DAIS PhD Qualification Process

Revision on the DAIS PhD Qualification Process (Effective January 1, 2020)


Since there have been some substantial changes in the DAIS faculty over the past years, DAIS faculty group has discussed, with the PhD Qualification Process updated as follows, effective on January 1, 2020 (i.e., to be first implemented in the Spring of 2020 PhD Qualification Process.


Written exam (three hours):

  1. Each Professor in DAIS will give two short questions and two long questions (in total 10 short questions and 10 long questions); not specifically specifying areas like before: DB, IR, DM; but specified as sections from A to E.
  2. Each examinee is expected to answer 8 short questions plus 4 long questions, with each short question worth 4 points (32 points in total) and each long question worth 10 points (40 points in total).
  3. Each short question is expected to be answered in 7.5 minutes and each long question is expected to be answered in 30 minutes. Short questions are designed to test the mastery of basic knowledge. Long questions are designed to test the mastery of in-depth knowledge on specific topics and the capability of solving some open problems.
  4. Double-blind review rules are enforced in the written exams as follows: Examiners (grader) and examinees will not disclose their identities until all the exam questions are graded and reported to the DAIS secretary for DAIS faculty meeting and discussion.

Oral interview (20 minutes one-on-one meeting with non-advisor):

  1. Each student needs to present his/her research interest, progress so-far and research plan. Each examiner needs to raise questions and make a judgement on the capability of research, research potential, and thinking on-feet of the candidate.

Decision process: Pass, additional oral exam, conditional pass, and fail:

  1. Written exam should be conducted at least two weeks before the decision date so that the committee will have sufficient time to discuss all the cases and conduct an additional oral exam when needed
  2. The first round of the discussion may result in the following options: (1) pass; (2) fail; and (3) additional oral exam
  3. If the committee decides a candidate needs to take an additional oral exam, the candidate should be informed at least three days before the exam. The oral exam should be conducted with a group of at least three DAIS faculty members excluding the candidate thesis advisor.  Time, duration (expected to be two-hours), and contents should be determined by the committee and inform the candidate beforehand.  After the exam, the committee should decide one of the following: (1) pass, (2) conditional pass (and what the condition is), and (3) fail.   The decision will be informed to the Office of Graduate Study in the Department of Computer Science, which will then decide whether to approve the decision and pass it to the candidate.