FAQ for Potential Students

For students interested in our group, please read this FAQ before talking to me.

Q: In addition to this FAQ, what else should I check in order to understand more about this group?

A: Download and play our software. Also check our recent publications.

Read the following general articles about doing research and running experiments:

Q: Will I get financial support if joining the group?

A: In general, yes (including undergraduate students).

Q: It seems the group uses a lot of mathematics. Do I have enough backgrounds?

A: Yes. We don't expect you to have such knowledge. However, for any new materials, you must be able to learn them by yourselves. BTW, we run many experiments, so programming ability is also very important.

Q: Does the group mainly use unix-type computers for programming?

A: Yes. Our members might not be familiar with such systems in the beginning, but they quickly catch up (by themselves).

Q: What is really needed for being a member of this group?

A: Creativity to think about different directions and courage to try things.

Q: Is it necessary to work very hard?

A: Definitely not. We judge you by your research results but not by how hard you have worked.

Q: So roughly speaking what type of students are very suitable for this group?

A: Those who are enthusiastic about doing research. In general, if you would like to be a great researcher in the future, then this group is more suitable for you.

Q: Is the email communication within the group in English?

A: Yes.

Q: Is there any difference for PhD, master, and undergraduate students in the group?

A: No. They are all treated as PhD students.

Q: I am a master student. Am I guaranteed to graduate in two years?

A: Of course not.

Q: You have a position in the IE department and I am a student there. Will I be treated differently if joining your group?

A: No.

Q: I am a research assistant in Academia Sinica and have been recently admitted to the Ph.D./master programs in the department. I plan to continue my research in Sinica. May I have you as the supervisor and my boss at Sinica as the co-supervisor?

A: In general the answer is no. I am willing to co-supervise students with other researchers only if we have very close collaboration.

Q: Will you give me a specific problem to work on?

A: Yes and no. Good research problems come from active discussion. As I am more experienced than you, through discussion I may be able to identify some good topics for you. So if no discussion, no good topics.

Q: I am an undergraduate student. Is it possible to finish some great work in my senior year?

A: Possible but a bit difficult. So usually we encourage undergraduate students to join the group as early as possible.

Q: I am an undergraduate student in the group. May I assume that I can stay in the group for my graduate study?

A: No. You need to talk to me first. Otherwise, we assume that you are leaving the group after your undergraduate study.

Q: What if I fake research results?

A: You will be IMMEDIATELY kicked out of the group.

Q: For any paper I write, must my advisor be a co-author?

A: No. The authorship of a paper is related to the contribution rather than the group you are associated with. Here are a few situations that you may write a paper without my name on it.

However, don't use this as an excuse to submit a low-quality paper on your own without notifying me. You run the risk to ruin the reputation of our whole research group.

Q: I would like to audit in your group meeting. Is this ok?

A: You are very welcome.

Q: Why in your lab there are no cubicles?

A: We hate such things.

Q: Will I be allowed to play games in the lab?

A: Yes at any time. We hope you feel like at your home.

Q: There is a big snoopy in the lab. Could I hold her and sleep on the sofa?

A: The same as the previous question. But you may have found her sitting on my lap.

Chih-Jen Lin
Last modified: Wed Nov 30 19:45:15 CST 2011