Guy Lebanon, PhD
Associate Professor
College of Computing (CSE)
Georgia Institute of Technology

Frequently Asked Questions

Contact

Q: What is the best way to contact you?
A: The best way to contact me is by email. If I don't respond within a week please try a second time. You may also want to try callimg my office or sending me a letter in case your email got flagged as spam (this happens on some infrequent occasions).

Q: Do you hold an office hour?
A: If I am teaching in the current semester, I hold office hours as described in my teaching page. If I am not teaching this semester, then I probably don't hold formal office hours. But in either case, feel free to contact me for a one on one meeting.

Q: Do you have a blog?
A: I don't have a blog, but I sometimes post on my Google+ account or my group website.

Q: Can I come and talk to you without scheduling a meeting?
A: Even if you don't have a meeting scheduled, you are welcome to try and see if I am available for a brief impromptu meeting. Simply knock on my door and if I am not busy I will be happy to chat.

Research

Q: What is your area of research?
A: My research interests include the theory and methodology of machine learning, as well as how it is applied to solve problems in the real world. If you encountered such a problem where machine learning could be useful, I will be happy to hear about it.

Q: Can we work together on some research problem?
A: I am always happy to informally collaborate with graduate students at Georgia Tech. This includes students from the college of computing as well as from other departments.

Q: What do I need to know before I can join your group and work on one of your research projects?
A: My research tends to be both mathematical and computational. Thus, some basic level of knowledge is necessary before we can have a productive research collaboration. This minimal knowledge level consists of basic undergrad probability and statistics (for example at the level of DeGroot and Schervish), some machine learning background (for example at the level of Bishop or Duda et al.), and basic programming capabilities in C or C++ or Java and in Matlab or R.

Advising and Assistantships

Q: Can you be my advisor?
A: I am always happy to informally collaborate with graduate students at Georgia Tech. Being an advisor, on the other hand, involves a substantial time commitment on my part which I do not take lightly. I meet with my students often and help them even when I am busy working on other things. If you are interested in being advised by me, please come and see me and we can talk more about this in person.

Q: Can you fund me as an research assistant (RA)?
A: I do not normally make decisions regarding an RA position without having some experience working with the student. If you are interested in an RA position under me, you may want to first work informally with me for a semester so that I may get to know you professionally and personally.

Graduate School Admission

Q: I want to apply (or have applied) to Georgia Tech for grad school? Will you fund me as an RA?
A: I do not normally make decisions regarding an RA position without having some experience working with the student. I am afraid I can't commit to a funding decision until you are at Georgia Tech and we meet in person.

Q: I want to apply (or have applied) to Georgia Tech for grad school and am interested in your area? Will you help me get admitted?
A: Individual faculty don't make admission decisions and so I am afraid I can't help you. Your application should go through the regular admission process and reviewed by the admission committee.

Letter Writing

Q: I took a class with you and did well in it. Will you write a letter of recommendation for me?
A: Yes, I will write the letter. Keep in mind, though, that it will probably not be a very strong letter. This is true in particular for large classes. Stronger letters usually require some higher degree of familarity such as working together on a research project. In general, please inform me three weeks before the letter is due and provide supporting evidence such as your resume. As a policy, I will mail the letter directly to its address.