What You Can Expect

Here are some of the things you can expect from me. Please note: these things will vary from student to student, and they may change as we develop ways of working together, but this is my best guess at what will help us both flourish.

(Please also check out what I expect from you.)

Respect for you as a whole person. I will treat you with respect, and I will support you bringing your whole self to the table. Your unique experiences can and should inform who you are as a scholar and designer; if there’s something about them that I don’t understand, then it’s my responsibility to learn.

Keeping my word. If I make a commitment to you, I will do my utmost to keep it.

Active mentorship. I’ll help you develop both the explicit and tacit skills of scholarship, from research methods to teaching to networking and beyond.

Structured opportunities to practice. I’ll provide concrete and specific ways to practice your scholarly skills, not just point you at a problem and hope you figure it out.

Support for your vision. This might mean finding ways to integrate your research interests into the lab’s larger agenda, or helping you find funding to start projects of your own. Either way, I want to help you think about your own long-term intellectual agenda.

Honest feedback. I will be straightforward with you about both your strengths and weaknesses, so that you can continue to improve as a scholar. That includes challenging your ideas to make them the best they can be.

Opportunities for design work. If you want to make games, you’ll have the chance to make games.

Frequent communication. In addition to seeing me face-to-face on a regular basis, I will do my best to respond quickly to emails that require my immediate input. For things that require more time from me, like reviewing drafts or writing recommendation letters, I will be clear about how long I need to do a good job.

Input into lab-wide decisions. Whether we’re deciding what equipment we need or what problem we want to tackle next, expect me to hear you out and take your input seriously.

Transparency in attribution, ownership, and roles. You’ll know who owns the IP for a project, what it will take to get first authorship on a paper, and how other people are expecting you to contribute. (That said: expect to participate freely in the economy of ideas within the lab. Ideas are cheap. Follow-through is what counts.)

Access to my network. I’ll introduce you to my contacts in both industry and academia, and I’ll help you develop techniques for making contacts of your own.

Career preparation. You can expect a pragmatic approach to your long-term professional success, whether your vision is of a faculty position or to become an industry researcher.

Conflict resolution. If we run into difficulties in our relationship, I will work with you to find ways to resolve them. Should we not be able to work them out, I will support you in finding another supervisor.

Work-life fit. Yes, you should expect to work hard. However, I understand that many graduate students have prior commitments, like family or caregiving responsibilities. I will support you in finding ways to meet all your commitments, not just your academic ones.