Prospective Students & Advising

Prospective Students

Before you email me about joining my research group at the graduate level, this is how I will respond:

First, thank you for reaching out. However, I am very reluctant to take on new students unless there is reliable funding for the entire duration of your graduate studies. That means you either need to find funding for yourself, or I need to already have a funded project. At the moment I do not have any funding to hire a graduate student. Our programs (master’s and doctoral) do have limited funding opportunities, but those are very competitive and usually only guarantee one or two semesters worth of funding.

Moreover, to be successful in my research group at the graduate level, you already need to have some experience in statistics, machine learning, natural language processing, and spoken dialogue systems. Particularly at the doctoral level, it’s not enough to “be interested” in those areas; you need to at least have taken a few courses and gained some practical experience before you will be able to do productive research in my group. Furthermore, and *more importantly* technical skills are not enough. At the doctoral level, you need to be well read in relevant research, have ideas as to what research needs to be conducted next, organizational skills to see those research projects through, and good writing skills. If you don't have a scientific writing sample, your chances of getting funding are pretty low.


I am happy to advise students, but I am very reluctant to commit to being a student's advisor unless there is a reliable funding plan in place. Even if you've been accepted to one of our programs and you have funding for a couple of semesters, it is unlikely that I will commit to being your advisor.