MPI-SWS Research Survey for PhD Applicants
Applicants interested in pursuing a PhD with Jonathan Mace at the MPI-SWS Cloud Software Systems Research Group should complete this research survey.

Please take the time to answer as many questions as you can. Your answers to these questions makes it much easier to assess your suitability for joining the PhD program.

In exchange for taking the time to answer all questions fully, I promise to respond and give feedback to every applicant that submits a completed survey.

Email address *
Your Full Name *
Your answer
MPI-SWS Application *
Please complete a PhD application on the MPI-SWS applications portal BEFORE submitting this survey. The portal can be found at
When do you intend to begin your PhD? *
Please indicate approximately when you would want to begin the PhD.
What is your current position and affiliation? *
Your answer
When will you graduate / when did you graduate? *
Please give the month and year, e.g. May 2021
Your answer
Please list your GPA and class rank (if known), for all degrees. *
Your answer
Please indicate your experience in various topics
Please indicate your current experience in each of the listed areas. Select all that apply.
Took an Introductory Class
Took an Advanced Class
Took an Online Class
Taught or TAed a class
Have Project Experience
Have Research Experience
Operating Systems
Distributed Systems
Cloud Computing
Computer Networks
Concurrency / Multiprocessor Synchronization
Machine Learning
Please describe any industry experience you have
Include any internships you have done or full-time jobs. Only include relevant experience.
Your answer
Link to your webpage
Your answer
Link to your GitHub profile *
Your answer
Programming Experience *
Please list the number of years experience programming you have, and the languages you are proficient in.
Your answer
Link to a code sample *
This should be a sample of code that you have written, that you think best displays your programming abilities. For example, a specific source code file, module, library, or repository. Please briefly explain why you are proud of it. If you link to code that was part of a joint project with other students, please explain your own contributions to the project.
Your answer
Link to a writing sample *
A writing sample can be a research paper you have published, a project report, an undergraduate or semester thesis, your technical blog, etc. Please feel free to list multiple samples.
Your answer
What is the biggest code base you've worked on? *
Please describe the system / code base, how much programming you contributed, how much time, lines of code, what you focused on, what you had to do, etc.
Your answer
What is the most significant project you've worked on *
This could be a research project or class project. What were the high-level goals of the project? What problem was the project trying to tackle? Why was the problem interesting/worthwhile? What did YOU do as part of the project? What did you find difficult / challenging? What were the results? What would be the next steps for the project?
Your answer
What is something technical that you find cool and interesting?
This might be a particular tool, system, abstraction, technique, etc. Please explain what you find cool and interesting about it.
Your answer
Why do you want to do research? *
Your answer
What research topics are you most excited about? *
Your answer
Why do you want to do a PhD? *
Your answer
Why MPI-SWS and the Cloud Software Systems Group? *
Your answer
What is your favourite research paper, and why? *
Please list one research paper that you particularly like, and describe why you like it. Try to briefly explain what its research contribution is.
Your answer
What is a research paper you dislike, and why? *
Please list one research paper that you dislike, and explain what you don't like about it.
Your answer
What research paper from the Cloud Software Systems group do you find interesting, and why? *
Pick a paper from our publications list. Try to briefly summarize the paper, its research contribution, what you like about it, what you dislike about it, and what you think the next steps in the research might be.
Your answer
Are there other research groups or faculty at MPI-SWS that you are interested in?
Your answer
Any additional information you'd like to include
Your answer
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