Read This Before You Email Me!
Like most professors here at Berkeley I receive dozens of emails expressing
interest in graduate studies at Berkeley and inquiring as to the potential for
graduate support. I regret that I do not have time to respond to each of these
individual letters, so let me try to pass on a few relevant comments:
Unless you are formally admitted to graduate studies in the Department of EECS here at Berkeley there is nothing that I can personally due to help you gain admission. Furthermore, if you are admitted to graduate studies in EECS here, then you are certain to receive financial support for your studies here. In this case you do not need my help or particular attention anyway! So the key point is to get admitted through normal channels. Beyond good grades, good GRE scores, and positive recommendation letters, the one thing that can improve a student's chances of admission into our program is a track record of research publication. A publication in a reputable conference really makes an application stand out.
Once you are admitted to the program, when you arrive in the fall we will
have plenty of time to explore research interests together. Letters expressing
generic interest in my research are of little value; however, if you are a rare
applicant that has already performed research in my area(s) of interest or you
have some especially pertinent industrial experience, then by all means let us
discuss the particulars of your research efforts. In this case please send me
an email that clearly indicates what part of my research efforts particularly
interest you, and how your prior work is relevant. Interest in particular
research is best demonstrated by reference to the details of specific
publications of recent years.