Orientation slides - Computer Science Department

CS Graduate Orientation
August 20, 2014
Slides from today are in your packets and at
• Introductions
• Department Head’s Welcome
• Degree Requirements and Administrative
• Peer advisors
• Mixer
• Where are you from? (country, school, job,
• Are you here for MS or PhD?
• What is your intended research area?
• What do you like to do for fun?
• Anything else you’d like to share about
Degree requirements and
Places and keys
MS Requirements
PhD Requirements
Registration and paperwork
• Lally, Amos Eaton, MRC, Winslow.
• http://www.cs.rpi.edu/admissions/grad/floor
• Conference rooms, kitchenettes
• Amos Eaton: lounge, student mailboxes
• Lally: dept. office, faculty mailboxes,
photocopier, fax
• CS library (i.e. bookshelf)
Student offices, p. 1
• Your office assignment is given on salmon
• If you have joined a research group, your
office is with them.
• Some coterminal students have been
assigned offices, others have not. Let me
know if you have not been assigned an
office and want one.
Student offices, p. 2
• If you are not yet settled with a research
group, your office may be AE 110 or 125.
• Your office is a research office, not for TA
office hours.
• TA office hours may be held in AE 217.
Student offices, p. 3
• Talk with your officemates about sharing
space, who sits at which desk.
• Work with officemates to make your office
nice. Check with staff if your office needs
anything, such as a chair, desk, white board,
• Repair problems may be sent to
[email protected]
Student offices, p. 4
• Check with all your officemates, and if you
find things that belong to none of the
occupants, discard them. Or if you think
someone may want them, check with
department staff.
• When you move out, be courteous to future
occupants and remove your stuff.
Staff have master keys
Key rings
You have some keys, others are on order.
Keys everyone will get:
– Amos Eaton building
– Key to general access rooms within Amos
Eaton and Lally such as lounge, kitchenette,
photocopier room
Keys, part 2
• If your office is in MRC, you will also
kitchenette key, photocopier key, and card
access to building.
• If your advisor is outside CS or in
Tetherless World, get office assignment and
keys through advisor.
Keys, part 3
• If you are assigned to AE 125 or AE 109,
work on your office may be in progress.
• If you are assigned to AE 125, lock will be
Administrative Staff
• Chris Coonrad –Dept. Secretary. Office
supplies, photocopier, fax, mail, telephones,
travel reimbursements.
• Terry Hayden – Graduate program manager.
• David Goldshmidt – Undergraduate
education, course scheduling.
• Pam Paslow – MRC, student payroll.
• Sharon Simmons – Assistant to department
head, works with undergraduates.
Contact me for
Degree requirements
Exceptions to degree requirements
Program changes (such as MS to PhD)
Changing advisors
Office of Graduate Education forms and
How to contact me
• Usual hours: M-F 8:30-5:00, lunch 12-1
• No appointment needed
• Don’t worry about interrupting my work:
my work is to help you.
• If my door is shut, I’m either not there, or
• If I’m not there, Chris Coonrad can tell you
whether I’ll be right back.
• If I don’t reply to your email, stop by my
System Administrators
• Peter Bailie and Steven Lindsey
• Your CS password will be emailed to your
RPI account.
• For information on CS accounts see:
• Contact [email protected] for questions.
• Your advisor is given on salmon paper.
• We usually consider “advisor” and
“research supervisor” to be the same.
• If you don’t have a research supervisor yet,
we may call your advisor your “academic
• Provisional research advisor
• CS advisor
Academic Advisor
• Graduate Program Director Mark Goldberg
will serve as your academic advisor if you
don’t have a research advisor.
• Meet him once a month.
• For your first meeting, go to Lally 302 at a
random time between 2:00 and 4:00pm
August 22 or 29.
Finding a Research
• See list at
• Contact faculty you are interested in
working with.
