Krste Asanović: Information for Prospective Students

If you're a student interested in working with me, please read the following:

Students at UCB

I always try to respond to students who are already at UCB, but it might take me up to a week to get back to you depending on my schedule. Please be patient.

I am interested in engaging Berkeley undergrads in my group's research projects, particularly those undergrads thinking of entering the 5th year M.S. program and who are looking for thesis topics in the areas of computer architecture, VLSI design, and parallel software systems. I generally require an A grade in one or more of the associated upper division systems courses (EE141, CS150/152/162/164/169).

Please send an email detailing your rough area of interest, and ideally include a resume detailing your prior hardware/software design experience, together with a sample of source code (any language), and short piece of your technical writing (in English).

Students Applying to Graduate School at UCB

Due to the volume of email I receive from prospective students, I cannot (and do not) respond personally to questions about admissions. If you are applying to the UCB EECS graduate program, then please read these admissions instructions and contact the EECS graduate admissions assistants for any additional questions. They are very helpful.

I've also built up this set of standard responses to the questions I'm frequently asked in student emails.

Can I be your research assistant?

I cannot take on a research assistant unless they have already been admitted to UCB. Admissions decisions are not made by individual faculty but by the EECS admissions committee, who set very high standards on the calibre of students admitted. After all, you might end up working with another advisor later in your career.

You should also realize that on average, I only take on one or two new doctoral advisees per year. I usually select advisees from the pool of admitted students, after reading their folders and chatting to them in person. In any case, you should not fix your sights on a particular advisor this early in the admissions process. There are many fine faculty here in areas that overlap mine, and you should probably wait until after you've met us all at the visit day for admitted students before choosing to work with one advisor or another.

I have funding from an external source, so I will cost you nothing. Can I be your research assistant?

Congratulations on receiving external funding! But you still have to make it through the admissions committee, which does not consider external funding as a factor when selecting students. I also personally do not consider external funding when selecting graduate advisees from the pool of admitted students, as quality and compatibility with my group are my overriding concerns.

I can only afford to come to UCB if I receive support. Will I receive a GSR or a GSI appointment?

The vast majority (>99%?) of our students receive full support throughout their entire graduate career, either as GSRs or GSIs. Funding should not be a concern that stops you applying to UCB.

Can you read my resume to see if I have a chance at UCB?

Admission to graduate school in the UCB EECS department is highly competitive. The best judges of your chances are the faculty at your own institution, who should hopefully know you well and can compare you with other students from your school who were successful in gaining admission to UCB. If in doubt, apply.

Almost all of our applicants have exceptional course grades, and so these are rarely a factor in admissions. The most important factor for admissions into the computer systems research area is the set of research projects you've been involved with, and letters of recommendation from your supervisors on those projects. If you are reading this before your senior year, then the single best way to improve your chances of gaining admission to the UCB program is to seek out a faculty advisor at your school and work on an independent undergraduate research project with them.

I am interested in graduate school and will be visiting UCB, can I come by to see you and chat about your research?

My group will try to accomodate visitors if you give sufficient notice and they are not too busy. Usually, my graduate students will make time to chat with you about our research and what graduate school is like at UCB. Please note that a visit will have absolutely no impact on the admissions process, so please don't make a special trip solely to try to improve your chances.

Other Students Outside of UCB

Please note that I receive many emails regarding positions with my group, and rarely have time to reply. The following are answers to some commonly asked questions.

I would like to do a postdoc with you, do you have any positions open?

In general, I only take on postdocs if I already know you through your work, or am involved in a research collaboration with your sponsor. In these cases, we will have already discussed the possibility.

I would like to do a summer internship with you, do you have any positions open?

I do not in general take on summer interns, unless I am involved in a research collaboration with your current advisor, in which case we will have already discussed the possibility.

I would like to do a summer internship with you, and I have funding so will work for free. Can I work with you?

I do not in general take on summer interns even with their own funding, unless I am involved in a research collaboration with your current advisor, in which case we will have already discussed the possibility.

I am currently at another school/company, I will work for you for free. Can you supervise my research?

No. I reserve my time for my students at UCB.