GradFest is a long-running annual event where prospective computer science doctoral students are invited to visit the UT Department of Computer Science. It is a joint project of the department, GRACS, and volunteer graduate students.
The goal of GradFest is to provide prospective computer science doctoral students with a view of life in the UT Department of Computer Science.
Typically, department events are held on a Friday, and include:
- Presentations and panel discussions on current research topics in the department.
- Lab "open house" hours with demonstrations and discussions.
- Individual meetings with faculty.
- Discussion forum with grad students about life in the department and in Austin.
- Catered breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Events continue on Saturday, with typically a department event or two in the mid-to-late morning and events around Austin for the remainder of the day.
The department's graduate student organization, GRACS, takes the lead on the non-academic events, such as:
- Friday night entertainment
- Tours of Campus and Austin
- Fun outings and social events
Invited prospective computer science doctoral students are offered housing and transport by volunteer graduate students. This provides a more welcoming stay than a hotel, and is another opportunity for invitees to get an accurate view of graduate student life at UT.
Because the housing is offered by volunteer graduate students, it is limited to admitted computer science doctoral applicants.
The department reimburses limited travel expenses of invitees.