Dave Eckhardt's MSCS Advising Information Page
- Life-threatening emergency?
If there is a life-threatening emergency, please start with
CMU's police (412-268-2323). If this is an off-campus emergency,
Allegheny County's emergency dispatcher (police, fire, medical
emergency) is 911.
If you're not sure whether you should call an emergency
dispatcher, you probably should.
- Life crisis?
- If you or a student you know is experiencing a life crisis,
or would benefit from expert advice on dealing with a complicated
you can reach
Counseling and Psychological Services
at 412-268-2922 at any time.
CAPS is free and very confidential (they won't even
tell me whether or not you have talked to them, unless you sign a form).
If you're not sure whether or not you should call CAPS,
you probably should.
- Need to see me today but I don't seem to be around?
our Master's Program Administrator.
Unless I'm on an intercontinental airplane, she should be able to put you
in touch either me or
Professor Roger Dannenberg,
the Director of the MSCS program.
- Brief "drop-in" advising?
- If you need 15 minutes or so to talk about something
simple, and there is a slot on
automatic advising calendar,
It's ok to come by a few minutes early in case I'm not busy,
and it's also ok to knock on my door if it seems like I'm talking
to somebody else during a time slot you've reserved,
but please don't come 10 minutes early and knock on my door
if I'm talking to somebody else--that's not courteous.
- Other appointment?
- If you need a longer appointment, or you don't see any open
slots on my automatic calendar,
drop me a note.
My Andrew username is "de0u".
Ideally, avoid mail like "Can I see you Thursday?".
It is much better if you guess how much time we will
need to talk and, most importantly, if you suggest some times
that will be good for you in the next day or two.
If you send me an appointment request, try to watch your e-mail
closely (during the day, check every hour or so):
sometimes a block of time will free up and I will offer it to you.
During each semester once things settle down I expect to
post some "advising hours" during which you can expect
me to be around and not having office hours for
- Drop by?
- Of course, you can try dropping by my office without an
My office door is usually open, or at least ajar, which
means you can try injecting yourself into whatever's going on.
If my office door is closed, whether or not you hear voices,
I am most likely involved with something that isn't easily
Special tip on dropping by to see me: it is always a good
idea to check your e-mail just before you come see me
in case I have answered your question by e-mail (see below).
- Advising by e-mail?
- I can answer many questions by e-mail. Please note
that according to my mental model while you are on campus
and classes are in session you will check your
Andrew e-mail at least every 12 hours unless something unusual
is going on (e.g., you are on a 14-hour airplane flight).
More often would probably be useful, e.g., around
breakfast, lunch, and after your last class of the day.
- Recommendation letters / background checks?
- Please see my "Reference" page
- Where is the MSCS handbook online?
MSCS 2018-2019 handbook
You should refer to the version for your year of entry. Previous versions:
- Where are the forms?
- Here are the
MSCS independent-study form (revised 2017)
MSCS thesis-proposal form (revised 2017).
Before filling out either form, schedule a meeting with your academic advisor.
In particular, if you complete a form and obtain signatures,
you will almost certainly need to make changes and get signatures again.
Avoid this duplication of effort by meeting with your academic advisor
before starting to fill out the form!
- How do I complete the summer Practicum class?
- Here are the
15-691 Summer 2018 course materials.
- What should I call you, anyway?
- It should always be safe to address a university faculty member as "Professor X".
In the CMU School of Computer Science we try to be less formal;
students who work closely with faculty members are generally on a first-name
Unless you instruct me otherwise, I am most likely to address you by your first
name and you may accordingly call me "Dave".
However, I understand that some students will feel uncomfortable doing that,
so I will absolutely not be offended by "Professor Eckhardt".
- Where the heck is GHC 4001???
- Here's the secret decoder ring for GHC: you already know that
the first digit of a room number is the floor.
What you probably don't know is that the second digit is
the hallway or area number, and lower numbers are closer to
Wean Hall--so higher numbers are closer to Forbes Ave.