So when a friend of mine wrote a blog on the kind of replies he had received to the emails he sent out applying for Research Assistantship in Stanford, I decided I would follow suit. In fact I decided to go a step further, write a couple of descriptions of the one on one interviews I had with some of the professors at Stanford, before I got my RAship. Here it is:
Thanks for your interest. I am curently on sabbatical in Singapore (until the end of 2007) and right now I am in Nepal on a climbing expedition. I will behappy to meetyou when I return to Stanford if you are still interested.
Thanks for your e-mail; I have already hired an RA for this year, so I don't have any other positions, unfortunately. Sorry. - "He gave me an RA in less than 2 months from this email"
Thank you for sending the information. Unfortunately, my computer is unable to open rar files, but I did look at your resume.
You certainly have had some experience in computational biology, but it wasn't clear whether you've had experience in machine learning or statistical methods. In any case, I have a fairly strict policy not to take students into my group until they have successfully completed at least one directly relevant course here at Stanford. Ideally, this would be my cs228 course (probabilistic graphical models - winter), but I may also accept cs229 (machine learning - fall), or my new cs279 course (biological networks - fall). I know you are not currently enrolled in cs279. Are you taking cs229 by any chance? If not, then I can only suggest that you take cs228 in winter, and then come and talk to me partway through the quarter about possible research opportunities in my group.
The TA-ship in Hindi is an unpaid position. You get school credit for taking Directed Reading in the SLP. It essentially involves doing HW correction, and the Hindi is quite basic. Usually, the terms don't work out for Masters students since they don't get paid, or get units. If you are still interested, you can email me and we can meet. Also, if you know anyone who might be interested in getting upto 12 units for the year towards their degree, you can get them to contact me - of course, they must know how to read and write Hindi.
One on one interaction with this guy in Dept of Communication:
Me: Sir I am from the MS program in the CS dept...
Prof: So???? (Face like freakin Hitler) This is the Communication Dept - i can see that u idiot - I have eyes!
Me: I know that sir, I was here to talk to you about research opportunities in the Facial Recognition of electorial college...
Prof: I have no money for CS Graduate students...(i thought he was about to take out a gun from under the table and shoot at me...)
Me: Thank you sir, and ran away from the building as if my ass was on fire...(This was, btw, my second day at Stanford - quite a welcome huh!)
With this guy in the Computational Mathematics Dept:
Me: Is Prof Darve (read like Kumble) in?
Office Manager: You mean Prof Darve(read like carve)?
OM: Yes he is in...
I go in...
Me: No he is not there
OM: He must have gone to the toilet...
Me: (To myself): possibly a good omen!
Darve: we were supposed to meet at 3, you are 10 min early...
Me: I have a class at 3:15 sir
Darve: Anyways, come in - we have a project to build a car simulation, using OpenGL and Matlab to solve 2nd order differential equations - I want the students should in this course be able to make a car simulation game which they can race against each other at the end of the quarter - can you build it - I will pay u $13 an hour for it
Me: (To myself): I bet the slaves from Africa got paid better for their work - wtf - differential quations in matlab - with openGL porting - this will take about 6 months at the least - with 3 courses at hand...
Me: (To Darve): Of course sir, this can be done, so i will keep in touch with you, thank you!