Student FAQ

Common Student Questions

Will I be required to attend synchronously or in person?

For the 2020-2021 academic year, I will not require any physical, in-person attendance for COGS 18 or COGS 108 - lecture, discussion/lab, and exams will all be possible to complete remotely and asynchronously. Please make the housing/location decision that is best for you.

I’m on the waitlist in position X in your course. Will I be enrolled?

While our staff handle the waitlist, and I don’t have access to it, I can tell you that typically ~3-5 people are let off each section’s waitlist each quarter in both COGS 18 and COGS 108. And, additional sections will not be added. I absolutely understand why you all ask for this - I know how much you all struggle to get your schedules to work. But, I am but one person with hundreds of students each quarter. The more students, the more questions I get, the more projects there are to grade, the more staff there are to manage (none of which scales), and, as a result, the less I sleep and the less there is to give to each student. I already teach so many students, and I care about doing that well. So, while I understand why you ask, I just wanted to explain why I cannot clear the waitlist. Hope this helps explain!

Can I get a recommendation letter?

You can definitely ask! Note that the earlier you ask the better (by the end of November, it’s a no for almost every request). But, also know that I try to prioritize writing strong recommendation letters, and I can only do this for students I know well. If we have never had a conversation, I will typically decline your request. I write ~40 recommendation letters each letter writing season, and this takes a lot of time. So, while I hate turning students down each quarter, I have to do so to ensure that I have time to get the letters I’ve agreed to write written well. I know that it can be hard to find letter writers at UCSD, so I do my best to respond to email requests quickly, regardless of whether it’s a yes or a no.

Can I do research with you?

It depends - mainly on your interests and my availability (aka the number of students I’m already mentoring). I tend to mentor a few students each quarter on education-based research projects. If you are interested in education research, we should chat. If you’re interested in something else, I encourage you to find someone at UCSD who’s interested in what you’re interested in, as you’ll get the most out of an experience where you’re working on something you’re interested in with a mentor who can best advise you on that topic!