Karen Schloss – Information for Prospective Graduate Students

Dr. Karen Schloss – Information for Prospective Graduate Students

Website: https://schlosslab.discovery.wisc.edu/

Current research: My lab primarily investigates how people interpret meaning from visual features (e.g., color) in information visualizations (e.g., charts, maps, diagrams, signs) with the goal of understanding how to make visual communication more effective and efficient. My website includes all of my lab’s publications and provides an overview of our projects. We are also starting to extend our work to other perceptual modalities (e.g., haptic communication through texture).

Communication Prior to Applying:

I welcome communication from students prior to applying to my lab, and I am open to holding video calls.  You can reach me by sending an email (kschloss@wisc.edu), and request a meeting if desired. Please note that I do not privilege or prioritize applications from prospective students who have contacted me prior to applying or who have had a video call with me. If you have questions about completing/submitting the UW Madison Psychology Department application itself, the best person to contact is our graduate coordinator, kbelt@psych.wisc.edu.

Areas I’m Willing to Advise Students in: I am happy to advise students in perception or cognitive/cognitive neuroscience (CCN). Students in my lab are often co-advised by collaborators in computational cognitive science, computer sciences, or electrical/mechanical engineering. I also collaborate with students and their advisors in other areas of psychology (e.g., developmental, social).

How I Evaluate Applicants: Like all faculty members in the Psychology Department, I evaluate prospective graduate students in a holistic manner. I read all of the application materials carefully to assess the applicant’s preparedness for our graduate program and motivation/background knowledge for developing a successful research program in my lab. While reviewing applications, I look for evidence of:

  • prior research experience
  • profound curiosity and drive to answer the kinds of research questions we pursue in my lab
  • success in relevant coursework
  • interest working in an interdisciplinary, collaborative environment
  • potential to contribute to teaching and mentoring
  • resilience, initiative, and potential for leadership
  • potential to contribute to a more diverse, accepting community of inclusion and belongingness on campus and beyond, which respects and supports individuals with various perspectives, abilities, and experiences

I find that the personal statement is especially helpful for understanding how the applicant’s background, life experiences, and academic experiences address the topics listed above.

Other Information for Prospective Applicants: My lab is part of the Department of Psychology and Wisconsin Institute for Discovery (WID; https://wid.wisc.edu). WID is an interdisciplinary institute that cultivates collaborations that transcend the boundaries of departments and fields. We have ongoing interdisciplinary collaborations with members of other departments on campus and beyond (e.g., Computer Sciences, Mechanical Engineering, Philosophy), and are always open to the possibility of new collaborations.