This information concerns those students who are interested in working with me on projects related to my research areas, i.e. information visualization, human-computer interaction, and visual analytics. IMPORTANT! Before you e-mail me and ask for a meeting (which should be the next thing you do after this), please make sure that you read this whole document. I will know if you did not, in which case you will not get a reply.
Anyway, first of all, thank you for your interest in my work. I could not do research without the efforts, insights, and drive of bright and motivated students who are keen on making a difference. However, before you begin, you need to meet these following basic criteria:
- You need to be a student at University of Maryland. I can only work with students who are enrolled at UMD, and I cannot easily help you get admitted here.
- You should know my research areas. You would be surprised how many students do not bother to find this out before contacting me or even meeting with me.
- You should be genuinely interested and enthusiastic about working on those areas, and not just be looking for funding. Naturally I realize that you need funding to eat, but entering a research area is a serious commitment and you will not last in case you are not driven by a deep, inner desire to contribute.
Provided that you fulfill these criteria, you should know that I require that all students work with me on an independent study project (or possibly as a student in one of my courses) before I consider hiring them as RAs. This is so that I have an idea of their capabilities and motivation, as well as whether they would fit into the research group. My funds are always limited and I am not in the business of throwing my money away, so please understand that you need to do well for me to fund you.
If you’re still here and I have not managed to scare you away, good! You may be just the student I would love to work with for my next project. Before you e-mail me, here are some tips:
- Take the time to learn about my research and read some of my papers (especially the most recent ones). Professors in general love to talk about their research, and I am no different, but in order for us to have an intelligent conversation you need to have an idea of what my research is about.
- Feel free to have your own ideas. What I really look for in a student is the capability to think for yourself. I do have a number of ideas for future research projects, so don’t worry too much about this in the beginning, but please realize that you WILL be required to think for yourself and work independently as soon as we progress beyond the initial steps.
- Stop and ponder your career goals and what you want out of working with me. I collaborate with students who are interested in a career in academia or in industry, it does not matter to me, but your own personal goals will influence the approach you should take to your time as a graduate student.
Finally, just so that I know that you have read this whole document, please add “infovis r0x” somewhere in your e-mail. If you don’t, that means you did not read carefully enough, and you will not receive a response.