The CS department has volunteer roles (ministers) to represent PhD students’ interests, provide feedback to the department, and to get students more directly involved in the department’s activities. Contact the Faculty-Grad Liaison (FGL) for more info about these roles, or if you would like to volunteer.

Graduate Student Ministry (CS Student Representatives)

Faculty-Grad Liaison (FGL) aka Prime Minister

Responsible for handling most of the faculty-grad interactions and concerns. The FGL acts as the primary interface between faculty and graduate students and is also the person to reach out to for miscellaneous concerns that are not represented by other roles below.

Graduate Matters Ministers

These are the people to reach out to if students have specific concerns covered by these roles.


Responsible for raising PhD student curriculum interests with the graduate committee and the department chair.

Faculty Hiring

Responsible for structured grad student involvement in faculty hiring including feedback on candidates.


Responsible for advocating for students in the department who identify as female/gender nonconforming, underrepresented minority, LGBTQ+ or have a disability, both within the department & outside the department, and for connecting students to identity-affirming communities or affinity groups on campus.


Represent graduate students in the department’s facilities (Space and Computing) committees, which deal with allocating budget for office furniture, ergonomic hardware and determining the specifications of new machines, monitors, etc.

International Affairs

Represent and advocate for international graduate students in the department. Responsible for providing information for international students, identifying problems that international students face, and raising things to the department if needed.


Responsible for maintaining the PhD student web structure and making sure all information relevant to PhD students exists and is up to date on the CS website.

  • Jianru (Jerry) Ding (jrding)


Responsible for promoting awareness and support of mental, physical, and contributive (e.g. relationships with peers/advisors, remote communication) forms of well-being for PhD students. Responsibilities include informing about UChicago Student Wellness services and relevant well-being events on campus, decreasing the stigma around using counseling services and advocating for physical health accommodations, and sharing other relevant resources to mental and physical health.

Research and Social Interaction Ministers

These roles are meant to increase both social and research interaction within the department.


Responsible for organizing weekly tea, coffee and snack time where grad students can easily hang out with each other.


Responsible for keeping a sense of community in the department by organizing social events.

Student Seminar

Responsible for organizing the student seminar.


Since the COVID-19 pandemic, supports virtualization of events organized by other ministers.

The following independent bodies also represent student voices in varying capacities. The ministry includes them in communications and decision making.

PSD DSAC Representatives

The Deans’ Student Advisory Committee (DSAC) brings together representatives from all departments in the Physical Sciences Division twice a quarter to discuss division-wide and university-wide issues. We get two reps for Computer Science:


Graduate Women in Computer Science (GWiCS) is an organization that builds a community of support for female-identifying graduate students in the Computer Science department. Our activities include monthly Sounding Board Socials, recruitment, and advocacy. GWiCS is also part of the Women in Graduate Science organization within the Physical Sciences Division. Current chairs are:

Visit The Ministry webpage for more information.