Dr. Van Meter, I want to come study with you!

Fantastic! I am always interested in having good students (where my definition of "good" is "smart, hard working, and pleasant to work with"). Please read this page before contacting me; you will find the answers to many of your questions either here or by following the links.

Disclaimer: Nothing on this page should be considered authoritative; the material is here to help, but may be out of date, misinterpreted, or even outright wrong, as I am not an expert on the admissions process. Moreover, no communications with me should be considered official, as I do not have the power to make any pronouncements for the university in any interesting capacity.

First off, I assume you're interested in graduate school or postdoctoral study; if you are an undergraduate, you should consider joining Aqua, All-IP, Arch, or another of the RG KGs. Most of the rest of this page assumes you are interested in getting a Ph.D. with me. Keep in mind that this will make you part of the Jun Murai Internet Research Lab, which is an excellent place to be. Our lab is filled with world-class experts on a variety of topics, and the faculty are very supportive of a wide range of research interests. Supervision of Murai Lab students is shared among all faculty in the lab, sometimes with additional support from faculty from other Keio campuses or outside of Keio.

University/Keio SFC Basics

If you already live in Japan, you are probably aware of the basic way in which a Japanese university operates. If you are not, here are a few basic facts:


At the moment, I have only extremely limited access to funding for new students. If you are coming from outside Japan, in general, you will need to secure funding for at least your first year from outside; many of our Ph.D. students are self-funded for at least part of their education. Here are a few links.

Once you are here, funding may become a little easier to find for subsequent years. The Keio offices have some information on sources, such as private foundations, that support students that are already here.

Getting Accepted

Contacting me to express interest in coming to SFC to study with me is a good place to start, as graduate admissions are done partially based on a research plan developed for study with a particular professor, and approved by him/her. However, I know nothing else about admissions rules -- dates, fees, forms, testing, visas, etc. Please see the Graduate School of Media and Governance web pages for more information about these topics. (n.b.: Don't worry about the name of the graduate school. I mentor students in quantum information, and other faculty members mentor in bioinformatics; our school as a whole is quite broad and interdisciplinary in its approach.)

You and Me

Important notice: I do not discriminate against anyone due to age, race, gender or gender identity, sexual orientation, nationality, ethnicity, religion, political persuasion, disability, height, weight, astrological sign (Chinese or Western), blood type, or favorite baseball or basketball team.

I do consider the adviser/advisee relationship to be a mentoring relationship with a personal component as well as a professional one. Our lab has a strong and mostly informal social life, and you can look forward to constant interaction with other students and faculty, on both social and technical topics.

Quantum Computing

I get a fair number of queries from people interested in pursuing quantum computing. Wonderful! It's a fascinating topic, and will be critical in the years to come. However, it is a very interdisciplinary topic, and starting from scratch means that you have a long ways to go. Before starting a Ph.D. program, you should already have a reasonably solid background in at least one of the following:

In addition, because I am a computer systems person and am interested in quantum computer architecture and distributed quantum computation, the following are helpful:

In fact, I consider that list to be pretty fundamental to a well-rounded education in computer systems, so it's useful regardless of your topic.

What Next?

Goal: Your goal is to convince me that I should support your application to our graduate school. As we go through the process, I may ask for reference letters from faculty at your current (or last) institution, and I will ask for a telephone interview as the last step before agreeing to support your application. You need to convince me that you have a reasonable chance of completing a Ph.D. under me in the expected time frame, which means showing me the following:

To achieve that goal, do the following:

The plan I ask you to write above is not the final word on what your thesis topic will be, but it gives me a lot of insight into how you work. I do have a long list of unsolved research problems, but I do not have time to share them with every possible candidate. This plan is your chance to show creativity and initiative, but you should assume it will change, perhaps radically, later.

Contacting Me

Rules for contacting me:

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