Dear Applicant,

Thank you very much for your interest in our program, and for your interest in working with me. I know that choosing the right program/group is very important, and that the application process can be difficult. Therefore I try to respond to all the relevant inquiries I receive. As the number of such requests has swelled, I have decided to post some general information on joining my group.

For general information about admissions and requirements, please visit this page. You can also find answers to frequently asked questions here. To learn more about my research and group, please check out our lab wiki. You may want to take a look at some of our publications as well.

If you are interested in working with me, please feel free to send me an email describing your background and interests. Generic emails and internship requests will be dismissed. Please don't ask me to evaluate your chances of admission. I simply can't. Sometimes I can tell you my thoughts on whether you'd be a good match for my group.

Our work combines theory and systems. In general we look for strong analytical skills (which can be demonstrated through research papers, and high marks in fundamental courses) and systems skills (which can be demonstrated by successful completion of significant projects). If I do think that the match is strong, I will probably ask you to list me as a potential advisor if/when you apply. I will then make sure to review your application carefully, and contact you if necessary.

Regarding financial aid: The three main sources of financial aid for Ph.D. students in our department are RA-ship, TA-ship and fellowship (combinations such as half-RA, half-TA are not uncommon). Accepting a student as my RA is a decision I take very seriously. It is a major commitment for both parties. Usually I try to get to know the student well by working together on a project before offering an RA position. For incoming students, unless there is a very strong indication of success and a good match, I usually don't give out full RA-ships right away.

Best of luck,
Volkan Isler