I come into contact with undergraduates in three different capacities:
- Director of Studies. Each student has a Director of Studies (DoS) who oversees the academic part of their time in Cambridge. The DoS is arranged by the College the student belongs to and is responsible for keeping an eye on progress and for arranging course supervisors. Many DoSes are also faculty members (i.e. active researchers in the relevant department like me). DoSes are the ones who do the dreaded admissions interviews!
- Lecturer. One of the difficult but enjoyable parts of my job is lecturing undergraduates. You can look at the CL web pages to see what I’m currently lecturing.
- Supervisor. Cambridge is famous for its small group teaching, known as the supervision system. I spend 80+ hours a year supervising undergraduates.
My own path into Computer Science was an unusual one (Physics undergraduate, engineering PhD, Computer Science research) and when I look back I realise that I held a lot of the common misconceptions about Computer Science and that prevented me from properly evaluating CS as a degree option. The result of this is that I’m very keen that new students should know all the facts and judge CS as it is. Consequently I’m heavily involved in student recruitment for CS at Cambridge and I use some of these pages to pass personal comment on some of the myths.