Note to Interested Undergrads

  • Skim my papers. Most likely, we’d end up working together on something distinct but connected to stuff described in these. Is there something there that you find especially interesting, or something related that you’d want to try? If you don’t find anything interesting, then consider checking through other grad students’ work; feeling some intellectual engagement with the project is an important part of having a good research experience.
  • Think about what you want to get out of a research experience. Are you trying to figure out whether you want to go to grad school? Maybe you want a chance to work with robots? Or maybe you’re looking for projects that you can show off during your job search? All of these are valid reasons, and the more I know about your particular motivations, the more I can help.
  • Consider your availability. Research is frustrating. Especially as an undergraduate, you’ll face a steep amount of upfront learning and background reading just so you can get started, and once you do get started nothing is going to work the way you hope or expect. You should be willing to slice out about 10 hours a week to work on research, or you won’t be able to engage deeply enough with a project to get any value.
  • Synergize. If you can take relevant classes, do it. The learning will do double duty towards your research. Otherwise, see whether you can lighten your courseload by taking research credits.
  • Email me. Once you’ve thought through the above, give me the summary and we can set up a time to discuss.