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Daphne Koller - Frequently Asked Questions

Unfortunately, I get a large amount of email. Before sending me a message, please check whether your inquiry may be addressed by one of the frequently-asked questions below.

Scheduling appointments

To schedule an appointment , please send me an email message telling me what the meeting is about, how long you expect it to take, and any time constraints you have for scheduling a meeting. My schedule gets fairly full, so it's best to list constraints at least a couple of weeks out.

Ph.D. admissions

All the information you need on applying for admission to CS graduate programs is available on the Web. PhD admissions in our department are done by a central committee, which processes all applications and decides on admissions for the entire department. Individual faculty members do not accept students directly into their research groups, so sending me an email about your application will not increase your chances of getting admitted into the program. Note that admission into the Ph.D. program is extremely competitive, since we get many more qualified applicants than we can accept.

After you are accepted into the program by this committee, feel free to contact me regarding research opportunities. Furthermore, accepted PhD students are invited to attend a PhD weekend in the last week of March. That is an ideal opportunity to meet with me and see whether we have common research interests. In the meantime, you can find out more about my research by looking at my webpage.

Research assistantships

All Ph.D. admits in CS are offered financial support in some form. If you are a newly admitted CS PhD student who wants to join my group, please send me an email.

Masters program admits or PhD students in other departments are not automatically given financial support. Many students in our MS program pay their own way. I very occasionally hire a masters student as a research assistant. However, only after they have taken an advanced AI class in relevant topics, generally either (CS229 or CS228), and done well in it.

Teaching assistant applications are handled by our Educational Affairs group. In no case will I hire a teaching assistant for one of my classes who has not taken that class. If you have taken my class and want to apply as a TA for it, you can send me an email in addition to submitting the formal application to Education Affairs.

Visiting researchers, postdocs, and summer internss

I am currently looking for a postdoctoral researcher with strong background in machine learning and/or statistics and in computational biology. If you are interested, please send me an email with a resume and a link to your top 2-3 papers in the field. Due to a variety of constraints I am not able to accommodate any new visiting researchers in my group at this time. I also do not take on summer interns from outside of Stanford, as the time frame is usually too short for the student to learn the material and make a valuable contribution to a project.

Recommendation letters and references

I'm happy to provide recommendation letters and/or serve as a reference for students who have taken a class from me, and for my undergraduate advisees. In order to write a thorough letter I need the following:
  • Your Stanford transcript (unofficial axess version is fine)
  • Copy of your "statement of purpose" for graduate school admission letters
  • A couple of paragraphs summarizing any research or projects that you have done with my group.
  • The forms I need to fill out if there are any
I need these materials at least two weeks before the letter of reference is needed.

Research internships for undergraduates

I coordinate the CURIS program, a summer internship program for CS undergraduates. The program is open only to students who hold undergraduate status at Stanford University. If you do not fall into this category, I can't help you find a research internship at Stanford. If you do fall into this category, please read the information on the CURIS webpage before contacting me with additional questions. The CURIS application process is held in winter quarter of each academic year, for the subsequent summer. Once the assignments are made, the program is closed until the next academic year, and I have no way of finding you a research internships. You can try looking at other Stanford programs, such as the URO program.

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