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Prospective Graduate Students (working with Tor Aamodt)

I have three openings for September 2018 admission at the PHD and/or MASc level. All admission offers for my group come with research assistantship funding sufficient to cover tuition and cost of living in Vancouver.

If you are outside of Canada you may be wondering, "why go to Canada?" One answer (beyond how awesome your supervisor will be) that you can give your friends/family is that Canada is increasingly viewed as a better place to go by some very smart people. Our politicians even think it is cool to at least attempt to explain what a quantum computer is. Moreover, unlike politicians in the US, our political leaders are not proposing to impose punitive tax hikes on graduate students. I am happy to discuss why I think Canada is awesome and why you should want to come here.

Why UBC? Simple: UBC is consistently ranked among the top universities in the world. Also, UBC is in Vancouver, which is consistently rated one of the best cities in the world in which to live.

Okay, let's assume you are interested in Canada and/or UBC. Why work with me? Selecting a research supervisor is one of the most important decisions you make when going to graduate school. It can have a greater impact on your future success than the university you go to or what subject you study. If you have not already, you may want to check out my bio to learn a bit more about me.

I invest significant time and effort into training my graduate students to prepare them for careers either in industry or academia. I take great pride in the success of my former students. You can see what some of my current and past graduate students have done and/or where they are now here. Given all this I also carefully select prospective students before making admissions offers.

My research group is currently focused on design of hardware accelerators for machine learning and improving computational efficiency by balancing ease of use with efficiency for programmable accelerator architectures such as GPUs. The best (not necessarily easiest) way to learn about my research group is by checking my publications page and reading some of my papers. I suggest reading one of my papers before contacting me. If you are a UBC undergraduate student you should consider taking CPEN 411 (currently taught by another faculty member) to get a better idea about the type of research I do and ideally you should have taken a course with me.

I primarily select students based upon demonstrated talent. I typically accept students with either a background in electrical or computer engineering, or computer science. Preferably, applicants will have had some past experience either in industry or research (co-op jobs, internships, undergrad research experience, etc...). PHD applicants with a prior masters degree will preferably have at least one (high-quality) publication in a related area.

Note that the UBC ECE department now allows direct admission to PHD for students with only an undergraduate degree. This is being rolled out for September 2018. For applicants in this category, some evidence of research ability is required though not necessarily prior publications. The best way to demonstrate this besides having prior publications is having worked in an academic research lab. If you apply for direct admission to PHD from undergrad you may also be considered for MASc. Some applicants will notice that UBC is implementing guaranteed minimum funding for four years for PHD students starting September 2018. My RA salaries are higher than this minimum and based upon the UBC FoGS cost of living calculator here.

For applicants without a prior degree from a Canadian university, I pay attention to GRE scores so be sure to submit these when applying. Note that English language proficiency is quite important as graduate students need to write up their research in papers and present them in talks. So, I pay careful attention to TOEFL scores, which are required by UBC for international students who native language is not English. I will not ask FoGS to make exceptions for applicants' with TOEFL scores that fall below UBC minimum standards.

If you are interested in joining my group see these instructions for details on how to apply to our department.


Last reviewed 23-Sept-2012

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Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

tel 604.827.4116 | e-mail aamodt@ece.ubc.ca

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