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Summer Research

One of the most widespread summer research programs is the National Science Foundation (NSF) - funded Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program. REU sites exist in every science at dozens of schools across the country. The American Mathematical Society maintains a list of REU sites in mathematics. The NSF REU site will list programs in all disciplines, including computer science.  NASA also sponsors many educational programs. Closer to home, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory hosts a Research Alliance in Math and Science summer program for minorities (including women).

Here are some examples of our students' RESEARCH EXPERIENCES FOR UNDERGRADUATES:

annieAnnie Brunelle
, a junior Honors Mathematics major, participated in a summer Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) hosted by The Lyman Briggs College at Michigan State University and funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Security Agency. Twenty students were chosen for the REU in Experimental Mathematics to work with mathematics faculty from Lyman Briggs College. Each student received a stipend of $3,200, housing, and a meal allowance. Travel money to the REU site and to make presentations at conferences was also provided. Professors Dan Dougherty, Igor Nazarov, and Aklilu Zeleke guided the student research.

Jackson Streeter, a senior Pathways scholar and Mathematics and Computer Science double major, attended a summer Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) in Applied Mathematical Modeling at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This program is funded by the National Science Foundation. The research project lasted ten weeks and the students receive a $5,000 stipend as well as campus housing, a food stipend and paid travel. Jackson’s project of interest was Natural Gas Forecasting and he worked in the GasDay lab to determine how much natural gas customers of WE Energies will need each day for the next week, as well as help predict future usage.

David Strength, a senior majoring in Computer Science with a minor in Mathematics, participated in the 2013 Summer Program for Interdisciplinary Research and Education (SPIRE) in Emerging Interface Technologies. SPIRE-EIT is a ten week research experience for undergraduates program that combines classroom training with hands-on research projects. Iowa State University‘s Virtual Reality Applications Center (VRAC) and Human Computer Interaction (HCI) program are the hosts for this program. The SPIRE-EIT undergrads formed research teams; each team is led by a VRAC|HCI faculty member and assigned a graduate student mentor. Over the course of the summer, SPIRE-EIT undergrads created new technological solutions to challenges in human computer interaction and present their results at a year-end symposium. Interns conducted research in the field of Human Computer Interaction while learning and implementing a number of technologies including computer graphics, modeling and painting software, and virtual reality equipment. Students selected to participate in the program received housing, a meal plan and a stipend of $5,000 for the summer.

Angela Gaetano, a senior Pathways scholar and Mathematics major, participated in the 2013 summer Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) at Ohio Wesleyan University. It was a ten-week program funded by the National Science Foundation. The topic she researched with Dr. Scott Linder was Sampling Distribution of Regression Statistics with Data Subjected to Type II Censoring. The participants received a $4,800 stipend, a food allowance, free housing, and travel funds.

Alice Curtis, a senior majoring in Mathematics, participated in The Summer Institute for Training in Biostatistics (SIBS) funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and National Center for Research Resources (NCRR).  The program held at the University of South Florida, Tampa, is designed to stimulate undergraduate students’ interests in pursuing a graduate program in Biostatistics. Biostatistics is a growing field that has become indispensable in advancing medicine and improving health. Yet nation-wide there is a critical shortage of biostatisticians with postgraduate-level training.  It also exposes the students to exciting career opportunities in health-related fields. Tuition, lodging, food, and traveling expenses are all paid for by the program and participants can earn college credit.

Rebecca Newton, a 2013 Pathways scholar graduate and Chemistry major and Mathematics minor, was selected to receive an Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) fellowship. ORISE provides undergraduate participants with a better knowledge of their anticipated field of study. Participants conduct authentic research while networking with researchers and fellow students. Rebecca did research work at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, GA during the summer of 2013. Her supervisor and mentor is Dr. Udeni Alwis in the Tobacco & Volatiles branch. Rebecca stayed in intern housing at the Emory University campus. As part of the fellowship, Rebecca received a monthly stipend of $2,500.

Josh Sheehy, a 2013 Belmont graduate, participated in a Computer Engineering REU at the University of South Florida during the summer of 2012.  He conducted research for Human Activity Recognition (HAR) using the Android platform and wearable sensors. His fields of study also included Data Mining and Feature Extraction for Multiple Classifier Systems.

Marcella Noorman, a 2013 graduate with a Mathematics major and Physics minor, studied last summer in the Budapest Semesters in Mathematics (BSM) program, a study abroad program for undergraduates in mathematics. She took mathematics and culture courses in English from Hungarian professors, while taking advantage of Hungary’s history of producing creative and world-renowned mathematicians. The instructors of BSM are members of Eötvös University, the Mathematical Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and Budapest University of Technology and Economics, the three institutions known for having educated more than half of Hungary's highly acclaimed mathematicians.

Brian Howell, a 2013 graduate with a double major in Computer Science and Audio Engineering Technology, participated in the Harvey Mudd College 2013 summer REU. He worked on the Intelligent Music Software project.

Kelly Harlan, a 2011 Belmont graduate, participated in an 8-week long REU at California State University during the summer of 2010. Participants had to choose a topic in knot theory to solve and prove an open question in that area. Her research paper was on the tri-colorability of knot sums.

Ross Buffington, a 2009 Belmont graduate, participated in a summer REU at the University of Houston during the summer of 2009.  Ross developed an innovative computer game which merged very new technologies with the job of monitoring security video.  His work on this project was furthered by a number of individuals, who shuttled the software to experimentation in a controlled environment. The results of this project were published at the "CHI 2010" national human-computer interaction research conference.  (