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Undergraduate Research at Purdue CS
The Department of Computer Science, as well as Purdue University as a whole, has multiple research faculty engaging in research for a variety of areas both within the field of computer science and beyond. For an undergraduate student looking to join in research the process may seem daunting, so here are some FAQ's and resources to assist in getting started.
When do I get involved in research?
Undergraduate students can engage in research opportunities as early as their freshman year. This will depend on the research project as well as the professor's requirements and skillsets needed. Some professors will want you to have taken a specific course before you start research, while others say it's never too early to engage in a project, especially since you'll do a lot of your learning on the job.
How do I get involved in research?
The first step is finding the type of research you would like to be involved in (see next question for a list of websites). You should talk with faculty who were or are your instructors for ideas and insights. If you are approaching faculty that you have not had for a course, be sure you write a clear and detailed email about your request to be part of their research and see if you can meet them in person to discuss further.
Your academic advisor is also a great resource. They can discuss how to develop the skills you'll need for research, help manage your expectations, assist with the paperwork you need to register once you are on a research project as well as provide other insight and resources.
What opportunities are there to do research?
Research is available to students not only through the academic year, but can be an alternative to internships during the summer. Besides research on Purdue's campus (either through the Department of Computer Science or other departments on campus) there are resources and opportunities to do research on other campuses across the country or with other organizations.
Undergraduate research resources at Purdue:
- Department of Computer Science Research Areas
- Department of Computer Science Research Seminars
- Purdue University Office of Undergraduate Research
- Purdue University Center for Programming Principles and Software Systems (PURPL)
- Purdue Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program (SURF)
- Discovery Park Undergraduate Research Internship Program (DURI)
Research Opportunities off-campus:
- National Science Foundation's Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU's)
- Computing Research Association's Computer Science Undergraduate Research (CONQUER)