Will Styler's Homepage
Will Styler

Associate Teaching Professor of Linguistics at UC San Diego

Director of UCSD's Computational Social Science Program

Will’s Student FAQ and Policies

This page exists to help answer common student questions and link folks to my various course policies.

Frequently Asked Questions

I have questions about a class policy or an upcoming course

The answer is almost guaranteed to be on the course syllabus, which is likely findable at https://savethevowels.org/### where ### is the course number (e.g. 101 for LIGN 101, 6 for LIGN 6). If it isn’t answered there and you’re sure, email me.

I’m on the waitlist, will you let me in to the course?

My goal is generally to accept as many people as I can, but I’ve often got constraints based on room size, number of sections, and other resources. So, this is a strong ‘maybe’. Show up to class for the first week, to see if you naturally roll in, and if not, ask after class. But the answer may be ‘no’, and it may be because of things I can’t control.

What kind of jobs can a linguist get?

I actually have a whole page about this, but one of the best resources around right now is the Linguistics Career Launch YouTube Channel which has a great list of talks talking about industry applications of linguistics.

Can I make an appointment to talk to you?

If none of my course-specific office hours will work, and the problem can’t be solved by coming to class early or staying a few minutes late, then you can book me using the information listed at the bottom of this page.

Will you change or bump up my grade? Can I have extra credit?

Before asking for a grade change, extra credit, or variance from the class policies, check the course syllabus to see the relevant policies, and also check my discussion about student requests for grade changes, extra credit, and other variances to get a sense of what kinds of requests I’m likely to grant, and which are problematic and unwelcome. Bad grade change requests are a pet peeve of mine.

Will you write a letter of recommendation for me?

Maybe! I get a large number of requests, and generally don’t write for students where I can’t say strong, specific, and positive things which will help your application. So, if I’ve just had you for large classes and we didn’t interact extensively (e.g. a series of office hour discussions, IAship, etc), I’m probably not the best choice for you. See my letter of recommendation guide for details on who I write for, how I decide, and what I need from you when you ask.

Would you supervise my honors thesis?

I really enjoy supervising honors theses in my areas of interest, and would be thrilled to talk to you about doing so. Come up with a few possible topics or areas of research, and then let’s meet up and see if I’d be a good fit. That said, due to my limited time, I generally can’t be the main advisor for multiple honors projects, and tend to choose projects which are the best fit with my skillset, and which I find most personally interesting. So, reach out early, ideally in the Fall or Winter of your Penultimate year.

Do you do Dine/Coffee with a Prof?

Absolutely. This is a great program where students are given vouchers to have coffee or a meal with a professor of their choice. I’m always happy to participate in this, both because free food or drinks for both of us, and because it gives me a chance to get to know you better as a person, and discuss your aspirations, interests, and long-term goals. Shoot me an email and we’ll set it up.

How can I be an Instructional Assistant in one of your classes?

I’m afraid you no longer can. Due to Labor-Relations-inspired changes in June 2024 to academic policy which block most of the meaningful learning opportunities for UGIAs to act as a functioning part of an undergrad classroom, barring changes, it will no longer make sense to offer UGIAships in the foreseeable future, although I’ll honor existing IAship commitments. I’m genuinely sorry, this makes me very, very sad. Students interested in learning more about teaching should still talk to me, but I’m afraid this particular ladder has been pulled up.

I’m applying to UCSD as a graduate student, would you like to be my advisor?

Given my teaching load as a teaching professor and my more limited opportunities to support you (as I don’t have a ‘lab’ to employ you as an RA), it’s likely better to have me as a co-chair or contributing member of your committee, rather than being your advisor directly. But if you truly feel like I’m the perfect fit for your interests, email me and we can set up a time to chat more about the possibility.

What’s a teaching professor or “L(P)SOE”?

Good question! I have a whole page about this.

I’m struggling in academics or in life, where can I go to get help?

Check my student resources page for a massive listing of resources, on campus and off, as well as discussion about ways to request help, get documentation for your troubles, and request an ‘incomplete’ grade.

Course Policies