"Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn." - Benjamin Franklin

This year (2022-23), I am taking a leave working with Amazon. Hence, I will be taking much fewer new students than a typical year.

I receive many emails from prospective students or postdocs who ask whether I am looking for new members to join my research group or whether I have financial support for new positions, including summer internships.

The answer is always YES!

However, I would not be able to personally reply to every such request. I am implementing the following filtering mechanism:

  • If from your email, it is clear that you were "fishing", e.g., you are using a generic template with my name and research interests (or boldfaced paper titles) filled in, then you will unlikely to receive a reply.
  • If you really impressed me with your accomplishments/potential or the fit in terms of matching interests or funding availability is really good, then I will write back personally to start a conversation or set up an interview quickly.
  • Otherwise, you are in the category of "maybe, but you need to compete with others". I am sorry that I cannot make any early promises even for an interview. It is more likely that you would not receive a personal reply from me, but it should not prevent you from applying. I had admitted students who I had not had email/Zoom interactions with in the past. Regardless, I encourage that you apply to SFU CS since there may be other faculties who find you to be a better fit. Currently, SFU has the largest graphics lab in Canada! We have nine faculty members in the GrUVi lab!
It may be helpful to give some hints in terms of what kind of students would interest me most and are more likely to succeed working with me. Aside from the usual qualifications such as demonstrated research ability (e.g., publications at good places), strong references, good GPA, etc., I look for the following attributes in particular:
  1. Relative independence and self-motivated: if you expect that I will always be the one chasing after you and motivate you, then you should not consider working with me. Why would you want to do grad school in the first place? I will guide you as much and as well as I can of course, but it would be much more gratifying to me if I am the one who keeps rejecting (and eventually accepting) your suggestions for problems or ideas, and not the other way around.
  2. Strong technical writing skills: it is not only about one's command of the English language; it is more about the ability to logically and succinctly articulate an idea, in any language!
  3. Attention to details: if your email is full of typos or grammar mistakes, then that is a bad first impression; if you know my wife's birthday, then it shows that you really paid attention :)
  4. A strong appreciation for aesthetics and elegance: you have the drive to produce ideas, a piece of writing, or even just a figure, that is beautiful.
  5. Active life style and sports enthusiast: if you can beat me in singles badminton play, then you get a high score! :)