Welcome to the Machine Learning Department at Carnegie Mellon University

We are extremely pleased that you have decided to become a member of our Department; we think it is a very special collection of faculty and students. If you have any questions, please send email to Diane Stidle.

Student Record Creation
PhD Graduate Student Data Sheet
-will be emailed to you.
Completing the PhD Graduate Student Data Sheet is the first step in letting us enter your information into the Student Information System. Complete this form as soon as possible and email it to Diane Stidle at diane@cs.cmu.edu

Getting your CMU student ID Card
Instructions for submitting your photo

Health History Form
All incoming students must complete Health History and Immunization information.  Please see the requirements on the Student Health Services website

Immunization Requirements for incoming students
http://www.cmu.edu/health-services/immunization

 If you have questions, please call Student Health Services at 412-268-2157.

International Student Form
If you are not a U.S. Citizen you will receive the I-20 Form, which will allow you to obtain the F-1 student visa. However, the I-20 CANNOT BE ISSUED until we receive a completed International Student Information Form from you. Please note that you are not required to provide any proof of financial support unless you have legal dependents (spouse and/or children). In that case you may be required to show that you have additional funds available to support the dependents. 

Photograph for Website
While the photo for your ID card should be relatively formal, a more lively photograph is ideal for the Machine Learning PhD Students Page. The photograph should be of just yourself (not a group photo), but a picture with your hometown, favorite restaurant, or other interesting location as the backdrop would add personality. Send a large, uncropped photograph to Diane; she will edit it to the appropriate size (which is 800x800 pixels at the appropriate level of zoom).

 

Classes at Carnegie Mellon begin on August 26, 2019
(with the exception that some classes in the Computer Science Department begin one week later).

I will register you for the following core courses:
10-715 Advanced Introduction to Machine Learning
36-705 Intermediate Statistics
Plus
10-920 Graduate Reading & Research

Classes fill up very quick so if you are on a waitlist for a course please send email to: diane@cs.cmu.edu

Information regarding registering for courses:
For full schedule of courses go to:
https://enr-apps.as.cmu.edu/SOC/SOCServlet
To register for courses go to: www.cmu.edu/hub/sio

You must be registered for at least 36 units to be considered full-time by the university. 1 unit is defined as requiring an average student to spend about 1 hour/week to earn an average grade in that course, implying that a 36-unit courseload should take about 36 hours/week of work. However, Machine Learning students must earn at least a B- for a course to count towards their degree, and most students aim to earn As, meaning that 36 hours/week is a low estimate. Because of this, and because it can take students time to acclimate to a new learning environment, we strongly encourage students to take only the courses listed above in their first semester.

You should spend 50% of your time with actual courses and 50% of your time in research so you should be registered for 10-920 Reading & Research each semester.

Graduate Student Orientation for all incoming Graduate Students, August 12-15, 20189.

International Graduate Student Orientation

The Office of International Education (OIE) will be holding International Graduate Student Orientations that are half-day sessions, and students can register to attend one session on the date of their choice. Registration is required as space at each session will be limited. Students can register for an orientation session by following the instructions on OIE's website. Students who arrive in Pittsburgh after the standard sessions must contact OIE upon arrival to be scheduled for a make-up orientation/immigration check-in. Please see the OIE website to register: https://app.joinhandshake.com/login

Registration for Fall orientation will begin this summer. An email with further details on how to register will be emailed to students at that time. 

Language Support Orientation

The Language Support Orientation sessions, held in mid-August to mid-September, are designed to help students who are nonnative English speakers get a strong start to their academic work at CMU. The sessions offer guidance on and discussion of common language and cross-cultural issues experienced by international students. The InterCultural Communication Center (ICC) is a valuable resource for nonnative English speakers.

Students who attend this 1-hour session will:

  • Better understand the language challenges faced by many nonnative English speaking students and develop realistic expectations for their success at CMU and in their professional life,
  • Learn how to interpret their own TOEFL speaking scores in order to more realistically assess their individual language issues,
  • Be familiar with the ITA test requirement and know how to best prepare for the test,
  • Be aware of the language support available on campus.


