Student FAQ

Common Student Questions

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 COGS9, COGS 18, COGS 108. 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 October, 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.

That said, during Spring 2022, I’ll be on parental leave, so my ability to write recommendation letters will be less than typical. I’ll prioritize writing letters for students I know particularly well.

Can I do research with you?

It depends - mainly on your interests and my availability (note that I’m already full for the 2021-2022 academic year). 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!