The University of Arizona
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Michelle Mills Strout

Prospective Students

I am always looking for highly motivated and skilled graduate and undergraduate students who are highly motivated to do research. Graduate research assistantships pay tuition and a monthly stipend or hourly. Undergraduate research assistantships pay hourly. Read this entire message for information about applying to the graduate program in our department. Please see my website for a list of my current students and alumni.

Research Projects

We have a number of ongoing, exciting projects in the CompOpt4Apps: Compiler Optimizations For Applications Research Group. Many of these projects involve developing performance programming abstractions for sparse computations that occur in molecular dynamics simulations, finite element methods, and other algorithms such as PageRank, which is used by the Google Internet search engine. Our paper titled Compilers for Regular and Irregular Stencils: Some Shared Problems and Solutions reviews some of our research projects.

Training Students for Research Careers

The goal for a graduate student is to contribute to the field of computer science by solving sub problems that have not been solved before or by solving sub problems in a novel way. A PhD indicates that a person is able to frame a research problem of interest, create a novel approach for solving that problem, carry out the solution to the problem, thoroughly evaluate the results, AND effectively communicate the problem, context, approach, and expected evaluation throughout the whole process. In computer science research communication takes the form of conference papers, journal papers, technical reports, talks, posters, user and developer manuals for software, and weekly progress reports. Students in my group are trained to do all of the above through weekly one-on-one research meetings, group research meetings, and ad hoc meetings initiated by students or myself.

Typical Research Students

Successful research students in the CompOpt4Apps: Compiler Optimizations For Applications Research Group typically fit the following criteria:

Sending Me Email

Selecting an advisor (and having that advisor select you) is THE MOST IMPORTANT part of determining where you plan to go to graduate school. Many prospective students have figured this out and therefore send faculty emails with their CV asking if a faculty member has a position for them. This is fine, but often these emails from prospective students are form emails that have clearly been sent to multiple faculty. For example, I have received emails addressed "Dear Sir" (I delete those) and "Dear Prof. Someone not me" (I delete those). Make sure you KNOW who you are sending the email to and you have carefully thought about how you might fit into my research group. See Dr. Tamara Denning's great suggestions about how to contact faculty and illustrations of what faculty think about the emails that are generic and vague.

Apply to Graduate School at the University of Arizona

Go to the University of Arizona Computer Science Department webpage. Click on Graduate Info. On the right-hand-side, click on Application Instructions under "For Prospective Students" and follow the provided instructions.