2020 Event Website

Welcome to the 2nd annual virtual CS[-ish] PhD recruiting event!

PhD training is more than just earning another degree — it is an apprenticeship and as such improving transparency about the process helps all parties. This event seeks to inform prospective students about what the PhD really is and match student with prospective advisors. We especially welcome folks who are uncertain about whether the PhD is for them.

This event has passed, but there is still time to connect with faculty! Join our Discord server and Google Group.

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All times are listed as Eastern Daylight Time (GMT-4). We recognize that many participants will be calling in from very different time zones. Unfortunately, we do not yet have the resources to multicast this event. We look forward to finding better solutions in the future.

Welcome (8:45-9:15)

Profs. Brittany Johnson-Matthews and Emma Tosch welcome participants and give an overview of the day's purpose and plan. Participants should check that they are set up in their appropriate affinity groups.

General Sessions (9:30-11:25)

Topical Panels (13:30-14:15)

Last year many students expressed an interest in specific areas of computer science and issues pertaining to the practice of computer science research. This year we will be offering topical panels to address any interest in these areas. These two panels will run concurrently.

Factuals and Counterfactuals (14:30-15:15)

Academic research and becoming a professor are often presented as the expected outcome of starting a PhD program. In this session's panels, we will hear from people who decided that this traditional path was not for them. These three panels will run concurrently.

Open PhD student recruiting (15:30-16:30)

You can significantly improve your chances of being accepted to a PhD program by targeted faculty who are currently recruiting PhD students. Students should feel free to chat with professors for both advice and as part of the recruitment process.

We will link short videos of our recruiting faculty explaining their research prior to the event. You can see the list of recruiting faculty below.

Closing Remarks (16:45-17:00)

Profs. Brittany Johnson-Matthews and Emma Tosch discuss follow up and next steps.


This event will run on Zoom and Discord with email communication via Google Group. Panels are all Q&A style and will happen on Zoom. The Discord server will be used for socializing (e.g., in a virtual Lobby), connecting students with text affinity groups, and meeting in small groups with recruiting faculty.

The Discord server and Google group will be private prior to the event, but we will open them up for anyone to join after the event.

Please be sure to install these services prior to the event.

Recruiting Faculty

Interested in meeting with a current faculty member who is looking to hire students? Check out one of these awesome potential future advisors:

NameProf. Gema Rodriguez-Perez
InstitutionUniversity of British Columbia (Okanagan Campus)


Research Area(s):  Bug prediction, bug localization, Socio-technical aspects of Software engineering, Open Source Software development, Diversity and Inclusion

NameProf. Evgenios Kornaropoulos
InstitutionComputer Science Department, George Mason University


Research Area(s):  Computer Security, Privacy, Applied Cryptography. I focus on analyzing and designing efficient encrypted systems using techniques from cryptography and algorithms.

NameProf. Nikita Soni
InstitutionDepartment of Computer Science, University of Illinois Chicago


Research Area(s):  Human-Computer Interaction, Computer-Supported Collaborative Work, Education Technology, and Child-Computer Interaction

NameProf. Prateek Sharma
InstitutionIndiana University


Research Area(s):  Cloud Computing, Operating Systems, Large-scale performance engineering

NameProf. Yuede Ji
InstitutionDepartment of Computer Science and Engineering, University of North Texas


Research Area(s):  Cybersecurity, High-Performance Computing, Graph Analytics, and Graph Neural Network

NameProf. Chris Brown
InstitutionVirginia Tech


Research Area(s):  Software Engineering

NameProf. Yalong Yang
InstitutionVirginia Tech


Research Area(s):  VR/AR, Visualization, Human-computer Interaction, Visual analytics

NameProf. Leilani Gilpin
InstitutionUniversity of California, Santa Cruz


Research Area(s):  Explanatory artificial intelligence, interpretable machine learning, and developing representations for understanding complex, autonomous systems.

