Frequently Asked Questions

For Prospective Graduate Students and Undergraduate Research Assistants

Q: Are you accepting new students at this time?

A: There are openings for motivated students every year. However the number is limited and so you are encouraged to contact me as soon as possible to discuss the possibility of working under my supervision.

Q: If I contact you, what information should I provide in the e-mail?

A: Tell me what research areas interest you. Tell me about some of the projects you have done in the past (whether research projects or class projects). If applicable, mention other related activities, e.g. TA work, programming contest participation, ...

Q: Do I have to know exactly the project I want to do?

A: Absolutely not. But if you have some ideas that interest you, please say so. In general most students know the areas they find interesting, and we determine a project topic through discussion.

Q: What sorts of topics do you generally supervise?

A: You can see some examples by looking at the list of project topics for current and previous students here.

Q: What if I want to do something different?

A: Please discuss your ideas with me. I will not be able to supervise a research project completely outside of my area,  but there may be some common ground. On the surface there appears to be a great deal of variation in the projects, but they all share some common link to algorithms, bioinformatics, coding theory or combinatorics and generally involve an inventive means of computation.

Q: What are you looking for in a prospective student?

A: The most important thing is to bring motivation, imagination and a willingness to learn new things. Students should also be comfortable with mathematics (primarily discrete mathematics).

Q: Is there funding available?

A: All graduate students are funded through a combination of research funding, fellowships and teaching assistantships. Undergraduate students may also be funded through a research assistantship or USRA (research award), although it is not guaranteed.

This page last modified 6th November 2012
© Copyright Sheridan Houghten, 2012