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Prospective students


The process for joining the robotics research group:
  1. Apply first! For admission criteria, the application process, etc. refer to the excellent Prospective Student Information page. Earlier applications provide better opportunities for receiving financial aid and give more time for visa processing. Special note for international students: In section IV of the application form, simply sign and date under the “Declaration of Student” section, and leave the rest (sponsor information and signature) blank. A student cannot be awarded a teaching or research assistantship without first applying and officially gaining admission. The university will not issue an I-20 form for the US visa until proof of financial support is shown; however, the university will process the admission without such proof.
  2. After admission, the department awards teaching assistantships (TAs) based on the needs for the classes taught, matching students with appropriate backgrounds to particular classes. Please be aware that priority naturally goes to PhD students. Also, we usually have fewer open TA positions in the spring semester than in the fall semester.
  3. When you arrive, you must receive a passing mark on the General Teaching Assistant (GTA) Workshop offered by the University to be eligible for a TA. International students must also take the International Teaching Assistant (ITA) Workshop and an ESL course during the following semester.
  4. Take a graduate-level course from Dr. Jones to be considered for financial support of any kind. Superior performance in these classes demonstrates students' potential to perform outstanding research. An e-mail and a web page provide additional advice for students seeking financial support.

Essential graduate student skills

  1. Familiarity with programming in C, C++, Java, and some form of assembly
  2. Programming and use of MATLAB
  3. Principles of operation and practical use of DC motors, stepper motors, sensors, and encoders
  4. Microcontrollers such as the PIC 24Hxxx
  5. The ability to design PCBs.
  6. Ability to solder. MSU and Sparkfun both have good info on their sites.
  7. Use of Subversion and Mercurial; see also Pragmatic Version Control using Subversion in the group's library.
  8. Unit testing methodology; see Pragmatic Unit Testing in Java in the group's library or the Wikipendia entry for more information. For Matlab, use MUnit
  9. Use of EndNote and MathType to insert references and equations, respectively.
  10. The ability to write clearly and effectively in grammatically correct English. Both the writing center and the English TA in 104 Simrall provide help in editing manuscripts.

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