For more information and to see the schedule of sessions:
https://www.cmu.edu/icc/language-training/language-support-orientation.html


Computer Accounts:

Your Andrew UserID is automatically assigned when you are entered into the Student Information System. There will be a short delay between when you return your Student Data Sheet to Dorothy and when your Andrew UserID is ready, since multiple departments are involved in this process. The university Andrew network is needed to view your student account, register for courses, sign up for health insurance, etc.

Students will need their Admission ID number as well as their Andrew UserID and password  to access all secure sites at Carnegie Mellon University. This includes Student Information Online (SIO) where students can access their electronic bills (E-Bills), account activity, course schedule, and grades (if applicable), as well as update their contact information.

For problems with your Andrew Account: http://www.cmu.edu/computing/about/support.html

To access your personal information in the Student Information Online (SIO) you'll need your Admission ID, last name and birth date.


  1. Look up your Andrew ID here 
  2. To set your password so that you can access your email
    and Student Information Online.
  3. Once you have set up your initial password you will also
    have access to Student Information Online (SIO)

Fellowships
ML appreciates the efforts of its Graduate Students in obtaining outside support. As an incentive for actively soliciting and obtaining support from outside sources, ML provides supplement money. Students receiving outside support at the initiative of ML (with only a vitae - or less - from the student) are not entitled to the supplement. If you have received a Fellowship please contact Alison Chiocchi to find out what information you need to supply to her and what your supplement money would be in your particular case.

Health Insurance

All full-time students are required to carry health insurance and will be assessed a charge for the individual basic mandatory plan offered through the university student health insurance program. The charge will appear on the invoice of the first semester of attendance in the academic year.

Each student is required to take one of the following three actions:

  1. Enroll in the basic plan as charged,
  2. Upgrade the benefit plan by enrolling in the enhanced student health insurance options during the open enrollment period, or
  3. Apply for a waiver from the mandatory plan.

Students, especially those not covered by their parents' American health insurance plans, are strongly encouraged to enroll in the university's health insurance plan. The price and coverage are reasonable and it is easy to use at the student health clinic on campus. International students should be particularly cautious of scams targeting those who are not very knowledgable about the American medical system, since seemingly good deals can result in massive charges for those who do not fully understand the American system of deductibles, copayments, pre-approval, in-network and out-network services, yearly and lifetime payment caps, etc.

Payment for university health insurance is due August 15. You are responsible for paying the premiums for insurance by submitting a check to the HUB. If there is an outstanding balance after August 31, interest will be charged. There is a monthly payment plan for health insurance that has to be paid by the end of the fall semester. Information related to the monthly payment plan can be found here: https://www.cmu.edu/health-services/student-insurance/plan-details.html

Informational video

Please refer to the University Health Service's website for complete information.

The University Health Service's 2019-2020 Graduate Health and Immunization Guide is not yet available. This booklet will provide information on the university's health requirements for new students on the Pittsburgh campus. The 2018-2019 Guide is here [.pdf] and is likely to be very similar to this upcoming year's version.

Immunization requirements for new students can be found here, and student health insurance requirements can be found here.

Questions about health services can be directed to:

  • General information: health@andrew.cmu.edu or 412-268-2157
  • Immunization information: health@andrew.cmu.edu or 412-268-2157 (option 4)
  • Insurance information: shinsure@andrew.cmu.edu or 412-268-2157 (option 3)

CMU does not have on-campus housing for graduate students, but it does have resources to help new students find off-campus housing. For detailed information on housing and related issues, you may want to visit the CMU Housing Office (412-268-2139) website, which can be very helpful in locating suitable apartments or houses for new students. They can provide computerized listings of spaces available to match your specific needs.

The Machine Learning Department has an invite-only ML Housing Google Group that is restricted to members of the MLD community. You are welcome to use it to coordinate finding apartments and roommates.

CMU's Graduate Student Association has created a Graduate Student Housing Handbook [.pdf] with useful information about neighborhoods, common prices reported by actual CMU students, and questions to keep in mind. They also answer some Frequently Asked Questions about housing on their website.

