I am always looking for motivated, enthusiastic and creative students. If you are interested in joining our lab, feel free to contact me at ethomaz at utexas dot edu. However, please make sure your email answers the questions below.Why do you want to join our lab?
It's important to be specific with this answer. I get lots of emails from applicants who do not even bother to check our work. Unfortunately, many students rely on the ill-advised practice of sending generic inquiry emails to tens if not hundreds of faculty in the hope that one or two research groups will seriously consider them for graduate school. I ignore these emails. I am interested in students who are genuinely excited about our research, and especially those who can show how their interests intersect with our projects in a coherent, specific way. If you can articulate a vision of the future that combines your interests and expertise with ours, we are off to a good start.What are the skills and abilities that you bring to our group?
A lot of students emphasize where they went to school, their grades, and what programming languages and tools they know. If you would like to include this info, which is typically already on your CV, that's fine. But what I am really interested in is what you can actually do; this could be writing great code for mobile devices, designing and running user studies, building hardware, coming up with new algorithms, etc. Also, can you provide evidence that you have meaningfully engaged in any or ideally some of these activities?What do you want to work on?
This is a critical question. It is understandable if you are not sure what you want to specialize in at this stage, but I hope you have some interests and ideas and are self-driven enough to take the first steps to validate them. Think about it this way: If you are accepted into the program and are given the freedom and resources to work on whatever you want when you join our lab, what would that be? I am looking for students who are creative and do not sit around waiting to be told what to do.What is your availability?
Many students reach out to us at the beginning of the semester full of excitement to join the lab and have a research experience. However, as the semester progresses, students get busier with assignments and exams. So, be honest with yourself about how much time you will be able to dedicate to a research activity. I expect that students will be able to work in the lab multiple days of the week. If you believe that you will be able to put the time and effort to make a difference, we will be more than happy to make you succeed.
Finally, a big part of being a successful graduate student is having good communication skills. This means writing well, speaking clearly and coherently, and also knowing when to step back and listen. Not everyone is a great communicator; if that's your case, we can help you, of course, but you should be open to the idea of investing the time to get better at it.
Yes, we are actively looking for graduate and undergraduate students at the moment.
Excellent, please get in touch (after reading the advice at the top of this page). I typically do not fund students to work on research projects unless they have either taken a course I have taught or they have spent at least one semester working on research with me and my students, typically for class credit. Once this criteria has been met, decisions about funding come down to a number of factors such as whether funding is available in the first place and whether a student is a good fit for a funded project.
That is great to hear. If you are looking to become a graduate student, what you should do is formally apply to the Electrical and Computer Engineering graduate program at UT Austin. Please make sure you indicate in your application that you would like to work with me. During the review process, I check all relevant applications and invite some applicants for a chat. Unfortunately the reality is that we receive more applications than we can admit into the program. If you would like to join the group as a visiting scientist, please contact me. There is usually no funding for these positions, but we have hosted temporary visitors in our lab who brought their own funding in the past. If you are looking for a postdoc position, first make sure one is available and advertised in the front page of this site. If so, please send me an email with your materials (i.e., CV, research statement).
I usually teach one class every semester and I am often looking for a TA or two. I tend to favor students who have TAed in the past and done well, have taken the class and got a good grade, and have been recommended by other faculty in the department.