Powerful laptops aren't just for gaming. If you're a computer science, engineering, or math major, then you'll need the extra power these machine provides. This laptop packs ridiculous power into a thin frame. For maximum performance select an option with six cores, at least 16GB RAM, and a dedicated graphics card - your simulations, CAD, and machine learning algorithms will be humming along. Keep an eye on the weight - it's hard to get a high performance laptop less than 4 pounds because each extra option you add will also add weight. You're going to be lugging that thing around campus so try to keep it as low as possible - while still getting the performance you want!
Columbia University says...
Meets recommended specs.
The choice of platform (Windows, Mac, Linux) is essentially a matter of personal preference. If you are already familiar with one platform, there is no particular reason to switch. Your school may have more specific criteria, so check with your academic advisor before deciding.