Frequently Asked Questions
How can I join your lab?
Are you a CSU graduate student already? Great! Feel free to reach out via the contact page!
Otherwise, the first step is to apply to our department. In your application, you may be able to indicate your interest in working with me specifically. Admitted students are welcome to reach out to let me know of their interest.
If I'm admitted, what are my chances of getting a spot in your lab?
Honestly, I don't know. I am regularly pursuing funding to support new students, so please watch the blog as well as signallab.ai for announcements of new funding and recruiting. Space in the SIGNAL Lab is limited due to high demand and depends on a number of factors, such as available funding, time, resources, and establishing a positive working relationship, which is why... (see below)
What are your expectations for new students?
Typically I ask new students to work with me for a semester before committing to a formal advising relationship with funding. This allows us to establish a mutual area of interest and to be sure we work well together.
Do you work with undergrads?
I'm open to it. If you are a CSU undergrad interested in part-time research work, feel free to reach out. The usual caveats apply (resources, funding, your background, etc.).
What skills do I need to have to work in your lab?
Having strong technical skills in the standard machine learning frameworks is always good (TensorFlow, Keras, Pytorch), and comfort with Git is critical. Other skills or interests that make me sit up and pay attention are:
- Unity Game Engine
- Software engineering
- Reinforcement learning
- Robotics/Robot Operating System (ROS)
- Virtual/augmented reality
- Linguistics (esp. semantics, syntax, historical)
- Statistical analysis
- Good writing abilities
What makes a prospective student stand out?
The most important thing is to have an idea of the kinds of problems that excite you and that you want to work on. But what excites you and why am I the right person to help you develop those ideas?
Another thing is to have a well-organized portfolio. Webpages are good. Sending me your GitHub profile is good too, but I don't have time to actually run your code to see what you can do. Therefore, if you organize your profile and clearly explain your projects (even consider using pictures!) that will give me a much easier time evaluating your work.
I want to study computer vision. Can I work with you?
While I use computer vision techniques, it's mostly as tools in larger pipelines for other problems (mostly language and reasoning). If that sounds like what you're into, I might be your guy. Computer vision itself is not my primary area of focus. A number of my colleagues at CSU are accomplished computer vision reasearchers, so you may want to get in touch with them.
I'm enthusiastic about machine learning. Can I work with you?
Machine learning is glorified curve fitting. Are you really enthusiastic about fitting lines to points?
What is it that you want to use machine learning
Are you on the admissions committee?
For Fall 2021, no.
I emailed you and you never responded!
Me: Did you use the contact form?
You: No, I cold emailed your @colostate.edu address.
Me: Use the contact form.
You: I used the contact form!
Me: Did you follow all the instructions on the contact form?
You: No, I just entered my message and hit "Send."
Me: Read and follow the (very straightforward) instructions on the contact form.
You: I did all that!
Me: Then I'm very sorry! First check your spam folder, just in case. But if that's not the culprit, feel free to reach out again. I try to reply to all genuine inquiries but sometimes a few do slip through the cracks. Send me a reminder; I don't mind!