Hello, This is NY. Coming soon.
- Don't send information about your GRE scores, GPA, class rank, cholesterol levels, favorite movies, etc. and
ask what your chances of admission are. Standardized tests and grades have minimal influence on your chances
of admission and reveal very little about your potential as a researcher. No one can or should tell you anything
about your chances of admission based on an email (other than that you are more likely to be rejected now since
you sent an annoying email).
- Don't send a first email longer than a typical screenful. You should be able to get across everything you need
in a first email concisely and use longer emails if technical depth is required in follow ups.
- Don't waste space and time telling me how hard-working, creative and smart you are — demonstrate it with the
contents of your message.
- Don't waste space and time telling me how brilliant I am. The fact that you are interested in joining my research
group is flattery enough.
- Don't make generic statements about being interested in my work or how well it relates to your interests. Most
professors have projects in several different areas and can't figure out what you mean unless you describe a
specific connection or interest.
- Don't attach anything to your email. If you want to provide additional content, you should do this by sending
a URL (as plain text, not a link). If you are not able to create a web page, you probably shouldn't be applying
to CS graduate programs.
- Don't use HTML encoded email or non-standard character sets. If you are a non-native English speaker, make sure
your "From:" address appears using the English alphabet. If you have a name that is difficult for English speakers
to pronounce or distinguish, it is to your advantage to use a name that English speakers can pronounce and remember.
I do realize it is very unfair for us to expect you to change your name for our convenience and cultural ignorance!
But, once you get admitted you can and should tell people what you want them to call you. Note that for your
formal application it is necessary to use your legal name, so if you use another name in your email communications
with faculty, it is important to also provide the name you use in your application so they can identify the corresponding
application. This is probably not necessary in a first email, but is a good opportunity to refresh the relationship
after you send in your application by informing your contact to the formal name used in your application.
- Don't use any fancy formatting in your email (including your message signature).