Email policies

I try to respond to emails in a timely manner, but ones that require a bit more thought or time, I often put aside for later. Once in a while, such an email gets lost in my inbox, because I get a large volume of emails.

If you send me an email that needs a reply and I don't write back in 24 hours, please send me a reminder! The best way to do this is just replying to the original email without typing anything new.

I will know exactly that that means. This is me thanking you in advance!

Letter of recommendation policies

These policies are a modification of those compiled by Mike Orrison of Harvey Mudd College.

If I have agreed to write a letter of recommendation for you, please send me an email (and/or give me a folder) containing: Furthermore, at least two weeks before the first letter is due, e-mail me your answers to the following questions:
  1. What is your name, year, and major / graduate program?
  2. For what are you applying (e.g., scholarship, graduate school, job, summer research experience)? List the programs (in due date order) to which you are applying, together with due dates.
  3. How long have I known you (years and months), and what is my relationship to you (instructor, research advisor, etc.)?
  4. For what classes have I had you, what final grades did I assign you, and how did you distinguish yourself in my classes?
  5. How would you describe yourself? What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? Your response to this question is important, so the more details the better.
  6. What are some of your academic and nonacademic accomplishments?
  7. What makes me particularly qualified to write a letter for you?
  8. What makes you particularly qualified for this position/honor/award?
  9. What are your long term goals and will this position/honor/award help? If so, how?
  10. Additional comments (summer research, interesting jobs, hobbies, etc.)?
Please SEND ME E-MAIL REMINDERS early and often! I've had email get caught by spam filters or in rare cases, disappear into the ether due to a mailer forwarding process hang and give up. Do not ever feel shy sending an email reminder. I also have at any point in time, dozens of things to do, and so I find reminders very helpful.

Feel free to chat with me about other ways you can make the letter writing process go as smoothly as possible for you and your letter writers. Good luck!