Information for Summer Research Students

This page is intended to provide my summer research students with the some useful information. I hope that this page will smooth out some of the logistical issues as we begin our work.

Workspace

Currently, the plan is to hang out in the Milas Hall computer lab. I have chosen this location for a number of reasons. The first is that it is a pretty large area that we can all work in comfortably. The second is that one of my goals for the summer will be to prototype some new capabilities for the computer lab and I hope that you all can be part of this experiment :). If there are issues with this as a workspace, we can certainly reevaluate as the summer progresses.

Lab meetings

We will be having lab meetings twice a week to discuss the progress on our projects. I'd imagine these meetings will run the gamut from freeform checkins to presentations of either project progress, a particularly interesting paper, or a quick rundown of a relevant topic. I am not quite sure if twice a week is the right frequency for meetings, it may be that a frequency of once a week actually makes more sense, but let's see how it goes.

Project meetings

There are four projects that students are working on in the lab this summer: EyeHelper (Sophia, Emily, and Lindsey), Lifelong Machine Learning (Mike, Subhash, and Deniz), Working Memory Modeling (Gabrielle), and CompRobo / Computing Space (Chris). We will be scheduling meetings for each of these projects as well. Again, I'm not quite sure the frequency for these meetings, but we can figure this out next week.

Documentation of Research Activities

I will be asking each of you to document your research activities via this website. There are two types of updates that you should be generating:

  1. Blog entries that give a day-to-day narrative of your activities and challenges on your project
  2. Static pages that keep track of important notes, decisions, or conclusions related to your project

In order to update this page you will need a Drupal account. We can set this up when you all arrive for the summer.

Work schedules

Your appointments cover a full 10 weeks of work. There are 11 weeks between when the dorms open and close for the summer. Given the extra week, you can definitely take a week of vacation during the summer. I am fine with you taking a day or two here and there for other trips, however, you are expected to make it up via extra work on other days.

I am expecting about 8 hours of work a day from each of you. Clearly, the amount of work will fluctuate based on the current demands of each project. However, in order to facilitate working together I ask that you are in the computer lab during "normal" business hours (let's say 10am-3pm). If you are working outside of these hours (or outside of the computer lab) that is fine, but I'd like to maximize the amount of time we spend together in the computer lab, so consider extending these hours on either side if that works for you.

Lab Barbecues

Starting in early July I am planning to host weekly (or maybe biweekly) barbecues at my place. I'll let you know the details of this once I have actually moved!

Expectations (for you)

I think I have touched on this with each of you already, but just for clarity's sake, here are my basic expectations of you for the summer (this is outside of basic stuff like showing up ready to work each day :) ):

  1. Maintain open lines of communication with me: if something is bugging you or not going super well, please let me know. For instance, if I am not giving the right amount of direction or if you feel that you are not adequately prepared to finish a task I want to know about this. We need to work together to make this summer not only super successful.
  2. Take initiative: there are a lot of you this summer and there is only 1 of me. My assumption is that each of you is here because you are excited about your project. While I bring certain background knowledge / skills to the table that you don't (yet) possess, you are responsible for taking intellectual control of your summer experience. I want you all to find something to work on that you are passionate about and just run with it. You are all amazing students, and I know that you are going to do some amazingly brilliant things this summer.
  3. Have fun!!! I want us to have a really fun atmosphere in the lab this summer. If something is happening that is making things not so fun, please let me know.

Expectations (for myself)

Here are some of the expectations I place on myself for making the summer go well:

  1. Be available consistently for technical questions and other advice
  2. Guide the progress of each project. This involves contributing my own ideas when appropriate, identifying areas of opportunity, and doing appropriate leg work to make you all successful.
  3. Purchase equipment necessary for you all to successfully engage with your project (this could include robots, mobile devices, servers, etc.).
  4. Be responsive to your feedback. If you tell me something that is not going well, I will do everything in my power to address it.