FAQs for students

I'd like you to write a letter of recommendation for me for grad school/a summer research opportunity/program X. What information do you need from me?

I'm happy to write letters of recommendation. Note that I'll be able to write a better, more thorough letter for you if you and I have interacted in a significant way: you've done research for me, graded or prefected for me, come to office hours, or distinguished yourself in my courses. Here's what I need from you:

I'd like to do research with you this term/this summer.

Fantastic! I typically advertise research openings in the Carleton Sentinel, as well as on my research web page. I'll typically indicate what sort of skill set I'm looking for, but at a minimum you should have at least taken CS 111 (or its equivalent). If you're interested in an opportunity, send me an email stating what position you're interested in, why you're interested in the position, and briefly listing your qualifications: what CS, math, and psychology courses you've taken, as well as any projects or work you've done in the past that might be relevant. An unofficial transcript is preferable.

I'm on the waiting list for your class. When will I know if I can get in the class?

Come to the first day of class, and make sure you speak to me after class. I take attendance on the first day, and in particular I note who on the waiting list has come to class that day. I typically take people in order off the waiting list, but keep in mind that many students do drop off waiting lists, so your position on the waiting list is not a good indicator as to whether you can get into the class. Bear in mind that the size of my class is also limited by physical resources (number of seats in the lab, number of seats in the classroom), and that I need to keep these in mind when letting in people off the waiting list.