About the Program

The University of Houston Department of Computer Science is conducting a Research program this summer of 2021 for undergraduate students starting June 1st until August 6th. Due to COVID19 and stay at home orders all around the US, the site will be held online, and the 10 to 12 accepted participants will be joining the program remotely.
NSF REU Site: REU stands for Research Experience for Undergraduates, it is a grant mechanism sponsored by NSF to promote scholastic activities at the undergraduate level. Participating students need to be enrolled in an accredited U.S. university or college and be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Preference is given to juniors and seniors, but freshmen and sophomores are also considered if they have a strong record.
Mentorship: The REU participant will be paired with one faculty member from the UHCS department (available projects). The mentors have adapted the research projects for remote working and will be supervising and guiding the REU participants through virtual communication tools. These tools include Zoom, MS Teams, Slack, etc. The mentors will have frequent and regular meetings with their mentees to compensate for the lack of in-person communication.
Seminars: Professors and industry professionals in fields of Data-Driven computer science are invited every week to give a talk to NSF REU participants. Professors are invited not only from the UHCS department, but from other universities and even from other countries. The UHCS REU participants will also get to attend talks that are hosted by other NSF REU Sites. All the seminars will take place remotely via Zoom and a few may require registration.
Team Building: During normal circumstances, REU participants have multiple opportunities to interact with each other throughout the program (e.g., dorms, before or after seminars, tours of Houston, making their own plans, etc.). To compensate for the lack of these opportunities, and to increase social engagement, we will hold virtual team building activities once a week. These are informal events to foster a sense of community between the participants, and mentors will not be attending.
Midterm and Final Presentations: The UHCS REU participants are asked to perform a Midterm presentation towards the middle of the program, and a Final Presentation on August 6th. These presentations allow the faculty to get an understanding of the projects the REU students (who aren’t their mentees) are working on, and to track their progress throughout the program. It is also beneficial for the students to get feedback from faculty members other than their mentor. These events will be held online via zoom and each participant will have 20 mins to present and 10 mins for Q&A and feedback.
Acknowledgement: This project is sponsored by NSF under CNS-1551221 and CCF-1950297. Special thanks to the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics for its financial support. The University of Houston is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution.