The graduate students play an important role in the department. Not only are we responsible for producing top notch research, we also must perform duties outside the realm of Computer Science research. There are a variety of graduate student positions filled by individuals elected by their peers. The positions are held for one year and there are no term limits.
- Graduate Student Coordinators
- Student Survey Coordinator
- GPSS Senators
- UNS Software Coordinator & Lab Policy Committee Representative
The graduate student coordinator (GSC) is the official liaison between the faculty and the graduate students. Any problems or concerns that a student has but cannot directly approach the faculty with can be taken to the GSC. Similarly, any problem that the faculty has requiring grad student input tends to come through the GSC. The job primarily involves running the grad student elections and overseeing that the responsibilities are being taken care of; maintaining mailing lists and the grad student affairs web page; finding student volunteers to serve on committees at professors' requests; and other odd jobs. Large amounts of time are never required, but a small constant amount of maintenance is needed to handle issues as they come up and make sure things happen as they should.
The student survey coordinator organizes the annual survey of grad student happiness. The survey helps keep the faculty attuned to the mood of the student body, so as to catch any problems early. Most of the work takes place late in the year, and involves sending out the survey, encouraging students to respond, and compiling the results.
The Graduate and Professional Student Senate, or GPSS , holds monthly meetings. The senators get to participate in interesting discussions about various issues relating to all aspects of graduate students' life here. The senators survey graduate students about how the department should spend its yearly allotment and do all the leg and paperwork necessary to procure stuff with the money. The degree of involvement aside from this stuff depends on the senators' interest.
The uns software coordinator coordinates student efforts to install lab-unsupported software in /uns. This includes maintaining mailing list and unsgroup membership, informing new members of the guidelines for installing software (in /uns), and when a disk fills up occasionally, finding some unused things to nuke, strip, etc.
Feel free to update the /uns web, which is a bit of a mess.
The grad student seminar coordinator(s) organize several mostly-student-run seminars that are of interest to parts or all of the grad student body. Usually, the coordinators are from different years so as to get a broad perspective of the student body. Example topics: how to get a job, how to pass quals, how to get a summer internship, how to do research. The time commitment is mostly at the beginning of each quarter when deciding what seminars to hold and when to hold them, but also includes getting volunteer speakers, getting a room for the seminar, ordering cookies, and chairing the session.
The liaison will be in charge of making sure that the graduate students are kept apprised of faculty recruiting. Some specific duties are to:
- Run an orientation session before the first candidate visit to introduce new and returning PhD students to faculty recruiting
- Make sure that we keep getting the information about whose invited, etc.
- Make sure that student hosts know what's involved in being a host and what questions to ask
- Be a contact between the recruiting committee and the student body
- Collect feedback from student hosts and other participants to continually improve the process
The faculty recruiting page may be helpful.
Liaisons help coordinate between the PhD students and postdocs reading for PhD admissions and the Advising Staff/Admissions committee. Some specific duties are to:
- Be available over winter break to answer questions from other readers on Slack
- Survey the PhD and postdoc readers after reading is complete to collect feedback
- Transmit feedback to Support/Advising staff/Admissions committee as appropriate
Responsibilities as Undergrad Liaison are very lightweight:
- Serve as channel for advertising local ACM-organized events to grad students, preferably sending slightly modified versions of ugrad announcements tailored for grad audience. (The idea here being that a message from a grad, rather than directly from an unknown undergrad or a forward from one, will be more effective at encouraging grad interest.)
- Be available to the ACM officers as grad contact for questions about organizing/publicizing events (particularly ones with more direct grad involvement, e.g., grad school info session, Research Night, orientation for new majors), other related advice.
Responsibilities as Outreach Coordinator have been rewritten to focus energy on the annual College of Engineering Open House. This officer works closely with the undergraduate advisors in this capacity.
- Encourage and organize grad participation in annual College of Engineering Open House (a public event usually held in late April). This includes recruiting grad students to staff and/or produce exhibits and activities. (Some activities from past Open Houses are archived for reuse. See Ken Yasuhara.)