There is an unofficial Facebook group that may be useful as well. (Note that this is NOT an official CMU resource and participants aren't necessarily from CMU.)

If you will be looking for an apartment before you arrive, the best times are either early May or mid-July. Most leases are for one year, ending in May or August. You can sign a lease any time if the space is available - but people don't always let the landlords know whether they'll be renewing until 30 - 45 days before the end of the lease. There is usually a little overlap in August -- old leases not over until the end of August, but you need a place by mid-August -- but it's often possible to "bunk in" with older students for a few days until your place becomes available. You can also look for short-term off-campus housing.

 

April 23

Course registration begins

June 30

Submit health history and immunization forms to Health Services via HealthConnect.

July 15 Enrollment/waiver begins for student health, dental, and vision insurance (Student Health Plan) for incoming students.  Eligible participants have a specific enrollment period once each academic year (called "open enrollment") for their medical enrollment or waiver decisions
July 31 Deadline to submit your photo for your Student ID Card

Early to mid August

International Graduate Student Orientation – OIE will be holding many orientation sessions for new international students.  All of the sessions will be the same.  A student needs only to attend one session.

Registration is required as space at each session will be limited.  Students can register for an orientation session by following the instructions on OIE's website.  Students who arrive after the last session must contact OIE upon arrival to be scheduled for a make-up orientation/immigration check-in.

August 12-15 University-wide Graduate Student Orientation
August
22-24
Machine Learning Department Orientation
Program requirements discussion, Faculty Research Talks
August 26 Classes begin (except a few CS classes)
September 2 Labor Day Holiday - no classes
September 910 Last Day to add a course to your schedule or to submit the form to Audit a course
October 18 Mid-Semester Break - no classes
November 27-29 Thanksgiving Holiday - no classes
December 6 Last Day of Fall Classes
December 9-16 Fall Final Exams
January 13 Spring Classes Begin
January 20  Martin Luther King, Jr. Day - no Classes
March 6-13 Spring Break - no Classes
May 1 Last day of Spring classes
May 4-12 Spring Final Exams

2019/2020 Academic Calendar

      

International Students

If you are not a U.S. Citizen you will receive the I-20 Form, which will allow you to obtain the F-1 student visa. However, the I-20 CANNOT BE ISSUED until we receive a completed International Student Information Form from you. Please note that you are not required to provide any proof of financial support unless you have legal dependents (spouse and/or children). In that case you may be required to show that you have additional funds available to support the dependents. 

Note that all students applying for the F-1 visa are required to pay a SEVIS fee in addition to any other required filing fees. We will not be paying this fee in advance, but you will be reimbursed once you arrive in the fall, IF you save your receipt and bring it to me. Also, you will have to pay to have the documents shipped to you, please save the receipt and give it to me with your SEVIS receipt and I can reimburse both.

If you are already in the U.S.; you will request a transfer through your Foreign Student Advisor rather than receiving a new I-20 form. For additional information regarding visas you may want to visit the Office of International Education website.

International students will also receive information with your I-20 Form regarding the International Student Orientation program sponsored by the Office of International Education. This program is mandatory. If you have a situation that does not allow you to attend, you will be required to attend an orientation session before the end of the first week of the semester in order for your enrollment to be complete, and to maintain your valid visa status. An important part of the orientation are instructions of how to obtain a social security number which you will need in order to receive your stipend.

Administrative Delays:
It is common for students studying computer science to experience administrative processing delays when getting a visa. If there is anything you need to do, you will be contacted with information.

The InterCultural Communications Center provides advice for incoming students who are nonnative English speakers. They also offer a 1-week Language Bootcamp, for a fee, for students seeking extra experience with English in an American academic setting.

The Office of International Education provides answers to Frequently Asked Questions.


The Machine Learning Department Orientation is held either the week before classes begin or during the first week of class (precise dates TBA).

