How to Join

I. Applicants for Graduate Studies in CS or ECE

Thank you for your interest in applying to UCLA for graduate studies. I generally take one or two Ph.D. students every year for my research group, but not any M.S. students. I typically look for students with backgrounds and interests in the broad area of embedded and cyber-physical systems for applications in IoT, ubiquitous and mobile computing, and pervasive sensing and control. Our interests are in problems related to making these systems learning-enabled, secure, privacy-aware, human-coupled, wirelessly-networked, and energy-efficient. Research in NESL takes a full-stack approach across all layers of systems including algorithms, applications, software, and hardware.

I admit students from the applicants to the CS Department and the ECE Department. However, please note that I do not make the admissions decisions personally; they are made by the admissions committees in the two departments. Please apply directly to the university and to the CS or the ECE department as appropriate. Due to a large volume of applicants, the UCLA CS and ECE departments normally consider applications only for a Fall quarter start. Please do not contact me about admissions questions or ask me to evaluate your application for admission or financial support. Applicants are notified of the admissions decisions by the departments, and you can contact the Student Affairs Officer of the concerned department if you have specific questions concerning the application process.

If you are a prospective Ph.D. student with prior background (projects, courses, work experience) in embedded computing systems and/or computer communications and networking, then send me a brief email with a resume as plain text or PDF file attachments only. Please only contact me once with the required documents in the specified format. I will respond to your email if I think you might be a good candidate. Otherwise, please assume that it is not the right fit and I wish you the best in your endeavors. Please understand it is not humanly possible for me to reply to every email I receive from prospective students.

If you are a prospective student applying for the M.S. degree program, then please contact the CS Department or the ECE Department directly.

Please look at our admissions requirement carefully and only apply if you meet the criteria.

II. Graduate students already at UCLA

If you are already at UCLA and want to explore joining NESL to do Ph.D. thesis or M.S. project or thesis, then come and talk to me. Usually I consider taking students only after they have been at UCLA for a quarter or two so that I have some concrete basis to evaluate your performance. In particular I'd encourage you to take one of my graduate courses ECEM202A/CSM213A (embedded systems) or ECE209AS (Special Topics in CES). The projects in these courses will give you an idea of what will it be like to be in NESL and will give me an idea of your research potential. I do expect a good GPA (3.8 or higher) in the ECE/CS graduate courses. Please note that while I fund my Ph.D. students as Graduate Student Researchers, I am unable to offer such funding for M.S. students.

III. Undergraduate students at UCLA

I do take some UCLA undergraduate student researchers in my lab as summer interns, 199 students, and as research aides. I only consider students who have a solid GPA (3.8 or higher), some advanced undergraduate coursework in Computer Engineering or Computer Science, and preferably some project experience. Usually the best time to start is as you enter your final year of undergraduate studies.

IV. Visiting students and interns from outside UCLA

Sorry, but I am unable to take visiting students and interns from outside UCLA, even if a student is self-supported. This is because UCLA requires significant amounts of fees to be paid for such students and there are cumbersome procedures to be followed which we are unable to do (see details), and there is a cap on number of visiting students imposed by the School. The only exception are students through formal UCLA programs such as Cross-disciplinary Scholars in Science and Technology (CSST) , Engineering Science Corps Outreach Programs, etc. Please contact these programs directly about how to apply.

V. Post-doctoral researchers

Contact me via email if you wish to explore post-doc opportunities in NESL. In your email please include your CV in PDF format as well as a sample of a couple of your key publications. You must have a Ph.D. from one of the top research universities in ECE or CS, a high-quality dissertation with a good set of publications, excellent written and oral communication skills, and seeking a post-doc to do new research.

VI. Industrial research visitors

Please see the Industry Support and Partnerships section of the UCLA ECE Department.

VII. Faculty visitors on sabbatical

Depending on mutual research collaboration interest, we occasionally host faculty visitors from other top universities on sabbatical leave, but are unable to provide any funds towards such visits.