Information for prospective students

If you're interested in attending grad school at UCSC and working with me on research, please read this page before sending me email. If you're an undergrad looking for a summer internship, please read the last section on this page. You should also probably check out my research interests and let me know what research topics you're interested in. It doesn't have to be a topic I'm currently researching, but it should be something relevant to my current or past work.

Grad School at UCSC

So you're considering grad school—congratulations! I hope you'll find the rest of this page useful. I've tried to integrate ideas from many sources, including Prof. Jim Whitehead's advice page.

Grad Student Life at UCSC

Santa Cruz can be a great place to be a grad student. There's mild weather, a wealth of outdoor activities (mostly free or low-cost), and a vibrant student community. Silicon Valley and San Francisco are a short drive away—in fact, some grad students (especially those with spouses who work in Silicon Valley) live in the San Jose area and drive into Santa Cruz for classes and research.

Applying to UCSC

Students are admitted to graduate programs at UCSC in the fall. Applications are due in January for the following fall. For further details on the mechanics of applying to the Computer Science Department or other departments in the School of Engineering, please read the graduate admissions pages.

I can review your qualifications if you send your information in either plain ASCII text (preferred) or PDF. I'm unable to review MS Word, OpenOffice, HTML (looks horrible, typically), PostScript, or any other document format, and will ignore any (text) documents sent in a format other than ASCII or PDF. Priority will be given to those prospective students who show that they've read my web pages, those of the Storage Systems Research Center and Center for Research in Storage Systems, and the School of Engineering graduate admissions pages (and perhaps the campus-wide graduate admissions page) and have thought about why they want to get a Ph.D. Unfortunately, I don't have time to review information for all of the prospective students who send me email—the best way to get me to give you feedback is to tell me in the first paragraph or two of your plain-text email what you want to work on and why you'd like to work with me.


If your research goals match those of projects for which I have external support, I may be able to support you as a graduate student researcher (GSR). Preference for funding is given to Ph.D. students; students seeking only a masters degree rarely receive research funding from our group. Our group typically supports first-year students with some combination of research funding, university funding (fellowship), and teaching assistantship (TA). Ph.D. students are required to TA for a quarter, and getting it out of the way in the first year is often a good way to go. Students in our group who are second-year and later are funded via research grants and/or fellowships. While we may not guarantee funding, we've never had a Ph.D. student who's doing good work fail to get funding, even for a quarter—continuing GSR support is contingent on good progress in both classes and research.

Many students mention our group explicitly in their application; those students will likely receive at least partial research funding from our group in their first year. If you don't yet know what you want to do research on, don't worry—we often select students who do well in their first year classes, particularly those involving systems (CMPS 221, CMPS 229, CMPS 232, etc.). Several of our students have external fellowships, and we encourage students to apply for such fellowships. Those don't are almost always supported as GSRs starting in the summer following their first year.

Students in our group often take summer internships in industry. We usually have more companies and internship slots than we have students, so it's not difficult to work on a paying internship over multiple summers. These internships can advance your research, and often result in job offers when you graduate.

More information on grad school

You can find more general information on grad school at these links:

Summer internships

The Storage Systems Research Center welcomes undergraduates interested in summer internships. The summer at UC Santa Cruz runs from mid-June through mid-September because we're on the quarter system, not semesters. It may be possible to provide stipends for internships for strong domestic students (US citizens or permanent residents). However, we are typically unable to fund international students seeking internships, though we may be able to host foreign undergraduate interns who have other sources of funding.