Note to Interested Students, Post Docs, and Visitors

Maja J Matarić


Potential students, postdocs, and visitors: please read the information below before contacting me. This information is being kept up-to-date to correctly reflect the current status of various openings in my group. Thank you for your interest!

USC Robotics
PhD Students
MS Students
Undergraduate Students
Postdocs
Volunteers
Visitors
Tours

Robotics at USC: USC has a great deal of robotics research, largely, but not exclusively, in the Computer Science Department. For an overview of robotics activities, look here. For more information about any particular project or lab, please contact the relevant faculty member or principal investigator directly, we do not have a centralized claring house for getting involved.

PhD Students:

Each academic year I recruit (on average) one or two new students into my Interaction Lab. I choose the students from the top accepted PhD students in the Computer Science Department. Please read about the USC CS Department PhD program admissions process so you are familiar with it before sending me email. After that, if you have already applied to the program and are especially interested in my lab, email me the URL to a web page showing your relevant research (instead of sending materials as attachments).

I am often asked about accepting students in PhD programs outside of Computer Science. The short answer is that this is possible, but usually works only for fellowship students. For graduate research assistants, the PhD advisor is also the funder and the academic mentor, and thus it is best if s/he is in the same department as the student. However, exceptions are possible. After all, anything can happen!

Most importantly, I accept students who are interested in socially assistive robotics, my area of research focus.

If you are at USC already and interested in getting involved in robotics research on a volunteer basis, you are encouraged to review the CRES web site and follow the guidelines found here. If you are interested in working in my group specifically, email me, supplying the materials listed here.

MS Students:

MS students in the CS Department are not typically funded by research grants, are not permitted, per school policy, to be funded as GRAs (graduate research assistants), and CS Department rules prohibit MS students from soliciting faculty for funding. The same rule applies to non-CS MS students. Only if you already have a strong background in either assistive robotics and/or activity modeling, and/or have taken my CS 584 course and gotten an A in it, or have taken courses by Prof. Gaurav Sukhatme and/or Prof. Stefan Schaal and gotten A's and are in the MSIR program, then contact me by email. It is always best to put together a web page showing your relevant research and send me (and other faculty you are interested in) the URL instead of sending materials as attachments. You can then be considered for a research position that would be paid on an hourly basis.
If you are interested in getting involved in robotics research on a volunteer basis, you are encouraged to contact the relevant faculty member directly. If you are interested in working in my group specifically, email me, supplying the materials listed here.

Undergraduate Students:

My lab has a long history of welcoming undergraduate involvement in research. Recently we had as many as 20 undergrads in the lab at once. We expect 8-10 hours of work in the lab per week; less is typically not viable in terms of actually getting involved in a productive project.

Students with research funding are always welcome, such as Merit Research Scholars and URAP awardees. I am also happy to work with eligible students to apply for WiSE Undergraduate Research awards. Otherwise, undergraduates without experience in the Interaction Lab are accepted as volunteers.

All undergraduates are paired up with a PhD student and/or a postdoctoral fellow, for direct mentorship.

Interested students are encouraged to review the Interaction Lab Get Involved page and follow the steps outlined there.

Post Docs:

Currently, I do not have any funded postdoc positions available. Therefore, only qualified individuals who would bring their own funding can be considered.

Interested Volunteers:

If you are a student at USC at any level and are interested in getting involved in the robotics research in my Interaction Lab on a volunteer basis, you are encouraged to review the Interaction Lab Get Involved page and follow the steps outlined there.

Research Visitors:

Externally-funded visitors interested in collaboration are welcome to contact me by email, but because of limited resources, please note that we can only consider visitors who fulfill the following criteria: 1) have a background that is directly related to one or more of our research areas, and 2) plan to perform hands-on work on a well-defined agreed-upon project of mutual interest that would lead to joint publications.

Tour Visitors:

The USC Robotics Research Lab is a research group, consisting of active students, postdocs, and faculty. To faciliate productive research, our labs are not open for touring other than during the pre-assigned touring days and times. To find out when tours are being held and to sign up, please contact Ross Mead (rossmead@usc.edu). For detailed information on the personnel of the USC Robotics Research Labs, look here. For a summary of all robotics activities, please look here.

Thank you for your interest in our research!


Go to Maja's home page.
Go to the Interaction Lab home page.
Mail comments to webmaster@robotics.usc.edu.