Current Students

This page provides guidance for PIxL students; it is recommended that students in the lab reflect here at the start of each semester and note any updates.

Start of Semester

Prior to the start of each semester, PIxL students need to develop their milestones for the semester. All students need to set their own goals and, working from those, identify milestones for each week on the lab spreadsheet. Students should keep in mind any publishing deadlines while doing this. Goals and milestones will be discussed with Prof. Toups at the first research meeting of the semester.

Each semester, students will work with Prof. Toups to set up a weekly, 30-minute meeting time.

It is recommended that all students bring a notebook (or device) for note taking for every meeting.


PIxL students are expected to develop a publication history during their time in the lab. Masters students are expected to produce at least one first-author paper in a top venue during their tenure, Ph.D. students should have at least three.

New Students

Nearly all students involved in research in the PIxL Lab will be involved in human subjects research. PIxL students need to understand the processes of working with human subjects, which means familiarity with NMSU’s Institutional Review Board, its MAESTRO research protocol review system, and successful completion of required training (which may take up to 6 hours the first time).

Central to all research is synthesizing background research, which needs to be collected and organized. PIxL students should identify a favored citation manager, which must either operate upon or export BibTeX. Potential citation managers include BibDesk, IdeaMÂCHÉ, Mendeley, and Zotero.

The PIxL Lab generally uses LaTeX to write papers (and theses and dissertations). It is recommended that students familiarize themselves with this tool and identify a favored editor. TeXShop is a recommended LaTeX editor.

PIxL students generally need a Google account and a Github account (both of which are free).