I believe that undergraduate research is a valuable experience for all students – it broadens the horizons and enhances the sound understanding of the taught topics. Doing undergraduate research projects, students can find out whether they have a passion for research and whether they should pursue a graduate degree. In two of my classes – CMSC 250 Introduction to the Design and Analysis of Algorithms and CMSC 310 Artificial Intelligence, students are required to complete a research project in a manner that accounts for each student’s interests and research potential. Some students have done research projects as an independent study or a capstone experience, and some students have done research projects as an extra-curriculum activity (not for credit, just for the fun of it).
Usually a research project has the following tasks: choose a topic, find an interesting problem, investigate and compare existing solutions, look for directions for improvements, propose modifications, implement a solution and describe the research in a paper. Students may work individually or in teams. At the end of the semester the research projects are presented in class. Students with outstanding work present at the Computer Science seminar and at Simpson’s Undergraduate Symposium. Some students have their work presented and published at regional forums - the Midwest Instruction and Computing Symposium and the CCSE Central Planes Conference. One student presented his work in Washington, DC at the “Posters on the Hill” event, sponsored by the Council on Undergraduate Research. Several students have won Maytag-McElroy research grants by Iowa College Foundation. Here is a list of outstanding students’ projects that have been presented at various forums.I am absolutely committed to devote my time and energy for support of students that are willing to explore computer science beyond the limits of our curriculum.
Created by Lydia Sinapova