Potential Students and Opening

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CUHK campus

  • If you like both machine learning applications (e.g., computer vision) and systems and are struggling which area to go further:
    • SystemML can give you both
  • If you like algorithm, math, and systems and are struggling with which area to go further:
    • Distributed Systems can give you all
  • If you want to use your computer science knowledge to help other scientists
  • If you are smart and playful
    • Just join us first and we will start a new project together
  • Finally, we especially welcome students who have joined the ACM programming team, Supercomputing team, and Capture-the-flag team.

Applicants who are interested in my research areas may email me a heads-up with your CV and transcript based on the following strict instructions.  

For Ph.D. applicants:

  • Your email subject must start with “PhD applicant: [Your Name]” (e.g., “PhD applicant: Harry Porter”)
  • With or without a Master degree is also fine.
    • But your degree must be Computer Science/Engineering (not even Software Engineering).

For post-doc applicants:

  • Your email subject must start with “Post-doc applicant: [Your Name]”

For undergraduate internship:

  • You must be top 5% of your class or in an elite class, and you must be familiar with Linux.
  • Your email subject must start with “Internship: [Your Name]”

*Emails not complying with the suggested format would be discarded by my spam filter.


Something that you may want to know about CUHK PhD applications:

  • Hong Kong PhD Fellowship (HKPhD Fellowship)
    • It is indeed something quite independent with CUHK PhD application.
    • To be our PhD students, you have to go through CUHK’s PhD application anyway.
      • Admitted by us means you will get a basic PhD stipend (around 17000HKD/month).
    • But if your academic result, as well as other activities, are especially strong (e.g., National Scholarship, ACM Programming Team, ASC Team, CTF), then you should consider (or will be encouraged by us) to apply for that fellowship.  Treat that as a “scholarship” offered by the Hong Kong Government.  Winning that will give you about 27000HKD/month stipend instead of 17000HKD/month.  In addition, CUHK will waive the first-year tuition of an HKPHD awardee.
      • As that is a scholarship
        • you apply != you must get it;
        • you NOT apply == you won’t get it;
      • After the scholarship deadline, our department may nominate your application to the Hong Kong government; and the government will select the awardees.
    • So, if you get a CUHK PhD offer, that offer is valid no matter you get the scholarship or not.  (See the next point about how to get a CUHK PhD offer).
  • Finding advisors and the central admission interview
    • CUHK Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) department has a central admission interview.
    • You must pass that central interview (conducted by a panel of professors from different disciplines) in order to get admitted, no matter you have a commitment with any individual professor or not.
    • The central admission interview will check your basic Computer Science background (e.g., data structures and algorithms, programming, mathematics) in English (so make sure you know the technical terms in English) and possibly the background of a particular research area if you have chosen one.  Passing that central admission interview != you get the offer.  That only means you have a solid CS background and are eligible to be a teaching assistant here.
    • After passing the central admission interview, you shall contact professors whose research interests fit yours  (well… nobody stops you from contacting a professor before the central admission interview, indeed many students did so) to see if he/she is willing to be your PhD advisor.
    • So, in summary, whether or not you get the PhD offer depends on
      • (i) whether a professor is willing to be your PhD advisor.  Factors including your further interview result with your potential advisor, the funding resources of your potential advisor, etc.  (Note: some students may financially self-support themselves when a professor is short of funding) and
      • (ii) whether you pass the central admission interview.
  • CUHK PhD generally takes 4 years.  So, if you are from a top school, and if you are considering to do a Master (as far as I know, many Master programs in the mainland take 3 years), so HKPhD fellowship is really an attractive plan.
  • Don’t finalize your “research interest” so early.  Many of you have already decided on your research interest when making the application. Think different–
    • How many students a professor (from an all-in-sudden very hot area) will intake largely depends on how much funding he/she has.  So, choosing a hot area (and are you sure that area will still be hot when you graduate?) might give your life more competitions all the way from admission, publishing, internship, to job hunting.
    • When you think you like a particular area, that might simply because your school has given you more training on that.  There are actually many interesting research areas out there.  For example, distributed computing seldom be included in an undergraduate curriculum but it has Turing-award winning applications from the interesting Byzantine Generals’ Problem, Paxos (one of the key protocols used in almost all big data systems in the world), to Blockchain (the key technology behind Bitcoin).  So, be open-minded and contact different professors to know more about their areas.  If you are good, you can pick up a new area quickly.