PH: (518) 956-8323
FX: (518) 442-2666
Email: goel@albany.edu
Business Building 311
1400 Washington Ave.
Albany, NY 12222

Prospective Students

DISSERTATION COMMITTEE MEMBER

If you want me to be on your dissertation committee, please consult with your dissertation chair first to determine if I would be a suitable choice. If your chair agrees or recommends me, please provide me with a written statement (4-5 pages) describing your proposed work (including, statement of goals and objectives, motivation, methodology, and relevance of your work.

After a week, please schedule an appointment with me so that we can discuss any questions that I may have. I may have to refuse being a part of your committee in case I believe that I am not a good fit or I am otherwise overcommitted. If I agree to be on your committee, I expect you to provide me with a detailed proposal once ready and a report of your progress (and any stumbling blocks) at least once during the semester. In the meantime, if you need any guidance or help please make an appointment to see me. I also expect to be consulted prior to scheduling your proposal/dissertation defenses and provided with a copy of the proposal/dissertation more than two weeks before the event.

DISSERTATION CHAIR / ADVISOR

I will only take on a Ph.D. student who is prepared for the doctoral program, doing research, and has dedication and commitment. I accept doctoral students to work with me periodically based on the commitments to my current students, research, professional, and community responsibilities. I will typically not supervise more than three dissertations at any given time and would pick one student every other year. I have four students, two of whom are expected to graduate next year. I may be willing to accept another student after their graduation. I provide some funding for my students through research grants and teaching, however, the funding may or may not directly relate to the dissertation topic of the student.

PREREQUISITES

Any student I accept should be self-motivated, independent, hard-working, and ethical. Before accepting to work with students, they must have completed their core course requirements and passed the general comprehensive exam. In addition, students should work on at least 1 independent study or research project in my lab with me where we work on a publishable paper.

There are several prerequisites for my selection of doctoral students:

  1. Strong command of spoken and written English
  2. Outstanding academic record
  3. Understanding of academic integrity issues including proper citation and attribution of work
  4. Must know at least one programming language well (knowledge of both windows and Linux OS preferred)
  5. Must be willing/able to work independently, without constant prompting and monitoring
If you feel that you meet these prerequisites and would like me to be your dissertation chair, please send me a write-up which includes what your proposed topic is, why you believe that I should be your dissertation chair, what you expect from me in terms of a chair. I expect students to hold me to high standards in ethics, quality of work, and diligence and I will do the same.

EXPECTATIONS

Please understand that it will take you a minimum 4-5 years to complete your dissertation work unless there is an exceptional case. It is a difficult journey and you should be mentally prepared to take that journey. You also need to understand why you want to do a Ph.D. If you are a part-time student, you have to be even more introspective because work commitments may make it difficult for you to find time for school work and research. Plan your job scenario for the next 4-5+ years, such that it is feasible for you to work on your dissertation.

My expectations from students who work with me are:

  1. Periodic updates with progress reports.
  2. Equivalent of two conferences or one journal submissions every year. Please note that presentations do not count towards this number!
  3. All administrative paperwork / responsibilities should be taken care of in a meticulous and timely manner. Copies of all important documents should be maintained.
  4. No engagement in extensive teaching activities prior to a successful proposal defense.
  5. I will be given sufficient time to review any co-authored article for journal or conference submission and no work will be published without my review and approval.
  6. Before graduation you will have at least one accepted journal paper.
  7. If funded by me over breaks, I expect students to spend a lot of time during the break on research work.

CHOOSING OTHER COMMITTEE MEMBERS

Please remember that the dissertation committee should be chosen very carefully. Any other dissertation members or advisors must be mutually agreed upon. Before starting work on the dissertation, the dissertation proposal will be presented to the committee to get their feedback and to ensure that they are still a good fit.

DISSERTATION PROPOSAL

Before starting on a dissertation, you will work on a proposal (4-5 single-spaced pages) for the dissertation. The proposal will have:
  • a clear statement of goals and assumptions (problem statement)
  • motivation for the work
  • theoretical underpinnings of the work
  • relevant literature survey,
  • outline on how to proceed to prove your thesis (data collection, methodology, and benchmarking),
  • approximate schedule of completion, and
  • statement of the consequences of your work
Once the short proposal is approved by me, expand on it to make a 15-20 page dissertation proposal. In addition, make an outline of skills required for your dissertation work and map it against your current skills. You are expected to provide a plan for addressing these gaps.

DISSERTATION

SAMPLE SCHEDULE

Here is the rough schedule of Ph.D. students for each semester, but will vary from student to student based on the research being undertaken as well as personal circumstances and objectives.
  1. First Year: Focus on core requirements of the doctoral program
  2. Second Year: Work with me on a project or independent study during this year so that we can get comfortable with each otherís style before making a commitment. Finish the major comprehensive exam and do a detailed literature survey in your area of interest.
  3. Third Year: Prepare a short dissertation proposal, expand it into the long dissertation proposal, and work on obtaining the complementing skills required, expanding the literature review, software development (if necessary), and data collection. Produce an equivalent of one journal article / 2 conference papers.
  4. Fourth Year: Complete the data analysis and validate as well as benchmark the results. You are expected to be working on a journal paper based on the results in addition to your dissertation work. In the first semester, I expect you to submit this paper to a journal so that it gets published before you enter the job market.
  5. Fifth Year: In this year, you should write and defend your dissertation, refine the results as necessary, and write a journal paper with these refined results. You should plan to defend your dissertation in the beginning of the second semester. You should also prepare your resume and start your job search.

Copyright © 2013, Sanjay Goel. All Rights Reserved.