Q: How do I reach Kevin?
The number of requests I receive greatly exceeds my availability. I encourage students to engage in thoughtful discussions in Piazza or come to embedded security reading group sessions.
Q: How do I reach Kevin by email?
A: Are you a robot? Triple click here, then here, and finally here in sequence, and repeat twice. Try using your thumb.
My authentication service will filter out spammers with a low false negative rate. Try selecting the whole paragraph with your mouse if it doesn't work the first few tries.
How did faculty get things done before the advent of email? A lot more effectively. With thousands of unanswered emails and spam from questionable or fake journals and fake students, I've decided that truly important requests won't involve email. I met the most influential people in my life not by sending or receiving email, but by building robots and volunteering in a hospital. Another good approach is to give a Works-in-Progress or rump session talk at a conference. One potentially effective approach is to post a funny meme in a bottle. One enterprising person sent me a telegram stenciled into the skin a coconut, so perhaps try that approach. Here are more thoughts on email without a hyphen.http://web.eecs.umich.edu/~kevinfu/
Prospective graduate students: If you have questions about the PhD admissions process, please see the CSE website. We have a wonderful group of students in the SPQR lab.
Women and underrepresented minority students are especially encouraged to apply for positions. Read my links to resources on women in computing.
How to apply to a graduate school: I recommend you find a knowledgeable mentor at your local institution or watch the video of the workshop on getting into grad school. In your PhD application, it's reasonable to mention the names of a small number of faculty where you've read their recent research publications and have some thoughts on where to go next. Choosing to write a narrative rather than a research statement will probably decrease your chances. Spending page space on why you love computers, your GPA, your ranking, or how you have been programming since in utero will generally backfire at any school. I find the most creative students are usually relative newcomers to computer science who have not been completely infected with conventional wisdom or bad programming habits. Some of the best students got a B because they decided to challenge themselves. I minored in Latin and studied a short time at the French Culinary Institute; did you exercise your left brain in college? Maybe you switched from biomedical engineering to computer science or computer engineering in your senior year? In my lab, we often do the opposite of conventional wisdom. We enjoy jumping into the unknown, and challenging the status quo.
Another good way to engage in dialog is to have a poster or presentation accepted at a conference such as USENIX Security, IEEE S&P, or ACM SenSys. If you had a paper considered by a conference, your statement might consider talking about how you interpreted the reviews to improve your submission. There are many pitfalls to avoid in the application process for any graduate program. For foreign students, I recommend first achieving a TOEFL score above 100 before applying.
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