Assignment 3 for CS 178H:
Interview a Researcher in the Department

Due: April 27, 2009

Your assignment is to interview someone doing CS research in our department for 30 minutes and write a short 2 page report summarizing what your learned about their research.

You can pick either an undergraduate or graduate student or faculty member doing research in an area that interests you. If you do not know anyone, find candidates by looking on the web, and email them to set up an appointment. Tell them you are an undergraduate honors student in the department and are doing this for an assignment in this class and that your instructors Prof.'s Mooney and Shmatikov would greatly appreciate if they would agree to talk to you for just 30 minutes. If this does not work for a undergraduate or graduate student, email us and we will send them a personal email to encourage them (use this option only if needed). Unfortunately, we don't have much influence on what faculty do, so if they do not respond or do not agree given this information, there is not much we can do :-(, but we expect most would be willing to talk to you if they can fit it in their schedule.

Start the process early, because it may take time to find a person to agree and set up a time to meet. You have 4 full weeks, DO NOT wait until the last minute.

You may consider asking them questions like:

  1. What is the topic of your research and what progress have you made?
  2. Why do you think the problems you are working on are important?
  3. How did you get interested in this topic and how did you start doing research on it?
  4. How did you pick the exact problem you are working on?
  5. What makes your approach novel and unique compared to other research in the area?
  6. What do you think the important future research problems are in your area?
Do your best to be interactive and participate in the discussion. Most researchers love talking about their research if you just give them a chance, act interested, and are engaged.