I am happy that you decided to work with me. Before we start, I would like to convey the general expectations from my side:

  1. First and foremost, do not be late for our meetings, be it online or in person. I cannot stress this enough. You being late implies that you do not respect your or my time. Time, unfortunately, is a luxury that I am unwilling to spend on lax work ethics.
  2. The success or failure of the work is determined by you and only you. As a supervisor I do my best to introduce you to a problem domain, give you initial literature to read, discuss problems and potential solutions. However, at the end of the day it is your work. If you don’t feel excited about the work then it will be hard to push through in difficult times. Take ownership and pride in the work you do. The notion of ownership comes with responsibilities and powers - the power to shape the project as you like, with the responsibility to make progress.
  3. Strive to take control of the work. After our initial bootstrapping meetings, I expect you to gradually make progress by yourself. You are encouraged to discuss with me when you get stuck, have a problem, or do not know how to proceed. However, do not expect that I will tell you on a weekly basis what to do next from the beginning till the end of the project. This is part of the skills that you are expected to develop over the course of your project.
  4. Put in time to build skills. Like any other field, building skills in Computer Science takes consistent effort and time. It may require you to understand a new area of research, learn a new language, read lots of papers, try a new tool, or just code to a big extent. Top quality work demands time. Nothing happens overnight in research. So, plan and be prepared to put time into your work. Beyond that, nothing in Computer Science is forever. You may have to reinvent yourself again in 5 years. So, continue to plan and learn new things on a regular basis. That is the most important skill you can develop.
  5. Be inquisitive. Ask questions, analyze problems, try to connect dots between different ideas, attend our group meetings, look around who else is working on what, join other Bsc, MSc thesis presentations, be curious and ask questions. Understand that Computer Science and specially Systems is a large field with many intertwined ideas. Nothing works in isolation in Systems research. Building such skills takes time and consistent efforts.
  6. Be responsive. Do not disappear after our initial meetings. I expect to get periodic updates on a weekly basis. I cannot help you a day before your submission deadline. It is your responsibility to keep me updated on your progress. Often I find myself running after students asking if they have any updates. This is not the best way to get the maximum out of your work.
  7. Learn to organize and manage time. We all only have 24 hours a day. Time management will be one of the most important skills you have to develop when working on time consuming projects. Like in the real world, we cannot plan or foresee all issues that you will encounter in your work. Naturally by better designs and work processes, we try to minimize them, but be prepared to start early, put in extra time, document your efforts to avoid duplicate work.
  8. Be honest. It is often tempting to tamper some data points to get the desired results. Do not do it. You will ruin your reputation beyond repair. It is tempting just to invent some bogus reasoning about your work and try to pass the question. Do not do it. When you promise to deliver a report or result, deliver it. Say cleanly what you have and have not done in the project.
  9. Learn to say “I do not know” - it builds credibility. The more you learn about a field the more you realize that there is so much more to learn. Get comfortable with not knowing, but constantly strive for understanding more. Hence, when you say I do not know, people believe that when you do explain something you must know about it, otherwise you would have said that you do not know.
  10. Do not be late for our meetings. In case you forgot by now, this point needs repeating. Do not be late for our meetings.

Hope to see you in our group!

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