Currently waitlisted for one of my classes?

I understand that course registration is a stressful and sometimes opaque process. Faculty use different processes to determine the order that students are moved off their waitlists. My process is evolving over time and so I may deviate from what is written here, but I hope this will help provide some transparency about my decision making process.

For non-major elective courses, I try to prioritize students who will not have a chance to take the class again, which means I typically give preference in descending class order (i.e., seniors first), then follow the order of the waitlist.

For courses required by the CS major, DS major, or CS minor, I give first priority to students who would not graduate if they did not take the course this semester. I consider factors like class year, transfer student status, intended program (CS major, DS major, CS minor), and intent to study abroad to try to establish this. Unfortunately, the number of students who urgently need courses is sometimes greater than the number of seats available.

Looking for a letter of recommendation?

Great! It is a joy to brag about my students.

Am I the right person to write your letter?

The best letters will come from the faculty/advisors that know you best and have you seen you perform at your best. The more that we’ve interacted, the more that I can write about you, and the stronger the letter will be. This means that if you were in only 1 of my classes, but didn’t engage much with it, it might be difficult for me to write much about you in my letter.

If you think I’m the right fit, great! If you’re not sure, feel free to ask. I’ll let you know if I think there are other faculty who may serve you better.

What I need from you

  • At least 3 weeks of notice before the letter is due. If your application only needs me to fill out a short recommendation form (rather than write a letter), 2 weeks of notice is usually sufficient.
  • The material that you plan to send when you’re applying. (e.g., your resume, cover letter, short essays). It’s helpful for me to see how you frame yourself so I can reinforce and amplify the points you’re making! Even if you have an early draft, it’s helpful for me to see where you’re headed with your application.
  • Remind me of things you’re proud about and/or hope I will comment on. This isn’t a time to be modest.
  • If you’re comfortable doing so, please tell me who else is writing you a letter for this application. When an application asks for multiple letters, it is helpful for your writers to emphasize different aspects about you. Knowing who else is writing letters helps me do that!
  • If you’re submitting multiple applications close together (e.g., applying to grad school), please create a shared Google Sheet with me containing a list of: (1) the places you’re applying, (2) the deadline, and (3) if I should have received a recommendation-request email from them yet.