Prospective Students and Postdocs


This message is intended primarily for students who are applying to graduate school, or are starting graduate school, and are considering working in my research group. For students who are already here, you can gladly send me an e-mail to set up a visit to discuss potential projects. First, however, please read this message, especially before trying to visit.

Thanks for your interest: First of all, I would like to thank you for taking the time to look at my web pages. I appreciate your interest in my research and in the activities of our group. Due to increasing internet connectivity and a large interest in my research area, I receive a large number of e-mails from prospective students. Unfortunately, there are too many messages for me to give a response to each one, even though I am doing my best to do so. I regret that I cannot reply to messages that are so important to the people who send them. For this reason, I have decided to write this message to help give some useful information to you.

Learn about what we do: If you believe that my research area might potentially be interesting to you, please look carefully at my web pages to learn about our research. Consider looking at my personnal webpage too (old and not updated any more) to learn more about my previous projects at other universities. You might even want to try downloading and reading some of our papers (if you are unable, please let me know). In general, I am more likely to reply to a student who has taken the time to get some idea of what my research involves, especially if they can explain why they would be well-suited to make contributions in my research group.

My goals for students: I am very excited about the possibilty of working with exceptional M.S./Ph.D. students, as well as undergraduate students. I intend to give strong personal guidance that will maximize their chances of building a rewarding and enjoyable career in research. Important goals that I have for students are:

  1. the identification of fundamental research problems by developing a thorough understanding of the current literature;
  2. the development of a strong technical background that enables the proposal of independent and innovative solutions to challenging problems;
  3. the presentation and publication of research in the most prestigious journals and conferences;
  4. the development of personal communication and presentation skills that are needed to maximize visibility in the research community, and increase chances of future success. If you find this emphasis and my research area appealing, I believe our group could provide you with a vibrant and exciting educational experience.

How to possibly squeeze in: Admissions to NUS are based on merit, and the school and departments are the one making the initial short-listing. I cannot directly hire students, so please do not contact me with such a request (however, you can contact me if you are interested in a research fellow [postdoc] position). I would suggest contacting a professor whose research interests really match yours, so that they may remember/contact you if you get short-listed. The ordinary path into my group is to become a student here and then take an upper-level course from me, or to contact me for independent research. If there is strong mutual research interest between a student and me, chances are good they can start working in my group.
Do not send blanket mass-emailed statements. I will ignore those. Please do not send me email that contains phrases such as "respected sir," "valuable time," "distinguished research," "esteemed professor," and other odd phrases that are used in mass mailings that some students send to professors. I suggest that you use my first name (Guillaume) instead, which is the French equivalent of "William" and means "resolute protector." If you do not feel comfortable using my first name for a first contact, a simple "Dear professor" is fine too.

In any case, good luck with your prospective graduate studies.

Best wishes,

Guillaume Sartoretti

(This message was heavily inspired/poached from that of Howie CHoset and Sven Koenig)