Working with Undergraduates

  • Bright and energetic undergraduates can contribute meaningfully to research – even research that one might perceive as inaccessible to undergraduates.  Many faculty members who have supervised undergraduate research tell us that undergraduates have made significant contributions to their work, have co-authored papers, and have given presentations at conferences.
  • Research experiences are formative experiences for undergraduates.  Many students who go on to pursue graduate degrees report that an undergraduate research experience helped them decide to go on for graduate studies.  Undergraduate research benefits the students and, ultimately, the computing research community.
  • Working with undergraduates can be very gratifying for the faculty mentor.  Many mentors have formed long-lasting friendships and professional relationships that have been mutually beneficial and rewarding.
  • Working with undergraduates can be a good way to identify talent and recruit graduate students.  Some universities effectively use their undergraduate research programs to identify and recruit domestic graduate students.
  • Graduate students can participate in mentoring undergraduates, enhancing their research productivity and providing them with valuable teaching and mentoring experiences.
  • Providing undergraduate students with research experiences makes them more competitive for graduate admissions and fellowships, benefiting them and the reputation of your department.

valtaylor"Having undergraduates engaged in research can be beneficial for everyone.  The undergraduate is exposed to research, providing opportunities to apply concepts learned in class.  Graduate students often serve as mentors, providing them with opportunities to explain their research.  The faculty member oversees the entire research group, making certain that everyone is fully engaged and contributing." 

Prof. Valerie Taylor, Regents Professor, Royce E. Wisenbaker Professor, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Texas A&M University

paris"I have worked with more than 120 REU students either directly or indirectly over the last 10 years. We have published many papers together and finished many interesting research projects. However, for me, one of the most gratifying outcomes from all this hard work is to see how the REU programs are opening new doors for these students and even better, to see how the students are in fact taking advantage of that. Seeing an REU student going all the way up to getting and being successful in a faculty position and advising his or her own REU students, is very satisfying."

Prof. Miguel Labrador, University of South Florida

Comments are closed.