I am starting a MS in CS program this summer. My department is small and my particular concentration is both narrow and new. Currently only 3 professors at the school are listed as having research interests in my area of interest.
I have contacted 2 of them. One is tenured and one is an assistant professor.
I know that the tenured professor has lots of published work in the field already and would probably be the better recommender come PhD application time.
I'm not eligible for assistantships yet until I finish some prerequisites I lacked from my undergrad. But I want to get in and prove what a good little research assistant I can be as soon as I can so I can beat out the other assistantship applicants when the time comes.
My question is: If they don't respond to my emails, how long should I wait to follow up with them as not to be annoying? Should I just wait until classes start and go talk to them then? I'll be taking a class from the assistant professor this summer in a subject outside my research interest. What's the best approach to get people collaborate with me?
(Sorry this sounds like lots of questions in one, but I only have a year and a half to become the best PhD applicant ever and I want to make sure I do it right!)