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.
Graduate Student Council Representatives
The CS department is currently entitled to 4 representatives in
the Graduate Student Council. At least one of these representatives
should be a masters student. The Council itself is a collection of grad
representatives from all departments. See
for more details.
The CS Reps must attend the GSC meetings and represent the CS department in
graduate school affairs. In addition, they are responsible for filing the GSC
rebate form, which funds the nest egg.
The Calendar Czar works with Astaff, Tstaff, faculty and grads to keep track of
events of interest to the department 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.
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.
The Curriculum Czar must be a PhD candidate and represents the
graduate students on the Curriculum Committee. S/he will lobby for grad
student interests with the committee and the department chair. This Czar
will also serve as our Sheridan Center Liaison.
The Facilities Czar represents the graduate students on the
department's facilities committee. This committee is responsible for
allocating money for and determining the specifications of new machines,
Faculty Search Czar
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.
Fac/Grad Lunch Czar
Fac/Grad Lunches happen periodically and are informal
meetings where graduate students and faculty eat pizza and discuss some
topic of interest. The Czar is responsible for organizing a faculty
member and a topic, reserving the room, and getting pizza.
The complement to recruiting weekend is orientation week, when new
students are welcomed to the department. The Orientation Czars set the
weeks schedule, and arrange for all the appropriate talks to take place.
In addition, they arrange for the yearly photocollage to be made.
The Phone Czar will be responsible for the care and feeding of the grad student
Skype phone. They will make sure that its bill gets paid on time and any
student who has job interviews, research-related calls or any other
departmental business has access to the phone.
The main responsibility of the Hospitality 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 Hospitality 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 the
department and foster collaboration between disciplines.
The Social Czar is responsible for keeping a sense of community in
the department by organizing at least one social event a month.
The Sports Czar (SC) informs graduate students about ongoing physical and
recreational activities in the campus. SC can also sign-up intramural teams,
carry out tournament registration and reimbursement processes. It is also 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 departmental tournaments and
arrange training sessions (time, weather, place, equipment, etc.).
Another two person team, the Tea Czars organize the weekly
departmental tea and cookies.
The TGIF Czars (there are usually 2) are responsible for providing food for the
weekly TGIF social hour with funds provided by the department. At least one of
the Khans must have a car.
The Info Khan is responsible for maintaining the graduate student
The Knowledge Khan is responsible for the dissemination of
exciting departmental research to all members of the department. The
primary method used is to organize the yearly departmental retreat.
The Fridge Demon is an anonymous position, responsible for the
cleanliness of the department's fridges. Once a month, he/she/it must
examine the refrigerators and discard any items that need it.
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 (i.e., thrown at)
a PhD candidate who has successfully defended his/her 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 in the
department of the chicken recipient.
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 BrownCS for reporting to the Facilities Committee.
With the increasing number of Mac users in the department, particularly among
the faculty, the Facilities Committee has agreed to fund a merc position to
assist these people with some of their issues. Primarily it involves
maintaining a wiki section detailing how to interface with the department
systems. However it also involves being available as a resource to assist
people with specific problems.
The Tex Mercs support astaff in their use of LaTeX and TeX.
Secondary responsibilities include maintaining the TeX project and various TeX
related programs, such as xdvi, and dvips and being available to answer
TeX related questions from other users in the department.
The Video Merc will collect videos from distinguished lectures,
symposiums and any other important talks the department hosts. He or
she will then be in charge of posting them to Vimeo or other flash-based
site account. This person will also take pictures at the departmental
events (receptions, Halloween party, etc.) and organize them on a
departmental photo gallery. This position will require coordination with
the Info Khan to link it from the main site.