Working with me

Brown Students


I'm always delighted to work with Brown undergraduates on research projects. Many of my most fruitful collaborations have arisen this way. I tend to prefer students who have relatively strong backgrounds in mathematics, but sometimes other skills can outwiegh a deficit in math.

I don't keep a list of projects here; come to my office hours to discuss the possibility of working with me and to hear about potential projects. If you actually want to work with me on a research project, we'll find a topic, and then I'll ask that you prepare a proposal: a couple of pages describing the problem, possible approaches to solving it, a plan of work, a list of resources needed, and then a description of why the project is interesting or important. If the proposal is good enough, we'll work together.

Master's students

I'm willing to work with some Master's students, but the time to get "up to speed" is so long compared to the total time that the students have to spend on a project that I'm generally wary. (An exception is those M.Sc. students who are in the 5-year program, i.e., did their undergraduate work at Brown --- they tend to have the prerequisites that I need to get a project started and driven to completion.) There may be other exceptions to this rule, but I need to believe that the time I spend working on a project with you will be well-invested. I'll start by asking for the same sort of thing that I do for undergraduates: that you write a proposal describing your plan of research.

Ph.D. students

I currently have all the Ph.D. students that I can handle; some will be graduating soon, and I may want to take on more students. As above, mathematical skills are essential for those who want to work with me.



I rarely have funds or time to work with interns. And I get a lot of mail from people who want to do internships with me, many of whom clearly are just spamming every CS professor in the world (e.g., those who inform me that they're fascinated by my work in distributed systems!). If you want an internship with me, you can send me email with the word "Poodle" as the first word in the "Subject:" line. I'll then take a look at your letter, and will probably say that there are no internships available. If you write to me about an internship and don't include the magic word in the right place, I'll never even read your letter.

Applicants for the M.Sc. or Ph.D. Program


I get lots of random people saying they want to do a Ph.D. or M.Sc. with me; they've clearly not taken the time to find out anything about me, though. So I have a simple screening process: I ask that any mail you send me about working with me on a graduate degree have a subject line that starts with the word "Poodle." So a typical email might have a subject line like this: Poodle. Ph.D. possibilities in your research group.

How students are selected and funded

All applications for graduate school at the Brown Computer Science department are handled by a standard process: they first go to the graduate school, then come to our department, where our admissions committee examines them, and the most promising are forwarded to faculty whose interests are particularly related to those of the applicant. If your application passes the initial screening, then all of the graphics faculty (myself, David Laidlaw, Andy van Dam, and Chad Jenkins) will be looking at it.

We co-direct the research of the Brown Computer Graphics Group, whose current research is described in our webpage . We currently have several staff, between 5 and 10 Ph.D. students, and varying numbers of Sc.M. and undergraduates students working on various projects in the group.

I am generally interested in students with relatively strong backgrounds in mathematics, but have enough advisees right now and am not seeking new ones.

Just to give you an idea of where you might stand in our applicant pool, we hope to see GRE scores of 700 on both the verbal and math exams, require a minimum of 625 on the TOEFFL, and expect somewhere around 700 or higher on the CS subject exam.

With regard to support, we generally support all of our Ph.D. students fully (although this may change in the future) as either Teaching Assistants or Research Assistants.

By contrast, I have no money at all to support M.Sc. students.

Because of the structure of our admissions process, I generally do not comment on resumes sent to me.