Note to prospective student collaborators

from Noah Smith
(last updated July 2014)

FAQ from newly-admitted or newly-arrived graduate students

I want to do NLP at CMU. Who should I talk to?
Start here. Note that I am leaving CMU for the University of Washington in the fall of 2015, so you should apply to UW CSE if you're interested in working with me!

What kind of students are you looking for?
I take students whose research interests are strongly aligned with my own. Here is a statement of my research interests and activities, as of May 2013. I believe the best NLP researchers are those willing to draw on diverse ideas from machine learning, linguistics, and computer science; if you're allergic to any of those, we won't work well together. You should also be an extremely good programmer, able to think independently, and read critically. I advise you to learn from the data; find out about (and talk to) my current students (details here).

Are you taking new students this year?
There are three ingredients required for a successful addition to my group: mutual interest, time, and funding.
Mutual interest: We need to be excited about the same kinds of things. See the last question, "What kind of students are you looking for?"
Time: Advising takes time, and at the moment I have a lot of people in my group. I'm only likely to take on new students if others are expected to graduate soon.
Funding: I am only allowed to take on new students if I can support them financially (tuition, stipend, computing expenses, and travel to conferences). Even if I have funding in a given year, the funded project may require a specific set of skills and interests. While I discourage students from worrying too much about the financial side of research, the success of my grant proposals does have an effect on students' lives, most notably at the beginning. Note, too, that if you have your own funding (from a fellowship of some kind), that will be helpful, but a match in interests and time are still necessary ingredients. I will most likely not take new advisees in 2014. I will probably take new advisees in 2015 (at the University of Washington). Please do not email me to let me know you are interested; instead, fill out this form. It's always okay to email me with specific technical questions, though!

What department should I be in to work with you?
I expect to mainly work with students in Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington.

How should I get in touch with you?
For a general expression of interest, this form is best. I try to reply to all email messages, but you will get a faster and more useful response if:

Are you giving a talk during the immigration course?


CMU undergraduates

If you're an undergraduate already in Pittsburgh (at CMU or nearby) who is interested in research opportunities and you think my work sounds interesting, take the NLP class in the spring. If you've already taken my class (or one like it) and are interested in research opportunities, please set up an appointment. I'm most interested in working with undergraduates who have an earnest interest in natural language processing and plenty of time to pursue that interest.

Prospective applicants

If you are a prospective student interested in the University of Washington, I encourage you to apply for admission in the fall. If you have specific questions about my research, don't hesitate to email me. I'm afraid I don't have time to answer general questions about applications for admission, and do not know much about the process at UW yet (but see my grad school advice).

I do not have funding for internships for non-CMU students in the 2014-5 academic year.

If you are interested in a postdoctoral or research programmer position in my group, please send me an email immediately.

I am extremely unlikely to be able to host visiting scholars or students I don't personally know.