- Potential Impact: Consider hot topics with care, Make sure topic/problem are important
- Scale: Need more than one problem; results/finding
- Scope: Not too narrow or too broad, open-ended
Options for finding topics
- Read papers and attend talks in your area and others
- Flash of brilliance (unlikely but possible)
- Term project
- Redo, re-invent, refine
- Three to five (or n) papers = dissertation
Deciding Where to Apply
- What areas of computing interest me?
- What type of degree am I considering? MS? PhD? Why?
- What type of academic climate do I want to study in?
- Do I have any geographic preferences? Any restrictions?
- What are my academic credentials? (GPA, research experience, test scores, communication skills)
- Who is on the faculty at the school I am applying to? Who would I like to be my advisor?
Preparing Application Materials (Pay attention to deadlines)
EVERY program is different, but most want: Application (basic contact info), Transcripts, Letters of recommendation (2-3), Statement of Purpose (Goals/Research/Intent). Resume, Test scores (GRE, TOEFL/IELTS), Fee.
Engaging Reference Letter Writers
- Ask “Would you be able to provide a positive recommendation?”
- Give them materials (transcript, resume, statement of purpose, chart of schools, deadlines, how to submit a letter) at least 2-3 weeks before first deadline.
- Take spring junior/fall senior years, retake if needed. If non-native English speaker take TOEFL, TOEIC
Pay attention to deadlines, follow-up with letter writers, report test scores, request official transcripts
Financing Your Graduate Study
After application, apply for financing options like teaching assistantships, research assistantships, fellowships (NSF Graduate fellowship), other grants
Spend time researching programs, visit the schools, meet faculty in your interest area(s), meet current grad students/alumni and ask about their experiences
Making the Final Decision
You will likely do well at any of top choices, make decision and inform schools, write thanks notes to letter writers, CELEBRATE!
- Relevant Courses
- GPA – You’ll also typically need to submit a transcript
- Major projects
- Work experience
- Languages, tools, etc. – include level of proficiency
Be careful, neat and honest!
Time: Summer 10 weeks
Stipend per student: $7,000, relocation travel assistance
Location: Mentor’s institution
Application: Students and mentors apply separately and are matched by the program (Due mid Feb.)
Time: Academic Year (10-15 hours per week), possible summer extension
Stipend per student: $1500 per semester, $4000 per summer
Location: Home institution
Application: Students and mentors submit a proposal to work