FACULTY:WE ARE LUCI: BIOGRAPHIES: FACULTY:Donald J. Patterson:Contact
Awesome! You are interested in contacting me! I'm looking forward to it. BUT BEFORE YOU EMAIL, CALL OR IM ME you should know this:
I get a lot of emails and phone calls from people I don't know yet. Lots of people want to discuss things they are working on or get my advice on a project or a collaboration or to join my research group. I probably get about 5 requests a day. I'm actually really happy about that. It's almost 150 new interesting people a month!
Unfortunately, I only have 24 hours a day. In the hours I've got, I can't follow up on every one of these terrific people. I usually can't answer all my email, and I unfortunately can't get coffee with everyone I would like to. Here are some ideas that I have for having more effective conversations with me.
If you just want to introduce yourself or say hi - great! It's nice to know there are people out there who are paying attention. Please let me know who you are and some details about yourself and your background.
If you want to do graduate work at UCI or in particular with me - great! The Department of Informatics accepts people to the graduate program jointly, not on a professor by professor basis. The Department of Informatics, the Department of Computer Science and the Department of Statistics, the three departments in the Donald Bren School for Information and Computers Sciences, put together advice for how to have the best shot at being accepted and it can be seen in the video located here: (http://www.ics.uci.edu/ugrad/resources/index.php#07). If you have a special situation, please indicate what your timeline and funding situation is in the first email you send me.
If you want something from me, send lots of information in your first email. The more I know about you and your project the more likely it is that I will find your idea so fully awesome that I must write back.
Let's plan to start our conversation on email, not on the phone or over coffee. I'm all for coffee. If things go great we can always schedule something in the future. If you really want to talk face to face, try meeting up with me at a conference.
If you are actually using any technology that I have been a part of creating - PLEASE mention that. I really value feedback from people who are using my stuff.
It's frustrating when people ask to "pick my brain" That really implies that you have nothing to offer. That is probably not true. If you just want to know my opinion about stuff then listen to one of my podcasts, read my papers, take a class I'm teaching or look at my slides. I put everything I can online.
If you want to collaborate on a project with me tell me upfront what you expect from me. What is the project for? What are the goals? Is there a timeline and budget. Anything and everything right away.
If you want my feedback on something you're working on, send me a link or an article or a video or slides or whatever else will help me get up to speed as quickly as possible. This is much better than trying to schedule a meeting with me. I don't often have time for this kind of thing because I am madly working on my own projects. If you are absolutely dying for my input, ask for a half-day or day of consulting time. It is easier for me to make time for formal advice than it is to offer it informally.
Please don't hide your address or phone number. One of the ways that I decide whether or not I should listen to someone is by seeing how open they are. Calling from an unknown number, IM'ing me from an invisible account, and emailing me with unusually formatted email raises red flags for me (if it even gets through my junk filters).
You don't have to leave multiple messages. If you repeatedly call me, or keep sending me emails (like more than 3) because I haven't responded yet, you probably need to find someone who can respond faster than me with whom to work. Don't take it personally, it's just that I've already used up my 24 hours today.
Thanks for reading all these ideas My contact information can be found here. Some of these ideas originated with Jane McGonigal at avantgame.com. Thanks Jane!