- Serve as grad contact point for department staff organizing other outreach events (e.g., one-day workshops for regional secondary school students).
Once every year, our department (grad students, staff, and undergrad students) collect donations (e.g., food, clothing, other usable items) and present those to the local FoodBank, which distributes it to needy people in the area. The job entails: sending out announcements to grad students, staff, and undergrads to begin the period of gathering items; putting collection boxes in several places throughout the dept and regularly collecting what has been gathered to ensure it does not overflow, accumulating items in the grad student government room; at the end of the collection period, arranging for a car to transport the goods to the local foodbank (UDistrict food bank)during times when they are open and accept donations; (optionally) maintaining a web page with tallies of how much various offices have donated.
Mossy Bits is a quarterly creative arts journal that is released annually. (Someone needs to rewrite that sentence, because I can't tell whether it's intentional.) It contains articles, stories, poems, photographs, music, columns, and anything else composed, or decomposed, by the department's grad students. The editor is responsible for gathering and compiling contributions and placing them on the web in one nice package. Persuasive skills are a must, as the graduate student body often requires a great deal of encouragement to generate an issue's worth of material.
The historian is responsible for videotaping all important departmental events for future humiliation, uh, I mean posterity. Also the historian should update the history page.
It is the role of the orientation committee to organize and execute an informative and comprehensive welcome session for the entering graduate students. It is an opportunity for the new students to meet and interact with other new students and learn about the computer science department's courses, faculty, facilities, and policies. Information is also presented about activities in and around the university and Seattle. See the orientation website for more information.
The Prospective Student Committee coordinates the visits of prospective graduate students. Most of the work centers on organizing two big recruiting days, though students can visit any time from the end of February until the middle of April. Committee members contact prospective students, help arrange airport transportation, set up meetings with faculty and current students, arrange lunch and dinner, possibly plan extra-curricular activities, and find overnight hosts. The job is demanding during the recruiting season.
By mentoring new graduate students, existing graduate students help ease new students' transition into our department. The Mentoring Coordinator pairs new graduate students up with existing student mentors, and assists mentors in finding answers to challenging questions from new students. Workload for this job is heaviest in the August-December period, when pairings must be made and solutions found, so that new graduate students spend as little time bewildered as necessary.
Every Friday at 4:30 pm, a different office organizes and throws the TGIF. This includes buying food and drinks and cleaning up afterwards. The TGIF coordinator manages the TGIF fund and maintains the schedule. The TGIF coordinator must obtain banquet permits every month for TGIF, and must register the CSE grad students as a student organizationin order to obtain said permit.
The TGIF coordinator should also help organize the PoCSci conference and the new "Battle of TGIFs".
The Pit Party is the department's fall potluck bash to welcome the new students. The party is usually held at the Pacific Science Center. The Pit Party coordinator works with the office staff to organize the party.
The Holiday Party is the department's winter potluck bash. The party is traditionally held at the Center for Urban Horticulture. The coordinator must reserve a room, secure an alcohol permit, buy drinks and other miscellaneous items, and obtain volunteers to help with the party.
The annual holiday party occurs near the end of the fall quarter. The faculty and the graduate students each (secretly) prepare a small and humourous skit. This includes a visit from the famous Dr. Computer Science and Engineering, that is, if he is in the country at the time. The Holiday Skit Director is responsible for recruiting people to write the skit, actors to act, and musicians to play.
The Ski Bum coordinates the department's annual Ski Day and various other events throughout the ski season.
The Pumpkin Carving Coordinator is responsible for scheduling, advertising, and organizing the annual CSE pumpkin mutilation workshop. The CSE pumpkin patch needs to be stocked for the event (get reimbursed by the department afterwards). Coordinate with the TGIF chair if necessary, and make sure the historian is on-hand to document the event. If the Affiliates Meeting is around Halloween, you may also help provide some CSE-relevant pumpkins as decoration.