For Current UCSB Students
If you are interested in doing research and being involved in the Four Eyes Lab, the best way to do this is to attend some lab meetings in order to (1) get an idea if the things we do are interesting to you, and (2) meet some of the graduate students (and others) in the lab. We don't always have a list of "waiting projects" for undergraduates, so a good way to get involved is to find an ongoing project and ask if there is a way you can contribute. Most often a PhD or Master's student would be the one working with you on a frequent basis.
Lab meetings are more-or-less weekly; if you want to find out about the next one, let me know, and I can add you to the lab's email list. (You can remove yourself from it at any time.)
Most undergraduate research is done for course credit. Funding may sometimes be available, so feel free to ask, but typically not.
See the comments for undergraduate students above. It's not too different for Master's students. The same goes for funding - once in a while I might have funding for a Master's student, but typically MS research in my lab is done for course credit. If you desire or need funding, be sure to state this from the start.
If you are interested in working with me as your advisor (your real research/dissertation advisor, not just the "initial advisor" assigned to provide help and guidance in your first few quarters), we can discuss it. Most PhD students I explicitly recruit before or during the application time, but occasionally I will pick up a "free agent" PhD student who is already in the department. Deciding on an advisor/advisee PhD relationship is a big decision, so most likely such an arrangement starts with a trial period of working on a research topic (for anywhere from one quarter to a year).
Letters of Recommendation
If you are asking me to write a letter of recommendation - for graduate school admission, a job, a fellowship, etc. - there are some ground rules. First of all, keep in mind that the best recommendation letters are from people who know you well and (ideally) have worked with you in some depth. A letter that says "Joe was in my class and received an A" is not very strong, compared with "Mary did an impressive course project on X and subsequently worked in my lab on Y, accomplishing a lot and learning about Z." I may still be able to provide a letter if you were just in my class, but understand that such a letter will not be viewed as the strongest kind.
If I've agreed to provide a letter, it's important that you supply me with the information I need to write a good letter and the important administrative details. I'll want you to send me the following:
- A list of all the places you are applying: the university, the department, the degree objective there, and the application deadline. (If it's a company, fellowship, or something else, provide the key information for that.)
- Your website URL, if you have one.
- A picture of yourself (if there's not one on your website).
- Your resume or CV.
- Your transcripts.
- Your statement of purpose. If they're all more-or-less the same, just send me one version. If you're writing significantly different SOPs for different departments, send me the different ones and note (in the first list above) which SOP goes with which department. (E.g., you might have one SOP for MS applications and one for PhD applications. Or one for CS departments and one for ECE departments.)
- A summary of your courses and/or research work with me or my lab. List any courses you took from me: what course, when, what grade you received. List any research projects (in a course or related to lab research) you did with me, with perhaps a sentence about each.
I typically write many recommendation letters per year, especially around the graduate application deadlines in December, so having all of this information well-organized makes a huge difference.