For Students

What I’m Teaching This Academic Year

  • Fall 2023: on leave from teaching
  • Spring 2024: CS 3110


  • I am not accepting any research students at this time.
  • If you want to get involved with research, I recommend the ACSU readme and the annual ACSU Research Night.

Recommendation Letters

  • I am pleased to write recommendation letters for students who have been effective TAs on my course staff, or who otherwise have worked one-on-one with me.
  • Given the number of students I teach each year (700–1000), it doesn’t hurt to include a photo of yourself when you reach out to ask for a letter. (Bonus points if it’s from commencement and we’re both in regalia.)
  • If all I already know about you is your grades in my class, I will usually have to decline to write a letter. Your final grade is already on your transcript; a letter from me wouldn’t convey any additional information that is useful.
  • You will usually be given an option to waive your right to view the letter I write. Most students do. If you’re not going to waive that right, then you and I should have a conversation about why you think I’m the right letter writer for you.
  • If you are applying to a PhD program, we need to meet at least once before I can agree to write a letter. I need to understand why you believe (i) that a PhD is necessary for your future goals, and (ii) that I’m a good choice to be a letter writer for you. It’s good if you’ve been a TA for me and had good teaching evaluations that I can cite. It’s not so good if the only letter I could write says, roughly, “did well in class.”
  • If you are applying to graduate programs with an application deadline in December, please be aware that my letter will be uploaded before Dec 25 but not necessarily by the published deadline for your intended program. This will not be a problem: please consider what the faculty who will eventually review your application are actually doing at the same time as I am writing these letters. Nonetheless, if you perceive it as a problem, please ask someone else for a letter.
  • If I do agree to write a letter, here is the information I will need:
    • A link to the program to which you are applying.
    • A summary of all the ways in which you and I have previously interacted. Assume that I’m terribly forgetful.
    • A list of all the courses you’ve taken with me, including the semesters in which you took them, and the grade you received.
    • A current resumé or CV.
    • A copy of your personal statement or statement of purpose, if the program to which you are applying requires such a statement.