I prefer you to decide what to work on, as well as when and where to work.
My only requirement is that you must perform top work. Your future depends on this, so it is my responsibility to get the best out of you.
Have fun. Be awesome.
Be the bestIf we want to publish a research paper, we shoot for the top venues (e.g. SIGGRAPH for graphics or CHI/UIST for human computer interaction). If we want to build a product, we aim to benefit as many users as possible. There is nothing inherently wrong about not aiming for the best; it is just not what I want to spend my time on. Life is too short.
Do what you loveYou must be really interested in what you do rather than for other reasons, such as trends or external expectation. Just like every profession, your long term success and happiness depend on your passion.
Work for yourself
My design is to have everyone working for yourself; you reap what you sow and how much you achieve depends on how hard you work. The amount of time I spend on you will be proportional to your productivity. If you slack off, you only hurt yourself.
Consequently, you should never ask me when and where you should work. You are doing these for yourself, not me, or anybody else.
Work anytime anywhere
I operate in a continuous and asynchronous fashion through mechanisms such as paper drafts and shared data, which I have found to be more effective than discrete and synchronous meetings.
Consequently, you can work anytime anywhere you like. What matters is your output productivity, not your input efforts. This also eliminates the facility and environment issues; if you do not like the office, you can work elsewhere.
Control your own destinyI am your adviser, not supervisor. Life is stochastic, and nobody can predict the future. All I can do is to provide suggestions, and you will have to decide what the best is for you.
I would prefer you to tell me what you like to work on, and I will try to come up with projects that can fit our interests and backgrounds. You will be happier and more productive, and I will be motivated to learn new things.
I am not a fan of micro management. I want to give you as much room as possible to explore, and I do not mind that you make mistakes as they are the natural part of the learning curve. If you prefer to be told exactly what to do, you will not be a good fit for research.
Have fun and get what you want
You will have a lot of fun working with me. For me, the purpose of life is to have fun. And I do research because I really enjoy it. I will help you feel the same.
I advocate a healthy life style. I get enough sleep every night and enough exercise every morning. I never stay late, as I find it detrimental to my creativity. (None of my ideas are produced while sitting in an office.)
If you can walk out of my door with satisfactory performance, you will be able to conduct independent work and land a good next position.
I blog about various issues related to research; look for tags "advice" and "research", or simply this summary page.