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Information for Prospective Students
Each year, the SAND lab has roughly 1-2 openings for PhD students. If you're interested in joining us, please send email to us (Ben and Heather) at (ravenben at cs dot ucsb dot edu and htzheng at cs dot ucsb dot edu). We are looking for students with creativity, deep thinking, and a strong competitive drive. Generally we'll do a trial quarter project to see if interests and work styles mesh. Be aware, however, that while we work very hard to lead our students, we also demand a lot from our students in energy, hard work and commitment.

We are also interested in good MS students. We have been fortunate to work with some excellent MS students at UCSB. Again, please email at the above address for details. For UCSB PhD students who are seeking advisors, you can read this to get a sense of what we expect from our advisees (available only from UCSB hosts).

For students not currently enrolled in the UC Santa Barbara graduate program, please read our FAQ before contacting us. For undergraduate students from IIT who are interested in summer internships, please know that we are not currently taking applications for summer internships.

Directions for SAND Lab Visitors
Santa Barbara is located on the beautiful Pacific coast, about 95 miles (150 km) north of Los Angeles and 320 miles (500 km) south of San Francisco. It can be reached from either city via the scenic US Highway 101. The computer science department and all faculty offices are in Harold Frank Hall (formerly Engineering I). See the map below for the Engineering area of the UCSB campus and the map at the end of this page for the surrounding areas and approach roads.


If you're coming to visit the lab, we are located at 3530/3534 Phelps Hall, about a 10 min walk away from the CS Department in Harold Frank Hall. Heather and Ben are usually at the lab, but will sometimes schedule meetings in their offices in HFH.


  1. Coming from the south on northbound Highway 101, take the Airport/UCSB exit #104B onto Highway 217. This exit is past all 12 Santa Barbara exits and follows Turnpike and Patterson exits in Goleta. Drive 2 miles (3 km), stay on the left, until you reach the UCSB east entrance roundabout at the end of the freeway. Turn right at the roundabout, stay in the left lane, and turn left into the east campus parking structure (Lot 10). Parking permits can be purchased from automatic dispensers located inside the structure by the elevators. Computer Science is in Harold Frank Hall, and faculty offices are spread across floors 1, 2, 3, and 5. Ben's office is in HFH 1123, and Heather is next door in HFH 1121.
  2. Coming from the north on southbound Highway 101, take the Storke/UCSB exit #108, turning right onto Storke Road. Drive south toward the ocean, away from the mountains, for 1 mile (2 km), past three traffic lights, to the fourth traffic light at the end of Storke Road. Turn left onto El Colegio and drive 1 mile (2 km) to the UCSB west entrance. Where the road branches and turns right, take a left turn onto Stadium Road. Proceed until the stop sign at the end of Stadium Road, turn right onto Mesa Road. At the third traffic light, turn right into the east campus parking structure (Lot 10). Parking permits can be purchased from automatic dispensers located inside the structure, next to the elevators.
  3. From Santa Barbara Airport, drive south on Moffet Place toward the ocean, away from the mountains, for about 1/2 mile (1 km). When you see the Highway 217 bridge, turn left onto the on-ramp to Highway 217. Once on Highway 217, keep left and proceed as in paragraph (1) above.