Interested in joining my research lab?
November 2013 (perspective of a postdoc)
[Note: this page was last updated in 2017. I'm no longer recruiting as actively as I was back then, but email me if you're still interested.]
I'm looking for undergraduate, masters, and Ph.D. students to work on human-computer interaction (HCI) research with me. Specifically, we will build and study interactive software systems that help people become better programmers. To get a sense of my research focus, read this four-page research summary or watch this hour-long talk.
My students have published first-author papers, won national-level research awards, obtained internships and full-time jobs at top technology companies (e.g., Google, Microsoft), and been admitted into top Ph.D. programs (e.g., at Stanford and UC Berkeley). I love bragging about their accomplishments, promoting their work to my colleagues, and helping them to develop their careers.
I provide a lot for my students, but I also expect a lot. Here are the five most important traits that I look for in prospective students, listed in order of importance. I based this list on my own experiences working with dozens of students, distilling the qualities that are most critical for success in my lab.
I also tend to select for students who are friendly, empathetic, and likely to get along well with others. While these traits do not directly predict individual success in research, they go a long way toward making the lab a better place for everyone.
I purposely didn't put down intellectual curiosity since that should be a given; if you're not intellectually curious, there are far better ways to spend your time than research. I also didn't include being “smart” or “passionate” – the former is ill-defined, and the latter develops over time if you find the right project and advisor.
What it's like to work in my lab
Like snowflakes (maybe?), every research project is unique. However, from working with dozens of students on research in the past, here's how the usual flow of a project works in my lab: