work with me

(info for students).

I am always interested in meeting enthusiastic and creative students, and I particularly encourage students from groups with longstanding underrepresentation in our discipline to talk to me about potential projects.  I look for students who demonstrate commitment, creativity, communication skills (including visual communication), and courage.  The best way to get involved depends upon your current status:

summer students:

Students from other universities, particularly those that do not offer many opportunities to explore CS research, can apply to join us for a summer research experience.  To do this, you need to apply to our department's Research Experiences for Undergraduates site:

prospective Ph.D. and M.S. students:

Students seeking a graduate degree in Computer Science from the University of Minnesota should apply to the graduate school, specifying an interest to work with me in the application form and the essay.  If you indicate this in your application, then I guarantee I will see review your application -- there is no need to email me in addition to tell me that you are applying or ask if I will be taking any new students this year.  If you or your current advisor would like to connect with me to share some additional information that does not fit in the application, then you may send me email.

current umn students:

Current UMN undergraduate and MS students who wish to work with me should take (and do really well in) a class with me.  A great choice for undergraduate students is CSci-4611 Interactive Computer Graphics and Games, which I teach regularly.  A great choice for MS students is CSci-5609 Visualization, also taught regularly.  Please also read below to see answers to some frequently asked questions.

when can/should i start?​

Learning to conduct research takes time, so it is best to start before your senior year.  We sometimes have opportunities for 1 or 2 semester "student programmer" positions, but these are limited, and are too short to learn very much about research.  We are most interested in students who can join a project and stick with it for at least 3 semesters (summers count as equal to a semester).  That usually provides enough time to bring your own strengths to the project and turn it into a thesis and/or research publication.

what is the time commitment?

Undergraduate and MS student researchers ​must be able to commit at least 9 hours per week to your research work (similar to how you would treat any other 3-credit course), and you must be able to attend our regular all-lab meetings, which are on Friday mornings.

what can i expect to work on?

As a new student researcher, you should expect to be teamed up with more experienced lab members, typically PhD students, who will act as your mentors. Your first project in the lab will likely be working on one piece of a larger project that your mentors are also working on.

can i get course credit for research?


Yes, almost always.  With a little extra planning, research in the lab is often a great fit for Directed Research or Thesis Preparation courses.

can i get paid?

Maybe, it depends on the project and available funding, or funding that you identify for yourself.  For example, the university UROP program is a great source for some small funding.  I highly recommend that each of my undergraduate students apply for this program, as it not only provides a stipend but may also be used to defer the costs of conference travel if a paper or presentation on your work is accepted.

is there anyone else doing similar research at umn?

We have a fantastic group of graphics, VR, and HCI faculty.  In particular, these colleagues run fantastic labs and collaborate closely with my group.

Prof. Evan Suma Rosenberg's Illusioneering Lab

Prof. Victoria Interrante's VR Lab (focusing on perception and design)

Prof. Stephen Guy's Applied Motion Lab

Prof. Lana Yarosh and the whole GroupLens Research Group

may i and how do i contact you?

This page answers the question "how can I get involved in research?"  If you have a more specific question or need clarification, please email me. 

It is a real privilege to work in the lab, if/when you contact me, please make it clear that you have visited our lab webpage and learned what we are about and that you are not just spamming numerous professors with a generic request.