To students/applicants

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CUHK campus

To CUHK students who want my recommendation letters:

  • I may only do that for students who got A’s in my class, or whoever interned/FYP in my group.
  • Due to my limited bandwidth, I can only write you letters for no more than 10 schools.
  • Write me an email with the subject “Recommendation Letter: [Your name]” and fill up this Google form with all the schools to which you will be applying.

To Research Applicants:

  • 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 algorithms, 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.

For Ph.D. applicants:

  • With or without a Master’s degree is also fine.
    • But your degree must be Computer Science/Engineering (not even Software Engineering)

For Research Assistant applicants:

  • For MLSys Area: you must have knowledge and experience in computer vision or LLM (e.g., PyTorch, OpenCV, and preferably LangChain)
  • For OS/DB/Cloud Area: you must be proficient in C/C++/Rust and with Linux experience.

For post-doc applicants:

  • At least 1 top paper in the relevant areas.

For undergraduate internship:

  • If you are from CUHK Elite Stream, follow the annual summer research application offered by the faculty.
  • If you are outside CUHK:
    • You must have successfully applied to the HKPFS workshop, been selected, and will join the workshop physically.

Fill up this form to give us a heads-up in parallel to CUHK’s official application process.


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

  • Hong Kong PhD Fellowship (HKPhD Fellowship)
    • It is indeed something quite independent of 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 whether 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 any 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.
  • 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 competition all the way from admission, publishing, internship, to job hunting.
    • When you think you like a particular area, that might simply be 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.