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Joining ALFA

 

Interested in Joining or Visiting ALFA Group?

ALFA Group welcomes graduate and undergraduate students, visitors, and guests 
regardless of race, religion, gender identification, sexual orientation, age, nationality, or disability status

 

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Already an MIT Student

If you are already an MIT student and want to join Alfa, follow this MIT UROP, MEng and UAP Projects for UROP, AUP/UAP, MEng project listings.

PhD Student Applications and Post-Doctoral Researcher Opportunities (updated Nov 1, 2016)

The ALFA Group at MIT will have open positions in Sept 2017 for graduate students. Joining us would support earning a graduate degree at one of the most prestigious universities in the world in the company of an energetic group who are inspired by evolution, intrigued by learning and serious about scaling to large numbers of computers and BigData.

We are also usually looking for one or two students who want to conduct doctoral research in the areas of data science and machine learning or evolutionary algorithms - in particular genetic programming. See our most recent publications to understand more about our agenda. Secondary interest in cyber-security, healthcare, law or online learning would be advantageous for admission.

Graduate student applicants should be aware of the relevant admission application deadlines
EECS - Dec 15 (http://www.eecs.mit.edu/grad/), funding available 
Technology and Policy Masters - Dec 15 (http://tppserver.mit.edu/), funding possibly available
System Design and Management Masters - Rolling (http://sdm.mit.edu/funding possibly available
Masters in Computation for Design and Optimization - Jan, 2016 (http://web.mit.edu/cdo-program/funding possibly available


Potential post-docs should contact Una-May O'Reilly through alfa-apply at csail.mit.edu It is very important when you contact us to clearly and concisely identify areas of mutual interest. and provide information about your background. Having a face to face relationship with in the group in is strongly in your favor. The group has rotating funding for a modest number of post doctoral associate positions. Others are welcome if they can earn funding from other sources such as research foundations in their own country. Examples are NSERCs in Canada, NSFs from the USA, etc. In these situations a letter of support may be required during your application process. That can be provided should the project match well with ALFA. In yet other situations, post-docs apply after they have a scholarship. Be aware that post-doc fellowships that are funded outside MIT are usually (but not always) subject to extra CSAIL specific fees to cover visa processing and/or resources usage which implies either Dr. O'Reilly must cover these costs or your scholarship should. As well, having an award in hand does not guarantee an invitation to join. We have limited resources and need to see matching interests.

 

If you want to attend MIT and complete a PhD with Una-May O'Reilly as your adviser...

You need to secure admission to an MIT graduate program to make this a reality. You can try to contact Una-May before you apply to tell her your interests or ask questions about our agenda but we generally do not have time to respond to such emails. You should read the ALFA group web pages, look at our publications and current projects and writing a relevant statement of interest in your application. My students' research is on scalable computing and systems using evolutionary computation, bio-inspired computation and machine learning. Their broad area of interest is AI. At this time a complementary interest and strength in application domains where BigData analysis offers opportunities for valuable contributions, such as medical clinical decision support, educational data mining, cyber-security, etc is ideal.

Admission to MIT is challenging and competitive but don't let this discourage you from applying if you have an excellent background. Check the MIT graduate admissions general web site and the site that is specific for the academic department you wish to join for more information. Past student members have been enrolled in Course 6 (Electrical Engineering and Computer Science), Architecture, Mechanical Engineering, ESD and CDO.

On very rare occasions, outside thesis work can be conducted over a short visit. Note that for these visits, usually the visitor must cover all costs including CSAIL specific fees to cover visa processing and resources usage. Generally you must be willing to work on a project of mutual interest, with our software libraries and infrastructure, see for example FlexGP, EC-Star or SCALE.

 

Outside Visitors

We welcome visits from our colleagues in academia. We are most interested in visitors whose research agenda closely aligns with our own or whom we have personally met through conferences, workshop and related travel. Note that visitor fees are not usually imposed upon short term faculty visits.

On very selective occasions, outside thesis work can be conducted over a short visit. Note that for these visits, the visitor must cover the costsm including CSAIL specific fees to cover visa processing and resources usage. Generally you must be willing to work on a project of mutual interest, with our software libraries and infrastructure, see for example FlexGP, EC-Star or SCALE.

Unfortunately we don't always have the time to reply to every unsolicited request. Please don't be offended, we just don't have enough time.

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