the billions California spent in 2000-2002 enriched Texas is erroneous.

By Thedad (Thedad) on Friday, March 12, 2004 - 03:46 pm: Edit

No, it would be erroneous to conclude that it *only* enriched Texas. If Martha Stewart gets a year in prison, Ken Lay should be stood up against a wall and shot. Except that I think Texas does lethal injection...and gets the wholesale price. You can hand wave, duck, and weave all you want but the major *instigators* were in Texas. Aided and abetted after the fact by the lapdogs of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission who said, "By golly, yes, these contract were signed in an environment produced by fraud but we're going to hold them legal anyway." And...let's see...the members of the FERC who voted that way have *what* political alliances and have *what* ties to *what* business? Ready...set...go! You have 20 seconds.

Don't worry, Xiggi. The Great Wheel will turn. I an only hope to see Hillary Clinton as chief justice of the Texas Supreme court with a majority in her favor in my lifetime.

By Xiggi (Xiggi) on Friday, March 12, 2004 - 04:16 pm: Edit


The beauty of this argument is that Ken Lay built Enron under the "watchful" eyes of your good friend Bill Clinton and that the California crisis happened in the same period. The Secretaries of Energy were Hazel o' Leary and Bill Richardson and the FERC is hardly a republican bastion of power. The reality is that nobody imposed a deregulated system onto California and that California implemented a deregulated system that was in fact over-regulated.

As usual, it is easier to look for parties to blame if they are foreign. If it makes you feel better to blame Texans for the problems, so be it. The California debacle is a story of greed, and most of it emanated from within its own state!

As fas as Hillary Clinton, there is only one place I hope to see her, and it is after HER lifetime! :)

By Thedad (Thedad) on Friday, March 12, 2004 - 06:06 pm: Edit

Xiggi, Enron shielded its corruption until close to the end. Note to whom Enron was a massive donor. Note for whom the national chairman of the GOP was a lobbyist.

As for Texas, I've been to the Alamo and read the letters of the original settlers: it's amazing that the strain of blow-hard conniving opportunists has bred true for this many generations.

And we've gotten rather away from the good subject of Cal Poly SLO vs. UT-Austin.

By Fireflyscout (Fireflyscout) on Friday, March 12, 2004 - 08:30 pm: Edit

"I used to live in a neighborhood that within a 10-minute drive had storefront signs in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Farsi, Russian, Hebrew, Spanish, French, Ethiopian...the Vietnamese was further away"

I've been gone all day or I would have responded to this sooner. You can find signs in EACH of those languages withing a 20-minute drive in Houston, some street signs are in these languages. There's a reason Houston is behind New York City and San Francisco in number of consulates.

As for culture, there's plenty to be found in Houston (don't laugh!) - it's generally overlooked by others who see Houston's negatives (and don't get me wrong -there's plenty of that, too).

By Texdad (Texdad) on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 12:49 am: Edit

I've been gone all day or I would have responded to this sooner. You can find signs in EACH of those languages withing a 20-minute drive in Houston, some street signs are in these languages. There's a reason Houston is behind New York City and San Francisco in number of consulates.

This is true. Thedad, needs to travel a bit to update himself. Houston is LA's twin sister, with the diversity, (no majority ethnic group-- per 2000 census 37% Hispanic, 31 White, 25 Black, 5% Asian) ozone, but without the weather and the liberals sigh). Check out the University of Houston, which is more ethnically diverse than any California larger school. (A close second in the whole country per US News) Houston is supposed to be majority Hispanic in 10 years or so. The mayor's race is always a three way fight between a white, a black and a hispanic, with the winner being who can get two of the three. In the last two races, the finalist were a Black vs. Hispanic and a White vs Hispanic. The Hispanic lost both times, but their time is coming.

Austin is not as diverse as Houston , but with its hot economy it is gaining divesity rapidly. Immigrants go where the jobs are.

By Jayandbutton (Jayandbutton) on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 10:40 am: Edit

I went to both Cal Poly and UT. They are comparable at the undergraduate level. One major question is would you rather be at a huge state university like Texas or a midsized state university like Poly? Both have famous engineering programs. And if you prefer to be in a major metro area you could go to the Pomona campus of Cal Poly which is right next to LA. The internships programs there with places like the Jet Propulsion Labs or McDonnell Douglas ae just AWESOME!

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