Visit Days 2021

UChicago Computer Science PhD

Welcome to Computer Science at University of Chicago

We are very excited to welcome you to the 2021 edition of Visit Days for prospective PhD students to the UChicago Computer Science Department! Visit Days is a fully virtual event for 2021, hosted virtually on Please note, all times listed are US Central Time Zone (CST).


Gather and Virtual Crerar
We're trying something completely new with remote visit days in 2021. Thanks to PhD student Casey Duckering, we have a full replica of the CS building in Gather (down to individual chairs, whiteboards and broom closets). We will host everything on Gather, and use it as the primary platform for our interactions. To enter virtual Crerar, please log into gather (using THIS LINK). Please use the same email address as appears on your PhD application. Your guest account should already be set up and you can enter any time before and during visit days. Your (customizable) avatar will appear in the ground floor of John Crerar Library. Move to the northwest corner of the lobby where the elevators are, and move towards the 3rd floor. Once on the 3rd floor, move south to the lobby, and then southeast, to the main lobby and the main conference room 390. We will have a schedule and links outside 390.

If you're not familiar with Gather, read this detailed tutorial on using Gather for UChicago visit days.

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During visit days, you're welcome to explore all of virtual Crerar. Main sessions will be in 390 Crerar. Meetings and sessions will be on zoom, and embedded zoom links will be found in the relevant rooms. Open House events will be "held" in different rooms, but accessible via zoom links. Most faculty can be "found" in their virtual offices, or directly via their zoom links. Student posters will be embedded interactive objects on the 3rd floor. In addition, we encourage hallway conversations with others in virtual Crerar. You'll also find numerous embedded objects around Crerar, including camera icons that will show you photos of the real Crerar (including views of the atrium and the hanging sculpture, art pieces around Crerar, and choice views out to the main courtyard), and lots of shared whiteboards that you can use for technical discussions. Feel free to use the breaks to rest your eyes, or to chat with other students and faculty in attendance.

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Thursday, March 4, 2021 (US Central Time, UTC-06:00)

10:15AM Welcome, CS Chair Michael Franklin (main Zoom link)
10:45AM PhD Introduction, Janos Simon & Ben Zhao
11AM-Noon Open Houses by research clusters, large labs, or open office hours
Noon-1PM Lunch Break / Free
1PM-2:30PM Faculty 1-on-1 Meetings
2:30PM-3PM Break / Free
3PM-3:30PM Student Poster Session #1 (Titles & Map)
3:30PM-4PM Break / Free
4PM-5PM GWiCS Diversity & Inclusion Social
(organized by UChicagoCS and GWiCS for female, non-binary and
minority prospectives but open to all), Zoom Link
6PM-PM Student Organized Social in Virtual Crerar, Room 273 (Grad Lounge)
Zoom links for activities

Friday, March 5, 2021 (US Central Time, UTC-06:00)

10-11:30AM Faculty 1-on-1 Meetings
11:30-Noon Break / Free
Noon-1PM Orientation Student Panel / Remote Lunch, Zoom link
1-1:30PM Break / Free
1:30-2PM TTIC Virtual Visit for ML/Theory Students (Zoom Link)
Chicago/Campus Virtual Tours for others
2-2:30PM Break / Free
2:30-3PM Student Poster Session #2 (Titles & Map)
6-7:30PM UChicago EscapeGame Event, SIGN UP HERE
Please sign up before 2PM Friday to join!

More Activities During Visit Days
The schedule for visit days is intentionally spread out, to give you more freedom to virtually explore the CS department and the city of Chicago, and to help minimize zoom fatigue. Here are a few additional activities you can consider during your scheduled break times.
  • Explore virtual Crerar. Crerar in is a near perfect replica of the real John Crerar Library. Feel free to wander around the building and explore. A number of photographs have been embedded in the hallways to give you additional perspectives on what the inside of JCL looks like. Feel free to drop in faculty offices and student lab spaces to see if they are around and free to chat.
  • Virtual Visits at the Art Institute of Chicago. You can remotely visit iconic pieces at the Art Institute of Chicago via the Art Institute Essentials Tour. Each video is a detailed guide to one of the iconic pieces on display at the Art Institute in downtown Chicago.
  • Chicago Hyde Park "running tours": videos taken during neighborhood runs near UChicago campus by Prof. Nick Feamster, including sights and sounds around campus and surrounding neighborhoods.
  • UChicago virtual video tour, start with the point near Rosenwald Hall marked "Introduction."