mark w. newman

School of Information
University of Michigan
4380 North Quad
105 S. State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
+1 734 764 0020

[professional] mwnewman AT umich DOT edu
[unprofessional] mark AT newmantaylor DOT com

Joining My Group

I am always looking for excellent PhD students to join my group. I can admit doctoral students through either the School of Information (SI) or Computer Science and Engineering (CSE), though it’s worth noting that my office and lab are physically located in SI. Most (at present all) of the other students in my group are also located in SI.

My group does research in the design of context-aware systems and applications. We take a fairly broad view of “context-awareness,” but in general this means that we are interested in systems that can take advantage of sensed information about users and their surroundings to provide additional value. We also take a fairly broad view of “design,” and are interested in  1) building and evaluating particular applications of context-awareness (especially in health and sustainable energy use) as well as 2) principles, techniques, and tools that facilitate and improve the process of designing context-aware systems. If you have experience and/or interests related to these concerns, it is highly recommended that you highlight them in your application materials.

My group’s work requires skills in software (and sometimes hardware) development, qualitative research, and interaction design. Most incoming students have strengths in at least one of these areas and are interested in developing skills in the other areas. Not all group members have a background in computer science or engineering, but most do.

Both SI and CSE have high admissions standards for PhD students. To find out about specific admissions criteria (e.g., TOEFL and GRE score cutoffs), you should contact the admissions staff in the relevant unit (SI or CSE). In addition to meeting admissions standards, I am looking for students with research experience in HCI, demonstrated writing ability, and background in one or more of the skill areas mentioned above.

In general, I will not respond to direct queries from prospective applicants to the PhD program, other than to direct them to this page. This is nothing personal—it’s just a practice I have adopted to manage my workload. If you are interested in joining my group, submit an application to either SI or CSE and clearly indicate that you would like to work with me. After the application deadlines have passed, I will review all relevant applications and may choose to contact a subset of students for a phone interview. Based on my review of the application and the interview, I will decide whether to recommend  applicants for admission. Please note that the admission decision is made by the doctoral committee of the school/department, and is not based entirely on my assessment.