This article is published in the March 2024 issue.

UR2PhD Computing Research Engagement and Awareness Series In Full Swing, Next Workshop Held On April 8

By Julia Sepúlveda Ávalos, Program Associate, CRA-E

In February, the UR2PhD team launched the Computing Engagement and Awareness Series, a virtual workshop series that aims to educate, inspire, and empower undergraduates. 

The first session “So you’ve done some research, what’s next?” featured a moderated panel discussion with researchers from various backgrounds, including Celeste Bean (Sony PlayStation), Roman Caudillo (Intel / Semiconductor Research Group), Catherine Delcourt (Wellesley College), Sofia Kobayashi (Wellesley College), and Daniel Ji (University of California, San Diego). The panelists discussed their immersion into undergraduate research; how they found opportunities and discovered their interests. The panel reflected on why they decided to pursue this pathway, and what they’ve learned along the way. Despite their varied backgrounds and interests, the panelists shared their passion for computing research, and encouraged participants to consider their own aspirations as it relates to careers and graduate study. 

The second session “What does a career in computing research look like?” featured an informational presentation, followed by a Q&A with guest speakers. The team was joined by Lexie Yang (Research Scientist in GeoAI Group at Oak Ridge National Laboratory), George Porter (Professor in the Systems and Networking Group in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of California, San Diego), and Dana Nachmanson (Senior Bioinformatics Scientist at TwinStrand Biosciences). This interactive and inspirational session served to highlight why many research professionals decide to pursue an advanced degree and how their degree has shaped their employment prospects, goals, and decisions. 

The spring session of this series will continue through May, and we encourage all students who are interested in computing to consider registering for the April and May sessions. The third session, “How will my research change the world?” will be held on April 8 at 6pm Eastern Time. The UR2PhD team strongly encourages undergraduates who are interested in computing to attend. Participants will be able to learn more about computing research, the opportunities that exist in the field, and how they can get one step closer to reaching their career goals. 

Beyond registering for each session, there are no formal requirements to participate in the program. ALL undergraduates, irrespective of experience level, are welcome to attend. To learn more about the program, please visit