Research Advisors
• Role of advisor – funding, evaluating
• Meet your advisor regularly
• If you want to change advisors, talk to the
advisor you want to switch to. If he/she
agrees to the change, let me know and I’ll
make the change. You should also inform
your original advisor about the switch.
MS Course
• 2 systems courses, including CSCI-6140
Operating Systems
• 2 theory courses, including at least one of
CSCI-6050 Computability and Complexity
CSCI-6210 Design & Analysis of Alg.
CSCI-6220 Randomized Algorithms
MS Other Requirements
30 credits total
At least 18 credits at 6000 level
6 credit thesis
Colloquium attendance
Committee by degree application deadline
Oral presentation
SAP Requirements: MS
• File Plan of Study from by end of spring
• GPA at least 3.0
• Graduate within two and a half years
SAP Requirements: PhD
• File DSYR and Plan of Study form at end of
every spring semester
• GPA at least 3.0
• Pass candidacy within two years of passing
qualifying exam
• Graduate within 5 years if you have a prior
• Graduate within 7 years without prior MS
PhD Requirements
Core qualifying exam: within 3 semesters.
Research qualifying exam: within 2 years
Candidacy exam: within 3 years
1 public talk
Colloquium attendance during first 2 years
Defense and thesis submission
PhD Credit Requirements
• 72 credits if you do not have prior MS
– At least 36 course credits
– At least 24 research credits
– You can also get MS on way to PhD with a few
additional requirements.
• 48 credits if you have prior MS:
– At least 12 course credits
– At least 24 research credits
• At least 2/3 of course credits at 6000 level.
PhD Core
Qualifying Exam, p. 1
Must do well in courses in 5 areas.
3 required areas
Choose 2 of 6 optional areas.
If course is offered at both 4000 and 6000
level, must take 6000 level.
• Courses and other details at
PhD Core
Qualifying Exam, p. 2
• Courses with grades below B do not count.
• Must earn a total of 18.5 points.
• Points are awarded as follows:
4.0 A
3.67 A3.33 B+
3.0 B
PhD Core
Qualifying Exam, p. 3
• Courses are weighted equally regardless of
number of credits.
• Must complete by end of third semester.
• If grade is not good enough, take another
course in the area.
Colloquium Attendance
• Full-time graduate students must attend at
least 32 colloquia or 50% of those offered
in their first 2 years.
• Sign-in sheet at colloquia.
• MS students who finish in less than 2 years
must attend at least 8 per semester or 50%.
• Not applicable for part-time students.
• All are encouraged to attend.
• Colloquia posted on web site and
announced by e-mail.
Full-time status
Full-time status is required for
• TA, RA, and fellowship eligibility
• For international students, F-1 visa
• For US students, certain types of aid
eligibility or loan deferment
Full-time status
• TAs must take at least 9 credits.
• Others must take at least 12 credits.
• You can’t drop credits if doing so will take
you below the minimum.
• After the add deadline, you can’t add credits
to make up for dropped credits.
• Increasing the number of research credits
counts as an add.
How many
credits to take
• Maximum number of credits covered by
full-time tuition is 15.
• TAs often take 2-3 classes.
• You can use research credits to take more
credits without taking more classes.
Course credits, p. 1
• 1000, 2000, 4000 level: undergraduate,
usually 4 credits
• 6000 level: graduate, usually 3 credits
• 1000 and 2000 level:
• Do not count for graduate degree.
• Do count toward credit total for tuition
and full-time status.
Course credits, p. 2
• 4000 level: limited number may count
toward graduate degree.
• PhD: 15 or 1/3 of course credits may be
4000 level.
• MS: 12 credits may be 4000 level.
• 4000/6000 level courses.
• Meet together
• Requirements may be different.
Research credits, part 1
Indicates you are working on research.
Register online, same as for classes.
At first, take a few per semester.
Later you’ll be taking all research credits.
Keep taking research credits until thesis
done, even if you have enough.
• Research credits are graded S/U.
• S grade indicates progress, real goal is
thesis completion.
