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Information for Prospective Students

We have various types of staff members at SVCL. The following briefly describes the different classes and provides some information on how to apply for a position within the lab. At this point SVCL is still growing, and we are limited more by the availability of funds than by space or other considerations. Hence, if you have funding for your research your chances will be slightly higher. Obviously, we have some requirements regarding the minimum background for success at SVCL, and these apply even if you have your own funds. But it is true that there are usually many more applicants that exceed this lower bound than those we are able to accept as SVCL members.


Post-docs are researchers that have finished a PhD and desire to pursue research and eventually obtain a Faculty  or Industrial research position. Post-doc hiring is very specific, and depends on the availability of funds, CV of the applicant, and the degree of match between the applicant's research interests and the research directions pursued at SVCL. Please send email to the SVCL faculty if you are in this class.

Prospective graduate students:

The first requirement to be a graduate student at SVCL is to be accepted as a graduate student by the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at UCSD. We have no control over the admissions process, but we can make recommendations regarding students to accept. The process is tremendously competitive, only a few percent of the applicants are admitted. The following are some steps you can take to maximize your chances:

  • apply explicitly to the programs that you want to work in. If you are interested in SVCL, specifically select the Signal and Image Processing area as the area of interest for your studies. Otherwise, the SVCL faculty will probably never see your application. In addition to this, specifically mention the faculty that you want to work with in your application. You can list multiple labs/research groups, but please be specific, e.g. list at most three faculty members in the SIP area.
  • make sure to select Faculty that match well your research interests. It is not uncommon for us to be contacted by potential students that want to work on wireless communications, multimedia networking, and things like that. Needless to say, these contacts invariably lead to a negative response. If you cannot understand the research emphasis of SVCL, SVCL is probably not the right lab/research group for you.
  • try to show some ability to do independent research. Although this is not a mandatory requirement, we receive a fair number of applications from students that have done interesting undergraduate research, some having even already published in international conferences or journals. Obviously, these students have a higher chance of acceptance. This does not mean that you should not apply if you have not done research yet, but the other components of your application will have to be very strong.
  • for students that already have a master's degree, it is usually a requirement that their degree has produced some form of publication in international journals or conferences. Obviously, there will be some flexibility if the degree is recent, and there may be other attenuating circumstances.
  • make sure you include a list of publications with your application, if you have it. Mention the most important research efforts and the resulting papers in your statement of purpose and, if possible, have your references briefly comment on them.
  • in your statement of purpose, try to be as specific as possible about the projects within SVCL that you find interesting, and which you would like to be involved in. Note that there are usually projects for which a web page is not available yet. It is a good idea to check the publications section to find out about the latest projects. If possible, briefly describe how you would attack these problems.
  • if you feel you can positively pass all the above requirements, feel free to email the SVCL faculty prior to applying. Make sure to include copies of previous work/papers that are well matched to the lab's interests. We tend to be busy, and there is usually no time to answer each message individually, so do not feel discouraged if you do not hear from us. We never make recommendations for admission prior to analyzing all applicant files.
UCSD Graduate students:

If you are a graduate student at UCSD, you should still read the above list of requisites and see how well you meet them. To become a member of SVCL, you need to fulfill one additional requirement, which is to have taken the courses which cover the basic areas of SVCL research. Currently these are 271A and 272B,  two courses on statistical learning. 271A is mandatory, 272B is optional. While we may admit students that have not fulfilled this requirement, this only happens in exceptional circumstances. Note that 271A is only offered in the Fall, so you need to plan accordingly.


Undergraduates can perform internships at SVCL. This usually involves working with a graduate student, on an interesting research problem. It is unlikely that we will have funding for undergraduate research. If that is the case the positions will be announced on the SVCL page. Otherwise, undergraduates can work for credit, and we tend to have students that stay at SVCL over the summer. There are usually more applicants than slots and preference is given to students that have taken 161C, since these already understand the fundamental principles of statistical visual computing. If you are a member of a minority group, you may consider applying for programs such as STARS or UCLeads, that can fund your research at SVCL. This applies to both UCSD and non-UCSD students, but only students from the US. It is highly unlikely that we will offer an internship to an international undergraduate student who is not living in the US already.