Graduate Student Job Descriptions

Faculty-Graduate Liaison (FGL)

The FGL is a senior PhD candidate tasked with handling most faculty-grad interactions and concerns. This is the person to talk to if you hit a difficult moment in your grad career. Responsibilities include monitoring czar, khan, and merc activity, allocating office space, and controlling access to the grad nest egg. More details on the role can be found at the Fac-Grad Role Page.

Faculty-Graduate-Masters Liaison (FGML)

The FGML is a second-year Master's student tasked with working with the FGL to ensure faculty-grad interactions and concerns attend to the needs of the Master's students. This is the person to talk to if you hit a difficult moment in your grad career. Responsibilities include working closely with the FGL, planning and coordinating events, and checking in with Master's students to ensure things are going smoothly.

Sheridan Center Liaison

Coordinates announcements and solicits participation in Brown's teaching-focused trainings through the Sheridan Center. The Sheridan Center Liaison helps support the excellence in teaching expected of teaching assistants and future faculty members at Brown.

Graduate Student Council (GSC) Representatives

Brown CS is currently entitled to 4 representatives in the Graduate Student Council. At least one of these representatives should be a Master's student. The Council itself is a collection of grad representatives from all departments. See the GSC page for more details. The CS Reps must attend the GSC meetings and represent Brown CS in graduate school affairs. In addition, they are responsible for filing the GSC rebate form, which funds the nest egg.

Mentorship Program Czars

These students help coordinate the mentorship program for new PhD students – this involves recruiting new mentors each year from the pool of post-candidacy mentors, matching mentors to new PhD student mentees, and organizing any mentor-program events each term.

Mental Health & Well-Being Czar

The Mental Health Czar informs graduate students about Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) at Brown, such as relevant mental-health events on campus. The Czar is also responsible to decrease the stigma surrounding using CAPS services, and promote awareness of mental well-being.

Facilities Czar

The Facilities Czar represents the graduate students on the Brown CS facilities committee. This committee is responsible for allocating money for and determining the specifications of new machines, monitors, and so on.

Faculty Search Czars

These students assist the faculty in recruiting and hiring new faculty. There is a czar for each area of the faculty search. Responsibilities include: assisting in the creation of the short list of candidates, disseminating information about job talks to the graduate students, attending job talks in their area, organizing the graduate student-candidate interview, and presenting the graduate student opinion to the faculty search committee.

Recruitment Czars

The main responsibility of the Recruitment Czars is to organize the graduate-student recruitment weekends. This includes setting up faculty/student talks, organizing lunches and tours, and arranging housing. Students visiting at other times are also made welcome by the Recruitment Czars.

Orientation Czars

The complement to recruiting weekend is orientation week, when new students are welcomed to the department. The Orientation Czars set the week's schedule and arrange for all the appropriate talks to take place. In addition, they arrange for the yearly photo collage to be made. Prior czars have accumulated their wisdom into the Orientation Czar Guide.

Sports Czar

The Sports Czar (SC) informs graduate students about ongoing physical and recreational activities in the campus. The SC can also sign up intramural teams and carry out tournament registration and reimbursement processes. It is the SC's responsibility to attend the captain's meetings and scheduled sessions. The SC is the default administrator of group-specific email lists (such as soccer@cs). Finally, the SC should initiate Brown CS tournaments and arrange training sessions (time, weather, place, equipment, and so on).

PhD Lounge Czar

The PhD Lounge Czar is responsible for keeping track of facilities in the PhD lounge (CIT 404).

Social Czars

The Social Czars are responsible for keeping a sense of community in the department by organizing at least one social event a month. They are responsible for organizing the Halloween party, and helping with the department holiday party.

TGIF Czars

The TGIF Czars (there are usually two) are responsible for providing food for the weekly TGIF social hour with funds provided by Brown CS. To learn from the accumulated wisdom of prior czars, see the TGIF Czarship Guide.

Tea Czars

Another two-person team, the Tea Czars organize the weekly Brown CS tea and cookies.

REST Czars

The REST (Research Exchange Seminars with Tea) Czars host a weekly talk from a grad student designed to disseminate information about ongoing research in Brown CS and foster collaboration between disciplines.

Info Khan

The Info Khan is responsible for maintaining the graduate student web structure.

Rubber Chicken Khan

The primary responsibility of the Rubber Chicken Khan is to maintain a coop of rubber chickens. A chicken is traditionally awarded to (that is, thrown at) a PhD candidate who has successfully defended their thesis, following the faculty handshakes and preceding the champagne. The khan is also responsible for assigning the chicken thrower for each thesis defense. The chicken thrower is usually the closest friend of the chicken recipient in Brown CS.

Fridge Demon

The Fridge Demon is an anonymous position, responsible for the cleanliness of the department's fridges (located in CIT 302, 412, 532). Once a month, they must examine the refrigerators and discard any items that need it.

D&I Administrative Merc

The D&I Merc assists diversity and inclusion efforts in the graduate student recruitment process. This job involves administrative tasks (spreadsheet management), outreach, as well as coordination with the chair of the department and the diversity chair.

Ergo Merc

The Ergo Merc maintains the departmental ergonomic website as well as a pool of ergonomic keyboards and voice recognition software. New users are taken care of (workspace evaluations) and injured parties are led through the department and university ropes. In addition, this merc coordinates the Brown RSI-awareness campaign and collects statistics on RSI at Brown CS for reporting to the Facilities Committee. For more information, see the Ergo Merc Details.

High Performance Computing (HPC) Merc

The HPC Merc is primarily responsible for fielding questions and providing information/guidance related to the use of the CS department's high-performance computing resources (e.g. the in-house "Grid" or the department's GPU condo on the CCV's "Oscar" cluster). The position additionally entails communicating and working with the department technical staff regarding potential new features and changes to the existing HPC infrastructure, as well as interfacing with other university computing groups (such as CCV) for coordinating joint projects. The HPC Merc will also periodically survey the department's current HPC users about their usage patterns and solicit feedback on the state of the HPC infrastructure, and then summarize and present that information to the CS technical staff. Ideally the HPC Merc is someone with knowledge of (or interest in learning about) modern high-performance computing infrastructure and related technologies.

Video Merc

The Video Merc collects videos from distinguished lectures, symposiums and any other important talks the department hosts. They will then be in charge of posting them to Vimeo or other flash-based site account. This person will also take pictures at Brown CS events (receptions, the Halloween party, and so on) and organize them in a photo gallery. This position will require coordination with the Info Khan to link it from the main site.

Interview Room Khan (archived)

The Interview Room Khan reserves CIT 522 for students and provides the key so they can access it.

Knowledge Khan (archived)

The Knowledge Khan is responsible for the dissemination of exciting Brown CS research to all members of the department. The primary method used is to organize the yearly departmental retreat.

Comprehensives Czar (archived)

The job of the Comprehensive Exam Czar, who must be a PhD candidate, is to assist the faculty member in charge of the comprehensive exams to ensure that the exams run smoothly. During the programming exam, the comps czar monitors the process and works with the responsible faculty members to solve any problems that might occur.

Calendar Czar (archived)

The Calendar Czar works with AStaff, TStaff, faculty, and grads to keep track of events of interest to the Brown CS community and minimize scheduling conflicts. They collect information on classes, reading groups, lectures, lunches, lab meetings and the like and maintain an up-to-date calendar.