This assignment is due by class time Friday of Week 9. "Submission" will just be creation of log entries and web pages.

For this assignment you will interview a graduate student to get a feel for graduate life.

Setting your weekly objectives and updating your log

We hope you are used to doing this by now, but make sure your log is up to date (and stays up to date). If any past entries are missing, fill them in now.

An Interview with a grad student

Find a graduate student and arrange to meet with them sometime this week. You can work with up to 3 other ERSP students (see below). This can be a student from your group, or another grad student. If you are having trouble finding a student, get in touch with Chinmay who can help you find one to talk to. At that meeting, here are the questions you should ask. Feel free to rephrase or refocus these questions slightly to put them in your own words, but the gist of each should be the same. Make sure you take good notes so that you can record the student's answers to your log/page that you link from your log. (See the next part).

  • How did you decided to go to graduate school? How did you decide on a masters'/PhD over the other option?
  • Did you work before going to graduate school?
  • How did you select UCSB? What factors were important to you?
  • What undergraduate experience/course work/project work was most important in helping prepare you for graduate work and research?
  • Is graduate school what you thought it would be like? What is it like? What did you expect? How are these the same/different?
  • Tell me about a time that you've been frustrated or discouraged with your research? How did you get through it? What did you do?
  • What's your favorite part about doing research? Tell me about a good research experience you have had.
  • What's your favorite aspect of graduate school (the whole thing, not just research or classes)? Your least favorite?
  • What's your relationship like with your adviser?

In addition, you should come up with at least 3 additional questions that you will ask during your interview. You don't have to have these questions totally nailed down before the interview. You can let them developed based on the direction the conversation takes. The idea is that this will be a conversation, not a reporter-style interview.

You may interview your grad student in partnership with up to 3 other ERSP students, if this make finding someone a little easier. But you should make sure to each ask your own 3 additional questions.

Record and Reflect

After your interview, record the answers to these questions either directly in your log or in a document which you link from your log. The latter method is preferred, but make sure Prof. Diba ( and Chinmay ( have access.

Finally, write a 1-paragraph reflection about what you learned from your interview. Address any or all of the following questions (or others): What surprised you, if anything? What did you learn that you didn't know already? What did you find most interesting? Do you feel the grad student life is less mysterious (and how so)?

Also, don't forget to document all your activities in your log as usual.