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  1. The Doctoral Qualifying Exam (DQE)'s purpose is to determine whether you have the breadth of basic knowledge for the doctoral Program.
  2. Your job is to convince me of that. If you tell me that you this is your weak area, that it's unrelated to your research, and that you don't know this very well because you had to study other, more important, topics, then please ask yourself, "Why should I pass you?!"
  3. When examining you, I don't want to know anything else about you, such as your advisor or research interests.
  4. I will examine you on the three courses listed in the department handout, particularly on the catalog descriptions listed there.
  5. You don't have to have officially taken those courses, just to know the material as well as if you had.
  6. It is ok to be ignorant of one or two topics in each course. However if you are ignorant of a whole course, then you will fail.
  7. As a start, you should be familiar with all the items listed in the catalog descriptions: definitions, examples, importance, limits.
  8. I try to ask questions that allow for variations in background, e.g.,
    1. Please tell me all the high-level languages that you know well.
    2. (I pick two of them). Please compare them on ...
    Or:
    1. What is the most interesting data structure that you know?
    2. Describe its ...
    Don't list a choice that you, in fact, do not know well.
  9. Finally, good luck! We need good students to enhance our research programs and our reputation.