I got my bachelor's degree in CS five years ago and after that I've been working as software engineer building Voice Over IP (VOIP) or Video Surveillance System. But now for some personal reason I feel that I would like go back to get a PhD degree.
But now, the problem is, I am not quite sure which branch of Computer Science I should choose.
As most of my working experience is related to multimedia, perhaps professors who study that would be more willing to accept my application. However, I am not quite sure if multimedia is still popular research domain in North America. And if there are not too much works left in this domain, what are other possible choices.
I am also interested in programming languages, but I don't know if programming languages could be considered a research area.
Another important question is, after I have decided in which domain I would like to study. How can I find most influential research results in this area to get an overview of it? In other words, since there must be plenty of papers in a domain, how can I know which I should read.
BTW: If you happened to be a PhD student in Computer Science, what kind of skills or personality do you think your professors prefer? (This last question might be too subjective, so please ignore it if you feel it's ridiculous)
Thanks a lot!