If you are a prospective student emailing me about working with me, please read this!

I cannot individually admit a student to the CS Dept at UT Austin. All admission decisions are taken by a committee. I can provide inputs to that committee, but the ultimate decision does not rest with me.

If you do choose to email me before applying, make sure you follow these tips:

  1. Show that your email is meant for me, and is not just a mass email sent out to a dozen faculty. Such emails get deleted immediately.
  2. Mention any relevant experience you have. For example: I used to work in the kernel group at Microsoft. I did research with Prof X in University Y. Just attaching your resume is not enough.
  3. Spell-check! You are about to enter graduate school, your emails should look professional and organized.

I do not commit to supporting students with research assistantships from just email conversations. Usually, once you are admitted, we would have an in-person chat, and if it seems we are a good fit, we would work on a project together. If that project goes well, I will commit to supporting you as a research assistant. Therefore, emails asking about scholarships/assistantships are pointless -- you need to get admitted first.

Stuff in email that will catch my eye:

  1. You worked for a systems/storage company such as VMware/Pure Storage.
  2. You worked in the operating systems group at a company such as Microsoft/Apple.
  3. You have published a paper in a systems/architecture conference.
  4. You have worked with a professor on a research project.
  5. You have read one of my recent research papers and can talk/write intelligently about it: future directions, how it relates to something you have worked on before, etc.