FAQ

I wish to apply to graduate school and/or your group

I am pleased to hear of your interest in our graduate program.  All admissions decisions are made by the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences Graduate Admissions Committee.  I am sorry that I cannot correspond with each applicant individually.  Regarding doing your Ph.D. research in my own research group, let me say that your application will be read very carefully.  Each year I recommend to the Admissions Committee the admission of the 1 to 3 most outstanding students in the applicant pool with interests in this field, and...

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I am interested in a training internship lasting a few months in your laboratory

Harvard has a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program administered by our Materials Research Science and Engineering Center and our Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center. It can take US citizens and permanent residents, as well as non-US citizens currently enrolled at a US undergraduate institution who have an F-1 visa. More information and applications are available at

http://www.seas....

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I am interested in a part-time or short-term undergraduate research assistantship

A part-time undergraduate research assistant position is available for the Fall 2017 semester, possibly continuing into J-term and possibly continuing beyond that into Spring semester, for the measurement of properties of flow battery membranes (for background see https://aziz.seas.harvard.edu/electrochemistry). The membrane is a critical component of a flow battery, permitting electricity-conducting ions to pass through it at high rates while preventing the energy-storing chemicals from...

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I am one of your students and I need something.

***Update: I am on sabbatical for the 2019-2020 academic year so no office hours***
[***Fall 2020 tentative Office hours Thursdays 5-6 pm, 204A Pierce Hall***]
My students are my highest priority.  But please realize that I cannot be pen pals in corresponding about the "rules of engagement" already stated in the syllabus, or homework problems, or the finer points of the course, due to this repetitive strain injury.  I seem to have only a limited number of keystrokes per day, and that number isn't known in advance.  So a phone call (617-495-9884) is...

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I wish to schedule a meeting.

I will do this when I can, but please keep in mind that Harvard hired me to do a job: teaching and research. I sometimes go through periods in which it is hard to find enough hours in the week to fulfill my already-existing commitments.  

Requests for reviews of a manuscript / proposal.

Please email the title, authors, and if possible the abstract / project summary, and I'll let you know as soon as possible if I can review the manuscript / proposal.  If the request is from a journal I publish in or an organization I receive research funding from, I will try my hardest to find time.  Even then, however, my review inbox sometimes gets so backlogged that it's hopeless to add another, and in that case I believe it's better to say 'no' at the outset than to leave you and the author / principal investigator hanging for an unfairly long period of time. ...

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I am a frequent correpondent and don't want to keep getting these bounce-back messages!

The new email program seems to automatically control these much better than did the old. If it's still not good enough, try programming your spam filter to intercept a message from "Aziz" with "Automatic reply:" in the subject line. Even the new program won't permit me to customize the 'latency' (period for which the program won't send an additional bounce-back to the same address) so I'm still pretty much at its mercy. I'm really sorry about the trouble.