FAQ

Q: Are you taking new Ph.D. students?

A: Yes, but my lab is quite full, so I’m not able to take as many as I used to.

Q: I am interested in a postdoc. How do I apply?

A: There is a link at sisl.stanford.edu. Applications will be reviewed as positions open up throughout the year.

Q: Are you open to signing copies of your books?

A: Sure thing! I would be happy to. You can stop by after my lectures or schedule a time to come by my office.

Q: Can you answer my questions about applying to Stanford?

A: The best bet is to email aa-admissions@lists.stanford.edu.

Q: Do I have to be a Ph.D. student in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics to be in your lab?

A: No. I have plenty of Ph.D. students in other departments, e.g., Computer Science, Mechanical Engineering, and Electrical Engineering.

Q: Should I email you to let you know I applied to the M.S. or Ph.D. program?

A: No need to. The admissions committee of the department you applied to makes admissions decisions based on your full application package. Individual faculty do not admit students. If you are admitted by the committee, you will be invited to campus to meet with faculty and students.

Q: Can I do an unpaid internship?

A: Our laboratory cannot take on additional participants outside of the various established programs. However, you are welcome to contribute ideas, issues, and code to our various open source projects, such as those posted on https://github.com/sisl and https://github.com/JuliaPOMDP.

Q: I took your class a while ago and now we’re using some of the ideas from the class, and it’s really neat! Do you want to hear about it?

A: Yes! Also, with your permission, I can mention it in class as an example of an application!

Q: I am a Stanford student. Can I meet with you?

A: Sure! Take a look at the calendar link and email me with a proposed time. There are little arrow buttons that allow you to change between weeks. I’m generally in the office on weekdays between 8:30am and 4:30pm.

Q: Do you take high school interns?

A: Yes, but only through the Stanford Robotics Center Summer Research Program. Unfortunately, this program will not be running in 2024, but it might be in 2025.

Q: Do you know of other faculty taking high school interns?

A: No. Generally faculty only take high school interns through established programs because of the complexities of approvals for working with minors.

Q: Can I join your lab?

A: If you are a Stanford student, you can register your interest and submit your information for review at the form here. I get notified at the time of every submission, but feel free to follow up with a separate email. If you are not a Stanford student yet, you can find admissions information here.

Q: I would like to do a summer internship, but I am not a Stanford student.

A: We have supported external students through the SURF program in the past and will continue in the future. You send application materials to that program, not to me directly. Outside of this program, I do not currently have funding or capacity to support non-Stanford students. If you have a fellowship and bring your own funding, please be aware of Stanford’s fees for visiting student researchers (VSRs).

Q: Can you look at my resume and other materials and tell me whether I am a good fit for your lab and how likely it is that I will be admitted?

A: You can find our past publications and research themes at sisl.stanford.edu (see the video too!), and you should be able to determine whether you are a good fit. Admission to the Ph.D. program (regardless of whether you apply to AA, CS, ME, etc.) generally requires demonstrated research ability as shown through research publications and strong letters of recommendation. Unfortunately, I cannot make individual predictions of admission because the decision is made by the admissions committee of the department to which you apply.

Q: Where can I find the videos of past Ph.D. defenses?

A: They are linked to from the lab webpage. You can also find links to their theses as well.

Q: I’m applying to Stanford. If I get in, can I join your lab?

A: I cannot promise a spot in my lab, but you are welcome to attend and participate in my lab meetings to see whether my lab is a good fit for you. I would also recommend taking AA228 offered in the fall quarter.

Q: How do I pronounce your name?

A: “My cull coke in dir fur” :-)

Q: I heard you have a really cool Instagram account, what is it?

A: @aiprof