Prospective Students

Thanks for your interest in my research! If you are considering working with me on your research, these are some of the points to think about:

  • My primary research area is in networking. Please read the “Overview” section, then browse representative papers from my “Publications” section. This will help you narrow down the kind of research from among my interests that you are also interested in.
  • I typically only work with doctoral research students. I have no unit of work for a single semester or so, and the background work itself may take significant time, more than the average MS student would want to consider.
  • Research to be truly useful must be written up and published, and this takes significant effort beyond “doing the work”; if you intend to work with me please understand that I expect you to publish early and often.
  • I typically have at least one funded grant or supplement at any time, but I cannot undertake to support you financially at the outset. You would need to have your own support in the form of a TA contract or other source. If you start working with me, and our research work together proceeds satisfactorily, I might then be able to offer you financial support down the line. But because resources are not infinite, it is not guaranteed by any means. I may not have such support to offer at the time, or if I do I may have to choose between different students in apportioning the funds.
  • To work in my research area, the following background is desirable. You should obviously have the basic Computer Science background including OS, architecture, algorithms. Naturally, you must also have more thorough coverage of the networking area, familiarity with basic networking concepts as well as specific protocols such as TCP/IP. In addition, the following are areas/tools/techniques that we are likely to use; exposure to one or more of these is helpful. I certainly do not require that you already have such experience, but if you do, be sure to let me know at the outset, because we can use that strength! And if not, you may have to pick up at least a working knowledge of one or more, depending on the direction your research takes.

    Be sure to let me know if you have interest or experience in:
    • Algorithms and complexity Theory – NP-completeness, equivalence
    • Optimization – linear and non-linear, LPs, ILPs
    • Graph Theory – graph colorability, graph algorithms
    • Discrete Event Simulation
    • Markov Theory – MDPs, stochastic variation
  • If you would like to talk to me about the possibility of doing research work with me, please e-mail me to make an appointment, and attach the following:
    • An academic transcript, showing all coursework (with grades) performed during Baccalaureate or post-Baccalaureate studies, including the current semester.
    • A resume, with all job experience (academic or industrial). Please include your current department, degree programme, expected date of graduation, etc.
    • A personal statement, telling me how your current degree work fits in your long term plans, etc.
  • The window to apply to our PhD program is from September to December of the year preceding the Fall semester you intend to start your doctoral studies (yes, almost a year earlier). When you are preparing your application is also the best time to get in touch with me. If you have already joined our program before you first get in touch with me, I might not have room in my research group to agree to work with you, even if I want to. Conversely, please don’t get in touch with me much before your application to our program is in preparation; I cannot advise you on how or whether you should apply to our doctoral program – please see the department’s website for that.
  • The best time to get started on the actual research work with me is after you have been offered and accepted admission, typically around February (yes, well before you actually join the program). If you wait to start work until after you have joined the program, you lose an opportunity to get a jump on your PhD timeline.
  • If you get in touch with me expressing interest in research, and I do not respond soon or, in some cases, at all, please understand that I am not disrespecting your interest in research, but that I must prioritize due to limitations of time. Obviously a good match of interests and/or prior academic contact allows me to prioritize your interest, and it helps me if you attach the information specified above, and follow the timeline above.

Students sometimes ask me about independent studies: while basically it is a good idea, I cannot undertake to guide you in one at the very outset. I also encourage you to do most of the work for an independent study before the semester you actually register for it; this proves intent, and reduces the chance that you may not get a satisfactory grade for it. Thus, most of the successful Independent Studies with me turn out to be by students who were already working with me for their theses when they embarked on the CSC-630 or CSC-830.

I wish you luck in your research endeavors, whether with myself or other faculty members.