Research credits, part 2
• You need at least 24 credits of CSCI-9990
to get a PhD.
• You need at least 6 credits of CSCI-6990 to
get an MS.
• Don’t register for CSCI-6990 if you need
• If you can’t find the right type of research
credits on the class hour schedule, contact
Terry Hayden or David Goldschmidt.
Registration issues
• If you can’t register for a class because it is
full, contact the professor and/or go to class
the first day. Use “Authorization” form.
• An Independent Study form is required to
register for an independent study.
Plan of Study
• Certifies department approval of your
courses and research credits.
• Will be needed at graduation, and any time
you submit a request to the Office of
Graduate Education.
• Can re-do as often as needed if you change
your plans.
• Credits must total 72 for PhD or 30 for MS.
• Signed by you, advisor, and GPD.
Paperwork issues
• If you were an undergrad here, you may
find there is less leniency with regard to
paperwork than you are accustomed to.
• Submit paperwork well in advance,
because processing takes time.
• Check with Terry about how to proceed.
• Allow plenty of time for collecting
• For Graduate Program Director or
Department Chair signature, give form to
Terry Hayden.
• For Dean of Graduate Education, drop form
off at 1516 Peoples Ave, or Terry will send
in campus mail.
Maintaining enrollment
• You can’t just not register for a semester. If
you aren’t going to be taking any credits,
you need to have some status such as on
leave or withdrawn.
• If you finish all your credits but have not
completed your thesis, you can register for a
full-time load of research credits until you
• Summer administrative registration: 0 credit
for research assistants
Poster Sessions
• We have poster sessions where you can
learn about research going on in the
• Graduate school can be a rocky road. Don’t
be discouraged if you don’t follow the path
you expected. Just find the path that’s right
for you.
• Some people change advisors
• Some people fail the qualifying exams
• Some people join as a PhD student but
leave with MS only
• Some come for the MS and stay for the PhD
• Academic: Success in research requires
• Administrative: Don’t hesitate to ask me
questions. Exceptions to rules may be
• Social: The department can be as fun as you
want to make it. Organize events.
Stay informed
• Read mail sent to your RPI email address.
• Contact me if you do not receive mail from
csgrads email list.
Financial support
• Domestic students
See Pam Paslow in MRC 304,
7:00am-2:30pm M-F next week. Bring
– photo ID and social security card
– US passport
• International students
– see Charlene Richard in Payroll - Rice
Building X2385 or [email protected]
to set up an appointment
Financial support, p. 2
• Pick up check in Academy Hall every other
Friday or get direct deposit (see Pam
Paslow and bring voided check).
• If picking up your check on a day other than
payday, you’ll need to go the Rice Building
(take shuttle bus).
Financial support, p. 3
• Your stipend will be divided by the number
of pay periods per semester.
• If your information is entered late, you will
not get paid until the second payday, but
your checks will be larger.
• The number of pay periods may vary from
semester to semester, which means the
amount of your paycheck may change from
semester to semester.
Concur form
• Sets up account for you so that you can be
reimbursed for travel
• All PhD students should complete.
• MS students only complete if you think you
may travel to a conference
Concur form
• In “Student with access to Concur column”
fill out RIN, name, RCS ID, address, and
• Supervisor: put current advisor. Can be
changed later if your advisor changes.
• Indicate if you want reimbursement by
check or direct deposit.
• Get your advisor’s signature
• Return completed form to Pam Paslow.
Blue form
• Provide cell phone and alternate e-mail
address in case we need to contact you.
• Let me know if you have a “preferred
• Keep your address updated in SIS.
• School of Science picnic tomorrow, 1-5pm
• Ticket is in your packet, unless you already
picked it up.
• Look for Dedrick Recreational Facility
• Email me by 5pm today to request a ride or
offer a ride.
Peer advising and mixer
• Peer advisors
• 4:00-4:15 Pick up refreshments and table
• 4:15-4:55. Change table when bell rings
(see table assignment)

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