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Email Policy

Thanks to Keivan Stassun for inspiring this email policy. We should all try to break the tyranny of email.

Letters of Recommendation

Requests for letters of recommendation typically come in bursts, so plan ahead if you would like to request a letter of recommendation for a popular program. In general I will need at least two weeks advance notice to submit a letter.

Please submit to me the following information so that I may write a strong letter:


Travel Requests & Reimbursements

The reference version of this policy is on google docs.

Travel Request

Use the GSA per diem calculator ( to find the official per diem rate for your destination. The relevant number is listed under M&IE, meals and incidental expenses.  List this as per diem on the travel request form. For travel days you should list 75% of the M&IE per diem rate.

Explicitly list other costs such as parking fees, ground transportation, etc.

Travel Reimbursement

In addition to the other costs such as parking fees and ground transportation, use the following table to determine your actual per diem for reimbursement. For travel days, only list the meals you had while away.

If you have reason to believe that this is not sufficient (this is not uncommon for conferences in major cities), you may request a one-time exception from the principal investigator of the grant paying for your travel.

Deviation From This Policy

You can deviate from this policy only with approval of the principal investigator of the grant paying for your travel.

Undergraduate Research for Credit

I strongly believe that no research or other work should be done 'for free'. During the summer I work with undergraduate students who receive a research stipend. During the semester I work with undergraduate students for research credit. Research for credit is avialable to all students (freshman to senior) and is letter-graded as a usual course. You can pick 1, 2, or 3 credits, with the expectations of 3 to 4 hours of research per week per credit (if you sign up for a 3-credit research assignment, you should expect to work around 10 hours per week).

To sign up for research for credit, please follow these steps:

In addition I have the following expectations for the different levels of research for credit.