Schedule: TBA

We introduce you to the Machine Learning Department and the School of Computer Science. Faculty will give presentations about the projects they are working on. The research presentations will give you an idea of the kind of research that goes on here in Machine Learning and throughout SCS. After ML Orientation, students are strongly encouraged to arrange individual meetings with potential faculty advisors.


CITI On-line RCR Education 

To complete the CITI on-line education course go to CITI's website.  

  1. Select Carnegie Mellon University as your "participating institution" and create an account. Please use your CMU Andrew e-mail account.
  2. Once your registration is complete, you will be directed to a list of courses.  Choose the Responsible Conduct of Research module most appropriate to the type of research you conduct (physical sciences, social and behavioral, undergraduates, biomedial engineering or humanities). 
  3. The course may take a few hours to complete but can be done over a period of time.  When you complete the course, CITI will e-mail your completion record to the CMU Research Compliance Office.
  4. If you have done CITI education for another organization, add CMU to your CITI profile.  You will be given credit for your previous courses to the extent they overlap with CMU's requirements.

Students must complete training for NSF and NIH grants. A copy of the certificate must be given to the MLD Associate Business Manager, Kelly Widmaier.

Stipend
Your stipend has an anticipated begin date of August 16, 2019. Stipend payments are made twice each month. In order to get "on the payroll" you are required by the US Citizenship & Immigration Services to complete an I-9 Form, which documents your authorization to work in the United States. You will complete page 1 of the form via our HR/Payroll system, Workday. You will complete page 2 by taking your documents to the CMU Works Service Center at 4516 Henry Street (UTDC Building). Please see list below for acceptable documents to show at the Service Center.  You may also sign up to have your payment directly deposited into your bank account. Please bring a blank check, marked VOID, to the Payroll Office. You will also need a Social Security Number before you will receive any payments.

List of Acceptable Documents
Citizens of the U.S. must show either a valid U.S. passport, or a state-issued driver's license PLUS an ORIGINAL Social Security Card or a birth certificate bearing a seal. Those who are not U.S. citizens must show their passport (with attached employment authorization Form I-9, which will be issued by the CMU Foreign Student Advisor during foreign student orientation.) Please be sure that you have these documents with you when you arrive.

If you have received external funding your contact person in CMU SCS will be Alison Chiocchi (achioc@cs.cmu.edu or 412 268-9601). If you have any questions feel free to contact her directly.

Dependency Allowance
If your spouse is unemployed, or earns less than $200 per month, you are entitled to a dependency allowance.A dependency allowance of 10% per month of the SCS base stipend amount for each eligible dependent is paid to a Ph.D. student provided that his or her spouse or qualifying domestic partner earns $200.00 or less per month.

In academic year 2019-2020, base stipend is $3,000.00 and the allowance per eligible dependent is $300.00.

Fellowships
ML appreciates the efforts of its Graduate Students in obtaining outside support. As an incentive for actively soliciting and obtaining support from outside sources, ML provides supplement money. Students receiving outside support at the initiative of ML (with only a vitae - or less - from the student) are not entitled to the supplement. If you have received a Fellowship please contact Alison Chiocchi to find out what information you need to supply to her and what your supplement money would be in your particular case.

Your ID Card is your official Carnegie Mellon photo identification. It is your access to campus buildings, athletic facilities and the Port Authority Transit system. You must have an ID Card as a graduate student.

To obtain your card:

  • Submit your photograph via the ID Photo Submission Application before July 31. 
  • You will receive your ID Card upon arrival. If you do not receive your ID Card from your department, visit The HUB, lower level of Warner Hall, during business hours to receive it.  
  • If you did not submit your photo online, visit The HUB with your own photo or to have your photo taken.

The department pays your student fees and also pays your tuition by dividing it up each month. You don't have to worry about tuition or the following student fees: Student Activities Fee, Transportation Fee or Technology Fee. You will have to pay the Health Insurance and any personal fees, as in Library fees. For more details, please see the HUB website: http://www.cmu.edu/hub/billing/departmental.html

Your student account information can be found at:
https://s3.as.cmu.edu/sio/index.html