We are a research lab, working on funded research, and discovering things that were not previous known.

Here are the lab rules.


  • The lab is informal; everyone is different.
  • I have a zero-tolerance policy on discrimination.
  • If you feel uncomfortable in the lab for any reason, tell me.
  • If you can not talk to me, then talk to the center director, Perry Alexander.

Crunch Times and Lab Cycles

  • Much of our work is done during the summer, when we work full time, and breaks.
  • Things are intended to balance out to your assigned percentage.
  • Right before paper and proposal deadlines are busy times.
  • We tend to get less done during exam week, and big classwork deliverables.


  • Any paper or proposal needs to be in draft form 7 days before the deadline, and a submittable form 2 days before the deadline.
  • We use a lab-public list of TODOs on the final days of a submission, called our landing plan.

Lab Hours

  • The majority of your work should be done in the lab.
  • Right before a deadline, you can work where ever you need to get things done, as long as you are accessible and productive.
  • Generally, you should try be in the lab when possible, and it be the center of your campus operations, in the same way a professor has an office as their center of operations.

Social Media

I will be happy to connect though Linkedin with any student that is in any of my classes, or otherwise knows me as an EECS professor. I accept Facebook request from students I work with professionally in the Lab. I never send KU students Facebook or Linkedin requests, because doing so can implied coercion, which is not intended.

KU also has Social Media Guidelines


  • I treat students as adults. You are responsible for your results, deliverables, and managing your time.


  • I value results, not effort. I am also assess by my peers, and my University, on results.
  • If you ask me how you are doing, then I will tell you.
  • A professor’s job is giving positive and negative assessments about your results.


  • I will provide you a desk and a computer in the lab in ITTC, if you ask for it.
  • All funded students will get a desk and a computer.
  • If there are issues, ITTC help (help@ittc.ku.edu) are fantastic at fixing things. Please ask them for help.
  • If you want to use your own equipment, for example a personal laptop, then I’m fine with this.
  • If your personal laptop, home computer,car, etc, breaks, then it is your responsibility, in your own time, to fix it, if you choose to do so.
  • KU, NSF and DARPA do not provide/fund laptops to students. This is the reality in the ground. This rule came into play, much like the rules on this page, because someone misused the original policy.


  • We do most of our work in the open on github, (http://github.com/ku-fpg).
  • We check in early and often. Draft of code, or text is just fine.
  • Work is not done until it is checked in.
  • We work in private repos for proposals and papers, which are lab-confidential.

MS Projects

  • If you are working on a project with me, then these rules apply.
  • Different MS project students have different levels of activeness in the lab.
  • Critically, all MS project should be done using version control.


  • All students must send me a weekly status report, via email, before start of business on Monday.
  • If you do not send me one, I will assume that nothing was done that week. (Which might be okay, it might not)

The 20% Rule

  • If you are managing your time well, I support spending a small but significant part of your time on a side project or pet project. If you have a half-time student, this would be approximate one morning a week.
  • Working on a side project is not a reason for not meeting deadlines, or not making deliverables.
  • This project falls under the same IP rules as other assigned projects.
  • One such side project that I did when I was a graduate student was Happy, jointly with Simon Marlow.
  • Another side project, by Andrew Farmer, is Scotty.

Funded Students

Funded students are under additional rules.

  • If you are are a GRA, the you typically work 1/2 time. I expect 20 hours of work, on average, every week.

Effective Teams

There have been a number of studies into what makes a team effective. Here are some links and summaries.

What makes a Google team effective?

  • https://rework.withgoogle.com/blog/five-keys-to-a-successful-google-team/


  • Psychological safety: Can we take risks on this team without feeling insecure or embarrassed?
  • Dependability: Can we count on each other to do high quality work on time?
  • Structure & clarity: Are goals, roles, and execution plans on our team clear?
  • Meaning of work: Are we working on something that is personally important for each of us?
  • Impact of work: Do we fundamentally believe that the work we’re doing matters?