NameProf. Thomas Pasquier
InstitutionUniversity of British Columbia


Research Area(s):  Systems and Security

NameProf. Shadi Rezapour
InstitutionDrexel University, Department of Information Science


Research Area(s):  Natural Language Processing, Computational Social Science

NameProf. Hamid Karimi
InstitutionUtah State University


Research Area(s):  Machine Learning, Deep Learning, Data Mining, Social Media Mining, Social Network Analysis, AI in Education.

NameProf. Aastha Mehta
InstitutionUniversity of British Columbia, Vancouver


Research Area(s):  I am broadly interested in building systems that solve security problems. I am currently working on systems for digital contact tracing, side channel mitigation, and confidential computing in the edge.

NameProf. Michael Greenberg
InstitutionStevens Institute of Technology
 (formerly Pomona College)


Research Area(s):  Programming languages, systems

NameProf. Varun Mishra
InstitutionNortheastern University


Research Area(s):  Ubiquitous computing; Human-centered computing; mobile/wearable sensing; health informatics; behavioral science.

NameProf. Pavel Panchekha
InstitutionUniversity of Utah


Research Area(s):  Computer Science -- Systems; Programming Languages; Formal Methods

NameProf. Xinyu Wang
InstitutionUniversity of Michigan, Ann Arbor


Research Area(s):  Systems -> Programming Languages, Formal Methods, Software Engineering -> Program Synthesis, Program Analysis, Program Verification

NameProf. Bashima Islam
InstitutionWorcester Polytechnic Institute


Research Area(s):  Mobile Computing and Embedded Systems

NameProf. Rajiv Khanna
InstitutionPurdue University, Department of Computer Science


Research Area(s):  Machine Learning

NameProf. Tushar Sharma
InstitutionDalhousie University


Research Area(s):  Software engineering (SE), ML4SE, SE4ML

NameProf. Akshitha Sriraman
InstitutionCarnegie Mellon University


Research Area(s):  Intersection of Computer Architecture and Operating Systems

NameProf. Preetha Chatterjee
InstitutionDrexel University


Research Area(s):  Software engineering, machine learning and natural language processing applications to software engineering, software data analytics, mining software repositories, empirical software engineering

NameProf. Abhinav Verma
InstitutionThe Pennsylvania State University


Research Area(s):  Reinforcement Learning, Program Synthesis

NameProf. Aloni Cohen
InstitutionUniversity of Chicago -- Computer Science & Data Science Initiative


Research Area(s):  CS+Law, Privacy, Cryptography, Theory

NameProf. Yuanyuan Feng
InstitutionUniversity of Vermont


Research Area(s):  Human-computer Interaction, Data Privacy, Health Informatics

NameProf. Xuesu Xiao
InstitutionGeorge Mason University
 (X, The Moonshot Factory; The Univerisity of Texas at Austin)


Research Area(s):  Robotics, motion planning, machine learning

NameProf. Brandon Bohrer
InstitutionWorcester Polytechnic Institute


Research Area(s):  Formal Methods, Programming Languages, Cyber-Physical Systems

NameProf. Joanna Cecilia da Silva Santos
InstitutionUniversity of Notre Dame

da Silva Santos

Research Area(s):  Software Engineering, Software Security

NameProf. Wing Lam
InstitutionGeorge Mason University


Research Area(s):  Software Testing and Analysis, Software Evolution, Software Dependability, AI and Software Engineering.

I will not be able to attend this event synchronously. Please feel free to email me if you are interested in working with me!

NameProf. Steven Wilson
InstitutionOakland University


Research Area(s):  Natural Language Processing, Computational Social Science

I will not be able to attend this event synchronously. Please feel free to email me if you are interested in working with me!

NameProf. Pedro Lopes
InstitutionUniversity of Chicago, Computer Science

Research Area(s):  Human Computer Interaction; Haptics; Wearables; Materials & Fabrication; Low-powered sensors and actuators


This event was organized by Profs. Emma Tosch (University of Vermont) and Brittany I. Johnson-Matthews (George Mason University).